By Sandy M. Tyler

So, are we all ready for this season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta? I thought after last season that I might be “out” this year. Six months of rather boring Season 4 drama can wear a blogger out. But I must have missed the ladies more than I thought because in anticipation of Season 5, premiering this Sunday, I attended a taping of The Kandi Factory at the Opera nightclub in Midtown Atlanta on Tuesday.

Kandi, always one of the smartest businesswomen in the entire Real Housewives franchise, is executive producing a season of the series we all saw a preview for last year. Each week, the audience gets to see Kandi and her team of stylists, choreographers and producers develop two possible recording acts for the cameras, culminating in a live performance and the development team’s choice of a winner.

Because the series is in production and not yet on the air, I can’t disclose a lot of detail, but I can tell you that it was great to see that Miss Kandi doesn’t shy away from producing non-traditional acts. And Kandi remains a hit-maker, writing all of the usually catchy songs the contestants sing on the show. At the taping, I definitely had a winner in mind, but the next day, it was actually the other performer’s song that was stuck in my head. After seeing what Kandi Burruss could do with Kim Zolciak maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that a great songwriter can overcome a lot of the performer’s obstacles.

I can also tell you that Kandi is even prettier in person and the consummate professional. And you have the opportunity to attend performance tapings if you’d like to see for yourself what Ms. Burruss is up to these days. Just be at the Opera nightclub on Crescent Street by 7 p.m. each Monday night between now and Dec. 17 when taping ends.

The only negative: the producers don’t pay for parking, and although you can get a drink at the Opera bar, they won’t pay for that either. I have to say I think Andy Cohen is being awfully cheap here. I was there was an awesome crowd, dressed to the nines, and he couldn’t buy everyone a Shotski!? Andy, you owe me a drink, especially since Real Housewives of Atlanta recaps return to Atlanta INtown Paper this coming Monday, Nov. 5. We’ll be mixing it up a bit this year with staff members alternating recaps to keep things fresh. Bravo has promised a reboot of the series this season, so let’s hope we’ll have some good drama to sink our teeth into.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.