Bethenny Frankel Returns in Real Housewives of New York City Season 7 Premiere — Was She Welcome?

Sonja Morgan, Luann De Lesseps, Bethenny Frankel, Carole Radziwill
Bethenny Frankel returned for season 7 of The Real Housewives of New York City. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

They’re back! After months away, the Real Housewives of New York City have returned to our televisions for season 7. And while they no longer have leg-throwing champion Aviva Drescher in their ranks, they have made up for that loss by inviting back Bethenny Frankel, who left the series for a while to become a megastar in her own right.

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That’s not the only change introduced in the April 7 premiere — there’s some fresh blood in the main cast, and the majority of the opener was dedicated to catching up audiences with all the developments in the Housewives’ lives, from major divorces to big moves.

Which lady of New York ended the first episode on top? Only Us Weekly‘s RHONY power rankings can tell you for sure!

1. Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel
Bethenny’s back! The Real Housewives of New York City alum returned to the show in the season 7 premiere. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Bethenny’s life has definitely changed since she was last on the show — there was a marriage, a divorce, a baby, a spinoff, another spinoff, and a talk show, not to mention the children’s book writing, cocktail book writing, and on and on and on. She had it all, and now, in her own words, she’s “the richest homeless person in New York City” thanks to her ongoing divorce proceedings with ex Jason Hoppy. While she can’t yet fix all the pain and hurt feelings from her split, she can fix the housing situation and brought some Bravo synergy to RHONY when she hired one of the realtors from Million Dollar Listing: New York to help find her a place. It awkwardly ended with her offering to act as a surrogate for him and crying about her situation, but a first step is a first step, no matter how awkward it is.

Best Moment: While checking out an apartment, Frankel decided it would be appropriate to ask her realtor and the man selling the apartment what their fetishes are. The conversation turned out to be more about turn-ons than fetishes, but it was still a very bizarre conversation to have while house-hunting.

2. LuAnn de Lesseps

LuAnn de Lesseps
LuAnn de Lesseps returned as a full-time cast member in the Real Housewives of New York City season 7 premiere. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Everything’s coming up de Lesseps! After a season where she was demoted to part-time cast member, the Countess is back to being a full-time Housewife once again. She celebrated by inviting all of the ladies over to her new house in the Hamptons, which she absolutely adores. She was even civil enough to invite Sonja Morgan along, even though they had some major tiffs last season. Those etiquette books are still paying off!

Best Moment: Blast from the past! Frankel and de Lesseps had a long, sit-down conversation to gab about the passage of time and the fleeting nature of love. It was a wonderful throwback to the earlier seasons of the show, except without all the tension that made them frenemies for so long.

3. Carole Radziwill

Carole Radziwill
Carole Radziwill struggled with her writing deadlines in the Real Housewives of New York City season 7 premiere. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Radziwill spent the premiere essentially procrastinating writing her follow-up book to Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating. She told her editor that she can’t write when she’s in such a joyful, social mood and her editor gave her a stank-face and reminded her that breaking contracts isn’t the best idea in the world. Maybe Radziwill isn’t being productive, but at least she’s being relatable! As any college student with looming term paper deadlines could tell you, the struggle is so, so real.

Best Moment: During a dinner with some of her fellow Housewives, Radziwill admitted that she has a Tinder account and that she is “upping her Tinder game.” Fabulously wealthy, Emmy-winning, best-selling authors: They’re just like Us! 

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4. Sonja Morgan

Sonja Morgan
Sonja Morgan returned for season 7 of The Real Housewives of New York City. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Morgan continued to exist in her own world filled with toaster ovens, burlesque, burgeoning empires, and piles upon piles of interns. While all of the other Housewives were worried about her behavior (which apparently included trying to stage bomb a show) and talked about trying to give her a reality check, Morgan continued to live in her own whimsical way. That meant gold facials and intern pow-wows and a bizarre talk with Ramona Singer that involved both of them trying to one-up each other with divorce sob stories. Signs point to the fact that this may not be a good season for Morgan personally, but they also point to her remaining fascinating television.

Best Moment: While cracking jokes with her interns, she asked one of them to remind her of the show she is currently catching up on. She then proceeded to guess that it was called Game of Thorns. Classic Sonja.

5. Ramona Singer 

Ramona Singer
Ramona Singer was extremely emotional during the Real Housewives of New York City season 7 premiere. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It’s hard to blame Singer for crying through the entire RHONY premiere. Who wouldn’t spend a lot of time sobbing and venting after being publicly cheated on and preparing to divorce a spouse of 25 years? As understandable as it is, though, it was not all that fun to watch. Plus, Singer still had her trademark off-putting moments, including being horrified when Morgan tried to confide in her during a brunch. 

Best Moment: Singer decided to wear the world’s most ridiculous casual fur coat to visit friend and newbie Housewife Dorinda Medley. Bless Housewife fashion and its endless capacity to both amuse and inspire all at once. 

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6. Dorinda Medley

Dorinda Medley
New Housewife Dorinda Medley joined The Real Housewives of New York City for season 7. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Medley is the new Housewife on the block this season, but her introduction was muted compared to Frankel’s return. Mostly, Medley gave us a peek into her life with her daughter and boyfriend, and acted as a support system for the emotional Singer. Will Medley bring chaos, stability, or something in between to this group of ladies? Only time will tell.

Best Moment: Medley admitted that some of the appeal of her current squeeze, John, lies in his major dry cleaning business, which provides much-needed maintenance on her extensive wardrobe. In a moment filled with delightful candor, she even claimed that the end of her relationship would also signal the end of her current budget.

7. Kristen Taekman

Kristin Taekman
Kristin Taekman’s best moment of the Real Housewives of New York City premiere came when her daughter, who had struggled with walking last season, ran around happily. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Last season, Taekman introduced herself to Housewives viewers mainly through her incredibly uncomfortable marriage and her ability to be Singer’s favorite wine glass-throwing target. In the season premiere, Taekman appeared just enough to tell viewers that at least her marriage has supposedly changed for the better. Her husband can now take a couple of minutes away from his thriving vitamin business to watch his 2-year-old start a bath! Honestly, that is some serious progress for him. Congrats!

Best Moment: After watching her daughter struggle with walking all last season, it was encouraging to see the adorable little girl running around. 

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8. Heather Thomson

Heather Thomson
Heather Thomson acted as an echo chamber for her fellow Housewives in the Real Housewives of New York City premiere. Mathieu Young/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Thomson mainly existed as an echo chamber for all of the other Housewives in the premiere, and she affirmed both their self-congratulatory moments and their snipes at one another. Hopefully, Thomson soon bring some opinions of her own into the mix.

Best Moment: While Thomson gossiped about Morgan’s antics, she summed them up with “hashtag I have a problem.” The line wasn’t very clever, but nothing is funnier than seeing a Housewife try to remain hip with the times, and nothing screams “I’m trying to stay hip with the times!” more than trying to put a hashtag in front of a spoken sentence.

The Real Housewives of New York City airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Tell Us: Who was your favorite in the RHONY premiere?

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