Andy Cohen Breaks Silence on Kandi Burruss' Shocking Real Housewives of Atlanta Departure

One day after Kandi Burruss stunned Bravo fans by announcing she's leaving The Real Housewives of Atlanta after 14 seasons, Andy Cohen shared insight into her decision to exit the reality show.

By Brett Malec Feb 05, 2024 6:51 PMTags
Watch: Could Kandi Burruss See Porsha Williams Returning To RHOA?

Kandi Burruss may be giving up her peach, but Andy Cohen knows she'll always be worldwide.

One day after the longtime Bravo star announced she's walking away from The Real Housewives of Atlanta after 14 seasons, the show's executive producer broke his silence on her shocking exit.

"Kandi announced last night on the Grammy red carpet that she's not gonna be returning to The Real Housewives of Atlanta after an unbelievable run," Cohen reacted during the Feb. 5 episode of his SiriusXM Andy Cohen Live radio show. "Incredible run. And you think about how much she not only went through on the show, but brought to the show."

The Watch What Happens Live host then reflected on Burruss' countless memorable moments on RHOA, from introducing the world to her scene-stealing mother Mama Joyce and writing former costar Kim Zolciak's hit song "Tardy for the Party," to meeting now-husband Todd Tucker during the cast's season four trip to South Africa and even creating her own Bravo spinoff Kandi & The Gang.

And while Burruss always brought it in front of the camera, Cohen also shouted out her work ethic behind the scenes.

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"She wanted to be the best," he noted. "She has been one of my favorite people to work with in my whole time. First, as an exec at Bravo, and then as an E.P. of The Housewives and hosting Watch What Happens Live. I love how competitive she is. I love how thoughtful and smart she is. She is so strategic."

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"She would call me anytime she had a thought about either the way the show was being marketed or not marketed or about the way that it was being scheduled," he continued, "or she had a lot of really smart opinions and thoughts and she always wanted to know more. 'What's your strategy here? What are you thinking?' It was always a great dialogue, and then, sometimes at the end of the conversation, she would say, 'You know what? I'm glad I called. I totally get it now.' Sometimes she would say, 'Y'all are wrong,' and you know, and a lot of times she was right."

Cohen even shared details of the emotional moment Burruss told him she was departing the show.

"We had a long talk the other day, she and I and Todd on the phone," the 55-year-old revealed. "I appreciate her saying, 'You know what? I think this is just time.' She knows the show is at a crossroads right now and I don't even want to talk about where we're going with it."

Cohen admitted he and the Grammy-winning artist were both "crying a little bit at the end of the call," adding that Burruss' future on the network isn't exactly done for good.

"I kind of worked myself up into a lather as we were talking," he said. "I told her I know that Bravo will be in business with her for a long time. They've got other things in development, so she is a talent that they're not gonna want to let go."

"She is one of the greats," he concluded. "So, thank you Kandi for your service. I did tell her, I was like, 'You know, Kandi, you could drop back in in a year or two.'"

Keep reading to see how high Burruss ranks on E!'s definitive list of every Real Housewife ever.

150-153. The Real Housewives of D.C.

Bravo's ill-fated attempt at highlighting our nation's capital brought together four women so forgettable you'd be forgiven for erasing them from your memory—though their names are Mary Amons, Lynda Erkiletian, Cat Ommanney and Stacie Scott Turner—and one so desperate for fame that she gate-crashed a party at the White House. More on her later.

149. Kimberly Bryant, The Real Housewives of Orange County

Who?

148. Tammy Knickerbocker, The Real Housewives of Orange County

Vaguely familiar, but...

147. DeShawn Snow, The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Once upon a time, DeShawn starred on the same TV show as NeNe Leakes. Surprising, we know.

146. Elizabeth Lyn Vargas, The Real Housewives of Orange County

This one-season Housewife brought nothing to the Orange County table.

145. Jennie Nguyen, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Utah's newest season two Housewife went out with a bang (and not in a good way). In January 2022, Jennie was fired after "offensive" and racially insensitive old Facebook posts resurfaced online. Jennie later apologized but the damage was done.

144. Quinn Fry, The Real Housewives of Orange County

Her defining trait was "cougar."

143. Jen Armstrong, The Real Housewives of Orange County

The Orange County doctor was never a source of drama during season 16 and her brief marriage troubles with eternally shirtless husband Ryne (or Ryan?) were less than riveting. However, we will never forget Dr. Jen getting absolutely wasted on wine during the Dubrows' insanely awkward—yet wildly entertaining—dinner party.

142. Katie Rost, The Real Housewives of Potomac

Katie loved to talk about her charity work, but...didn't do much else on screen. She was one and done, only to come back and not contribute much as a friend. Leaving the cast trip early? A Housewives no-no.

141. Charrisse Jackson Jordan, The Real Housewives of Potomac

Her marriage problems were on full display the two seasons she was a full-time Housewife...that and her champagne room are the two memorable things about Charrisse.

140. Shamari DeVoe, The Real Housewives of Atlanta

A one-and-done Housewife, Shamari was at least fun?

139. Peggy Sulahian, The Real Housewives of Orange County

While it was nice to see some diversity in the lily-white O.C., Peggy ultimately proved to be a frustrating presence in season 12. The fights she chose to pick were bizarre, and often involving someone using a word she simply didn't understand, and her decision to simply hide out in her room for an entire day during the trip to Iceland proved that she wasn't really cut out for this Real Housewives life.

138. Noella Bergener, The Real Housewives of Orange County

Noella spun through season 16 like a tornado of frantic energy. While her personal struggles were somewhat compelling (her husband James up and left the country and asked for a divorce right before filming started), it was her constant drama with queen bee Heather Dubrow that helped her not land completely at the bottom of the list. Maybe with more time and another season, we'll warm up to Mrs. Bergener.

137. Siggy Flicker, The Real Housewives of New Jersey

From peacekeeper in her first season to unrelenting complaints about a thrown cake and unfounded claims of anti-Semitism in her second (and last) season, we're not sure we've ever seen a quicker Real Housewives fall from grace than this one.

136. Eva Marcille, RHOA

The America's Next Top Model veteran picked up a peach for seasons 11 and 12, but never really made an impression in the world of RHOA, aside from being pregnant for what felt like her entire tenure. Points for that epic read of Marlo Hampton while in Tokyo, though.

135. Karent Sierra, The Real Housewives of Miami

All we remember about Karent is that she was a dentist and none of her co-stars seemed to like her at all. Next!

134. Cristy Rice,The Real Housewives of Miami

This was a real person with a show on Bravo. We promise.

133. Jules Wainstein, The Real Housewives of New York City

As one of RHONY's more recent one-and-dones, Jules' tenure was too brief to rank any higher. However, she sure did deliver her fair share of drama. 

131-132. Teresa Aprea and Nicole Napolitano, RHONJ

So unnecessary they couldn't even get individual taglines.

130. Amber Marchese, RHONJ

Everything Amber and her husband Jim did seemed to reek of desperation. Plus, he was involved in more of the drama than she was. Not a good look.

129. Nina Ali, The Real Housewives of Dubai

Much like co-star Sara Al Madani, Nina exemplified a multidimensional, successful Arab woman who is blending modern life with centuries-old cultural traditions. She avoided most of the season one drama and was sometimes overshadowed by her co-stars' bigger, louder personalities.

128. Sara Al Madani, The Real Housewives of Dubai

Sara's positive, enlightened outlook on life was certainly pleasant, but didn't provide for much drama (besides that one time she offered co-star Caroline Brooks some not-so-well received parenting advice). However, the tech entrepreneur shattered stereotypes of what it means to be a modern Muslim woman in the Middle East and for that we applaud her. 

126-127. Rachel Fuda & Danielle Cabral, The Real Housewives of New Jersey

RHONJ's season 13 newbies certainly fit the mold of your typical Garden State Housewife and quickly found themselves in a season-long fight over literally nothing that Andy Cohen deemed pointless at the reunion. We'd love to see both return for season 14 for a chance to move up even higher on the list after an entertaining first go-around.

125. Larsa Pippen, The Real Housewives of Miami

Larsa didn't make a big impression on season one before leaving the series. When Peacock revived RHOM for season four in 2021, her whole storyline was about being the ex-BFF of Kim Kardashian. (and selling sexy feet pics on OnlyFans...)

124. Ana Quincoces, The Real Housewives of Miami

Ana followed up her one season as a Bravolebrity by competing on season 12 of Next Food Network Star in 2016. She didn't make it there, either.

123. Joyce Giraud de Ohoven, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Unfortunately, she was nothing more than a punching bag for Brandi Glanville. Plus, her tagline celebrating the icky notion that you can never be too skinny was gross.

122. Cindy Barshop, The Real Housewives of New York City

Cindy was supposed to be the new Bethenny Frankel. Cindy was no Bethenny Frankel.

121. Caroline Brooks, The Real Housewives of Dubai

Brooks' gift to season one of RHODubai was a cameo from Real Housewives of Atlanta alum Phaedra Parks, who popped up on one episode to get all the tea on the co-stars' drama. However, Brooks did cause a lot of unnecessary drama during season one (much of which occurred while she was a little too tipsy).

120. Lisa Wu-Hartwell, RHOA

Lisa was a perfectly fine Housewife, but we don't want just fine. Not when she's sharing the screen with the likes of NeNe and Sheree Whitfield.

119. Julia Lemigova, The Real Housewives of Miami

The first LGBT Housewife ever cast on a Housewives series, Julia is truly fascinating. From being married to tennis legend Martina Navratilova and raising dozens of animals on a Miami farm, to her epic Hamptons hangover, Julia has everything a good Housewife needs. She also didn't shy away from opening up about the death of her baby son, pulling on our heartstrings and making us feel even closer to her. We love us some Julia.

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