There’s no denying that Alexia Nepola is electric. The Real Housewives of Miami star has stolen the hearts (and screens) of Bravo fans far and wide – especially now that she’s on The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.
Luckily for us here at Slice, we got the chance to sit down with the fun-loving Housewife and talk about all things RHUGT. From rooming with her co-star Marysol Patton to Leah McSweeney’s need for the “attention to be on her,” we got the scoop on everything.
What was it like for Alexia Nepola to film The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip?
When it comes to filming RHUGT, Nepola says “it was very different” from filming RHOM.
“It was way better for me in the sense that I really didn’t know the girls,” Nepola says through a smile. “We really didn’t have the history, which sometimes complicates the shows and the relationships. So there were new girls I was meeting, new friendships, new relationships. I came in with an open heart and open mind. I just wanted to have fun. I had just wrapped up our season five and I just wanted to escape and go to beautiful Thailand with these wonderful women that do the same thing I do. And I thought they all wanted to do the same thing, but nine great girls together on a trip – at some point, we’re going to have something to say to each other.”
Plus, it didn’t hurt that Nepola got the chance to head to the picturesque city of Phuket (pun not intended) right after filming the oh-so-dramatic fifth season of RHOM. Upon her arrival in Thailand, Nepola explains that she immediately felt at home, since the weather was very similar.
“It’s very much like Miami,” the star continues. “It’s very tropical. It was very hot. It was very humid. So Marysol and I actually had an advantage because, since we were so used to like the heat in Miami, it affected us, but not as much as the other ladies like Leah and Heather. They were really feeling it because they obviously are not used to that kind of a climate. But everything like the culture, the temples, the scenery was just beautiful.”
Who does Alexia Nepola wish was on her season of Ultimate Girls Trip?
Although the scenery was picturesque and the climate was perfect, Nepola explains that there were a few more Housewives that she would have loved to see on RHUGT season 3.
“I like so many of the girls and so many of the other shows that I have gotten to know,” she teases. “I would have loved for Teresa [Giudice] to be there and Kenya [Moore] and Cynthia Bailey. I mean, the trip would have been different because we actually all like each other and I think in this Ultimate Girls Trip, except for a few, the whole chemistry of the group and the whole dynamic was nice and friendly and fun.”
When I tried to see if Nepola’s best and worst impressions coming into the trip had changed after the infamous “Impression Session” in the first episode, she impartially said that she likes “all the girls coming into the trip and coming out of the trip.”
“I still like all the girls. I really do, even probably more so even though Leah [McSweeney] wasn’t what I thought she was going to be. I thought that she – coming in with a disadvantage with not being on TV, not coming with somebody from her show – that she would come in with like a nice, friendly, energetic energy to be friends with all of us and get to know us. And I just didn’t get that from her on day one, so I just felt like she really didn’t want to be there. I saw her withdraw. She didn’t seem happy.”
I guess I just thought Leah was being Leah.
Despite their tension, which we’ve seen come up in RHUGT episode 2, Nepola understands where McSweeney is coming from.
“You know what? We were all going through stuff,” Nepola explains with heart. “I had to leave my family, which was the hardest thing for me, by the way, going on a trip like this – especially for 13 days across the world. So for me, that was the most difficult part. But I felt like at the end, I would still do this trip with all the girls again.”
Being away from her family was a particularly soft spot for Nepola, who is extremely close with her son, Frankie Rosello. Rosello recently appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and when I asked Nepola how she feels getting to see how much the fans love her son, she explains that she still gets “so emotional.”
“Honestly, it’s so beautiful that all the fans love Frankie – and Frankie is sitting right next to me here. It’s very emotional and I always say the best thing about being on a show like this and a platform like this is our fans because we get so much love and support, and they’re so invested in your story. I’ve been able to show this journey, so that I can give hope to so many families that are going through it. We only think it’s us when we’re going through it, but there’s so many families that are in the same situation, if not worse, so if I can give them that little bit of hope, that just means everything to me.”
Where do Alexia Nepola and Leah McSweeney stand today?
In the second episode of Ultimate Girls Trip, Nepola opened up about her ex-husband Herman Echevarria Sr., who passed away at age 61 in 2016 after a heart attack. In February 2022, Nepola revealed that Echeverria died before coming out as gay to her, and she would have “loved for him to have come out and had this conversation because I would have supported and helped him.”
During RHUGT, Nepola was retelling the story, and as she was in the midst of getting vulnerable about her ex-husband’s secret life, McSweeney said that her story was “boring.” Despite McSweeney’s antagonizing, Nepola kept her cool.
“I guess I just thought Leah was being Leah,” Nepola says of McSweeney’s reaction. “I mean, I feel like she needs attention and when the attention is not on her, she either withdraws or she has to say something mean or inappropriate. That’s what she does, so I really didn’t let it affect me because I felt like all the other girls were so invested. Gizelle [Bryant] was asking a lot of questions, but she does it in such a good way. She’s really interested, like she’s really curious. She’s that kind of friend that wants to know everything and in my particular case it came from a good place and she really wanted to know about my story. But again, with Leah, I don’t really think my story’s boring because I don’t think anybody on this planet thinks that. It was just a way to focus the attention on her and to shut it down or start a problem.”
What was it like for Alexia Nepola and Marysol Patton to be on RHUGT together?
Nepola also revealed that, while it was “great” to have Patton on her side, they “fight like sisters.”
“Obviously I was the only one that really got to [have a close friend on the show], you know? I mean, there were two girls from every show, but at that time, Heather [Gay] and Whitney [Rose] arrived, they weren’t on good terms because they had just finished their season, same with Gizelle [Bryant and Candiace Dillard] on Potomac,” Nepola details.
“So Marysol and I had an advantage because we went together and we’re best friends, but even though we love like sisters, we fight like sisters. We were together for 13 days in the same room, sharing the same bed and bathroom, toilet and makeup wipes and everything else. You’ll have to watch and see because like I said, even sisters fight and have their moments.”
In the trailer for RHUGT season 3, we catch a quick glimpse of those familial tiffs, as Nepola and Patton get into a brawl on a bus.
“All of us had just wrapped up our seasons, Potomac, Salt Lake City and Miami, so that for sure had an impact on the trip because we were all dragging things that weren’t resolved on our show. So when you see that about Marysol and I, of the moment that we have, you’re going to see that it has to do with our Miami show and it was just things that were bottled inside that just had to come out,” Nepola explains of their argument.
Alexia Nepola reacts to Gizelle Bryant’s frustration with her and Marysol Patton for speaking Spanish
In the first episode of RHUGT, Gizelle Bryant snaps at Alexia Nepola and Marysol Patton for speaking Spanish in front of everyone. In a hilarious series of well-edited clips, Bryant misinterprets everything they’re saying and thinks that they’re talking about her. Now, Nepola has addressed the conflict.
“I didn’t take it,” she said assertively. “I always think it’s how you take things, you know? How you interpret things and how you perceive things. And I know it wasn’t really coming from a bad place. So I took it and I just told her what I had to tell her. And from then on everything was great.”
“In the beginning I was kind of like, ‘Okay, whoa. Why is she saying that?’ But then after, she did explain that her daughters spoke Spanish and she didn’t like the fact they were like talking about her behind her back,” Nepola continued. “I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to teach you some Spanish so that you’re going to know [what they’re saying].’”
What can fans expect from the rest of The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip season 3?
While so much has already gone down on RHUGT season 3, Nepola explains that fans have a lot to look forward to.
“Well, it’s like a roller coaster,” she teases through a laugh. “You’re going to have a lot of surprises. I, myself, was so surprised. I had no words, which…I always have something to say and I was speechless, so you’re going to have a lot of surprises. A lot of surprises. In so little days, all this stuff happened.”
The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip, Season 3 airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on Slice, and is available to stream on STACKTV and Hayu.