Kim Zolciak Biermann isn’t planning to follow in that other Kim — Kim Kardashian’s — footsteps anytime soon. At least in terms of walking away from reality TV. Keeping Up With the Kardashians is set to end in 2021 with its 20th season, but after 13 years on the air (eight of those spent on her own show, Don’t Be Tardy), the Bravo mainstay says she has no plans to pull the plug on her family’s series.
“They have a lot more money than I do,” Kim jokes of the Kardashians to ET over video chat, alongside her daughter, Brielle Biermann.
“We had this conversation the other day,” Brielle chimes in. “I said, if we get to season 10, I think that would be really cool to say we’ve done 10. But if not, or whatever the case may be, I think we’re all OK with — God forbid — we just don’t continue on after this season, ’cause this is really such a great season, if we ended it here.”
Season 8 of Don’t Be Tardy premieres Tuesday night, and it’s a different kind of season for the Biermanns. For the first time, cameras followed the family of eight (plus their staff, including Chef Tracey Bloom) outside of their Atlanta-area mansion, on a cross-country road trip, all crammed inside an RV.
“We ended on a great note,” Brielle teases of the new batch of episodes. “I would definitely be very sad … and also, I love it because I have my own, personal home footage I could always look back on and laugh, and see certain experiences that I’ve gone through that I completely forgot about that kind of made me who I am today. So, it’ll be fun to show my kids that one day. And to say you had a TV show for as long as we had is, like, I feel like very unheard of.”
“It’s still not good enough,” Kim says to her daughter. “I’m gonna keep going.”
Kim’s kids — Brielle, 24, Ariana, 29, KJ, 9, Kash, 8, and twins Kane and Kaia, 6 — have never really known life without reality TV cameras, and never really had a choice when it came to being on TV. Kim started filming The Real Housewives of Atlanta in 2007, when Brielle was 11 years old and Ariana just 6 — but apparently, it’s never been an issue.
“They love the cameras,” Kim says of her “littles,” as she refers to the children she biologically shares with husband Kroy Biermann. Kroy adopted Brielle and Ariana in 2013.
“They do have days they will be irritated about something, Kash in particular would say, ‘I don’t want to film today,’ and I’m like, ‘OK, don’t,'” Kim adds. “But our crew is our family. They’ve been a big part of our family all these years.”
“It’s the best job in the entire world,” Kim continues. “I never want to give that up. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there’s somewhat of a changing of the guard when it comes to the world of reality stars. On top of Keeping Up With the Kardashians wrapping up, NeNe Leakes recently announced her departure from The Real Housewives of Atlanta after more than a decade on the show. NeNe and Kim have had their ups and downs over the years (forever cemented in pop culture by catchphrases like “Bye, wig!” and “Close your legs to married men, trash box!”), ultimately finding their way back to friendship off camera.
“I’m sure she’s very sad,” Kim says in reaction to the news. “When I left [Housewives], I walked off and it was traumatizing to me, it was still like a death to me. It was a big part of my life, you know? I think for [NeNe], she probably feels the same way.”
Kim quit RHOA in the middle of season 5, when she was pregnant with Kash. At the time, she didn’t have her spinoff show lined up yet.
“I wish her well,” Kim continues. “I think she’ll do great wherever she ends up, but maybe it is time, you know? Sometimes you have to be forced out because you won’t leave, so that you can move on and get something better.”
Kim and NeNe were set to co-star in a road trip show of their own around 2015, but the series never came to fruition amid their fluctuating friendship and busy personal schedules. Today, Kim says “never say never” to the show making it to TV.
“Every single day in my DMs and on Twitter, I get [messages] about the road trip,” she confesses.
Still, it seems like it would take a lot of convincing to get Kim to sign up for an on-the-road show again. Season 8 of Don’t Be Tardy pushed her to her limits — though she admits she would rather repeat this trip again and again than do one day on the tour bus she shared with Kandi Burruss back on RHOA’s third season. Kim and NeNe got into a pretty nasty fight on board that RV.
“Kroy and I talk about when all the kids are out, we’re gonna get an RV and park it in their driveway,” Kim notes, explaining the idea that sparked this season of Don’t Be Tardy.
“Brielle’s for two months. Ariana’s … every kid for two months so, that gives me 12 months for a full year, so that was kind of our dream, or is our dream,” she continues. “But Kroy definitely the RV-ing, camping, he loves that. I don’t eat meat, hot dogs, hamburgers, I don’t cook out, I’m not into that. So it was rough.”
The family made the most of their close quarters, Kim even admitting to sneaking in “intimate time” with Kroy when she could — the couple brought their own mattress onboard the bus. Nearly a decade into marriage, Kim’s made it no secret that she and Kroy maintain a very healthy sex life.
“Kroy, he loved every minute of this trip,” she notes, “except for some of the things he had to fix. Like the engine that didn’t work.”
“I’ve always known, Kroy knows how to do everything, it’s kind of, like, annoying,” Brielle adds. “He’s like Wikipedia. This trip was insane. There was nothing he can’t do.”
That includes keeping the family calm under pressure. The season premiere kicks off with a tease to a 9-1-1 call, which Kim says involves “one of the scariest situations I’ve ever been in.”
“It was a very serious situation and very scary,” she confesses of the mysterious moment. “It almost made me wrap up the trip in a whole second. I was ready to call it and be done.”
Thankfully, the show went on and, again, Kim would love to see it go on and on, and maybe even continue with the traveling theme… though not by bus.
“I think we should do a yacht in the Meditteranean, Bravo,” she pleads, suggesting a Below Deck crossover. “Can you imagine?”
Don’t Be Tardy airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo, kicking off with a two-part premiere on Oct. 6.
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