“Gay advocate” Danielle Staub out of RHONJ after reunion ends with hugs

Danielle Staub has officially left The Real Housewives of New Jersey after two seasons, leaving the show without its villain and entire source of drama for the two-part reunion, which ended last night. Although Bravo’s obnoxious promos promised that someone would leave! forever!, the announcement came in a statement instead, which leaves the door open for Danielle to return on her own show.

The statement from Andy Cohen on–where else!–BravoTV.com said, “The reunion was Danielle’s last appearance on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. We thought the hugs were a great way to end two seasons of bitterness between the women.” (I love how Bravo’s blogger pretends like it’s some major score to get that scoop, rather than thinly veiled PR.) Notice that it doesn’t say “last appearance on Bravo,” though with Danielle’s amazing dance career taking off, maybe she’ll host and judge season two of Step It Up and Dance.

Meanwhile, the highly rated two-part reunion ended after a lot of Danielle-fueled drama; the show is going to have major problems without her, though Kim G. is nicely positioned to take over as the villain. Over two reunion episodes, we saw things like Teresa’s psychotic flip-out and smack-down of Andy Cohen, an examination of Danielle’s hair extensions on a lifeless head (not her’s), and a conversation about how Danielle can be a “gay advocate” and tolerate her friend’s use of the f-word, which she apparently excuses because it wasn’t directed at a gay person. She also said that she yelled at her friend off-camera, because what advocates really do is let people do awful things in public on TV and then advocate after the cameras have been turned off so no one can see it. Moron.

Perhaps most significantly, Danielle apologized for embellishing accusations against Jacqueline and for everything that had to do with Jacqueline’s obnoxious daughter Ashley, and then hugged both Theresa and Dthey hugged, although calling that a “hug” is like calling this a “dance.” Danielle told Jacqueline, “You have my word, no more. I’m moving on and I’m happy, Jacqueline. I’m happy. I’m in a happy place. I’m sorry for what I did to you.” Then she sat on the couch and stared awkwardly at Jacqueline.

“I’m just sorry for what I did to you, if I did anything,” Danielle said a few moments later to Caroline while shaking her hand, who called it “the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever seen in my life.” Then Danielle and Caroline started fighting again. So much for peace.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.