Upon arriving at the Southern Charm reunion, Craig Conover was complimented on his outfit for the day and replied, “I was hammered when I picked it out,” which should have been our very first indicator that this guy would be speaking nothing but the truth. Well, for the most part. It was John Pringle who revealed he prepped for the reunion by having “a couple bourbons,” but did Craig down a couple truth serums before the cameras started rolling?
He also warned us before anyone sat down in their comfy chairs that “I’m not walking off that stage until Madison’s crying. But she doesn’t have a fucking soul so, I don’t know if it’s possible for her to cry,” and that was a mission he stuck to, at least throughout Part 1.
Our Pillow Prince also admitted to host Andy Cohen, during the round of intros, that the reunion is “My favorite part of all of this is getting to hang with you and talk shit about my friends.” Of course, that applies to himself as well, as when Andy pointed out he was a bit of a covid denier last year, Craig said, “I didn’t want to stop and so selfishly, yeah I wanted to deny it.”
Which leads us to the next topic, Craig and Austen Kroll’s highly entertaining Instagram Live sessions that they did in the spring, where the two knuckleheads sat in front of the phone, answering questions and being their typical selves. Andy asked Madison what she thought about the Lives, and before she could spit out a full sentence, Craig launched into a tirade about how she was “Flying around the country sleeping with married men, ex-MLB players. You know why Austen was at my house? Because you weren’t talking to him. You flew to Miami to fuck an ex-MLB player.” He went on to call her a “homewrecker” and declare, “She’s trash and I hate being on the same stage as her.” Even Andy had to tell him to “Just calm down dude” and “we’re like, 20 minutes in.” But this should come as no surprise, especially considering the fact that Craig was sat in the first chair next to Andy, despite having a relatively calm season for himself on the show.
But it was too late, Madison was activated and she shouted back, “You’re just mad he fucked your girlfriend,” gesturing to Austen. You see, Madison went on Watch What Happens Live and when she was asked if Natalie Hegnauer was The One for Craig, she offered, “I mean, Austen slept with her last summer and now Craig’s dating her. I just that that’s gonna be a little too close to home, if you know what I mean.” Oh, we know what you mean. You wanted to be snarky, get attention for what you said, and hurt people’s feelings all at the same time. Now, while she likely wanted to embarrass Austen and/or Craig with that comment, that sure, may have been public knowledge in their friend group or even gossip around Charleston, she was the one that amplified the information that ultimately…doesn’t matter. If the dudes are (now) cool with it, what should anyone else care?
“You said it in a really mean way that night,” Craig told her, and when the subject came up of Madison actually apologizing to Natalie, the only one really embarrassed and hurt in the process, Madison presented images of the text conversation to Andy, overexaggerating her “sorry” count in the process. “We are 30 years old…If we are only going to exclusively date people that we haven’t crossed swords with, then we don’t have a chance,” Craig said. He also added that Madison bringing up that information on the talk show was “Mean spirited, it was awful what she did. She’s a trash human. I will never speak to her again after tonight,” also saying she is “a sociopath that has zero feelings for anyone else.” But really, he’s not wrong when he says, “She tried to hurt someone. She threw it out for no reason.” But he’s Craig, and while he declared, “You threw away 10 years of friendship and I will never speak to you again after today,” something tells us he just may slowly but surely let her back into that big heart of his.
His feelings are beyond justified here. In all the years he has watched Madison play with the emotions of his best bud Austen, he has really never spoken ill about her. If anything, he was tougher on Austen and it even led to blow-ups in their own friendship. So for Madison to bring up an unnecessary piece of information, only to be malicious, was low. She could’ve offered her opinion without taking things to a place that would make Craig, Natalie, and Austen feel bad, all while her name stayed in the headlines. Sure, Craig’s delivery was a bit strong, shall we say, but he rightfully felt betrayed when he didn’t deserve that, especially from her. We also learn that Natalie once appeared on the Andy-hosted Love Connection, and while Craig’s expert Googling skills presented that information to him early on in their relationship. he didn’t seem nearly as bothered by it as other people in the room were. For her part, Natalie took to Instagram to address it all, including her “meaningless fling” with Austen, explaining a producer friend encouraged her to be on the dating show, and stating, “Craig is my best friend and we are happy together.”
As the reunion moved along, Craig was also rightfully lauded for using his platform to become the most successful businessman in the group. After props from his pal Shep Rose, Craig told the group that Sewing Down South did a quarter-million dollars in sales in November, and even achieved their first million-dollar order, with a recent order of 30,000 pillows coming in. Plus, those in Charleston may soon be able to visit a Sewing Down South store where Craig hopes to test out kitchen products as well. Though he did not confirm if he will take Pringle up on the suggestion of a Craig body pillow.
And despite declaring that “Today is about truth” (and later pointing to Madison to say, “And the truth only hurts one person on this stage, you”) the only time Craig may have been a tiny bit off was when the topic of former cast member Cameran Eubanks came up. Though he did say it was just his opinion, he stated, “I think she’s upset she didn’t do it,” despite the other guys disagreeing. Oh, and that’s not the last we’re gonna get of turned-up Craig. In Part 2, for some reason, he dares to bring up the topic of Pringle’s kids, which, yikes!
We love a cool, calm, collected Craig, but when a fully-charged Craig enters the room, it’s usually for good reason.
Part 2 of the Southern Charm reunion airs Thursday, February 4 at 9 pm ET/PT on Bravo.
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