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'Real Housewives of New York City': Meet Jennifer Gilbert, yet another new 'Housewife'

April 29, 2010 |  1:16 pm

Jennifer_Gilbert It's time to learn yet another name from "The Real Housewives of New York City" cast. A few weeks ago, we were introduced to sexpot Sonja Morgan. And now another member will be squeezed into the apple-holding promo shot. In Thursday night's episode, we meet Jennifer Gilbert. She owns and runs Save the Date, an event-planning company, and is co-owner of Portamee, a baby-carrier company.  If that wasn't impressive, Ernst & Young named her entrepreneur of the year when she was 29.  Oh, and she is an alum of the Birthing of Giants program at MIT.  She's a bit familiar with legal drama, recently suing a matchmaking site for trademark infringement. But will she provide the TV drama?  ShowTracker spoke with the newest NYC housewife Thursday. Read on to see what Gilbert has to say about the Jill-Bethenny feud, who she surprisingly clicked with and her involvement with LuAnn's annoyingly catchy tune, "Money Can't Buy You Class."

How will you enter the mix?

I was brought in to plan Jill Zarin’s holiday party.  That’s how I enter the show, enter the scene, enter the lives of the women 'cause I did not know any of them before. I have no connection with any of these people. 

Had you seen the show before?

Oh, yeah. It’s kind of like popcorn.  You know, when you start eating … and you keep eating and all of sudden you look down and you’ve finished it? And you’re like, “Oh, my gosh. I can’t believe I just ate the whole thing." That’s what it’s like watching this show.

Given that you’ve seen the show and have seen all the drama that transpires, were you at all hesitant about joining the show?

Oh, absolutely.

Why?

Because it’s probably about as far away from my life as you can get — which is just not about the drama; and the show is all about drama. I was completely hesitant. But it was an unbelievable business opportunity for me to come in as an event planner and have what my company does highlighted in the show. That was a no-brainer. And also, I thought, you know, this show needs a little makeover. It’s really catty. It’s really dark. And next to nine kinds of crazy, I come out pretty good. They could use a little infusion of normal here.

Knowing how catty it is and the unknown drama that can happen, there was no worry your participation might hurt your business?

I don’t think it can hurt my business. There’s always negative to everything. But in life you have the two camps: the “why-ers” and the “why nots;” I’ve always been a “why not.” What I hope is that they casted me for me. I think that I am very relatable and there’s not a lot of relatable people on the show. Maybe they think they are, but I don’t think they are so much.  And, I mean, I’m an event planner, not a brain surgeon. It’s all in good fun. As an event planner, you walk into all kinds of drama, all kinds of crazy, all kinds of chaos. And everybody is only after their own interest. You have the caterer, the band … all these people and all they care about is their little piece of it and I’m so used to walking into the craziness and sort of calming it down and organizing it.

When were you approached to join the cast?

I was approached to do this season last spring.

And what was it like joining this big ensemble? I mean, it was crowded before you and Sonja joined.

I’m kind of the sprinkle on the whip cream of the ice cream sundae. You kind of just get a little, little bit of me. I do come in late into the season.  As you see, this season sort of got away from where it started to be. I think it took on a life of its own.

Well, let’s talk about that. What do you think of how this Jill-Bethenny feud sort of took over this season?

Well, I think a lot. I have a very different perspective because while I’m in it, I’m still a viewer. I come in to the show right now. Everything that you’ve seen up until now, I never saw. I’m watching everything before I came in as a viewer. So I’m like, “Oh!” ... I didn’t even know why they got into a fight. I thought they were best friends. It wasn’t like I was brought in and they sat me down and caught me up. They were like, “here’s a bunch of ladies you don’t know.” I only knew what the viewers knew.  But have a few thoughts about it: 1) it’s time to see a new movie. Like, we’re done. We need a new song. We need a new book. Change the page. It’s boring, I’m snoring … get over yourselves. They’re going in opposite directions on the freeway. God bless them. Good luck. Let’s move on.

As the newbie, was there an attempt to get you on Team Jill or Team Bethenny? Are we going to see that on the show?

Uh … there’s a little bit of that, yeah.  I don’t do teams. It’s not my thing.

You mention before how you were a viewer of the show. Did you have any expectations going into it?

I figured there’s no way this could all be real. And it really is. The things that were just overwhelming to me were : A) just how completely obsessed with this show people really are. I mean, obsessed. There are so many closet watchers; and B) how much is real. These fights are real, these emotions are real and everything that these women are feeling in that moment is real. Now, granted, if this is what you’re around hours at a time, days at a time, then it is real and you don’t really have the perspective of getting away from it and it gets out of control very quickly. It does get all crazy and it is real. There are some scenes in my apartment that are just unbelievable. If I was not there watching it, I would have never thought it was true.

Did you have a favorite as a viewer? Did you think you’d click with someone and didn’t?

I thought that I would get along with Jill and I did. That went well. I didn’t think I would get along with Kelly and I love her. She’s a good friend. She’s a little misunderstood on the camera sometimes. I thought I would be friendly with Bethenny because we kind of had the same sensibility about business and both sort of self-deprecating. I just didn’t get a chance to film with her and I didn’t really get a chance to know her that well. And she has so much going on this season, as you see. She was just sort of holding on for dear life to get through it all.

When we were introduced to Sonja, she described herself as the “straw that stirs the drink.” What can we expect from you? What sets you apart from the others?

I’m elegant with an edge. I live in TriBeCa. I’ve been happily married for seven years. I’ve got three kids under 5. I own two businesses. I try to take the moral high ground -- but if you want a different answer, ask a different girl.

As an event planner, did LuAnn approach you to organize the release party for her song, “Money Can't Buy You Class”?

Yes, and I did it.

Will we see it on the show?

Watch what happens.

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Until then, here's a sneak peak at Thursday night's episode:



--Yvonne Villarreal

Photo and video courtesy of Bravo

Related:

Complete Showtracker coverage of "The Real Housewives of New York City"

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