Andy Cohen is opening up about why Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson were let go from the Real Housewives of Orange County. He also addresses rumors that Vicki and Tamra were fired because of their age.
In January, Tamra, and Vicki shockingly announced they were leaving RHOC for good. This news surprised fans and left many wondering how the franchise would go on minus two of it’s biggest stars.
Fans also wondered if Bravo was looking to add younger Housewives into the mix and that Vicki and Tamra didn’t fit the new mold. Over the last several years, Bravo has introduced younger and younger Housewives into the OC franchise, most recently with the addition of Emily Simpson and Gina Kirschenheiter.
However, Andy insists that’s not the case at all. According to him, firing Vicki and Tamra had nothing to do with their age and was all about the momentum of the show.
“If you look at the breadth of Housewives on all of the shows, we represent all ages, and specifically [Real Housewives of] New York City, Ramona [Singer]’s 61 or something,” Andy explained on his SiriusXM show Andy Cohen Live. “The answer is this doesn’t have to do with age.”
Andy said that producers felt that Vicki and Tamra had simply exhausted their storyline on the show, which became repetitive and stale. Both Tamra and Vicki have been on RHOC for well over a decade with Tamra being on the show for 12 years and Vicki 14 years.
Bravo’s main man, also pointed out that if it were about age then Bravo would have let Shannon Beador go as well since she’s in her mid-fifties.
“This has to do with the stories that have to be told. We just felt like, with Orange County, we were kind of going in circles a little bit with the group,” Andy continued. “And sometimes you have to take people out of the group in order to see it go in a new direction. Had we taken Shannon out of the group, then there would be a discussion to be had about the age and what are you doing, and is there something more to this but there’s just not.”
Andy added that he would NEVER want to alienate fans who were in the same age range as Vicki and Tamra.
“The last thing we want to do is isolate long time fans of the show or make them feel like there’s nothing in the show for them,” he admitted. “I think overwhelmingly, the response that I’ve gotten is ‘Oh, I get it.’”
I totally get why Tamra and Vicki were let go. I think that Bravo/Andy needs to start bringing younger, well-established women into the franchise if they hope to keep the show going for another 14 years. Bravo needs to start attracting new fans to the franchise and adding younger Housewives could do that.
While I loved watching Vicki and Tamra on RHOC, I can’t say I connected or related to either of them most of the time. I personally would love to see some successful 30-something women brought into the mix.
The Real Housewives of Orange County are expected to return to Bravo for season 15 in mid-to-late 2020.