Nothing like a little quarantine to put your relationship to the test!
Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey is learning that firsthand as she self-isolates alongside her fiance, Mike Hill, both of their children and her daughter's girlfriend, at Mike's house in Los Angeles. ET spoke with the model via video chat to check in on her "quarantine" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"How am I doing with one man and three other females? It is, it has been a learning lesson," she confesses. "We’ve had a couple of different house meetings, we have to lay down some ground rules. We had to make chore assignments, because apparently they think that they don’t have to do anything except eat all the food and sleep all day… and make TikToks of course."
"Now, I will say, I didn’t know what a TikTok was until a week ago," she adds. "And I will say that, not only have I figured it out, I think we’ve made some pretty impressive TikToks. I’m just saying."
The family has been making a lot of TikTok videos together, including one recreating a wild exchange between Cynthia’s RHOA co-stars, NeNe Leakes and Eva Marcille, at the season 11 reunion, in which Mike played Andy Cohen. Cynthia says she sent the clip over to Andy to give him a laugh while he recovers from COVID-19.
"He was like, that was the best laugh of the day for him, he really enjoyed it," Cynthia shares. "He got a good laugh out of it, so he’s feeling much better, by the way."
Even with TikTok as a creative outlet, Cynthia admits she’s going a little stir crazy trapped inside all day. This is the most time she and Mike have spent together, continuously, since they first started dating in 2018.
"This is the ultimate test right now, because -- here's the thing, if we get into an argument, and I get mad at Mike about something, normally the old, before-the-coronavirus-quarantine Cynthia Bailey would go check into a hotel," she admits. "I’d be like, you know what? I’m going to stay here tonight. Go and drive myself from Porter Ranch to Beverly Hills and check myself into a nice little hotel and be alone. Now, I have to still sleep in the same bed, in the same house, and I'm just happy to go out for any reason at this point. But yeah, things have changed."
"It's kinda forced us to [see], this is kinda what it would really be like to be married and work from home together," she continues. "Like, I take my hat off to anybody who is married and works from home every day and sees their partners every single day, because, you guys have to realize, Mike and I were in a long-distance relationship. And even if we weren’t, with both of our careers, I travel a lot for work, so does he, so we don’t see each other every single day. Morning, noon, night. Breakfast, lunch, dinner."
"I am by myself a lot, my whole life as a model, all my jobs were, I'd just go to work, I’m good spending time by myself, I will say that," she adds. "But, the difference is, if I wanted to go to the bar and have a drink, I could. Now, I can’t. I can’t do anything. So, I’m not totally freaking out with isolation, but Mike is definitely more of a busybody and way more social. He’s definitely struggling."
Cynthia and Mike were in the middle of planning their October wedding when the pandemic essentially forced the whole world to shut down. While their date -- 10/10/2020 -- is still a ways away, Cynthia says everything is up in the air at this point.
"We've had to really think about it," she laments. "We did speak to our wedding planner to see what our options were in case we have to postpone it, or move the date back, because -- quite honestly -- at this point, we don't know when, we don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know when people are going to be able to go back to work, or if they’re going to be able to go back to work even, if they still have jobs. I don’t know if people will be able [to come]."
"A lot of our friends are from out of town, I don’t know if they’ll be able to afford to come to our wedding at this point," Cynthia adds. "I really don’t know. Or even, be in the spirit to go, this has been very -- I mean, maybe people will want to come out and celebrate and want to go everywhere they can go, but I really don’t know."
"It's kinda concerning, because we still have the date holding, but we did speak to the venue and our wedding planner what our options were if we have to move it back because we don’t know what’s going on," she says. "We can’t even shoot the reunion. I can’t even worry about next season yet. I’m just trying to get past the reunion, whenever we get to that date."
The reunion Cynthia’s talking about is, of course, the Real Housewives of Atlanta season 12 cast reunion, which was postponed due to the pandemic. Because it's unclear when "shelter and place" and similar orders will be lifted, it’s unclear when the ladies of RHOA will get to film their reunion; there are only a few episodes left of the season to air.
"I'm concerned about, you know, I was a certain size, for my reunion dress when this started, let’s just say that I hope I can still fit it by the time we get to the reunion," Cynthia jokes. "I always joke about relationship weight, now I think I gotta add some corona weight on top of relationship weight! Some quarantine weight, or whatever you want to call it. But, yeah, Momma getting thick over here."
Whenever the day does come, though, Cynthia does have some things to address with her co-stars.
"I started the season thinking it was gonna be the worst season of my entire life," she says. "Because, coming off the [season 11] reunion ... I knew that, you know, I was basically like, OK, great. I get to fight NeNe [Leakes] the whole freaking season, which is not fun for me, because -- at the end of the day, no matter what -- I still have love for her."
"I wanna definitely try to get to the bottom of 'snake-gate,' what that was all about," Cynthia says, referencing NeNe claiming that she had "recordings" of Cynthia bad-mouthing her to a mutual friend, recordings which never surfaced.
"It put out the perception that I was doing something bad to my friend that I wasn’t doing," Cynthia says. "When we were friends, I never said anything. It was always praise."
"I know who I am, I know my intentions, I know I’m a good person,"she adds. "I’m not saying I’m perfect and, you know, if I feel like you’re coming for me, yeah, I’m gonna respond as well."
Cynthia says she at least feels like she and NeNe are in a good place, but notes that they likely will never be as close as they were in the "friendship contract" days. Complicating things is Cynthia’s friendship with NeNe’s sworn enemy, at least on the show, Kenya Moore.
"I'm not not going to be friends with Kenya, 'cause of NeNe, and I’m not going to not be friends with NeNe, 'cause of Kenya," Cynthia says. "Now does it suck to be in the middle of that? Yeah, especially on a TV show."
"I'm a very loyal person and you know, that means a lot to me, for people to understand," she notes. “I get a lot of stuff about Kenya … I’m not saying I agree with everything that Kenya does on the show, but there’s a lot of things that Kenya does off the show that has proven to me her friendship to me. And one of the things that you will not ever see Kenya Moore do is attack me in the press and say crazy stuff. That’s not what Kenya does. Some other people do it, but that’s not what Kenya does. So it’s, like, how you are on the show and off the show? You gotta balance all that out and be like, OK, this friendship worth saving or throwing away?"
As for NeNe and Kenya coming together, Cynthia hopes they can work things out. The women have gone at it multiple times this season, and Cynthia teases there’s one more big blowup to come for them.
"Oh goodness, the finale was -- you know, it was great to come together to celebrate for Kandi’s new baby, Blaze, so it was great to do that, but it just went so far to the left that it just wasn’t as enjoyable as it could've been," she says. "But I’m pretty much coasting for the rest of the season."
"I’m kinda good for the rest of the season, and that’s enjoyable as somebody who’s on the show," Cynthia adds. "'Cause you’re like, OK, I’m not in the hot seat, I’m not having to read nobody, I’m not getting read, I’m not -- you know, it’s like, I don’t like the hot seat. I don’t enjoy the hot seat, and when I get pulled into it, I gotta do what I gotta do."
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. To watch the full chat with Cynthia, check out the video below.