Erika Jayne sends a message to her doubters as she gets ready for her 'Bet It All on Blonde' show at House of Blues, opening Aug. 25.
Erika Jayne is ready to reclaim her career and, in a way, her life.
"It's been a hard few years and for this Bet It All on Blonde residency to come along was really sort of heaven-sent, I believe," she says, sitting down with ET inside the rehearsal space. The show's a "dream come true" weekend gig at House of Blues inside the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas is set to run through the end of the year.
"When I walked in here [yesterday] and I saw this, I started to cry, even though it's bare," she tells ET, motioning to the mock stage built behind her in Burbank, California.
"I started to cry because it was real," she continues. "You know, you can rehearse in a dance studio for so long, with tape on the floor, but then I saw it built out and I thought, oh my god. It's actually happening. And then when I saw the billboards, I kind of was like, 'Oh no... I have to do this show! What have I gotten my...' I literally-- there was a hot second where I was like, 'Uh, what have you gotten yourself into, ma'am?' But, it's all good."
The residency, which Erika describes as "daunting," serves as her sort-of reintroduction to the music world, a "happy place" for most of her life. She secured eight No. 1 hits on Billboard's US Dance Club chart before joining The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2016. Since then, she's snagged another with the unbothered anthem "How Many F**ks," the first of three singles (alongside "XXpen$ive" and "Cars") released as a Housewife. She'll debut fresh music and reimagined takes on vault tracks in the new show.
"It's an absolute blessing for me to be able to do something like this," Erika shares. "I hope that the fans, or the people that come, have a great time, because I know I'm going to enjoy every moment on stage. I really am."
She pressed "pause" on her music career with the one-two punch of the pandemic and, for lack of a better term, implosion of her personal life. In late 2020, Erika filed for divorce from her husband of 20 years, Tom Girardi. Soon after, questions began to surface about the 84-year-old attorney's business dealings at his now-defunct law practice. He's since been disbarred, diagnosed with dementia and faces a number of lawsuits, a legal web from which Erika is slowly freeing herself.
"This is an incredible moment for me, a rebuilding moment," the 52-year-old reflects. "But, yeah, I'm nervous-- but good nerves, good pressure. Not like the pressure that I've had."
When Erika announced her Vegas venture in April, the trolls moved into her comments section, questioning how she landed it and speculating that it must have been pulled off through a mystery "sugar daddy." Erika has largely ignored the noise, though the person rumored to be her new man spoke out to note he was married and just a friend of the singer.
For the record, Erika's not exactly dating -- she's made it known she's really only interested in sex at this point and anything more she's "keeping ... very quiet" -- and she secured the stage through LiveNation. Erika's message to the haters? "Why don't you go see it, and see if you like it or dislike it?"
"B***h, I'm good," she quips. "What's wrong with you? You go get one. If it's so easy, then you go get one. How about that? If it's so easy, everybody go get a residency then."
While her season 7 tagline on RHOBH made reference to being two people -- Erika Girardi at home, Erika Jayne on stage -- she now says, the line's been blurred. Or, maybe better yet, erased.
"I'm just Erika," she laughs. "I have no idea about those other people. ... I was married then, and I'm not now. So many things have changed. ... That was my life, yes. Sometimes I think about things like that, and it just-- it's better to be present in the moment, at this moment."
"You know, I've always loved to perform," she adds, "but the biggest surprise is how happy I am in this room, and in this setting, with these people. I forgot how much I loved this, and how much I love these people with me and my team -- and we just have such a good time here. This is truly a place that I feel good."
Erika's clocking 12-plus hour days in the studio in the lead-up to opening night this coming Friday, running through her 90-minute set list with longtime creative director Mikey Minden, who doubles as her hype man, cheering throughout rehearsals.
"This is a party," she promises. "We give a full fantasy, love, escape, glitz, glamour and fun. We're selling it from top to bottom; we're doing some really clever things ... it's loud, it's fun."
She'll sport "five and a half" looks in the show ("Who knows what the half is?" she jokes), which will no doubt draw a little more attention to her changing appearance. After much tabloid speculation over how she dropped a visible amount of weight, Erika told Housewives boss Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live that it's the result of hormone treatment for menopause. Of course, her rigorous rehearsal schedule plays a part, too, as does her decision to drop alcohol and junk food from her diet in preparation for her performances.
"I was surprised that people care what other people do to themselves, or don't do to themselves, or how their bodies work," she muses about the headlines. She also brushes off RHOBH co-star Sutton Stracke's apparent doubt about the menopause-as-weight-loss confession; in an interview with Us Weekly, the boutique owner said, "I've been through the menopause, but I still don't look like that, but OK..."
"Did she?" Erika asks when informed about the comment. "OK, next question."
Erika's clearly not in Housewives attack mode, admitting she views her rehearsals as an "escape" from the "petty backbiting" the show's known for, though she didn't use her grueling schedule as an excuse to run away from, or get out of, the drama.
"You know I never duck out for things like that," she declares. "I'm always standing in there. For better or worse, I don't walk out."
Still, she sidesteps questions about season 13's very-under-wraps plot points, unwilling to namecheck any of her fellow diamond-holders. "I'm not in the mood," she admits. "We're in a good place here."
"I'm happy," she offers of what viewers will see. "I don't really know anything outside of what I shot, and what I was there for. I can't really say other than, I had a really nice time and I was really prepared for this, and was talking about this. You'll see the residency come to fruition actually, like, signing it away on the show."
After two years in the Housewives hot seat, Erika is eager to let someone else take the heat. "Can I have a moment of peace?" she asks. "Can someone else in my cast get something going in their lives, or is it just me?"
The one thing that has eked out about the upcoming season is there will be a focus on Kyle Richards' marriage. She and her husband of 27 years, Mauricio Umansky, released a joint statement in July, acknowledging they were working on their relationship following a "rough year, the most challenging one" yet, after reports claimed the two were separated and divorcing. Those headlines came amid speculation Kyle was secretly dating country singer Morgan Wade, a romance both women have denied. That discussion will also come up on RHOBH.
"She's doing pretty good," Erika says of Kyle. "She's running neck and neck, but everybody else is kinda wack."
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns to Bravo this fall, while Erika's Bet It All on Blonde residency kicks off on Friday, Aug. 25, at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Tickets for dates extending through the end of the year are on sale now.