'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' preview: What to expect, boo

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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" are coming back, boo. Believe us when we say that they are bringing some drama to our small screens in the Season 3 premiere.

Much has changed since Season 2 last year. We have two new faces: Celebrity attorney Phaedra Parks and model Cynthia Bailey (though we don't meet Cynthia in the premiere). We do believe that Cynthia was a guest and troublemaker at one of Sheree Whitfield's parties last season, but a Bravo rep couldn't confirm for us. We remember her, because her antics made us think, "That woman sure wants to be a housewife." Then, boom, here she is.

We're sad that Lisa Wu Hartwell will only be making cameos this season. As the economy seemed to hit the real estate market very hard, we saw her making plans to downsize last season. That move may have cost her the "regular" status on the show, since she's now living outside of Atlanta. There are also mumblings among fans that she wasn't dramatic enough. We liked her and we'll miss seeing her. They don't all have to be lunatics in our opinion. It's nice to hear someone normal say the things we're all thinking.

Anyway, the show has to go on and go on it does. In the first segment alone, the Atlanta gals deliver more fireworks than the whole season of "The Real Housewives of D.C." So, what were our first impressions from the premiere? We decided to organize them into handy generalizations.

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Warning: Semi-spoilerish!

Most likely to get into a fistfight: NeNe Leakes
This can't be much of a surprise, but NeNe enters Season 3 with lots of challenges coming from all sides. While she tries to reconcile with Kim, she's on the outs with her gay husband, Dwight. He has been stirring up trouble and talking money matters to anyone who'll listen except NeNe. Those "rumors" have something to do with her straight husband, Greg, who isn't acting right either. A real estate broker, Greg has fallen on hard times and NeNe has become the breadwinner of the house. So, it's interesting to see how that position has caused Greg to act out of insecurity. Secrets and lies will always blow up in your face, especially when NeNe catches wind of them.

Most likely to believe her own hype: Kim Zolciak
Since last season, Kim's "Tardy to the Party" has become a dance hit, but her engagement with Big Poppa is over. When we catch up with the Southern Barbie, she has just admitted to a lesbian affair and we think much of NeNe's desire to reconcile with her has to do with getting the scoop just as much as rekindling their friendship. Kim's oldest daughter is now 13 and into boys. So while she speaks with her mouth open while eating ice cream and talks about planting a big wet one on the hot French exchange student, Kim wonders if she's instilling the right morals on her girls...

Most on to the next: Sheree Whitfield
Sheree's story has always been about defining herself without a man after her messy divorce. It's particularly helpful that she has money to burn while she's doing so. Last season, she wanted to be a fashion designer and seemed to jump several steps in the process. Her clothing line went pretty much nowhere, but she's pretty over it anyway. Now, her "newfound passion" is acting and she's taking classes. So, that's a nice beginner step, though we're unsure how long she'll stick to that. Her and NeNe share a mutual contempt for Dwight, since he has also been telling people some money-related rumors about her, as well.

Most likely to be the voice of reason: Kandi Burruss
After Kandi lost her fiancé in an apparent fight at a club last year, she had no choice but to pick herself up and move on. When we meet her in the premiere, she is still working on her album after scrapping most of what she wrote before her fiancé's death. Plus, she's back in the dating game and being aggressively chased by a handsome out-of-state NFL player, though she wants to take it slow. And while Kim is okay with reconciling with NeNe, there is no love lost for Kandi. She thinks it's only a matter of time before they're (literally and figuratively) at each other's throats again.

Most likely to lose their Southern composure: Phaedra Parks
She defines herself as a Southern Belle and with that identification Phaedra comes off pretty arrogant. It's clear when it comes to her law career, she can unleash the claws, though. Her marriage to a handsome man who has been convicted for a white-collar crime has been earning her some shade in Atlanta, as well. She also has a low regard for NeNe that seems to go all the way back to their similar roots growing up in Athens. Please believe NeNe feels the same way about Phaedra. Will she unleash the hood rat inside this season? If Bravo has done its job, we expect she will.

Watch a sneak peek of Phaedra:


As we mentioned above, Cynthia doesn't debut until Episode 2. From what Bravo has told us, she's a rather accomplished model, who has relocated to Atlanta. So far, we know she's a friend of NeNe's (and possibly Sheree if we remember correctly) and she will be dealing with some issues surrounding her upcoming wedding.

Season 3 of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" premieres Monday, Oct. 4 on Bravo.

Are you happy to welcome the "Hot-lanta" housewives back?

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Photo Credit: Bravo