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VPR’s Katie Maloney Slams ‘Mean’ Reunion Tactic That Left Ariana Madix Feeling ‘Trapped’

Ariana Madix and Katie Maloney felt production turned on them during the Vanderpump Rules season 11 reunion.

During the Wednesday, May 29, episode of Katie and Dayna Kathan‘s “Disrespectfully” podcast, the trio weighed in on the decision for producers to withhold the last few minutes of the finale until the cast could watch together at the taping.

“I hated the ending of it all. I hated that they waited to show us that five minutes because I was like, ‘This feels mean and it’s just mean towards Ariana,'” Katie, 37, noted. “That wasn’t for any of us. There was nothing shocking in it for any of us. It was only mean toward one person.”

Ariana, 38, wasn’t surprised by the tactic after previously shutting down attempts to film a scene with ex Tom Sandoval, but also wasn’t thrilled.

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“You see me mouth [during the third part of the reunion] like, ‘What the f—k?’ … Which was literally like, ‘Oh, so this is what they’re doing.’ Because even when they emailed the episodes, they’re like, ‘You’ll notice that you don’t have [the end of the episode],'” she recalled. “But then they didn’t really say why.”

The intent behind making everyone watch the finale in real-time felt “very pointed” for Ariana.

“It felt, ‘Well, we have her trapped in this room now. We didn’t get what we wanted to get [during the finale]. We didn’t get to break her down in real life in the moment,'” Ariana continued. “‘So we’re gonna retaliate by doing that right now in a place where she’s contractually obligated to be here and try to force this moment now.’ Great, I cried. Are you guys happy now?”

VPR’s Katie Maloney Slams ‘Mean’ Reunion Tactic That Left Ariana Madix Feeling 'Trapped'
Lala Kent, Katie Maloney, and Ariana Madix. Nicole Weingart/Bravo

The footage included several of Ariana’s costars, namely Lala Kent, breaking the fourth wall by accusing her of not doing her job after she refused to film a one-on-one scene with Sandoval.

“It just felt mean. It didn’t affect me. It didn’t affect anyone else in the way that it was gonna affect her,” Katie said on the podcast before Dayna called the finale “manufactured” due to outside attempts to force a conversation. “The authenticity is always there. I don’t have fake fights. I don’t create drama.”

Ariana also pointed out that her dramatic exit was much more exciting than if she spoke to Sandoval.

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“Here’s the thing that’s so stupid. I gave them the best f—king ending to what that season could have had in that moment by leaving. It was real and it was exciting to watch. Sorry, if you literally are only looking at it from a perspective of like good reality TV, I gave you good reality TV,” she added. “[A conversation] would have been a boring cap to a boring ass season, to be honest.”

Ariana felt like she showed more than enough of her personal life mere months after ending her nearly decade-long relationship with Sandoval.

VPR’s Katie Maloney Slams ‘Mean’ Reunion Tactic That Left Ariana Madix Feeling 'Trapped'
Ariana Madix and Andy Cohen. Griffen Nagel/Bravo

“As far as real life stuff, that’s always been real and authentic for me. I can’t fake that. What did I not show you? I showed you my storage unit of a f—king bedroom,” she fired back. “If you watch the season and you don’t see how low I am during the whole time, you need glasses. I showed all of that stuff. And if there’s stuff that they filmed and then decided not to air, that has nothing to do with me. But I gave it all.”

After the reunion aired on Tuesday, May 28, executive producer Alex Baskin explained why they chose to shake up the format of the reunion.

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“I thought it was important to make sure they saw [the finale together]. I also thought there would be a visceral impact if they had to experience it together on the stage. And that, if they all had to see it at once, that it was something they couldn’t talk about before they were there,” he told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday. “So I thought everyone would be accountable for what they said. And then the editorial team did such a wonderful job with the montage and brought us back to prior seasons that I sort of had chills. When we were watching from the control room, we all got chills. It was a super emotional and a really charged moment.”

VPR’s Katie Maloney Slams ‘Mean’ Reunion Tactic That Left Ariana Madix Feeling 'Trapped'
Katie Maloney and Ariana Madix on the ‘Vanderpump Rules’ reunion. Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Ariana stood her ground during the third installment of the season 11 reunion as well. After Lala, 33, accused her of putting her livelihood at risk, Ariana clapped back, “Arguably, if you want to talk in show terms, me walking away from that conversation was a lot more interesting than me sitting there and having it. Was that not a better ending to your season? To give you another season for another paycheck?”

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Lala has since issued an apology after receiving major backlash from the audience.

“I love making this show [and] the opportunities that have come along with it. It’s not lost on me that the show got me the opportunities, but not only the show, you guys watching the show, you tuning in, you giving a s—t about the show. I am able to provide a beautiful life for not only myself but my family because of you guys,” Lala shared on Wednesday’s episode of her “Give Them Lala” podcast. “And that is fact. That’s not an opinion. So if I at any point in time have said something on this podcast that made you feel that I am not grateful, I hope you know that that was coming from a place of just true hurt.”

Cast members have confirmed that Vanderpump Rules will not be filming this summer, but is expected to return for season 12.

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