According to Candiace Dillard Bassett, the cast of "The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip" Season Three is “perfectly imperfect and authentic as hell.”
Season Three of "RHUGT" unites a mix of housewives from across the country for a trip to Thailand, taking the cast further than ever before (past trips were to Turks and Caicos and Great Barrington, Massachusetts).
The cast includes Candiace, her "RHOP" frenemy Gizelle Bryant, "RHOM" stars Alexia Nepola and Marysol Patton, "RHOSLC" stars Whitney Rose and Heather Gay, former "RHONY" Leah McSweeney, and former "RHOA" Porsha Guobadia, and premieres on March 23 on Peacock.
With the premiere only a few days away, TODAY.com caught up with Candiace to hear what to expect from the show, and everything else going on in her world.
Candiace say representing ‘Potomac’ is ‘an honor’
Prior to joining the cast of "RHUGT 3," Candiace tells TODAY.com she found the show's concept "very interesting."
She imagined that she would potentially be asked to go on the trip. When she finally got the call, Candiace tells TODAY.com she was “pleasantly surprised,” as she considers representing Potomac “an honor.”
"I’m really proud to have contributed so much to where our show is. We’ve gotten to Season Eight. It’s a huge accomplishment to be around for eight years. It’ll be six for me, but it’s almost a decade, and that’s huge. I was proud that (Bravo and Peacock) thought enough of me and my shenanigans to allow me to represent us in Thailand. And Thailand, like who turns that down? Not me!”
Candiace says that Season Three offers a "freshness” that stems from most of the cast going to Thailand soon after their shows finished filming, offering a “burning fire” to kickstart drama on the trip.
"RHUGT 3" taped in July 2022, meaning "Salt Lake City," "Potomac" and "Miami" wrapped filming their latest seasons prior to the trip. All seasons have since aired, with Miami airing the final part of its Season Five reunion on March 23 on Peacock.
Candiace says that the mix of personalities on the trip created an entertaining dynamic.
“So many of us are unintentionally funny and entertaining," she says. “We were just authentically ourselves. It was on another level."
Candiace says Heather Gay and Porsha Guobadia surprised her on ‘RHUGT 3’
Going into the trip, Candiace says she was “very anxious,” and found solace by leaning into herself and her resilience.
“I really had to tap into my own power, encourage myself, and tell myself that I was strong enough to be there, do the show, contribute to the show and make friends. There were moments on the second or third day when it just seemed like the poltergeist hallway where it just kept going and I was never going to get to the end. But I surprised myself in being able to make it and hold my own.”
Surprise also came in the form of her cast mates, as Candice says she enjoyed Heather Gay and Porsha Guobadia more than she thought she would.
"Heather is a really warm, sweet person, and she’s a really kind energy. I don’t know that all of that comes across that way on her show. Then Porsha, we went in with this anticipation of animosity, and she really turned out for me to be a fun girl that I would hang out with or talk to outside of the show. I wasn’t sure what she was going to be like, because I never met her in person," she said.
During the last season of "RHOP," Candiace made headlines through referring to guests on the show as Sesame Street characters, so we had to ask: Which Sesame Street character would be a great addition to "RHUGT 3"?
“Elmo would come with me to Thailand. Because Elmo is adventurous, Elmo is shady and could help me shade some of these girls," she says.
Candiace says her ‘RHOP’ cast mates’ actions are ‘disappointing’
With "RHUGT" coming up quickly and Season Seven of "RHOP" in her rearview mirror, Candiace says she felt a “weight lifted off” of her after the "RHOP" Season Seven reunion aired.
Much of Season Seven focused on allegations against her husband, Chris Bassett, by Candiace’s cast mates, and the reunion offered the chance to hash out all the drama.
Candiace tells TODAY.com, “I was really proud of the way that Chris was able to address everything that happened. Obviously, you don’t see everything he said, but what was shown, I felt like he got to have his say. We really left everything on those couches and didn’t need to take anything home with us.
“I felt good about the way that I addressed everyone. In spite of how controversial it might have been, I stand by what I said, and as the ancient African proverb says, 'It ain’t changing,'” Candiace continues.
The internet has been buzzing about what a "RHOP" Season Eight cast could look like, and speculation only continued when five "RHOP" stars — Gizelle Bryant, Robyn Dixon, Mia Thornton, Ashley Darby and Charrise Jackson Jordan — were seen in social media posts together.
Candiace says “it’s obvious at this point” that the group got together to plot drama for next season of "RHOP."
She continues, “It’s pathetic because we’ve seen these tricks. Like, give us something else. We need a new costume, we need new lines, we need a new stage. Because we have seen this store, we have read this book, the pages are tattered and torn, we don’t need them anymore.
“It also sends a particular message that is really unfortunate, because whereas we could have all started fresh and attempted to move forward as a group, that meeting said to me and to a lot of people, especially with the song that was on the video, which was ‘f--- b------ get money,’ that you’re not interested in moving forward, you’re interested in being stagnant and lying, and continuing to take the show to a place that the fans don’t want to see. It’s disappointing, because it doesn’t have to be that way," she continued.
With a season of ‘Sesame Street’ chatter behind her, Candiace says that if given the choice, she’d bring Zoe from "Sesame Street" to "RHOP."
"I’d bring Zoe, with the pet rock. She reminds me of Gizelle with all of her pet rocks. She’s the leader, and then all her little minions that follow her around and do what she says, those are her pet rocks. Zoe would be great," she says.
Candiace teases what to come in her music, film and TV projects
Candiace continues to broaden her scope as a multi-hyphenate recording artist and actor, recently announcing the second leg of her "Deep Space" tour, which includes 10 stop tour in major cities across the United States.
Candiace tells TODAY.com that she’s “really excited” to perform her new music, saying she loves watching fans sing “every word of the songs” she’s performing.
She says that she feels more confident going into the second leg of her tour, and is “excited to start rehearsing, getting the music in my body, (and) getting the choreography in my body.”
Multiple housewives have ventured into the world of music. Candiace notes Erika Jayne as someone she "really appreciates and admires" in the "Housewives" world.
Candiace says, "I love Erika Jayne. She is just unapologetically an artist, no matter what people say. She’s been very supportive of me and my music journey. Before she knew who I was, I just watched her in awe because she just went for it and didn’t let anyone question her, stop her or make her feel like she shouldn’t or couldn’t or wasn’t good enough. She has really given me her blessing and reminded me that I can go as far as I want with my music.”
Could our first "Housewives" musical collab be on the horizon? Candiace says, “I would love to collab with her. She’s awesome.”
Outside of her musical career, Candiace says she finished a movie for BET coming out later this year and is shooting an indie film this spring.
Candiace has big dreams for the future, hoping to excel inside and outside of reality television.
“I just want to manifest more projects with great scripts and great actors, and have it be recognized, received, and loved and just continue doing what I love, making money and building generational wealth for me and my future children in my family," she says.
The first three episodes of "The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip" Season Three drop Thursday, March 23 on Peacock, with additional episodes releasing every Thursday.