Even with two peaches gone, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is juicier than ever.
In an exclusive interview with Page Six, veteran cast member Kandi Burruss explains why Season 14 of the hit Bravo reality show “will survive” following the departures of Cynthia Bailey and Porsha Williams.
“Listen, they are dearly missed but the season will survive without them,” Burruss, 45, says while promoting her latest Bravo spin-off, “Kandi & the Gang.”
“They are definitely loved by the fans, and coming into this, I was kind of nervous doing it without them. But it turns out that we needed this change on this show. We needed to mix things up and it turned out really, really great.”
Bailey and Williams’ exits made room for a seismic cast shakeup that includes the addition of former Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross, the overdue promotion of Marlo Hampton from beloved “friend of” to full-time “Housewife” and yet another reprisal from “RHOA” OG Shereé Whitfield.
Burruss tells Page Six that this trio, along with her returning co-stars Kenya Moore and Drew Sidora, gave it their all while filming the next installment of the show.
“When I say the girls came to slay this season, they came to slay,” she enthuses, adding that Richards-Ross, 37, “got caught in the drama.”
“I mean, you can’t help it on this show, right?” adds Burruss, who has appeared on “Atlanta” since 2009’s Season 2. “I love the fact that she was genuinely trying to build real friendships amongst this group, whereas I feel like in the past, everybody got so comfortable with just only being around each other when we had to film.”
Meanwhile, Burruss notes that Whitfield, 52, brought “a new energy” to “RHOA” that her previous stints seemed to lack.
The She by Shereé designer previously appeared on Seasons 1 through 4 and returned as a “friend of” in Season 8 before signing back on as a full-time cast member for Seasons 9 and 10. Whitfield skipped out on the next two seasons, but briefly appeared on Season 13.
“She came back more transparent than she ever was. She used to be really private. No doubt, she shared some things in the past. But this year, she just was extremely vulnerable with all that she was dealing with,” says Burruss, noting that Whitfield’s relationship with ex-con Tyrone Gilliams will take center stage.
“Shereé shared so much of her personal life,” the “Don’t Think I’m Not” singer elaborates. “She was just being her true self in a way that I feel like everybody is going to root for her from beginning to end.”
And then there’s Hampton, 46, whom Burruss “bumped heads” with.
“[We were] saying some really mean things to each other, let’s just say that,” she says of an “explosive” fight caught on camera. “I don’t even know how they’re going to edit it to be clean because it was terrible.”
However, Burruss clarifies that her friendship with Hampton is back on track today, telling Page Six, “We’re cool now. But there was a moment where I wondered how we were going to come back from the fight.”
Hampton wasn’t the only one who tried to battle Burruss. Moore, 51, came for her as well, though Burruss notes that her longtime pal was unsuccessful.
“She tried to come for me one time. I gave it back to her. You can’t [try me]. I’m not going for it,” Burruss says with a laugh. “Go try that over there. Don’t try it with me. Try Jesus, don’t try me. That’s how I feel.”
Despite their scuffle, the women were able to patch things up.
“Over the years, Kenya and I have really built a real friendship. Like, we really call each other, check on each other,” Burruss says of Moore. “She pissed me off a little bit, but I think the thing about us [is] we will only go so far because we have a genuine love for each other.”
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” Season 14 has yet to receive a premiere date. “Kandi & the Gang” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.