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About (Late) Last Night: Real househusband Simon van Kampen performs live on 'Watch What Happens' [Video]

May 13, 2011 |  9:02 am


For "Real Housewives" looking to cash in on reality-TV fame, there are a few tried-and-true ways of turning a quick buck. Of course, there's always the book deal (see: Bethenny Frankel, Jill Zarin, NeNe Leakes, Teresa Giudice); there's also the skin care/makeup line (see: Gretchen Rossi, Ramona Singer); and if that should fail, fashion design is always a surefire backup plan (see: Sheree Whitfield, Alexis Bellino).

However improbable, music has become the most popular of the many "Real Housewives" cottage industries. It all started with Jo De La Rosa, the long-since-forgotten Orange County housewife whose dreams of pop stardom led to her departure from the series. Really, though, the trend began in earnest with Atlanta housewife Kim Zolciak's novelty hit, "Don't Be Tardy for the Party," reached its apex with LuAnn "The Countess" de Lesseps' "Money Can't Buy You Class," and its nadir with Danielle Staub's sapphic torch song, "Real Close."

Last month Simon van Kempen, the unofficial eighth housewife of New York City, became the latest member of this not-so-exclusive club with his song, "I Am Real." Never one to shy away from embarrassing situations, Van Kempen -- decked out in metallic blue pants and a tight-fitting black T-shirt -- performed the song Thursday night on Bravo's "Watch What Happens: Live." 

The strangest thing about Van Kempen -- and, let's be honest, there are quite a few -- has to be the utter earnestness with which he does some truly ridiculous things. For instance, you'd think he'd have a little fun belting out lyrics such as "Sick of bitchy and you're bossy; are you down with this Aussie?" yet he was visibly nervous, his hands almost as shaky as his voice. The whole thing felt like one of those early episodes of "American Idol." Luckily for Van Kempen, he had Andy Cohen and Kelly Bensimon as an audience, rather than Simon Cowell.

Watch it for yourself -- if you dare.

-- Meredith Blake