Kenya Bell laughs heartily (and maybe evilly?) when we talk about her reputation as the crazy one on Basketball Wives this season. Because the funny thing is, when she’s in regular, unprovoked Kenya mode, she doesn’t even give a hint of crazy, she’s just wants to laugh everything off. Though we’ve seen her get heated with Kesha and Evelyn this season, she was never in an actual brawl herself (though she admits she wanted to go back for Evelyn after that bottle was thrown), and it’s hard to imagine what would happen if she actually let “the dragon” out.
During our chat at the Basketball Wives reunion, we also talked about that seemingly never-ending fish prank too. Yes, she smelled it. No, she didn’t know the girls were behind it. I’ll let her explain.
Congratulations on surviving your first season!
[Laughs] It really did feel like Survivor! I won!
How did you feel when you wrapped filming?
I was happy it was over. To be honest with you it was a long, tough season with a lot of cat fights, a lot of drama, and I really did feel like I made it through.
Do you think this season of the show was more crazy than past seasons, from what you knew of them?
This season was definitely more over the top than past seasons, I think that there was a lot of drama everywhere, between a lot of the girls, and it wasn’t resolved for the most part. It just continued on. And it’s still not resolved.
Does that make you worry about what will happen on stage?
I’m not really worried, I’ve got my battle gear on! [Laughs]
You joke, but it wouldn’t be the dumbest thing in the world to have some protective gear!
I got my Jesus armor!
You were literally the target though at one point this season, when you watch that fight back where Evelyn threw the bottle, what was it like seeing that play out?
It was difficult to watch in the sense that, to me, it was way more over the top than it had to be. Like, why are you angry because I may have called you a word? Especially a word like loose which I didn’t really even find offensive. I watched it thinking like, “Gosh, chill out.” And I was also upset because I couldn’t get back in the room because I was very angry after the bottle was thrown at me, and I wanted to get at her and security wouldn’t allow me back in.
Would you have fought her?
At that moment if they let me back in? More than likely, yes. But looking back on it, I’m glad I didn’t. But if I had been hit by that bottle I would have definitely pressed charges, there would be no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
In Tahiti when you guys worked things out, you were definitely in a zone, you were in your crazy place.
If you wanna see crazy, I can give you crazy!
People kept calling you crazy all season, I like how in that moment you were making good on bringing them the crazy.
If you watch this season though, I’m probably the least crazy on the damn show! But it’s true that I’m the kind of person who is confident in my abilities to defend myself, so I’m not afraid. That’s what you saw when you see the stillness, that’s where I am, in my peace mode. And when I come out of that, you will see crazy and I don’t think anybody on the show wants to see that.
Did we ever get close to seeing you go off on someone this season?
I almost went there when I took off my KITTEN HEELS that everybody loved to talk about. My Gucci kitten heels, by the way. I almost let the crazy loose then, but I contained the dragon.
Is the dragon going to make an appearance today?
I don’t plan on fighting anybody today, but it all depends on what’s said to me. Hopefully I’m respected and I will show the other girls respect as well.
What’s your relationship like with Jennifer now? It seemed like by the end of the season you two did build a real friendship.
Yes, Jennifer and I are friends, we’ve hung out since the season ended, I went to New York, she came to Detroit, and we talk on a regular basis.
Did you expect to leave this season with—
A real friend? I didn’t. I’m very slow to get cool with somebody. When you get older you don’t make a lot of new friends, so I was surprised that Jen and I really clicked.
It was hard to watch the scene when you showed your video to all the women and have them critique you so harshly.
And it was actually a lot worse than what you saw on the show. I mean, literally every day I was around the girls, everything I did was criticized very heavily, and it got to a point where I almost wanted to give up and I though Gosh, maybe I should try to have a career in this, and I just fought through it, confident in my abilities. That episode was difficult to watch though, because that is my talent and it’s from my heart, and for somebody to not even give it a chance is hurtful.
So what’s the next step for your music career now?
I have some very, very exciting things happening, I’m so excited. I’m working with some very talented, well-known artists, that’s going to be a surprise. I’m working on some new songs with a big producer too. I’m flying to Atlanta after this and going into the studio, so I’m so excited.
Wow, congratulations! I can’t wait until this secret is revealed. Now, before I go can we talk about the fish in Tahiti?
I know, what was up with that? I never saw the damn fish!
Did you smell anything?
I did. When I first got to the room I didn’t, but the next day I was like, “Is there a dead animal in here?” So I got up that morning because I couldn’t take it, and I went to the front desk and I said “There’s something in my room,” and when they came to clean, I was sitting out reading a book and I really never saw anything.
That’s hilarious. Their prank went unappreciated.
That’s what you get! Once I found out there was a fish in my room, I was like who does that? At our age? I mean, come on now. I didn’t find out until after I left Tahiti, and once I was leaving, one of the natives who lived there and was driving me to the airport told me that somebody put something in my room. I’m just glad I didn’t see it, because then I would be upset. I mean, of all the girls, why Kenya?