For Dr. Contessa Metcalfe, signing up for reality television meant signing up for “vulnerability.”
For the past four seasons of Bravo’s “Married to Medicine,” Dr. Contessa has showcased her world, as she balances her career as a doctor and entrepreneur with life as a wife and a mother, all while managing her relationships with her fellow cast mates.
“Married to Medicine” airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. on Bravo, and stars Dr. Contessa alongside veteran cast mates Dr. Jacqueline Walters, Dr. Simone Whitmore, Dr. Heavenly Kimes, Quad Webb, Toya Bush-Harris, and Anila Sajja, as well as new friend Audra Frimpong.
TODAY chatted with Dr. Contessa about what’s gone down so far, and what’s to come for Season Nine.
Why Dr. Contessa shows her marital difficulties on TV
During Season Eight of “Married to Medicine,” Dr. Contessa’s marital challenges with her husband, Dr. Scott Metcalfe, played out on camera. At the Season Eight reunion, Quad revealed that Dr. Contessa had filed for legal separation.
The start of Season Nine showed Dr. Contessa and Dr. Scott in a quite different place than where viewers last saw them. In fact, they’re now together, saying they worked through their challenges in between seasons.
Dr. Contessa takes pride in sharing a glimpse into her marriage during a vulnerable time.
"We signed up for vulnerability. I would say for anyone who’s been married for any length of time, there are moments where you say ‘Did I make the right decision?’ ‘Or is this still the right decision today?’ Last year was that moment for us," she said.
Dr. Contessa said, “I’ll be honest, I was very much of the belief that it wasn’t just me that was ready to go. We both were not invested in our marriage anymore. We were invested in our kids. We were invested in our business together, but we weren’t invested in being a couple. We had to be honest, address that and decided to stay together, and that’s where we are right now.”
Dr. Contessa also made a point to denounce the idea that reality television can destroy marriages. In fact, she said it did the opposite for hers.
“The marriage that fell apart was gonna fall apart. What it does, though, is it forces you to have tough conversations, because of the fact that you’re sharing your story,” she said.
“If it weren’t for reality television, we probably wouldn’t be together today,” said.
Dr. Contessa spills about her feud with Dr. Heavenly
While Dr. Contessa has made strides in her relationship with her husband, she has fallen into drama with Dr. Heavenly … over comments Dr. Heavenly made about her relationship with Metcalfe on her YouTube channel.
This isn’t the first time Dr. Heavenly has found herself in a tricky spot when commenting on her cast mates’ marriages. Previous comments have made her cast mates feel like she was putting down their marriages while uplifting her own.
Previously, Dr. Heavenly told TODAY that she tries to “speak energy and life” into her marriage and wants her cast mates “to do the same."
But Dr. Contessa believes that Dr. Heavenly is “being dishonest” about her marriage.
“I think sometimes it’s a deflection when you talk about everyone else’s (marriage), but you don’t talk about yours. There’s a reason why you’re maybe doing that. I think she’s splendid at not really having a lot going on,” Dr. Contessa said.
While speaking to TODAY, Dr. Heavenly said Dr. Contessa’s frustrations weren't actually because of her YouTube vlogs — but Dr. Contessa said otherwise.
Dr. Contessa said she was upset about how Dr. Heavenly “talked about me behind my back” on her YouTube channel.
"She’s talking to our viewers and saying, ‘Leave him, he’s abusive,’ but when she’s with me, she’s like, ‘He’s a wonderful guy.’ She called him and said, ‘Oh, my God, you know, she shouldn’t have went away to school, she left you with those kids and she’s too focused on her career.' So she plays both sides.”
“As my friend, she should’ve just been like, let them work it out. Just like I did when there were receipts on her husband,” Dr. Contessa said.
She talks about that intervention
During the last episode of "Married to Medicine," Dr. Contessa staged an intervention for Dr. Heavenly, bringing the cast together to show a compilation of all of the things Dr. Heavenly said about them on the YouTube channel.
At first, Dr. Heavenly didn’t understand the point of the taping and laughed at the comments that were played back, and then got angry at the way the ladies handled the situation.
Some of her cast mates thought that an intervention wasn’t the proper way for Dr. Contessa to make her point with Dr. Heavenly, as they felt it could’ve been accomplished with a phone call. Dr. Contessa said the reason why she planned the group intervention for Dr. Heavenly is because they had talked about their issue privately, but it didn’t seem to work.
"If you don’t handle her in public, like she handles you, then she won’t take it seriously," she said.
“I didn’t know bullies could be so fragile and delicate. I actually thought she was going to see it, be contrite and say, ‘Oh, I can see how that can be hurtful,’ and it didn’t happen that way. Sometimes you have to meet a bully on the playground and stand up to them and say, ‘If you can’t take it, then don’t dish it,’ and I think she’s a perfect person to demonstrate that she’s not able to take it,” Dr. Contessa explained.
Even though Dr. Contessa said Dr. Heavenly can be “hurtful at times,” she believes that deep down, Dr. Heavenly is “a wonderful person," but that the "evil, mean streak has got to stop.”
Dr. Contessa added that she is “one thousand percent” open to resolution with Dr. Heavenly, as the main theme of “Married to Medicine” is “sisterhood and being there for each other.”
“With Heavenly in particular, we transcended friendship and became almost sisters, so it was even harder and worse when you feel like your sister stabbed you in the back,” Dr. Contessa said.
Dr. Contessa spills more about Season 9
Season Nine has started off with a bang, which Dr. Contessa attributed to drama happening between the cast during the off-season period.
Dr. Contessa said that seasons of the show “normally kind of start out nice and we’re all kumbaya, holding hands and braiding hair, and then it changes."
Not when it came to Season Nine, however. "A lot happened off camera, so we couldn’t come in the season, fake it and act like we were all in a good place," she said.
The ladies’ new friend, Audra Frimpong Curry, gets into it with Dr. Contessa’s good friend, Toya, throughout Season Nine, a conflict that Dr. Contessa attributed to the ladies not understanding each other’s boundaries.
Dr. Contessa said that she thinks Audra is “awesome,” and liked that Audra and her husband brought “new love and new marriage” to the group’s dynamic.
The Season 9 trailer shows a cast trip to Las Vegas, which Dr. Contessa said allowed the ladies to “turn up, have a real girlfriend’s trip, and just have fun.”
“I hope and pray that we can do more of that,” Dr. Contessa said.
Dr. Contessa answers rapid fire questions about Season 9
Dr. Contessa teases all that’s to come.
- On who causes the most drama: Dr. Heavenly
- On who has the best storyline: Dr. Contessa
- On who wants the best storyline: Anila
- On who has the best confessionals: Quad
- On who surprises her the most: Toya
- On who has the best fashion: Toya
- On who challenges her the most: Dr. Heavenly
- On who throws the best events: Quad
- On who brings the most receipts: Dr. Contessa
- On who she has the most fun with: Everyone!
- On what’s to come this season: “People should look out for the most real reality television on television,” Dr. Contessa said.