Andy Cohen Breaks Silence on Kandi Burruss Leaving ‘RHOA’

Andy Cohen, Kandi Burruss.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images;Clifton Prescod/Bravo

Andy Cohen had some kind words to say about Kandi Burruss following the news of her departure from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Cohen, 55, gushed over Burruss’ “unbelievable run” on the Bravo hit during his SiriusXM Andy Cohen Live radio show on Monday, February 5. “Incredible run,” he said. “And you think about how much she not only went through on the show, but brought to the show. She wanted to be the best.”

He continued to reflect on his long history with Burruss, 47. “She has been one of my favorite people to work with in my whole time. First, as an exec at Bravo, and then as an E.P. of The Housewives and hosting Watch What Happens Live,” Cohen said. “I love how competitive she is. I love how thoughtful and smart she is. She is so strategic.”

The twosome’s bond even extended off camera. “She would call me anytime she had a thought about either the way the show was being marketed or not marketed or about the way that it was being scheduled,” he recalled. “Or she had a lot of really smart opinions and thoughts and she always wanted to know more. ‘What’s your strategy here? What are you thinking?’”

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Cohen and Burruss would have “great dialogue,” he explained. “And then, sometimes at the end of the conversation, she would say, ‘You know what? I’m glad I called. I totally get it now.’ Sometimes she would say, ‘Y’all are wrong,’ and you know, and a lot of times she was right.”

Andy Cohen Opens Up About Kandi Burruss Leaving ‘RHOA’ After 14 Seasons
Jocelyn Prescod/Bravo

The Watch What Happens Now Live host shared that he and Burruss, along with her husband, Todd Tucker, recently spoke about her departure over the phone.

“We had a long talk the other day, she and I and Todd on the phone,” Cohen said. “I appreciate her saying, ‘You know what? I think this is just time.’ She knows the show is at a crossroads right now and I don’t even want to talk about where we’re going with it.”

Burruss broke the news of her exit to Variety while on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 4. “I’m not really keeping up right now. I’m not keeping up. I already said it, so I’ll tell you. I decided I’m not coming back this year,” she told the outlet.

Burruss said she is focused on other projects, adding, “It’s been 14 seasons, and they allowed us to sit around for a little too long, but during that time I had started working on a lot of other things, and I got some nice big projects coming soon, so I’m super excited about those things.”

After reflecting on her time as a Housewife, Burruss decided she wanted to take a step back.

“But it’s not just that. It’s just like, you know, after you really have time to think, and a friend of mine was like, ‘Why do you keep doing it?’ And I was like, ‘Well, I think because I’ve just been doing it so long, [it] feels weird to think not to do it?’” she continued. “So I was just like, ‘You know what? I’m going to take a break, I’m going to take a moment … I’m not coming back this year.’”


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Burruss joined RHOA for its second season in 2009 and has been a regular Housewife ever since. She also starred in several spinoff shows, such as The Kandi Factory, Kandi’s Wedding, Kandi’s Ski Trip, Xscape: Still Kickin’ It and Kandi & the Gang.

Before confirming her exit, Burruss shared her thoughts on a potential cast shakeup for RHOA. Rumors swirled after season 15 last year that the show could follow The Real Housewives of New York City and reboot the group entirely.

“I guess there could be [a shakeup], but every time they decide they want to change people, it’s like, sometimes I’m sad when the people leave that they switched out,” she told Us Weekly in November 2023 at BravoCon. “Sometimes they’ll get someone new and I’m like, ‘OK, well …’ I try to stay open-minded. I could have kept the same crew as when I first started.”

Bravo has yet to announce a cast for season 16 of RHOA. Season 15 also starred Shereé Whitfield, Kenya Moore, Drew Sidora, Marlo Hampton and Sanya Richards-Ross.

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