DJ James Kennedy Won the Chaotic ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Reunion
The hotly anticipated Vanderpump Rules Season 10 reunion is finally here — the first of three parts, at least, with the others airing weekly through June 7th — and before we dive headfirst into the muck and the mire, one thing bears mention: Rachel “Raquel” Leviss, one of the women at the center of the mega-cheating scandal, spends the entire first part watching from a trailer 100 yards from the taping (owing to her silly restraining order against Scheana for allegedly throwing hands at her, even though, according to Scheana, she was unable to ball her hands into a fist because of her long nails). It’s a shameless move by Bravo to drum up anticipation for the other parts, but you kind of have to respect the hustle.
When one of the reality series’ breakout stars, Lala Kent, spoke to Rolling Stone about the reunion, she said, “I can tell you that the reunion was utter chaos. They definitely should’ve had cages for us. James and I were off our fuckin’ rockers, and people are gonna be shocked. Scheana couldn’t be in the same room as Raquel. I definitely saged myself when I got home. It was the first time coming home from a reunion where I felt gross.”
Season 10 of Vanderpump Rules centered around the cast’s suspicions that Raquel and Sandoval were having an affair, with the explosive finale presenting the aftermath (replete with a Kristen Doute cameo!) Raquel is a 28-year-old former beauty pageant contestant who placed 15th in her last competition, harbors a deep complex over being excluded from ice cream parties for not knowing her multiplication tables, and was best friends with Ariana and the ex-fiancée of Sandoval’s little bro of sorts, DJ James Kennedy. And there’s Sandoval, whose ego exploded once Lisa Vanderpump gifted him 5% of a bar (see: his rage-texts to Stassi), fronts a regrettable cover band called Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras, had recently purchased a giant home with Ariana (his girlfriend of nearly a decade, who he was in the process of fertilizing embryos with), partially bankrolled DJ James Kennedy’s splashy engagement party to Raquel, and possesses a terrible mustache and an even more off-putting whiny voice.
Even though Raquel was absent from Part One, there were still plenty of fireworks at the reunion, hosted by none other than Andy Cohen, the face of Bravo. The reunion was filmed inside a Hollywood studio (not at SUR, like some reunions past) and shot on March 23rd, just weeks after what’s come to be known as “Scandoval” was foisted on an unsuspecting public.
Before the group sit-down, we are presented with a dramatic message: “In a reunion first, Andy sat down separately with the principals of the scandal to hear their sides of the story.” This is probably why Andy was so “annoyed” that Sandoval sat down for his rambling disaster of an interview on the podcast of an embarrassingly unprepared Howie Mandel. Ariana admits she’s “a lot better now,” and that while she still lives in the same house as Sandoval, he “lives in the guest room” and they have “people running interference” so they don’t cross paths.
In her one-on-one, Ariana shares that it took Raquel “48 whole hours” to text her an apology — they still haven’t seen each other in person at this point — and all she could muster was, “Ariana, I don’t know what to say right now besides I really fucked up I am so so so sorry.” Ariana texted back, “shut the fuck up you fucking RAT” and blocked her ass. (Bravo shows us screen grabs of the text exchange because they’re messy and we love them for it.) Sandoval alleges that the first time he hooked up with Raquel was five days after guys’ night at the Mondrian. Following See You Next Tuesday, a SUR event DJ’ed by Raquel’s ex and Tom’s pal, DJ James Kennedy, “A bunch of us went to The Abbey and… it was that night [that we had sex].” If true, this would mean that Ally Lewber, DJ James Kennedy’s girlfriend and an aspiring astrologer, was indeed the one who caught them red-handed. Might be time to book a reading with her.
Sandoval claims that they hit pause on their affair — meaning they weren’t hooking up at the time of Raquel’s “bomb-ass” glamping trip for her 28th birthday — but that it picked back up when they attended Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas (Disclaimer: Life Is Beautiful is owned by Rolling Stone though we were blissfully unaware of any trysts by its worst attendees), which took place in mid-September. This does not match up with some prior things, like Ariana’s contention that Sandoval admitted he “fucked in the car” with Raquel after guys’ night, or the fact that he stayed and partied with Raquel at a Labor Day party in Newport for two hours while Ariana was telling him to come home because her beloved grandmother had passed away.
The saltiest question Andy asks during these not-so-revealing sit-down interviews concerns the time Sandoval performed with his shitty cover band Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras at BravoCon in October. The affair was in full-swing, and Ariana and Raquel were in the front row dancing side by side to him butchering classic songs. So, Andy asks, “Did it get you off?” Sandoval shoots back, “No! My god, no!” in his trademark whine.
It is this statement by Ariana that is the only necessary takeaway regarding Tom Sandoval: “He’s desperate. He will throw anything at the wall right now hoping it will stick. Because he’s the one who used to tell me — he coached me on this, the same way he’s coaching Rachel — [they] gotta get their lies right, gotta get their story right on the spin.” (This is presumably regarding the time Sandoval and Ariana lined up their stories when they hooked up in the pool of Vegas’ Golden Nugget while he was still dating Kristen.)
Speaking of “spin,” we turn to the reunion. As soon as Sandoval walks out and faces the group, the camera cuts to Ariana, rocking a stunning red revenge dress, who says, “Well, he looks like shit.” (Destined to become a meme.) The moment Sandoval starts pushing out fake tears during the reunion, everyone (except his team, Schwartz and Lisa) understandably jump all over him — no one better than DJ James Kennedy, who shouts, “Pull yourself together, man… you’re not at the Oscars!” before mocking his whingeing and adding, “Be a man, mate. Pull yourself together. Fucking crocodile tears. Pussy.” Once Sandoval “apologizes,” the camera cuts to DJ James Kennedy who whispers to Lala, “No. That didn’t hit for me.” (This man is a nightmare but incredible TV.)
Cue Ariana: “[Sandoval] has victim-blamed me one hundred percent of the way. So, I don’t believe anything that just came out of his mouth. I think he’s fucking full of shit. And he can fuck off.” (Get his two-timing ass, Ariana.)
Lala, now the show’s resident truth-teller/detective, compares Sandoval to her sleazy producer-ex, Randall Emmett. “Sandoval is Randall. Give it ten years, he is Randall Emmett. It’s absolutely terrifying. I couldn’t get Randall to stay home, and when shit hit the fan, I couldn’t get him out of the house. That is a fucking narcissist. Everyone needs to be warned about this person. Like, this is a dangerous human being.” Lisa, who did herself no favors during the reunion by constantly chiming in to defend Sandoval, calls it a “ridiculous stance,” and Lala fires back, “I didn’t ask for anyone else’s opinion.” Whew! We haven’t seen anyone talk back to Lisa like that since Jax, and we know where that got him.
Ariana says it is Sandoval alone who is to blame: “I think he caused the divide in the relationship because he was fucking other people… He’s fucked more than Raquel.” Also, Scheana throws cold water on Sandoval’s continued stance that his relationship with Ariana was falling apart, saying that Ariana had confided to her in January that their intimacy issues had been resolved and she and Sandoval were in a good place.
DJ James Kennedy confronts Sandoval in the reunion’s most heated moment, saying, “Do you remember who I am, Tom? What is that to you? What is that to you?!” Sandoval claims they weren’t close friends and “only talked once a month,” while Lala chimes in to say that’s a load of crap, and Sandoval even helped pay for DJ James Kennedy’s engagement to Raquel on the Coachella grounds, aka Rachella. “You’ve been a big bro, dude!” exclaims DJ James Kennedy.
Sandoval continues to deny this and says DJ James Kennedy “fucked Kristen [Doute] to get on the show,” prompting DJ James Kennedy to get in his face — and Andy to separate them, losing his flash cards in the process.
“Fuck you, I don’t want you to stick up for me! You’re a pussy-ass bitch and you know what? Your band sucks dick. You’re nothing. You’re a nobody. You’re a loser. And your fucking bar is going down the drain! You backstabbing ho!” shouts DJ James Kennedy.
“Get in my face again [and] I will fuck you up motherfucker,” mumbles Sandoval, prompting DJ James Kennedy to say, “I’ll fuck you up right now, bitch! I’ll fuck you up so quickly, Tom,” later adding, “You’re a worm with a mustache!” (He has begun selling merch with this phrase.) The women can’t get enough of it, and neither can we. He may be the No. 1 Guy in the Group after all.
Sandoval uncorks one of the worst comebacks I’ve ever heard: “You call yourself an artist? You’ve had the same haircut for fucking years.” What a flop. Then again, this is a man who pronounces the word nostalgia “nos-tal-gee-a.” Maybe him and Raquel are made for each other.
At another point, Lisa scolds DJ James Kennedy for leaving his chair during the reunion, triggering this reply from him: “I’m gonna get sent for a time out! I’m gonna get a spanked bottom at lunchtime, Andy!” This fucking guy. What a character.
When asked why he didn’t come clean to Ariana about the Raquel affair before it was uncovered in very ugly fashion (Ariana finding a video saved to Sandoval’s phone of the two masturbating to each other over FaceTime), Sandoval blames Ariana (again), saying she was “going through a lot” and he didn’t want to add to it. Schwartz, forever backing up his guy, says that Sandoval came to him in July complaining about the state of his relationship, and then told him after the Mondrian night that he’d confided in Raquel on guys’ night about his issues with Ariana in what he called “an intimate moment.”
Cue Katie, with a great rejoinder: “By ‘confided in her’ you mean he put his penis in her.” Schwartz then admits that Sandoval had told him about the affair in August — well before January, which is when Sandoval said he did. This means that Schwartz, if he is to be believed (and he’s not), didn’t know that Sandoval and Raquel were having an affair when they kissed at Scheana’s wedding. He also confesses that when he told Sandoval in front of the cameras that he thinks “Raquel has a crush on someone else” while they were eating Yeastie Boys sandwiches, he was talking about Sandoval.
Andy then poses an absurd question to everyone: “No one in this group has clean hands except for Katie and LVP. So, I mean, look: You’re all prepared to come after Sandoval and Raquel. How is that not hypocritical?” (It’s clearly different, Andy.) Andy subsequently asks if Ariana will stay close to LVP if she remains in business with Sandoval and Schwartz.
“We just won’t be as close,” says Ariana. This prompts Lisa, who again did herself no favors during the reunion, to get defensive, saying, “What do you expect me to do? I’ve been close to you and supportive of you, and you know I love you very much. You think I should buy him out of the business?” Ariana says she’s in no place to give the one and only LVP business advice, though Lisa’s response is strange given how reasonable Ariana’s reply was. Of course they won’t be as close if she remains in business with the man who blew up her life! Part One of the reunion ends with DJ James Kennedy accusing Lisa of “sticking up for Tom too much” before storming off the set. And you know what? He’s right. And is the clear winner of the night. Let him cook, Lisa.
By the way, Ariana and Katie say that they made $200K selling merch for their lovely West Hollywood feminist sandwich shop, Something About Her, which is slated to open “in late May,” or very, very soon. I, for one, can’t wait to try that Greek Goddess number.