Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan Shade Ramona, Reveal Who Caused Most Drama on RHONY: Legacy, and Tease Paula Abdul’s Crappie Lake Cameo, Plus Sonja’s Hookup

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Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan Shade Ramona, Reveal Who Caused Most Drama on RHONY: Legacy, and Tease Paula Abdul's Crappie Lake Cameo, Plus Sonja's Hookup

Credit: Steven Bergman/AFF-USA.COM / MEGA, Bravo

Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan are looking back at their recent Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip experience and telling all about their time filming Welcome to Crappie Lake in Benton, Illinois.

After traveling to Benton, a town of less than 7,000, for a Simple Life-esque spinoff and venturing to St. Barts for Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: RHONY Legacy with their former Real Housewives of New York City co-stars, Ramona Singer, Dorinda Medley, Kelly Bensimon, and Kristen Taekman, the ladies teased what fans can expect from both.

In a July 5 interview with TODAY, Luann and Sonja agreed that the concept for Crappie Lake, which saw the town’s mayor assigning the ladies tasks to improve the area, was an opportunity they couldn’t turn down.

“When the opportunity came and we were asked to go to this small town and help improve it and lift the town after COVID, we were thrilled because to be able to go and do good for people and at the same time have it be comedy along the way, was just an offer too good to refuse,” Luann stated.

“How do you say no to that?” Sonja asked.

During their time in the town, the RHONY alums stayed at a local motel, which now boasts a Luann and Sonja suite.

“We each get a room, but they’re very small. We’re right next door to each other,” Sonja shared.

“We needed our own rooms because we’re kind of like The Odd Couple. I’m the neat and clean one. This one is the little Messy Bessie,” Luann explained.

Although Luann had never been to that part of the country before, she appreciated the area’s way of life.

“It was really interesting. We did so many things that we would never do. Like, I caught a catfish with my bare hands, and then we went mudding,” she revealed as Sonja recalled putting a playground together and said they choreographed a variety show.

“We started right up front with that, rehearsals with the kids, and we couldn’t believe the local talent. It was great. And then, of course, Paula Abdul,” Sonja stated. “We called her and asked her to come in, and she showed up.”

According to Luann, Paula loved what they were doing in Benton with their “Benton Follies” show.

“We had dancers in the show, and they needed a little extra help. We were thrilled when Paula Abdul agreed to come — we just couldn’t believe it — and I can tell you the dance moms, all the mothers of these girls, were blown away to meet Paula Abdul,” Luann shared.

Also coming into town for filming was Luann’s brother.

“Boy, did we rope him in. He had no idea what he was getting into. He brought his wife, and she was even making runs to Home Depot,” Sonja explained.

“It was really all about helping this town out, working with the mayor… We were there for six weeks, and we lost our lives for six weeks because it was all about this town. So we had no personal time for ourselves,” Luann continued.

While Luann noted that she and Sonja are New Yorkers these days, she revealed they both grew up in small towns, noting that they know “what it’s like.”

“They were expecting us to come in and be these spoiled brats, and certainly our life has changed, but we are simple at heart when it comes to that … They were skeptical, but when they saw all the work that we were putting in, we started to grow on them,” Luann said. “[And] we were both charmed by all these people in this small town because they’re just such a lovely community.”

“We made a lot of friends. It was hard to leave,” Sonja agreed.

In addition to friends, Luann and Sonja also had a couple of love interests.

“She had to flirt with a guy to get a fence. I had to sleep with someone to get a car — but we got a truck!” Sonja proclaimed.

As for the man named “Billy,” who was mentioned in the trailer for Welcome to Crappie Lake, Sonja coyly asked, “Who’s ‘Billy’?,” as Luann said, “She slept with him. He had no interest in me.”

And after Sonja noted that Luan “had another guy she liked,” Luann confirmed their double date.

“[But] I don’t know if we’re going to see that on the season,” Luann revealed as Sonja suggested the date was like watching “paint dry.”

Moving on to their “rose and thorn” of Crappie Lake, Sonja said she liked seeing how she and Luann “can get things done.”

“Everything on that list we accomplish, and that’s the thing that I think at first the town wasn’t so sure, so I feel really, really good about that. And then the thorn was no one told me Billy didn’t live in town. He lives in New Orleans — outside of there,” she explained.

And Luann shared, “The thorn was just the extreme heat because we were outside doing a lot of things… [And] I think the rose was seeing our ‘Benton Follies’ come to life onstage … And getting Paula Abdul, I mean, that was my rose.”

The ladies then both agreed that “Ramona” would have had the hardest time filming the show.

“Without a doubt. She’d be like, ‘Who’s carrying my bags?'” Luann said.

“And no 600-count sheets or duvets. No feathers — everything was synthetic,” Sonja added. “Ramona… She’s a lot.”

As they also prepared for the fifth season of RHUGT, which features them with their former RHONY castmates, Luann was asked about her “#ScaryIsland Part II” tweet, which referenced the dramatic cast trip of RHONY season three.

“[It was] a little bit of a repeat of Scary Island,” Luann said of Legacy.

“It was sort of Scary Island part two, but then I don’t know. I hit it off with Kelly. She is an artist,” Sonja admitted.

“She’s saying she’s an artist. She’s this real estate broker,” Luann corrected, before adding, “She’s a great girl. She’s a great mom. We’ve known her for years, but let’s just say she’s a little — when it comes to a whole group of girls, I don’t know if that’s her game.”

Then, after Luann said Ramona is “barely doing real estate,” Sonja revealed Kelly was trying to co-list her $10 million townhouse during their St. Barts trip.

“I thought she was really liking me on the trip. I think she was just after the listing,” Sonja speculated.

Regarding the most dramatic cast member, Sonja said, “There’s a D in drama … There’s drama in Dorinda. [But] she’s good TV.”

“It was great to have her back. She was great on this trip, I thought,” Luann agreed.

Overall, Luann said that Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: RHONY Legacy will give fans exactly what they’ve been missing since RHONY ceased airing in 2021.

“I really think that people want to see us reminiscing, and so you’re going to see a lot of that and breaking down the fourth wall and talking about things in the past that you never get to hear our perspective,” Luann revealed. “We actually have a lot of fun.”

Also, during the interview, Luann was asked if she’d heard from Andy Cohen about Below Deck Sailing Yacht star Chase Lemacks, who Andy said he wanted to set her up with on Watch What Happens Live.

“He did text me. It was the weirdest thing because I think he’s, like 20? He’s very young, and I’m flattered, but I want the guy above deck — not below the deck. Sorry, Chase! Where’s your dad?” Luann laughed.

Luann and Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake premieres on Sunday, July 9, at 9/8c on Bravo with back-to-back half-hour episodes and will continue airing at 10/9c in the following weeks.


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