After a season full of rumours and confrontation, Joan Kelley Walker gives her final take on everything that went down on the freshman season of The Real Housewives of Toronto…
Joan on This Season
Q: What’s it been like watching the season back?
A: It’s been a huge range of emotion – mostly good. It’s been amazing, fascinating, fun, and scary. It’s been a bit of an out-of-body experience almost. I see one dimension of myself, whereas there’s a whole lot of layers to me that were not depicted on the show. So in one sense, I kind of feel like a cardboard cutout version of myself.
Her Favourite Moments to Watch Back
A: There are a bunch of moments, but one that encapsulates the whole thing is when Kara gave me that insulting gift on the girl’s day on the boat. I was really proud of myself because I took a moment and I simply chose not to respond to her negativity. That’s how I live my actual life, and that serves me really well. That philosophy was so effective for my own personal boundaries at that moment, and I used that throughout the rest of the show.
On Taking the High Road
A: I hope this came across on the show… there were some times where I just had to swallow it and think “just look at the big picture, how important is this really?” I didn’t want to get caught up in something that was really not my problem.
Joan’s OMG! Moments of the Season
A: When Kara said she wanted to take us on the banana boat ride so we’d throw up.
Then when Kara claimed to be a triage nurse. I was really offended because nurses work really hard to earn their status, and you can see on the show that I have a moment of hesitation before I even respond to her. I thought “I’m not going to go there with her right now, it’s my first one-on-one conversation with her” and I couldn’t even process that she would say that. Nurses are compassionate, respectable people and they shouldn’t have their profession made light of or belittled – at all. We need to support and celebrate our nurses and show them the respect they deserve.
When I was talking to Ann in episode nine in my apartment, I said ‘I’d hate to think she’d make something of the AMBI Gala. [I was thinking] why would Kara make such a big deal of the fact that I didn’t buy a table. I never implied that Kara was doing it for personal gain. I was just making the point that she was too aggressive in trying to sell me a table that was $25,000 – $100,000. My first house didn’t cost much more than that!
Kara’s Dinner in Muskoka
Q: Obviously that moment at Kara’s dinner wasn’t ideal, but many fans have been saying it’s not as big of a deal as it was made out to be. Have you been feeling that support from fans?
A: The fans have been entirely supportive, you have no idea! That whole thing was a big overreaction. If that had happened at my place, I would’ve discarded what was left behind, and never said another word about it. Fans can see that I’m human, I own my mistake, and it’s okay to not be perfect.
Q; Knowing that scene was going to air, were you nervous to finally watch it back?
A: Normally I wouldn’t go anywhere after the dock party. I use that day to rest and be with my family, so I was depleted going into the dinner. I was nervous to watch it because I don’t think that level of judgment was warranted.
Joan on That Lunch With Kara
Q: What was it like walking into Gusto that day to meet Kara?
A: Well I knew Kara was upset about the AMBI Gala, and I thought this would an opportunity to have a mature conversation about that. I felt like I had been judged and criticized unfairly and I was completely exhausted from the whole thing. I really wanted to move forward – as I’ve said all season.
Q: What about that moment where the conversation took a nosedive and started getting aggressive?
A: To tell you the truth, in real life there was more to it than that and it was a lot more aggressive than that.
Her Relationship with Kara
Q: Now that everything has gone down and aired, have you heard anything from Kara?
Q: Did you buy Kara’s apology to you in the final episode?
A: Well I don’t take these things lightly. When I accepted Kara’s apology, I sincerely meant it because my word is my integrity and I have moved past it.
Q: Now that you’ve seen everything she has had to say about you in her confessionals, do you feel any differently?
A: Now that I look back it, I don’t know how genuine her apology was. I realized I wasn’t going to get any greater of an apology from her, and I think it was very difficult for her to even apologize in the way that she did. I really thought I could just take her apology, level the playing field, and just really put this all behind us and move forward.
Support From the Other Housewives
Q: How was it to watch how much all of the other ladies had your back this season?
A: That was incredible. I had wonderful friends going into this show with Jana and Grego, and our friendship is much closer now, but I’m also thrilled to count both Roxy and Ann as friends now because we’ve shared this experience and we got to know each other in a really deep way.
I was a victim and that’s not okay. People can see that very clearly. So I’m happy that my friends stood by my side. Real friends are real friends and I would do the same for them.
Her Nightmare Situation on the Way to Barcelona
A: It was so bizarre. I had been at a funeral in Regina so I couldn’t fly with the other ladies. I had a big layover in Frankfurt, so I went into those rooms where you could check yourself in to sleep. I laid down and fell asleep, then all of the sudden there was a pounding on the door and a police officer saying “Get up! Get up!” I looked around and the place was empty… then it all started. They didn’t have announcements and didn’t explain what was going on, they just started shuffling people towards the exit. So we were all outside waiting on the street. People were laying down on the street, some people were asking for water; it was getting really tense. The whole thing was really scary and all I heard was “bomb threat.” People were Googling what was happening, and social media confirmed something was going on.
It was a moment where I felt really alone, and I felt really vulnerable. I got my husband on the phone and texted my kids. [I was thinking] of what would happen if a bomb went off right now. I didn’t want to alarm my kids but I had to take a moment and write that message [incase] these were the last words they got from me. I still brings tears to my eyes. I just said “I love you, I will always love you, and I’ll always be there for you.” It was all really intense.
Q: When you finally got to Barcelona, did it put all the drama into perspective?
A: It really did. It was kind of a game-changer and it did really put things back into perspective. It was so nice to see the other women and I felt like they really cared about what I just went through.
On Her Fashion This Season
Q: What was it like watching your fashion choices on TV this year? Did you like how everything looked on camera?
A: Nothing made me cringe. I’m very happy with all the choices that I made. I felt really prepared going into the season and I thought the show was an opportunity to express myself and to really enjoy my wardrobe and to get creative with the pieces I have. So many fans have been commenting about my style and have been asking for advice on fashion, beauty… even etiquette.
Is There Anything Joan Would’ve Done Differently?
Q: Is there anything you would do differently now that you have the experience of season one behind you?
A: I’ve learned a lot this year, and whenever you do something for the first time it’s a huge learning curve. I would definitely feel better prepared. I would also pace myself a little better. I was trying to be professional and accommodating, and a lot of the other things I do fell to the wayside. I would just claim my territory.
Joan’s Final Thoughts on This Season
A: It’s really important to create boundaries and not to let someone treat you in a certain way. You cannot reason with an unreasonable person. I choose to look for things like honesty, integrity, truth and kindness; that’s my foundation and the whole platform of who I am.