Fans of the Real Housewives of Orange County woke up to a highly anticipated cast shakeup. We can officially wave goodbye to problematic Kelly Dodd, overly dramatic Braunwyn Windham-Burke and they threw season 15 newbie Elizabeth Lynn Vargas out as well. The news was confirmed by Bravo to Variety. They also had a much-welcomed surprise of the addition of old fan favorite Heather Dubrow who first appeared on the show in 2007 and exited in 2011. Season 16 already sounds a whole lot better.
Dubrow will join cast regulars Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter, and Emily Simpson. They have also announced that those women will be joined by “one or two more women”. Season 15 of the show that started it all was a bust with fans taking to social media weekly to complain about the “snoozefest” episodes they just had to sit through. There were also the issues surrounding Dodd and Windham-Burke. Dodd, 45 had been posting ignorant things on her social media including a video of her partying at her bachelorette party wearing a “Drunk Wives Matter” hat. A play on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Braunwyn Rubbed Viewers The Wrong Way
Windham-Burke had an entirely different situation to navigate. The mom of seven had recently come out as an alcoholic and announced she was now sober. Having to be around a bunch of women who drink for sport was hard for the now-booted reality star and she admitted so openly. She also came out as bisexual and that left her marriage open to a lot of scrutinies, not only from her cast members who labeled the newly sober mom a “shit-stirrer” and a “gossip”. But also, from social media followers who initially didn’t like the way she spoke to her husband Sean Burke, and now expressed more concern for him as she openly explored her sexuality while still married.
A lot Is Riding On Heather’s Return
Dubrow’s return is huge for the show and a shock to the actress. “I haven’t watched it since I left, but this season for some reason, I am getting hundreds and hundreds of messages and DMs [asking for my return]. It’s very kind, and I appreciate it, but I think five years was a good run.” However, she has always maintained a never say never attitude. Windham-Burke has since released a statement about being dropped from the show. She told PEOPLE that she is “incredibly sad” to be leaving the show. “I loved every moment of being a Housewife, and am so proud of my time on the show – the good, the bad, and the in-between.”
The Fired Cast Members Have Spoken Out
Vargas also shared a statement blaming mostly COVID-19 and not having the opportunity to “get to know all the ladies fully” but she still claimed to be grateful for her time on the show and whatever fans she mustered up from her one season. As for Dodd, she was the last to release a statement because she was busy announcing she has Lyme disease. “The last five years have been an amazing experience. The next five years will be even better I am so grateful for all the love and support and so excited about the future #RHOC.” Here is to hoping season 16 will be more exciting.