NEW YORK — There will be someone missing from the upcoming reunion episode of the reality television show "The Real Housewives of New York City."
That's Jennifer Gilbert, an event planner who was quietly introduced in recent weeks on the Bravo TV show as someone arranging a party for housewife Jill Zarin.
Believe it or not, Gilbert wasn't just tapped to organize a party but to be a full-fledged cast member on the third season of the show, which follows a group of women as they juggle their careers, motherhood and busy social calendars. But she says she couldn't get any airtime.
"I don't know there's anything I could've done differently to advocate for myself without looking obnoxious," Gilbert says. "I found in a lot of situations if you didn't scream the loudest or say the meanest thing you weren't heard."
TV crews followed Gilbert for three months at her homes in New York and in the Hamptons. She was filmed for the show's open, but viewers rarely saw her.
"I was surprised because I really did film quite a lot," she says.
She wasn't the only new face added to the cast. Sonja Morgan also joined the show in Season 3, but she already knew Ramona Singer and LuAnn de Lesseps so it made more sense for her to be included in situations on camera.
Also, a big focus this season has been on a feud between Bethenny Frankel and Zarin, which caused alliances among the cast. In one corner, Frankel, Alex McCord and Singer. In the other, Zarin, Kelly Killoren Bensimon and de Lesseps.
Newbie Morgan, who pleaded not guilty this week to a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge, seemed to stay pretty neutral in the show feud, while if Gilbert had an opinion viewers never heard it.
"When I walked in I didn't know about the fight that Jill and Bethenny had gotten into," she says. "It was already on a train that had left the station so I was doing a lot of catch-up."
Bravo says it hasn't been decided whether Gilbert will return for the show's fourth season. Gilbert says if she does come back she won't channel her inner mean girl for good TV. "It's not like I'm timid and afraid to speak my mind," she says. "I'm just not inappropriate, and I'm not going to say something that's mean just for the sake of saying it. That's never going to be me. If that's what they're looking for then I'm probably not the right fit."
The finale airs Thursday at 10 p.m. EDT. A reunion episode airs June 10