In a world where there’s a Real Housewives franchise — or two — for every night of the week, it’s difficult for any Bravo moment to really pop in the way they could during the days of Turtle Time and table flipping. Yet, the booze hounds of Vanderpump Rules managed to get all of Twitter, including the platform’s queen Chrissy Teigen, abuzz over a single perfect phrase: “It’s not about the pasta.” The bonkers sentence anchored a wild verbal argument between Pump’s youngest cast members, Lala Kent and James Kennedy, which was both about the pasta and entirely not about the pasta.
While it’s still up for debate whether “pasta” is a SURver code word for cocaine, as Twitter claims, it’s clear James' anger stems not from carbohydrates, but from his complicated romantic feelings for both his girlfriend Raquel Leviss, the original owner of the infamous pasta, and Lala. If you’re not sure about this reality TV fact, look no further than Monday night’s Vanderpump Rules episode “It's All Happening” and its episode-closing fight, where James all but declared Lala his soulmate.
To recap the original argument from previous season 6 installment “It's Not About the Pasta,” Lala jokes she had eaten all of Raquel’s “pasta” without the younger woman’s permission. James immediately goes off the deep end, calling Lala a “bitch” who will “never” be as beautiful as “brunette supermodel” Raquel. James then attacks Lala’s then-separated boyfriend, now divorced and identified as Randall Emmett, calling him a “fat fucking man” whom she only sees because he “pays her rent.” Again, this is all supposedly over noodles. Lala understandably storms out of whichever restaurant was unlucky enough to host such a screaming match, leaving the bad blood unresolved.
Since this is reality TV, these two crazy kids can only hash out their differences while on a trip together, trapped in a relatively small space with co-stars who want no part of Lala and James’ mess. Lala blindsides poor, doe-eyed Raquel with news of her DJ boyfriend’s bad behavior. Considering Raquel’s response of trying to have a mature and honest conversation with James about trying to do better, the 23-year-old clearly doesn’t understand the levels of dysfunction at play here.
But, if you listen closely, it is possible to figure out what has James so worked up: he’s seemingly still working through lingering feelings for Lala, with whom he once had a sexual relationship. That’s why he says to Raquel, “Do I want Lala to be happy forever? Yes.” Or why, during a couple’s game night, he slips under Lala’s blanket and hovers directly over his ex’s face. Or dares Ariana Madix to “lick Lala’s nipple.”
There’s a level of fixation here Raquel can only stand by and watch unfold. When Raquel demands answers from James, who has been following Lala around and yelling at her for what appears to be hours, his only explanation is, “There’s passion behind our friendship.” That is not reassuring.
This brings us to the “It's All Happening”-closing verbal showdown, where James all but confirms his love for Lala, explaining why he won’t stop “coming for her man,” as the waitress claims many a time. First, the DJ becomes annoyed when Lala says they had previously been “intimate,” to put things delicately. “Nice way of saying, ‘Yeah, we fucked,” James crudely corrects her. He then explains on bended knee, “I have a negative view of [your] man because he put the one I love in jeopardy. So then when you’ve come to a place where you’re finally happy and now you’re talking about a future together and a house, beautiful things that I want. I’ve loved you. So you have to understand, Lala, I’m not used to it.
All together it sounds like James wishes he were planning a life with Lala — not Raquel. A Vanderpump teaser clip released during Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen furthers this likelihood. During the sneak peek for next week’s episode, James will reportedly say, "If I had been that billionaire successful DJ, [Lala] would have definitely come along for the ride. Her man was the guy that had all of that, so she went running along with him. Do I think that could have happened? Absolutely."
Of course James is touchy about Lala’s opinion of Raquel, who, by all accounts is an innocuous, well-meaning sweetheart, and her pasta. If you “read between the lines” as James once yelled at Lala, you’ll see it appears the DJ is upset dating Raquel is even a necessity.
So, no, it was never about the pasta. But it very much was about all the imaginary Rolls Royces and trips to Ibiza James has apparently dreamt of sharing with his “passionate” BFF, Lala Kent.
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