Since its debut in 2015 in The Real Housewives of New York City Season 7, Dorinda Medley has made a huge impact on the popular (and dramatic) franchise. Even though her first season saw her compete for airtime with seven other housewives, Dorinda’s great personality, warm and generous spirit, and distinctive lines quickly made her stand out from the crowd.
As she spent more time on the show, unsurprisingly, Dorinda got into a fair amount of conflict. While in some cases she was definitely right, there were plenty of cases, particularly in more recent seasons, where Dorinda’s temper got the best of her. The most recent season of the show was Dorinda’s last (for now at least), but her iconic moments will live on in fans’ memories, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.
10 Supported: when she “got it right”
Some RHONY fan knows how much Dorinda loves to entertain, and the girls’ escapades to Blue Stone Manor are some of the most iconic trips of recent seasons. The season 8 stay was particularly disastrous and resulted in Dorinda coining one of her best-known phrases, “make it nice.”
It was around Dorinda’s birthday and her mother had bought her a cake, but she claimed that the meeting was not for that occasion. But after Luann and Bethenny got into an all-night fight and Luann brought her mother’s cake, Dorinda had had enough. She admonished the other housewives for their bad behavior in her house and threatened to kick them out, and viewers could certainly empathize with the exhausted hostess.
9 Too far: Jovani
One of the most iconic moments in the show’s entire history took place at Luann’s cabaret when Dorinda “booed the Jovani.” After connecting Luann with various dresses from the evening wear brand to wear to her show, Dorinda seemed to resent that the countess was not drawing attention to her contribution.
To make matters worse, he was offended that Luann hadn’t invited John to the show in his opinion. From her front row seat, Dorinda started yelling “Jovani!” in an increasingly aggravated way, but a season later she still wouldn’t confess to interrupting her friend.
8 Supported: split with John
Since his introduction in season 7, John has been a divisive figure for RHONY fans, as well as Housewives themselves. His cheeky personality, disrespect for personal boundaries, and penchant for getting into fights with his girlfriend’s friends (a trait not uncommon among housewife husbands) drew the ire of Bethenny, Ramona, and others.
In season 12, Dorinda talked about how she felt disappointed in John, telling her makeup artist that she wanted to spend quality time with him, but that he preferred to party. Later in the season, their breakup was officially announced. Seeing as they had been together for seven years, it was certainly a painful development, and fans could sympathize with Dorinda.
7 Too far: “Clip!”
One of Dorinda’s most memorable moments on the show came during a lunch break in season 9 when she objected to Sonja hinting that Dorinda had been involved in her ill-fated Tipsy Girl retail venture.
When Sonja suggested that both Dorinda and Ramona had expressed interest in partnering with her on the brand and that John had told her that Dorinda was “in”, Dorinda was furious. He jumped up from his chair, began to insult Sonja, and infamously and cheerfully told her to “cut” her mouth.
6 Supported: Luann rejecting the fish room
Season 11’s trip to Blue Stone Manor was quickly derailed by the drama of the infamous “Fish Room,” the guest room in Dorinda’s Berkshires home that is defined by the three great wall-mounted sharks. When Luann learned that Dorinda had planned for her to stay in that room while she reserved her daughter Hannah’s room for Bethenny (at the latter’s request), Luann was freaked out.
Dorinda was perplexed by Luann’s outrage, which was strong enough for the countess to leave in the middle of dinner. But as Dorinda correctly pointed out, the ladies were staying in a huge mansion and should have been grateful to stay in any room.
5 Too far: attacking Tinsley for no reason
One of the most puzzling stories of season 12 concerned the animosity between Tinsley and Dorinda. For almost all of Tinsley’s appearance in the season, she seemed to be afraid of Dorinda, and Dorinda continually criticized Tinsley for not sharing enough about her life. The dispute was particularly brutal during the trip to the orchard, but Dorinda’s accusations that Tinsley was shut down (or was it dishonest?) Always felt disproportionate to the amount of anger Tinsley seemed to cause her.
At the meeting, Tinsley suggested that the fact that John had asked Scott for money without Dorinda’s knowledge was what motivated Dorinda’s dislike of her from the beginning.
4 Supported: Sonja accuses her of drug use at the meeting
In the aftermath of the infamous season 8 bra party, where Dorinda’s boyfriend John and Bethenny became very enraged, the subject of drug use was brought up at the reunion. While Bethenny confirmed that something she had said during the bra party fight referred to drug use, Sonja directly accused Dorinda of participating.
It was an unwarranted accusation, since the conversation had to do not with Dorinda’s behavior but with John. While Sonja and Dorinda definitely have a history of trying to hurt each other in public, Sonja’s interjection felt like a low blow in front of cameras and led to a long, awkward silence at the meeting.
3 Too far: embarrassing Kristen for a nude photoshoot
One of Dorinda’s least flattering moments came at the season 7 reunion when she took up arms against Kristen for mentioning her boyfriend John’s behavior. When Andy Cohen asked Kristen if she thought John was too slick and she expressed that he was, Dorinda immediately went after the former model.
Dorinda mentioned a nude Kristen photoshoot that she had done in the past, implying that she shouldn’t disagree with John putting his hands on her because of her comfort with his body. It was an absurd and clearly offensive moment of whore embarrassment.
two Supported: Sonja comparing her divorce to Richard’s death
One of Sonja and Dorinda’s most memorable fights over the years occurred in season 10, when at lunch with Ramona and Luann, Sonja appeared to compare her own divorce to Dorinda who survived the death of her late husband Richard. Dorinda scoffed when Luann said that Sonja had been through a lot and pointed out that she had buried her own husband.
But Sonja said that housewives have heard the story thousands of times, a big mistake. It is understandable that Sonja misinterpreted her divorce as similar to the death of Dorinda’s husband, which made Dorinda very angry.
1 Too Far: Bringing Up Luann’s Arrest
The Housewives’ trip to Cartagena is remembered for a variety of reasons, including the terrifying boat ride across rough seas that the cast and crew endured. But one of the low points of the trip was the fight between Luann and Dorinda that broke out at a dinner at a restaurant.
After recently sober Luann suggested that Dorinda was “turning around”, adopting a mean and combative disposition after a few drinks, Dorinda immediately began to poke fun at Luann’s arrest and mugshot. Although it could be said that Luann should have kept her thoughts to herself, Dorinda’s response was totally unnecessary.
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