"Vanderpump Rules" fans praised James Kennedy for calling his ex-fiancée Raquel Leviss after the "Scandoval" exploded all over the group in the season finale, brutally taking her down on speakerphone while Lala Kent, Katie Maloney and Ally Lewber were present -- and stunned!
James Kennedy has a reputation for saying what's on his mind seemingly the moment it enters his mind. He is unfiltered and unabashed, which has certainly got him into trouble in the past.
It's also seen him labeled a "villain" more times than not on "Vanderpump Rules," but in the wake of the "Scandoval" that's turned the show upside down as it closed its tenth season, James is suddenly finding himself in an unexpected new position: "Number One Guy."
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Former cast member Jax Taylor originally coined the phrase "number one guy in the group," declaring himself that way back in Season 4. The cast has certainly had fun with it over the years, but there's a new "number one" around here.
Time magazine even wrote an article about it, so you know it has to be all official and stuff! James was all about this honor, sharing the article to his Instagram with the caption, "Does this mean I get the cover soon?"
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He certainly endeared himself during the season finale to the show's fans for his reactions to finding out that his ex-fiancée Raquel Leviss had been having an affair with Tom Sandoval for months.
Despite a cast that has seen more than its share of relationship drama (and yes, infidelity), this latest development seemed to rock them to their core. It also brought together everyone who isn't a Tom (Sandoval or his BFF who seemed to cover for him, Schwartz) or Raquel.
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One scene saw them comforting Ariana, who was just as shell-shocked as she never expected her man of nine years to be sleeping with her best friend -- and she'd just talked about intimacy issues with Sandoval to Raquel, so yeah, she was reeling!
"I think we can put our s--- aside for today," Scheana Shay declared, as everyone came together for Ariana, who began to share with her and Katie Maloney what she'd just been learning about the whole affair.
"He was at Schwartz's. That's when I called Raquel and I started making her f---ing tell me, when did this start. She said right after the girl's trip," Ariana shared (but this was a lie). "I said, you mean right after Charlotte died?"
It was Sandoval who told Ariana they "f---ed in her car that night," while Ariana was in the house. Raquel had tried to say they had only kissed, and muddy the timeline.
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Scheana also opened up about Raquel's allegation that she punched her, leading Raquel to get a restraining order against her that impacted how the three-part "Pump Rules" reunin was filmed.
"I had so much rage in me, I was so angry," Scheana admitted. "I shoved her so hard, 'Get the f--- away from me!'" But, as she has consistently maintained, she says she never punched her. In fact, she said it's "impossible" for her to have punched anyone because of her nails.
Later, James decided to confront Raquel about it after talking about the scandal with Lala Kent, Katie Maloney and Ally Lewber. He told them that in some ways it was a betrayal of their friendships in top of the more obvious relationship betrayals.
"It scares me how people can do this, people I'm so close with," said James. "I'm not even f---ing mad about Raquel, I'm mad at Tom Sandoval."
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This broke my heart 💔 James genuinely loved Sandoval #pumprules pic.twitter.com/2fdTVzzK7M— Bambi ~ Pay attention, PUH - LEASE (@Bambi_4L) May 18, 2023 @Bambi_4L
In a confessional, a tear-filled James said, "What the f--- dude? It really is a waste of friendship, he threw that away, you really are such a piece of s---."
Lala noted that this is a pattern for Sandoval. "He did this to Kristen, he did it with Ariana, he got bored with Ariana, he wants to go be with this sloppy drunk," she said. "You think this is the first time he's been creeping around? No one chooses right off the bat, I'm going to cheat on this girl with a best friend of hers?"
By the end of the night, fans would know that Sandoval had, in fact, hooked up with "Miami Girl" Annemarie Maldonado during his relationship with Ariana -- she later told Andy Cohen on "WWHL" they were not yet exclusive -- and another woman he did not name before Raquel.
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"I think Tom has been hooking up with a lot of people," Lala said in a confessional. "A few years ago, I heard the rumors that Tom and Billie Lee go off and do whatever they do."
At that point, unseen reunion footage showed Kristen Doute asking them about the rumors directly, which they both denied.
Back in the present and despite saying he was "not even f---ing mad about Raquel," James clearly was pretty mad at his ex. He certainly laid into her in a way that left his cast-mates stunned.
With Lala, Katie and Abby still there, he went ahead and called Rachel on speakerphone. She told him, "I feel really s---ty," and insisted to him that she and Sandoval are not an item.
"How about losing every single person you thought liked you in Los Angeles?" James savagely asked her. Her response was a little odd, as she replied, "It definitely is eye-opening."
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Lol could not end the season without an epic James moment 😂😂😂 loved him this season 💕#pumprules pic.twitter.com/6TrKuhIfG2— Bambi ~ Pay attention, PUH - LEASE (@Bambi_4L) May 18, 2023 @Bambi_4L
Well, if she wasn't quite clear on why, James didn't hesitate to fill her in. "You lied to everyone's face," he told her. "All the people you were building friendships with, you literally trashed it for Sandoval's little cocky c---? His stinky, 40-year-old c---."
"Oh my god, James," Raquel shot back. "The last person I need to explain anything to is you."
"You're not the brightest chick," he added savagely as the women tried to urge him to just hang up. "The smartest thing you've ever done was creep around with Tom Sandoval for 7 months. Bye!"
Fans were loving James' brutally honest take on the whole thing, and his willingness to just call up his ex-fiancée and lay into her like that. In a confessional he said he'd been going through a lot of emotions the last few days and that was just what he needed, "Sorry not sorry."
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James calling Raquel to provide us with this piping tea proves why he is the #1 guy in this group. OUR MESSY KING #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/dU3s5oUIGe— heebejeebes era (@bruh16110500) May 18, 2023 @bruh16110500
When James told Raquel she’s not the brightest chick and the smartest thing she’s ever done is fu*k around with Sandoval for 7 months…#pumprules— Island Girl🌺 (@datlife808) May 18, 2023 @datlife808
I want James to pull up to Rachel’s place like this #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/Js0lxEpiNN— ac (@ankcrh) May 18, 2023 @ankcrh
I will never recover from James Kennedy calling up Raquel, putting her on speakerphone in a room full of people, and then asking her if it was worth blowing her life up for “SANDOVAL’S LITTLE COCKY COCK.” #PumpRules— Gibson Johns (@gibsonoma) May 18, 2023 @gibsonoma
Not James calling Raquel directly to insult her lmao #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/NxNNgSwYeE— julian (@julian_hagins1) May 18, 2023 @julian_hagins1
DJ James Kennedy hanging with the gals and suggesting they call Rachel on speaker to get the gossip is the role he was born for #pumprules #scandoval— Michelle (@me_carter) May 18, 2023 @me_carter
GIVE JAMES AN EMMY #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/q424UQqdRp— thebravobinch (@thebravobinch) May 18, 2023 @thebravobinch
#PumpRules— Bravo and Botox (@bravoandbotox) May 18, 2023 @bravoandbotox
James: “How do you feel about losing everyone that likes you in LA?? You gave up everything for Tom’s 40 year old cocky cock” pic.twitter.com/AUitZm1Li4
James is the most iconic with this phone call #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/BrVXoVVKsX— Hannah Rumble (@rumblehannah_) May 18, 2023 @rumblehannah_
James’ phone call with Rachel is now my #1 favorite Vanderpump moment #PumpRules #Scandoval— The Real Housegay of Connecticut (@TheRickySlays) May 18, 2023 @TheRickySlays
That entire James phone call. #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/rF3Gl1OfwK— MarioKiki (he/him) (@mariokiki) May 18, 2023 @mariokiki
James Kennedy on the phone call #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/JP0WCan1V3— A Housewife Walks Into a Bush (@here_for_bravo) May 18, 2023 @here_for_bravo
James is so unserious on the phone with Raquel 😂 #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/fRF5M6CaRi— twirl on them haters (@rhoasuperfan) May 18, 2023 @rhoasuperfan
James Is PETTTYYYYY and he is hell 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/8txAlYABfh— Baby Gorgeous (@itsAAstickUP) May 18, 2023 @itsAAstickUP
Thank you James Kennedy for calling Raquel and putting her on speaker phone. #PumpRules #VanderPumpRules #VanderPumpRulesFinale #Scandoval pic.twitter.com/neLT840MvC— Bernie's Cozy Mittens🧤 😷 👠💄 (@mmtexas) May 18, 2023 @mmtexas
James Kennedy is the #1 guy in the group. Argue with yourself. His call with Roachel, cemented it. #PumpRules #Scandoval— They're Not Even Real Housewives Though Podcast (@Notevenrealhou3) May 18, 2023 @Notevenrealhou3
Me watching James Kennedy’s phone diatribe against Raquel: #pumprules #vanderpumprules #vpr pic.twitter.com/uqUMVRnFkw— TV, Food, and Books (@tvfoodandbooks) May 18, 2023 @tvfoodandbooks
James is definitely the number one guy in the group right now! #PumpRules pic.twitter.com/gIifFCD44W— NDUB (@foxyfeline99) May 18, 2023 @foxyfeline99