Countess Luann on her gay fans and why she’s ‘moved on’ from Real Housewives

“People come to my show in a Toyota, and they leave in a Rolls Royce, because I put on a great show,” says Luann de Lesseps, aka Countess Luann. Yes, ladies and gentlemen (and everyone in between) – this is the countess speaking. We have arrived.

It’s been more than 15 years since the reality TV star thrust her way onto our TV screens back in 2008, as one of the original housewives on the Bravo giant, The Real Housewives of New York City

Yet since leaving RHONY behind in 2021, her fanbase has somehow only grown. It helps that during her time on the show, she created a discography of camp, audacious bops, including “Money Can’t Buy You Class” and “Feelin’ Govani”.

Since 2018, she’s been writing and performing her very own cabaret show. This summer, Marry F Kill landed in the UK, and it’s now heading back to the US. Yet it feels like just the start for Countess Luann’s inevitable worldwide domination.

To put it plainly, the gays are obsessed. “I always say, I could trip and fall and my fans would go, ‘Countess, that was so elegant’. You know what I mean? I feel so much love from the audience,” she says.

Speaking exclusively to PinkNews, Countess Luann spills the tea on exactly why the gays love her, whether she’d ever head back to the gilded walls of RHONY, and how she brought Marry F Kill to life.

PinkNews: Hey Countess Luann! Talk to us about Marry F Kill, and the inspiration behind the show?

Countess Luann: I like to write music, I started with “Money Can’t Buy You Class”, and then it was “Chic C’est la Vie” and there was “Feelin’ Jovani”. It’s always inspired by what’s going on in my life, and specifically to this show, it was really driven by the fans.

My cabaret show is pop culture meets cabaret meets comedy meets a fashion show. I do a lot of changes in the shows. How I work is, I pick a song that I know my fans will love because they grew up watching me, and their mothers were listening to the same music that I listen to. So they really feel involved and participate in the show. It’s like a big sing along. It’s really fun.

If one of your fans hasn’t seen the show before, what can they expect?

They can expect that I cover a lot of my music. They won’t expect me to do some Miley Cyrus or Tina Turner, that’s for sure. I do dating tips, because God knows I love to flirt, and I do a lot of that on the show. My fans are always asking me for dating tips. They can expect a lot of costume changes; they will expect that for me normally. You come in a Toyota and you drive out in a Rolls-Royce, because I’ve worked really hard at my show.

What’s the gayest thing about Marry F Kill?

Probably my assistant who does get down into the audience because we play Marry, F, Kill, and he’s the cutest twink you’ve ever seen.

Countess Luann performs at Mighty Hoopla 2024.
Countess Luann performs at Mighty Hoopla 2024. (Getty)

“Money Can’t Buy You Class” came out in 2010 and it’s still a huge hit with your fans. You’re still performing it now. Did you ever expect that reaction?

No, I didn’t. Originally how I wrote and produced that song was because I wrote a book on manners and etiquette. I was so perturbed by what I saw going on around me, specifically when I moved back [to the US] from Europe. That’s when The Real Housewives of New York City happened for me.

All the lyrics really come from the book that I wrote, and that’s how really “Money” started. I really talk about what’s going on in my life. And “Jovani”, the same thing – there was “Jovani, Jovani” and that jealous moment on the Housewives. That was my first cabaret show ever.

I started [cabaret] because my friend said, ‘You sing for your friends, you host dinner parties, you tell jokes’. So it’s like you’re in my home, you’re sitting on my couch, and let me entertain you. I’m an old school, Carol Burnett-y situation. I always say, I could trip and fall and my fans would go, ‘Countess, that was so elegant.’ You know what I mean? I feel so much love from the audience. I really enjoy what I do, and I think the fans can really see that. I feel very lucky after Housewives, at this point, that I have a career like this. It’s really my passion.

You mention The Real Housewives; it’s always resonated with gay fans. Why do you think that is?

I wrote another song called – sings – “Viva La Diva!”. We’re women who take chances… they do crazy sh*t that most people wouldn’t dream of doing. I think that people love that, first of all.

There’s a lot of fashion, there’s a lot of statement necklaces, they see their divas living their best lives. I think that’s a big draw for gay fans, it’s a big draw for women in general. Women like to see women living their best lives.

Countess Luann in silver necklace, pink dress and boa
The gays love Countess Luann. (Getty)

That’s where “Viva La Diva” that song comes from, which I love. That was written by myself and Desmond Child, who wrote [Ricky Martin hit] “Livin’ la Vida Loca” and [Bon Jovi hit] “Livin’ on a Prayer”. It’s one of my favourite songs that I think is undervalued in terms of all the music that I put out there. Personally, it’s one of my favourites.

Would you ever consider a The Real Housewives of New York City return?

I always say cross that bridge when you get to it, but I’ve moved on. I’ve done Luann & Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake, which is a great show on Peacock, for those who haven’t seen it with Sonja Morgan and myself, where we go into a small town and help the townspeople after COVID. That was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.

I want to do other projects now. I’m looking more in hosting, maybe I’ll do a dating show, this kind of this kind of thing. I’m just enjoying my cabaret career right now. But TV is definitely in the works for myself, and coming up.

A Countess Luann dating show? That is everything we need.

There’s an epidemic of women that are my age that have been married and they’re divorced, and they’ve had their children and they have their careers and I think love the second time around would be a lot more interesting than what we see in these typical dating shows.

Tickets for Countess Luann’s F Marry Kill cabaret are available now.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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