Starring on The Real Housewives of Miami didn't make Lea Black faaahbulous, darling. It's the other way around. The blonde powerhouse with razor-sharp quips is a huge part of what's made the series a guilty pleasure for viewers around the world.
Besides, she was a big deal here in Miami well before Bravo discovered her. The annual party she hosts with her husband, Roy Black, is one of Miami's most exclusive, most extravagant, and most celebrity-packed annual events. And this year's no different. Gabrielle Anwar, Sammy Sosa, Lance Bass, Jonathan Cheban, and fellow Housewives cast members Joanna Krupa, Lisa Hochstein, and Karent Sierra are all already confirmed for the April 13 event, which will feature a performance by Flo Rida.
"Alex Rodriguez, if he's in town, he'll definitely come," Black told Cultist nonchalantly over the phone.
The yearly gala is Black's prized project, with months of effort spent organizing sponsors, entertainment, a silent auction and more. So now that it's just one month away, is Black stressing out?
"Not anymore," she laughed. "We're used to it by now. Now we just shake our head and laugh."
That seems to be Black's philosophy for life in general -- just laugh it off. You can certainly see it on RHOM. While other cast members are throwing each other into swimming pools and slapping each other across the face, Black just seems to take everything in stride (with a backhanded compliment or two for good measure).
"I try not to judge people so much," she said. "I find it fascinating to watch interactions with other people. So I just take it as ... comic relief, and try to enjoy it. When you get in a group of women like that, all it takes is one drink too many."
Don't we know it. But that doesn't mean she won't stand up for her fellow castmates when she sees fit. The case of Lisa Hochstein and her battle with the Miami Design Preservation League is one example.
"I live in a historical home in Coral Gables, so I know what it's like with permits, historical bonds -- it's a process," she said. "I like to preserve history. But when you own a private home on a private island, it's not like people are going to see it, like a museum."
She's a supporter of MDPL, Black insists -- except in the case of "something really hysterical -- not a private home on a private island with private gates. Nobody's taking a historical tour [there]."
How about another subject of controversy: the use of drone-like devices for filming Real Housewives' season three? Black hadn't seen the reports of her producers' requests to use drones to film B-roll for the next season -- in fact, she said that season three had yet to be confirmed. (The Miami Herald reports that producers have confirmed a third season.)
But she does know one thing: "These producers, Purveyors of Pop, they will do anything and everything to make a fabulous show -- even if it took parachuting out of the sky."
And it's not like there's a lack of material. Black even predicts some RHOM-style meltdowns at her gala next month, whether or not Bravo's cameras are there to capture them.
"There absolutely will be personal drama," she laughs. "It's just an interesting phenomenon. You have one glass of wine, and add one controversial subject, and it's just what happens."
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The Blacks' Gala takes place April 13, with a red carpet beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $650. (Hey, we told you it was faaaahbulous.) Visit theblacksannualgala.com, or for more on Lea, visit theworldofleablack.com.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.