Erika Jayne Of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Has Been Low-Key Serving Up Latina Realness Right Under Our Noses
Since the reality show boom in the late 1990s, we have been fascinated by watching seemingly normal people doing outrageous stuff on television or being put in extreme situations. We have also found a not so guilty pleasure in seeing the rich and famous in their everyday, mundane lives. Producers try hard to sell an illusion of reality, but in fact, much of what you see on television is at least partly scripted. Companies like the Dutch powerhouse Endemol and the US channel Bravo have tried it all. Titles like “Big Brother,” “A Simple Life “(that sensational show in which Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie were “forced” to work in a farm), “Survivor” and “The Osbournes” permeated popular culture and redefined what celebrity is.
But perhaps one of the most endurable formats is the “Real Housewives of…” formula. It is simple: you choose a set of women who are uber rich and who have the potential to produce the most amount of pan y circo (in short, dramarama) for audiences who are hungry for extravagant personalities and near-fistfight, as well as plenty of chisme with the occasional tear-jerker of a reconciliation. Besides some clear issues in terms of gender representation (women are housewives by nature, really? Pardon our French pero no mamen) and the sense of privilege that the cast seems to have, there are some pretty inspirational stories of women who embrace just causes and have worked really hard for what they have. One of these women is Erika Jaymes, the already established singer who has become an Insta sensation and an all-around estrella due to her honest and exorbitante personalidad. Here’s what you need to know about this güeraza who has gotten a second round at fame!
1. Her full name is Erika Nay Girardi (her maiden last name is Chahoy)
And she was born on July 110, 1971. She is a proud daughter of Atlanta, Georgia.
2. She is a bestselling author
Yes, her autobiography, Pretty Mess, has been on the top of the lists of The New York Times bestsellers. The publisher describes it as follows: “In Pretty Mess, Erika spills on every aspect of her life: from her rise to fame as a daring and fiery pop/dance performer and singer; to her decision to accept a role on reality television; to the ups and downs of family life (including her marriage to famed lawyer Tom Girardi, thirty-three years her senior)”. Wow, what a rollercoaster of a life!
3. For years she has had to tell haters to F-off!
Leave Erika alone! No, seriously, if you are one of those individuals who goes online to trash other people’s lives, just stop. Erika has been brave enough not only to remain classy in the onslaught of online hate but also on making it public, which is a way to put herself out there. Bien.
4. From high school talent to a billboard on Times Square!
She first got in touch with her ample talents during her stay in North Atlanta High School. She joined the musical theater group and did roles such as Val from “A Chorus Line.” She also did great versions of “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton and Madonna’s “Into The Groove”. And, to be honest, she has kept that Dolly Parton vibe, hasn’t she?
5. She moved to New York when she was 18, in search of a musical career
Hundreds of young people move to New York and Los Angeles each year hoping to break into the music industry, but only a few are successful. Our girl moved to the Big Apple and soon became part of several girl groups such as the I-Dolls.
6. She married her first husband in 1991
While starting her career in the entertainment industry she met Thomas Zizzo, a DJ. They got married at St Patrick’s Cathedral and had a son, Thomas Zizzo Jr. The couple divorced in 1996 and she moved to Los Angeles to reignite her career.
7. She married her second and current husband in 1999
She met a powerful attorney, Thomas Girardi, and they married in 1999. He is 33 years her senior. During the first years of her second marriage, she played the role of what she describes as “a lawyer’s wife”. She went to dinners, met powerful people and basically learn how the upper echelons of power work.
8. But being a housewife wasn’t enough: 2007 is the year of Erika Jayne
Erika decided that marriage was not going to stop her from having a musical career. She launched her first dance music single, “Roller Coaster”, in 2007. Her rise to the top of the Billboard charts was explosive: she reached number one at the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. Her second single, “Stars”, held the same position in the Billboard Dance Play chart. And, as they say, a star was born.
9. She has her own record label: Pretty Mess Records
Under this label, she has released collaborations with some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as rapper Flo Rida, with whom she released “Get It Tonight” in 2013.
10. 2015: The year of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Erika joined the cast of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” for the show’s sixth season. She soon became one of the favorite drama queens on television!
11. She has had roles in film and television ever since!
She had some minor roles on television early in her career (before her first marriage), but the huge fame that Real Housewives brought to her life has lead her to roles in the telenovela gringa “The Young and the Restless” (she appeared with her “Housewives” co-star Eileen Davidson) and in the B-movie sensation “Sharnado: The 4th Awakens,” She also appeared in Animal Planet’s show “Tanked.”
12. After the Real Housewives comes “XXpens$ive”!
Her experience in the reality show she released this single on January 4, 2017, during the show “Watch What Happens with Andy Cohen.” The song is a hymn to materialism and entertainment.
13. So how has she accomplished so much? Well, she got her resilience and her talent from her santa madre
Her mom is Renne Chahoy, who was an 18-year-old classically trained pianist and actress when she had her daughter, suddenly became single when Erika wasn’t even one year old.
14. So she didn’t meet her biological father until she was 25 years old
Erika was adopted by her stepfather, but she never really met her biological dad while growing up. The first encounter happened when she was a young independent 25-year-old woman. She describes the encounter as “meeting a stranger”.
15. She also appeared in “Dancing with the Stars”
The 24th season of the show (yes, 24th!) had her as one of the main competitors, and she was paired with pro dancer Gleb Savchenko.
16. She has collaborated with make up brands
Her ultra famous public persona and her fierce femininity has led her to collaborate with brands BeautyBlender and Too Faced Cosmetics. From Atlanta to Sephora!
17. She has also collaborated with shoe brand ShoeDazzle!
Remember that epic Times Square billboard? Well, it was part of her campaign with the famous shoe brand. She released a collection of 12 of her favorite shoes. We want them all.
18. She is a fashion trendsetter
What Erika Jayne does is replicated in dozens of dance clubs around the country. We are not sure about this Tigresa del Oriente outfit, though!
19. She is a philanthropist
Erika and her husband contribute to the betterment of their community through charity work, particularly towards the empowerment of young girls.
20. She is a queer icon
Jayne is vastly popular in queer culture due to her fierceness and all around extravagant awesomeness! Yasssss!