Candiace Dillard Bassett was undoubtedly one of the fan-favorites of The Real Housewives of Potomac season 7, and ahead of the airing of this year’s reunion, the reality star and singer is spilling some details.
For years, many have accused Dillard Bassett of taking things too far below the belt. She’s insisted she never starts the drama– but will finish it if needed. This season, her approach was different, and she’s emerged as the MVP after shutting down rumors about her husband and other lies that production unearthed about her husband flirting with other women that have been featured on the show.
Dillard Bassett went deep with us about season 7, the reunion, her relationship with Ashley Darby, why her husband was a target this season, her music career and more.
S&A Unscripted: Over the past few seasons, you’ve gotten a lot of flack for your comebacks. Even in your tagline this season, you say your reads are for filth. But I feel like this season, you really emerged as the people’s champion. Going into the season, were you intentional about your interactions with your co-stars, and were you more mindful about your responses, or did you just kind of go with the flow?
CDB: I definitely just kind of went with the flow. I think that’s a great way to describe it. For me, this season started off very inauthentic. I did not feel that the advances from some of my coworkers were rooted in any level of genuineness. It really reeked of, ‘I am reaching for something interesting and entertaining to talk about. I’m reaching for something scripted in a non-scripted world.’ And it just didn’t come off as real to me. And when I’m feeling like I’m in a twilight zone space where I’m dealing with people who aren’t real, I just have an abort mission aura that takes over. And I just got to get out. It was fight or flight, and I was flying. I had to go.
S&A Unscripted: You previously stated that you rarely, if ever, start the drama with your costars, but you finish it. And I must say, you finish it seamlessly. I think this season proved that. Do you did you feel vindicated this time around compared to your previous seasons?
CDB: There was a level of vindication this season that I think I haven’t received or felt in the past. I really have to give that to, as Karen Huger puts it, our seventh or eighth housewife: our production team. They are always on it. They’re always delivering and helping us to bring our audience the very best of our show. But they made a decision to show the truth of what my husband was being accused of, which is very bristling to even say. But my family is just so appreciative of our production team for just being honest and showing the truth, which they always tried to do.
Chris and I say all the time that without showing those flashbacks of what was actually happening in these scenes, it would have just been a much more mountainous hill to climb. So it really helps that we had the support of production. Production is our eighth housewife, so shout out to production for keeping it real and for being so funny this season and just so creative with everything, with just exploring our craziness as the cast, as a show.
S&A Unscripted: I think another good example of you really trying to put your best foot forward with your co-stars is your rollercoaster relationship with Ashley Darby. You guys have had a string of ups and downs since you joined the show. When you’re good, it’s fun to watch, and when things are rocky, it’s a mess. But at this point, are you over trying to establish a friendship with her, or is there hope for you guys moving forward in season 8?
CDB: Andy asked me this question during Watch What Happens Live, and I said just after the way that the reunion played out, I don’t see a path forward for us. I don’t see anything for us. And I’m OK with that.
S&A Unscripted: Viewers have noticed another interesting relationship: your friendship with Robyn Dixon. During the dinner where she put you on blast with the speaker regarding your Instagram live of you not trusting your cast members, some viewers were shocked when you sat down with her and told her that she’s the only one you trust, considering your close friends with Wendy. Was there more to the conversation that was not seen?
CDB: I can stand in what I said. Robyn was the only cast member that I felt like I had that true trusting relationship with. I kind of elaborated on it later. I don’t compare my friendships. So Wendy and I, our relationship is wonderful and trusting and has a sisterly bond. I love Wendy. And that relationship is different than the one that I have had with Robyn because I’ve known Robyn longer. I joined this show in its third season. At that time, Potomac was very much still figuring out who we wanted to be. We were still the underdog. I really just connected with Robyn right away when I met her in person, and I made an effort to try to get to know her in real life outside of the show. And a lot of Robyn and I’s interactions and our friendship kind of happens outside of the show, and we’ve never really felt like we needed to put it on the show. I considered her like like a big sister to me. I felt like I didn’t really need to defend my love for a girlfriend, or who I thought was a girlfriend. But we’re in a weird place right now. I don’t know what’s happening with Robyn. But I do still love her. I will say that.
S&A Unscripted: Now speaking of defending your love, you have proven that you are ride or die for your husband, Chris. And since you joined the show, there have been a lot of shots thrown you all’s way. From conversations about how you pay your mortgage, to talk about him managing you or co-managing you and your career, and obviously, what we saw transpire this season. Why do you feel as if you and Chris have been a target or continue to be a target?
CDB: Because the when the people that the people put in front are “running”…I say that in air quotes…the show, they set the tone. And when the people that are setting the tone on the show are miserable and bitter and unhappy, they’re going to go after what looks like and what is a positive, happy, healthy relationship. You’ve seen it with Wendy and Eddie. You’ve seen it with Karen and Ray. You’ve seen it with Chris and me. Any relationship, any marriage that has any merit, that has any history, that has any sort of institution attached to it is going to be attacked by those who are lacking in those places.
Because you don’t see that as much on other Housewives shows. There is an emphasis on attacking Husbands on Potomac. You don’t really see that in Beverly Hills. You don’t really see that in Atlanta. These are just the shows that I watch. So I can speak to those. But you have to go to the source and look at why certain people feel the need to attack marriages. It’s because they don’t have marriages and because they have been scorned in the marriages that they did have. It’s psychology. And once you understand it in that way, you can put it to bed and really feel sorry and pity for those who feel that they have to attack a marriage to earn their check.
S&A Unscripted: You guys filmed the reunion. What do you feel was accomplished, if anything, at least on your end during the reunion that you can tease?
CDB: Well, for one, I am really proud of my husband because he was finally given an opportunity to speak, and he said everything he needed to say. It was received, it was heard– whether it wanted to be received and heard or not. That was the goal for myself and for my husband going into the reunion. One thing about our show is we’re always going to give you comedy and laughs. So there was a lot of that. And I think credibility has been lost by some. And you will see the dissolution of the credibility of certain people. And it’s a very sad fall from grace.
S&A Unscripted: Now, while others have fallen from grace, one of the things that I’ve enjoyed about watching your journey on this show is your ascension. Your music career has taken off. You released Deep Space and then a deluxe edition. You went on tour, and now you’re a member of the Recording Academy. So some viewers who see people like you or like Kandi Burruss having other things outside of the show, it can be hard for us to understand why you would stay on the show. Do you find that it’s still worth it, or are you eying your exit from the show and pulling a Cardi B to just focus on your music?
CDB: I love Cardi B, and I think that her ascension should be studied, honestly. But for me, I definitely came into this incredible world of reality television and specifically Bravo, because I do believe that Bravo really does reality television [and] the docuseries space the best. I still watch Bravo as a fan. So I’m proud to be a part of this circus. And I came into this space with goals. I wanted friendship and I wanted sisterhood. That’s always been the kind of woman that I am. But I also wanted to accomplish certain career goals.
I was acting before the show. I’ve always been singing, and I’ve always been an entrepreneur and a businesswoman. And I knew the power of this platform if I used it properly. And I’m proud that I’ve been able to do so much of what I’ve come to accomplish, but I’m not done. There’s still a lot left to do and a lot that I want to share with so many of the fans who I feel are family to me.
I so appreciate how Bravo has chosen to support my career, because they don’t have to. They can cut and chop and screw things however they see fit. But it means a lot to me that they have chosen to highlight my music and give me opportunities to perform and highlight what I’m doing as an actor. As an entrepreneur and as a multihyphenate woman, I think it’s important that spaces and corporations like Bravo and NBCUniversal show women of color in spaces like this and doing amazing things and following their dreams and what that looks like long term. So I’m here until I’m not. If that means that they fire me, fine. If that means that I leave, then fine. But for right now, I don’t have any plans to exit. I have plans to prosper.
The Real Housewives of Potomac finale airs this Sunday before the the three-part reunion, which kicks off Feb. 19.