Eva Marcille went from “on the runway to off the runway”—which is what she once shouted across a packed bus at Marlo Hampton—both figuratively and literally. One minute she was briefly puttering through the background of various shots on The Real Housewives of Atlanta until she wasn’t, only the faint image of her $1,200 flip-flops remaining.
Announcing her exit from the long-running Bravo flagship on Tuesday, Marcille said in a statement: “I believe that what I hope to accomplish for the culture and community will be better served by focusing on other opportunities.” What those hopes and dreams are, we may never know. Eva joined The Real Housewives in 2017, and when she wasn’t offscreen and pregnant, she was onscreen, silent. Sitting, watching, waiting for a chance to strike. Except, that golden window never came for her. She mostly served as a Greek chorus of sorts, chiming in from stage-left with the audience’s thoughts and feelings, all the while detached from the shade and mess happening in front of her.
But while her Birkenstocks never tread directly into the action, she was the only castmate to ever survive a full-on shade-fest with Marlo Hampton. During a confrontation in Barcelona, Marlo turned her gaze on Eva like the Eye of Sauron itself, incinerating nearly everything in her path—Cynthia Bailey’s wrap dress and Tanya Sam’s knock-off Chanel glasses included. In response to Eva’s claim she’s been modeling longer than any of her castmates have been in the spotlight, Marlo retorted: “Everything you’ve worn on the runway is in my closet,” a throwback to her now-legendary fashion read of Shereé Whitfield: “Everyone at Neiman Marcus talks about how you return stuff.”
But unlike Shereé—who cracked after Marlo asked her, “One Rolex? That’s exciting to you?”—Eva didn’t back down. Instead, she proved to have just as much nastiness inside her, pulling out all sorts of fatphobic, gender essentialist reads from her billowing tunic dress. Reads like, “The way your ass is set up, you could never model,” to which the normally steadfast Marlo could only sputter. For her execution blow, Eva kindly informed her battered opponent: “You’re so bitter, I’m going to pray for you.” How do you even come back from that?
Her reads might last forever, but she certainly won’t. She’s already a distant speck on the Bravo horizon. Could producers include a shady overlay wrapping up her time on The Real Housewives, as is common for every finale, it might read: “Eva was on the runway, but now she’s off it, and onto the runway of life.” Bye, Eva! We hardly knew you.