vanderpump rules season 11 episode 7 recap

Punkee Recaps Vanderpump Rules: Dancing With (And Reading) The Stars

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It’s episode seven (already?!) and we’re back to business as usual. And by business, I obviously mean absolute mayhem.

Sandoval returns home from Tahoe and is greeted by his assistant Ann, who is dressed in pink and ready to see the Barbie movie (which reminds me of literally every woman worldwide back in July 2023). 

She chats with Sandoval in the kitchen, and we see Ariana in her room upstairs clocking that Sandoval has arrived home. You can almost witness the moment the ick enters her body. “It’s like the Wicked Witch of the West flying around. I’d love to click my heels three times, but I’m already home.”

Ann asks Sandoval whether there were any fights on the trip, and Sandoval tells her that tension was resolved. “All in all I think the trip to Tahoe was pretty good. The stench of the scandal is starting to wear off, people are humanising me again, I feel optimistic,” he tells us in his interview, before telling Ann that he’s going to go journal. WHAT A LOSER, I think to myself, before taking a moment to reflect on the fact that I would 100% support this if it was a woman doing it and interrogating my views on gender, then ultimately realising that it’s more of a Sandoval thing rather than me being a misandrist. Anywho, onwards.

Scheana arrives at Villa Rosa (aka Lisa’s mansion) for a holiday debrief.

villa rosa lisa vanderpump house

“The day after we saw you in Tahoe, that was the most emotionally draining day I’ve ever had in this group,” she tells Lisa, which is a huge call considering the decade of chaos they’ve endured together. Scheana opens up about the insecurity she’s feeling in her friendship with Ariana due to her desire to forgive Sandoval and move forward. “I’ve done everything I can to be ride or die for Ariana, but is it not enough, still?” she ponders in her interview.

As the conversation progresses, I start to suspect there might be just a smidge of jealousy and resentment coming from Scheana towards Ariana’s growing success. Lisa references the whirlwind of attention Ariana has received, and Scheana explains her SHOCK when hearing from Ariana’s boyfriend Dan that she had been cast on Dancing With The Stars. “When I did Dancing With The Stars, you said to me, ‘That’s what I want more than anything’,” says Lisa. “Yep! This year, I started taking dance classes. I was preparing in case, you know, I did get it,” Scheana explains (omg Scheana).

“I am so happy for her, but it’s like, I can be happy for her, and sad for me at the same time,” Scheana tells us in her interview. “I’m like good for her! She has come such a long way from being my backup dancer.” OK SCHEANA. 


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I’m starting to understand why this woman is struggling so much, having cast Ariana as the “backup” in her life for years, and now watching her sidekick become the star. “If your friendship with Ariana is as great as you tell me, then you should be able to tell her how you’re feeling,” Lisa tells Scheana, who quips, “I’ve tried!” and how this is the story of her life. “All I want for Scheana is to at some point be able to say exactly what you’re thinking,” Lisa tells us. Scheana flags that the girls are having an astrology night at Ally’s house soon (lol) so perhaps that will be a good time to open up.

Next up, Ariana and Lala are meeting up for a coffee and chat. Ariana shows Lala pictures from her Single AF cocktail book photoshoot we saw in the previous episode, and she looks hot AF. When showing an image of herself smashing a TV with a golf club Ariana tells Lala, “It was the biggest release ever. I feel like I don’t really let myself get angry,” (quickly followed by a montage of Ariana letting herself get angry over the years). She asks Lala how the trip was, and how Scheana had contacted her. “The trip was weird dude, I’ve never seen Scheana this upset ever,” Lala tells Ariana, another huge call. When the Page Six group photo drama is brought up, Lala questions Ariana over not defending Scheana on socials. “I’m not gonna post and have my shit reposted for headlines,” she tells Lala, who asks her, “Even for your friends?”

“From what I’ve seen with Ariana, she’s constantly on social media just scrolling, and you can’t even make a post because you don’t wanna be in the mix? You step out of your house and you’re in the fucking mix,” Lala vents in her interview. It’s a pretty fair analysis I reckon. “This girl was so upset over what these two did to you and later on caught a fucking restraining order,” Lala tells Ariana, urging her to reassure Scheana that she’s allowed to heal herself without losing Ariana’s friendship. “My position has not changed. He doesn’t get access to my life via me or via my friends,” she tells Lala firmly, before explaining how she will quietly keep taking herself out of situations. “You can’t shut down like this!” says Lala. “I’m not shutting down, I’m just not the one to come to with the Sandoval sympathy train,” she tells Lala, before explaining in her interview she’s convinced that this is all part of Sandoval’s plans to ice her out. They ultimately agree that all parties need to do what works for them respectively.

Later, Katie and Vanderpump alum Kristina Kelly head to a bar, where Lala and Scheana meet them for drinks. Scheana tells us that poor little gorgy porge Summer Moon has broken her arm!!!!!! She recognises the irony in her interview, “This is just my luck. I’ve been so terrified to let anyone else take care of my kid, God forbid anything happens to her, and in front of my own eyes I watch my child break her arm”. In true Scheana fashion, she insists that her daughter’s cast is pink to match her wardrobe, and I actually respect that parenting move.

Kristina wants the tea, so of course Sandoval is brought up (much to Katie’s disgust). Scheana recounts Tahoe and the “genuine tears” she saw from him. “Do you think he’s more sad about losing your friendship than actually being out of a relationship with Ariana?” Kristina asks. “Honestly, yes,” Scheana responds. 

They talk about how unhealthy and unhappy both parties were towards the end, and reference the rocky relationship of other Vandepump alum, couple Jax and Brittany, likely because their new spinoff series The Valley is airing soon. “There’s still stories about him running around town,” says Katie. Well done to the Bravo producers because I am 200% going to be watching The Valley. 

the valley bravo tv show

The Valley cast. Image credit: Bravo

“Where are you at Scheana?” asks Kristina. “I’m finally five months later going through an actual grieving process. Ariana has already grieved the loss of this – making millions of dollars and living her best life” Scheana explains. Am I the only one who has noticed Scheana’s multiple references to Ariana cashing in on Scandoval? Hmmm. Katie isn’t buying it and pleads with Scheana to let go of the past. “I just don’t have any sympathy,” she tells Scheana, before getting more candid in her interview. “I wish Scheana would just wake the fuck up. Look at the situation for what it really is, Sandoval never really gave a fuck about your friendship. Cut ties, move on, be a good friend to Ariana.” Yikes. 

Scheana tries to lighten the mood by telling the gang she slept with the bartender back in 2006, which is such a relatable queen move, but Katie is grumpy. “Glad I left the house for this conversation,” huffs Katie, still stuck on Sandoval, “With all due respect, I have sympathy but I wish you would get over it,” she tells Scheana, before visibly getting emotional. If there is one person who hated Sandoval before it was trendy, it’s Katie, and she reminds us why. “That man has never offered me a sincere apology since the day I met him and he’s been awful to me. He interfered in my marriage, he made everyone think I was a monster, my own ex-husband I think. And the fact that anyone’s having trouble getting over this trashbag of a human, is fathomless. This person, they’re a demon.” WOAH. Poor Katie. 

Poor everyone involved. Wonder if the bartender was good in bed.

Lisa heads to TomTom and chats with the staff. We learn that some of her favourite staff from the recently closed Pump were transferred over to TomTom to retain employment. Sandoval arrives wearing a sleeveless knit that angers me but I probably need to let it go. In his interview, he admits that it feels a little weird that Lisa hired the Pump staff without himself and Schwartz being informed, and we instantly cut to Lisa declaring in her interview, “I don’t think we’d ever consult a 2.5% partner”. Lol. The two order drinks and ask for spoons as Sandoval has for some reason brought ice cream. 

Lisa asks Sandoval how his time in Tahoe went. “They were really kind to me, right off the bat,” he tells her. “You look a lot happier than last time I saw you,” Lisa tells him, “I don’t wanna see any one of you being that depressed”. Sandoval looks flat, “I’m worried about Rachel, also I miss her,” he shares. We learn that Sandoval hasn’t spoken to Raquel (Rachel) in over a month, but that Lisa has spoken to her quite recently at length. “She didn’t seem very happy with you,” she tells Sandoval, “She said to me, she wasn’t that comfortable with lying to everybody, she said that he said that life is lying”. Sandoval adamantly shuts this down, “I’ve been worried sick about her, I just want to give her a hug and like, know that she’s ok”. Lisa spills more in her interview, “She said that she felt manipulated by him and she actually told me that she didn’t love him anymore”. Ooft. Sandoval tells Lisa that Raquel has blocked him, and she advises him that it’s time to go forward now.

Lisa is keeping BUSY this episode, as now she’s over at Lala’s office for a visit. Lala explains that her brand, Give Them Lala, is evolving, due to her own personal evolution. “When I created Give Them Lala, it was very much like I was shoving myself down your throat. I have changed as a person, I’m, believe it or not, a little bit more reserved, and I need my brand to reflect that.” She tells Lisa, “I’m just a bitch in these streets trying to rebrand and find a sperm donor”. I know I say this every second recap, but Lala really is my MVP. 

She explains to Lisa that she doesn’t want a baby daddy, and is open to all routes of motherhood. “I want many, I think I’m gonna get a sperm donor, I’m gonna have this baby, then I’d like to adopt a baby, then if I meet a guy later on we can have a baby, I’ll just have all the kids in the world.” In her interview, she cries and we see the toll shared custody has taken. “I want an absolute with this baby. No matter what, this is like my baby. Like no one can ever come in and take it from me, I don’t have to share on Christmas Day, just mine.” Because we couldn’t have a single scene without a Scandoval reference, Lisa brings up Tahoe and the current dynamics. Lala explains how she’s in a different position to Scheana given she didn’t have a significant relationship with Sandoval prior, and shares that Ariana took her advice and came to Scheana’s defense on social media. We love to see it. 

Over at SUR Lounge, James is behind the DJ booth and Ally is playing supportive gf. Schwartz and “friend” Jo arrive, and all I can think about is how last year Katie referred to Jo as “spooky”. What an underrated burn. 

vanderpump rules katie instagram

Image Credit: Katie Maloney/Instagram

They sit down with Ally and are both such lanky awkward humans, they really suit each other actually. “I don’t know much about Jo, but I do know that the other girls have a lot of problems with her, especially Katie. I mean, didn’t Jo move in with Schwartz like right after they got a divorce?” Ally shares with us in her interview. James joins them and asks whether the two are friends with benefits because he’s a straight-up agent of chaos. They all chat about Tahoe and Hippie and going out for a rat pack dinner (alrighty…) and it’s a bit boring and then a wild Sandoval appears! He joins the group and it’s all quite harmonious, a word I never thought I’d use with these clowns.

Sandoval insists that James tries his (ugly) sunglasses on, and Ally tells him he looks like Elton John and I’m gagged. She sees straight through Sandoval’s tactics. “It’s definitely feeling like he’s trying to buy James, I just hope that James doesn’t fall for it,” she tells us in her interview. “Tom’s always given me like a cool older brother gift, I’ve never lost anything he’s given me,” James tells the group. Uh oh, I think we’re in danger of losing James to the dark side… Let’s hope Ally can shake some sense into him, preferably with more Elton John comparisons.

The next scene sees Schwartz and Jo going for a drink, presumably the next day. Why we’re seeing two scenes in a row of Schwartz and Jo is beyond me, but it’s a bit of a lol to hear how they both describe their dynamic. “Just to be clear, Jo and I were never in a formal relationship. However, last summer I mean maybe, I didn’t divulge how much Jo and I cared about each other,” Schwartz explains to us. “Part of it was, Katie had a lot of resentment towards her. Jo’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think she’s ugh, a great cup of tea.” In her interview (why are we giving this stranger her own interviews?) Jo tells us that she and Schwartz had been “intimate” as recently as a month ago. “I think we did really catch feelings for each other and I think they’re still there,” she says, with an immediate cut to Schwartz telling us that they’re platonic.

Over at James and Ally’s place, she is preparing for her aforementioned astrology night with the girls, while James is off to the aforementioned rat pack night with the guys. We see Ally struggling to make a charcuterie board (showing her age – a woman in her thirties would be thriving), while Schwartz and James arrive at some fancy steak house. Katie, Ariana, Lala and Scheana all arrive and look cosy, ready to learn about their astrological roots. Sandoval arrives for dinner, followed by Brock. BOYS BOYS BOYS. MEAT MEAT MEAT. 

vanderpump rules brock tom sandoval

Image credit: Hayu

Ally dives straight into it, starting with reading Ariana’s chart. We learn that her Aquarius rising signifies luck, wealth and opportunities. “I definitely didn’t feel lucky when Charlotte died, my grandma died, my relationship died… Maybe somehow Tom was stomping on the energy of a four-leaf clover and once his dumb foot was gone it bloomed,” she tells us. I should say that Charlotte was her dog and that this pooch’s death coincided with the start of Scandoval. A truly cursed time.

Next up, we explore Scheana’s houses and moons, and what they represent. “You need to like, fill your cup before you fill others,” Ally warns Scheana, “Story of my life,” Scheana responds. Ally tells Lala that she literally gasped when she saw Lala’s reading, and that Katie has had multiple lives. Katie jokes about how she was definitely a man in a past life, and how this is why she has big dick energy. That tracks.

“I did wanna tell you something. Astrologically – things are looking up” Ally tells Ariana, which opens up the conversation. Scheana asks Ariana how she’s going processing everything, and Ariana explains that she’s taking a very logical approach, taking legalities and finances into consideration. “Literally the week before all of this happened, I remember emailing my agent and my manager and being like, ‘guys, let’s start like really trying to like do some shit because I’m not in a good place financially’”. She explains to us in her interview that all of her finances have gone into buying the house, and more recently investing in her sandwich shop, and how in March before Scandoval broke, she was literally down to the last two thousand dollars. God, what I would give to see her current bank balance.

Back at the steak house, the chat turns to Raquel. “I don’t like to talk about this in front of you,” Sandoval tells James, who responds, “I think it’s a gentleman’s dinner, I don’t think anyone’s going to flip the fucking Brazilian BBQ table over”. Who knows with this group. “She’s not happy with me, I haven’t heard from her for a month,” Sandoval tells the group. Schwartz tells him that it’s time for him to start dating again, for his own good. Hopefully this time it leads to a far less zeitgeist-shattering outcome.

Back at the house, the conversation turns to James attending dinner with the boys. “Why would James not respect himself enough to say, ‘I’m good, I’ll go hang out with my other friends’?” Ariana asks. “Because guys are different,” Lala chimes in. “I feel like he feels guilty,” says Ally. “I feel like if he’s feeling guilty, he’s feeling guilty because he’s betraying himself,” Ariana remarks. “No, I think everyone’s worried about losing you as a friend,” states Lala. Damn, I love her. “I do think that it’s both,” states Ally. When they reference James’ anger over Sandoval sleeping with his ex-fiance, Lala makes the point, “That’s what time does though. Time passes, and the healing starts”.

This starts a somewhat heated discussion, both Ariana and Lala discussing James’ actions and the different consequences/their different perspectives. Scheana is meanwhile mute, recoiling in the corner, seeing her future play out via James. “If James decides to go and kick it with Sandoval, what will your stance be?” Lala asks Ariana. “I don’t fuck with that,” she responds. Lala references Scheana and how this has clarified that if Scheana decides to forgive Sandoval, it will put her relationship with Ariana at risk. “I didn’t say anything about forgiveness,” Ariana clarifies, “I’m just not gonna fuck with people who are like, going out to dinner with him on random Wednesday nights”. Scheana tells us in her interview that this reaction is exactly what she was afraid of, and that she’s gonna just sit back and stay silent. 

“If anyone understands where you’re at with that level of betrayal, I do fucking get it. What I don’t wanna see happen is what happened to me, where I become so invested in what everyone else is doing…” Lala starts, before Katie cuts her off. “But you are!” Katie is finding it hypocritical of Lala, and that if she wants to apply her situation to Ariana’s, she can’t overlook what Ariana is going through. Things get heated relatively quickly after Katie turns and mocks Lala to Ariana, and I HATE to see my girls fighting. 

“Disengage, disengage,” Lala warns. Ariana chimes in trying to translate what Katie was saying, and Lala reminds the group that her situation was worse than Ariana’s. “Nobody knows what it’s like to deal with a shitty ex more than I do. I’m never rid of this person that I had a child with, and this is why I know that harbouring resentment… it will eat you alive,” Lala shares in her interview. “I don’t want that for my friend.”

Katie thinks Lala is trying to make it about herself, Lala is cross that she’s making her get into defence mode. Everyone is uncomfortable. Fighting words are indeed slung. It’s then when sweet angel Ally chimes in. “I’m gonna say one thing. The point of astrology is to really explain how we’re all different. We all know how Lala communicates, and how you communicate and how you communicate, and we’re all meant to be different” she addresses the group. “It’s just like universal love, we can all just get along if we understand people’s birth charts.” Lala apologises to Ariana for ever making Ariana feel like she was trying to make it about her. “It was never my intention, I just get heated. Wanna see my chart?” she laughs, thrusting her reading into Ariana. We’re all having a giggle, besides Katie, who sits stone-faced in the corner. 

The credits roll, airing a spectacular preview of the rest of the season, and I must go rest.

Written by Lil Friedmann, lover of all things Bravo and staunch defender of reality television. You can follow her at @lilfriedmann on socials.

Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules is available to stream on Hayu from 31 January, with episodes dropping the same day as the USA.

Image credit: Bravo, Hayu + Punkee