‘RHOC’ Cast Says Season 17 Is ‘Genuine’ But ‘Messy’: There’s ‘A Lot Of History’ (Exclusive)

'The Real Housewives of Orange County' cast gave EXCLUSIVE scoop on what we can expect next season, from Tamra Judge's 'surprise' return, to the new Housewife with a 'strong' personality.

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The Real Housewives of Orange County cast spoke to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY at BravoCon 2022 and promised that season 17 is going to be well worth the wait. “It’s the first year that I really feel confident that the viewers are going to respond positively,” Gina Kirschenheiter teased in her joint interview with co-star/BFF Emily Simpson. “There’s a lot of history. And everybody is really friends,” Gina added, as Emily interjected to say, “History is messy!”

Gina gave us more scoop about the new season including the new Housewife that hasn’t been revealed yet by Bravo. “The new cast member is really strong. We know her naturally so there’s a lot of overlap with friends,” Gina said. “It’s genuine. That helps. We aren’t forcing friendships — they’re really there.”

Emily Simpson
Emily Simpson (Photo: Bravo)

Heather Dubrow hyped up this season and the “trajectory” of the franchise, after season 16 saw Dr. Jennifer Armstrong and Noella Bergener come and go. “We have some really good new cast members, and authentic relationships that I think will really resonate.”

Heather and her husband, Dr. Terry Dubrow, also dismissed the “silly” cheating rumors about the longtime couple. “We’re not unaffected by things. We have children,” Heather said. “They read things. Their friends read things. I think people should be careful how they talk about other people.”

Shannon Beador and Heather Dubrow (Photo: Bravo)

Tamra Judge got her orange back two years after being fired and she’s back with a vengeance. “I think just having two years off and coming back and giving, you know, no cares about it has been confusing, fun,” Tamra told us EXCLUSIVELY about her RHOC return. “I feel like you’re gonna see a lot of old school Tamra on the show this year.”

But how did Tamra’s ex-BFF, Shannon Storms Beador, feel about her return to the show?

“That was quite a surprise to me because we were best friends for six years and then had a falling out for that two and a half and I never thought that I would have an opportunity basically to be forced to interact with her,” Shannon explained to HL. “So it’s been really, really good.” When we asked Shannon if she’s reconciled with Tamra during filming, she said there’s “hope” for the two to become friends again, “but it’s really rocky road.”

Tamra Judge
Tamra Judge (Photo: Bravo)

Taylor Armstrong, an original cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is also part of the RHOC season 17 cast. “Going onto a cast that has history has been interesting,” Taylor told us about being the first ‘Real Housewife’ to switch franchises.

“I’m kind of catching up on the news,” she added. “Because they have years of stuff that they’re still kind of hashing out, and so I’m just trying to figure out like, who’s in the right, who’s in the wrong, and everybody has their own side. So I think that’s been the interesting thing about switching. So you’re gonna see some history with these ladies coming out this season.”

Bravo has not announced a premiere date for The Real Housewives of Orange County season 17.