Kandi Burruss Reacts to Rumors Jeannie Mai Is Replacing Her on 'RHOA' Season 14 (Exclusive)
By Mona Khalifeh
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Kandi Burruss is clearing up some rumors about The Real Housewives of Atlanta. ET's Nischelle Turner visited Burruss at her family's Old Lady Gang restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, which is the scene for Burruss' new RHOA spinoff, Kandi & the Gang, where she shared what viewers can expect on season 14 of the series.
"I didn't understand. I don't know who makes these rumors up," Burruss said of rumblings that she wasn't part of the show's upcoming season. "I think somebody secretly wants to get rid of me or something. I'm like, 'Too late. I already filmed season 14.'"
There were also rumors that Jeannie Mai had come on to replace Burrus.
"Now here's the thing, I'm cool with Jeannie," Burruss maintained. " And I love her. So, please, I would love for her to come on. Like for the next [season]."
The Real co-host, who recently welcomed her first child with rapper Jeezy, lives in Atlanta. But her move from Los Angeles to the Peach State wasn't done so she could appear on the long-running reality TV series. Not only is she not holding a peach, she isn't even a guest on the show, The Chi actress shared.
"I don't know if somebody wants her to come through," she continued. "I mean, it would be great to see her. I would love for her to be a part... We're friends, so let me be the one to bring her on."
"Of course, everybody was a little scared because we lost two peaches, but coming into it, I felt like everybody was transparent. They brought it this year. My girl, She by Sheree, she was doing her thing," Burruss teased.
"She came back, but she came back, back," she continued. "She shared her life with us. We get to learn so much about... I mean, normally she's a little private, but she was so open about what was going on in her relationship with Tyrone, child."
Burruss wouldn't say too much but she did share that Whitfield was open about the struggles she's faced in her personal life and in business. The same goes for Marlo Hampton, who is holding a peach this season after being a longtime "friend of the show."
"I knew that there were other things in her life that was way more interesting than what they had been showing about her," Burruss said about Hampton being promoted for season 14. "So, I had always been an advocate and trying to push for her to get a peach, because I was like, 'Y'all don't really give her a chance to really show what's really up with her.'"
"And this year, she finally was able to come on and do that, and then she came for me," the singer-songwriter added, teasing some of the drama that's to come from the two when the show premieres May 1. "I was like, 'How you going to come for me?' I'm your cheerleader. I'm cheerleading for you, and you came for me?' I didn't like it."
Despite all the drama and the shifts in casting, Burruss called season 14 "amazing."
"And so, with that being said, we started off right. Now, things obviously go haywire as they always do, but it wasn't like anybody was trying to hide what they really are," Burruss explained. "Sometimes, after you've been on the show for so long, some people are like, 'I don't want to do anything that's going to hurt my brand,' and all this other stuff... but people came into this season really like, OK, it is what it is. The people are going to see whatever's happening with us, and a lot happened."
The drama carries over onto Kandy & The Gang, too. While the restaurant was existence long before the show started, Burruss tells ET it was her husband Todd, who had the idea to start a show centered around the restaurant, centered around recipes from her mother Joyce and aunts Nora and Bertha.
"When he was first coming up with doing the restaurant, he started building out the restaurant, and he said he felt like we need to do a show. When we started hiring some of the people we were meeting, he said, 'We need a show about the restaurant," she explained. "So, he told our production company that runs Real Housewives and he told the network, and they thought about it at first, and then they decided to do it, actually, two years ago... but then the world shut down."
From cousins to family friends and locals who work at the restaurant, there's quite a few characters on Kandy & The Gang, but Burruss said none of them were actually cast.
"Somebody said to me, they thought we casted them. I was like, 'No, they actually work here. We didn't go looking for anybody. They were right here,'" the busy business owner shared.
While it took nearly two years to bring the show to fruition, the series definitely brings the heat, in and outside of the OLG kitchen, even more so than on RHOA, Burruss said.
"It gets heated in both. I'm going to have to be honest and say, we had a little heated moment with my aunt and one of my cousins in the show," Burruss revealed. So, sometimes things do get a bit heated here, but we have a lot of fun and a lot of laughter. I think even more so than RHOA."
Catch Burruss and her family on Kandi & the Gang, airing Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on Bravo, and on season 14 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, when it premieres later this year.