Kristin Cavallari On ‘The Hills’: Why She Left The Show & More – Hollywood Life

Kristin Cavallari’s Exit From ‘The Hills’: Why She Didn’t Return Full-Time For ‘New Beginnings’

June 23 will mark Kristin Cavallari's big return to 'The Hills' for the first time since 2010. Ahead of the cameo, here's everything to know about why she decided not to be a regular part of the show's revival.

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When The Hills: New Beginnings premiered in 2019, it featured many cast members from the show’s original run. Audrina Patridge, Brody Jenner, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt and more were all back for the revival, along with some fresh, new faces. However, two very important former stars were missing: Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari. Lauren actually ended her run on The Hills in 2009, after five and a half seasons as the lead. She was replaced by Kristin until the series ended in 2010, but Kristin also opted to be done with the show when it returned nearly 10 years later.

However, the reality series clearly still has a special place in Kristin’s heart, because she’s making a guest appearance on the June 23 episode of The Hills: New Beginnings! During the episode, Kristin is fresh on the heels of her divorce from Jay Cutler, and back in Los Angeles from Nashville to do some work for her jewelry line, Uncommon James. While she’s in town, she reunites with the rest of the cast for some fun. The Hills: New Beginnings airs Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. on MTV.

Kristin’s History On ‘The Hills’

Kristin Cavallari
Kristin Cavallari during her early reality television days. (Shutterstock)

Kristin got her start in reality television on the first season of Laguna Beach, which premiered in 2005 on MTV. At the time, she was just a junior in high school, and in an on/off relationship with a senior, Stephen Colletti. Kristin and Stephen were involved in a love triangle with the show’s leading lady, Lauren Conrad. During Laguna Beach, Kristin was portrayed as the ‘villain,’ with a no-nonsense and confrontational attitude. When the show returned for a second season, Kristin became the lead due to Lauren graduating high school. The ups and downs of her senior year were documented for viewers to follow.

After high school, Kristin took a break from reality television, but moved to Los Angeles and began pursuing an acting career. Meanwhile, The Hills began production, with Lauren at the helm. The show followed Lauren’s move to L.A., where she was attending school for fashion and interning for Teen VogueThe Hills premiered in 2006, and Lauren kept her role as narrator for five and a half seasons. She eventually decided to put reality television in her past and leave The Hills in 2009.

Luckily, Kristin was ready and willing to return to MTV at that point. For seasons 5B and 6, Kristin returned to replace Lauren as The Hills’ lead. Due to her previous connection to MTV through Laguna Beach, plus her former relationship with The Hills star, Brody Jenner, she was the perfect fit. Of course, Kristin wasted no time stirring up drama on the show.

However, she later admitted that she was definitely turning things up for the cameras and playing the role that she knew was expected of her at that point. “I knew sort of this character that they wanted me to play,” Kristin told Buzzfeed in 2016. “When I decided to come on-board, I made a decision and I was like, ‘Okay, this is my job and I’m going to separate my Hills life from my real life.'”

She also added, “MTV actually asked me if I was okay with them saying ‘the b***h is back’ [as a tagline]. And I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it. I’m coming back. Let’s make it big.’ I looked at it as a job and I was having fun, so I was game for it.” The Hills concluded in 2016, leaving Kristin with the opportunity to begin her life away from the cameras as a young adult. She was 23 at the time.

What Did Kristin Do After ‘The Hills’?

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Kristin Cavallari with her ex-husband, Jay Cutler. (Shutterstock)

Kristin has come an extremely long way since her years on Laguna Beach and The Hills. After wrapping up filming, she appeared on season 13 of Dancing With the Stars in 2011. Unfortunately, her run on the show did not last very long, as she was the third person eliminated. However, the show allowed Kristin the opportunity to show the world that, in real life, she wasn’t the “villain” that she was made out to be on Laguna Beach and The Hills. Over the years, Kristin had a few small television roles, and began a hosting career with E! She also released a book called Balancing in Heels in 2016, started her own jewelry line, Uncommon James, in 2017, and launched a kids’ clothing line, Little James, in 2018.

Of course, Kristin also had a lot going on in her personal life during the post-Hills years. In 2009, Jay Cutler, who played football for the Chicago Bears, tried to get set up with Kristin through her publicist, but she turned him down. However, she went to a Bears game in 2010, and finally got to meet him in person. From there, the romance flourished extremely quickly, and things moved fast between the pair. After less than a year together, they got engaged in April 2011.

However, that July, Kristin called off the engagement. “A few things needed to change, and I knew the only way Jay would see how serious I was, was if I ended the relationship,” Kristin admitted in her book. She explained that Jay wanted to be the sole breadwinner in their family with a stay-at-home wife, which was not something she would be able to do. “If I stayed at home, I wouldn’t be happy, and would probably end up resenting Jay for it,” Kristin added.

By the fall of 2011, Kristin and Jay got back together and the engagement was back on. At the beginning of 2012, they confirmed that they were expecting their first child, and their son, Camden, was born in Aug. 2012. Jay and Kristin finally got married in June 2013, then had two more kids — a second son, Jaxon, in May 2014, and a daughter, Saylor, in 2015.

Throughout these years, Kristin was approached multiple times about starring on a new reality show with her family. “I’m always saying no because I want my kids to be kids,” Kristin told Buzzfeed in 2016. “I want them to live as normal of a life as possible and not have to worry about all that comes along with being on reality TV.”

However, in 2018, the perfect opportunity for a new show arose. Kristin began filming a new show called Very Cavallari for E! The show followed her as she opened the first flagship store for Uncommon James in Nashville. Viewers also got to see a glimpse inside Kristin and Jay’s relationship, BUT the two were adamant that their children did not appear on the show at all. Very Cavallari ran for three seasons, but came to an end in 2020.

The show’s ending came after Kristin and Jay confirmed that they would be separating after seven years of marriage. “As I start this new chapter in my life, I have decided not to continue with Very Cavallari,” Kristin confirmed in May 2020. “I’ve absolutely loved my time filming and am so grateful to E! Entertainment for making this journey possible. To the fans: I can’t thank you enough for all your support and for keeping up with me all of these years. I love you guys.”

Why Didn’t Kristin Return For ‘The Hills: New Beginnings’?

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Kristin Cavallari and Audrina Patridge filming ‘The Hills’ in 2010. (Shutterstock)

When The Hills: New Beginnings was announced in 2019, Kristin was super busy with Uncommon James and filming Very Cavallari. At the time, she explained to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY why she opted not to be part of the MTV revival. “I don’t think I could’ve gone back to that whole lifestyle,” Kristin said. “As a mom and as a wife. If it was just me and I just had myself to look after [maybe], but mentally and emotionally, I could not have gone back to that same place. There’s no way.”

Still, Kristin had no bad feelings about the show coming back, and wished her former co-stars the best of luck. “I’m kind of glad to just be a viewer in that sense,” she admitted. “I’m going to be able to watch it and enjoy it as a viewer and not emotionally live through it, which is the best of both worlds!”

Despite not coming back to New Beginnings, Kristin was still close with several of the cast members. In 2019, Audrina revealed that she talked to Kristin “all the time”, but explained that the blonde beauty couldn’t return for The Hills because she was “locked into her other show.” People also reported that Very Cavallari was part of the reason that Kristin couldn’t be on New Beginnings when it first returned. “She can’t do the show because she has a contract with E!” the mag’s source explained. “But she’s still close with Heidi and Spencer and she’s excited for them.”

Will Kristin Return To ‘The Hills’?

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Kristin Cavallari at the 2020 American Music Awards. (Shutterstock)

Before New Beginnings first premiered, Kristin admitted that she would “love” to make a cameo on the show. Although that didn’t happen in the first season of the revival, she confirmed in March 2020 that she WOULD be showing up in season two. “I’m excited!” she told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “I’m actually very excited. I think it’s going to be fun to go back and see the old gang, and yeah, I’m looking forward to it!”

Just days after that interview, the coronavirus hit the United States hard, and production on season two of The Hills: New Beginnings was delayed several months. However, Kristin was finally able to film her cameo when she made a trip to California in Feb. 2021. Photos surfaced of her and Brody filming scenes for the show, which viewers went absolutely wild over. “It was like no time had passed,” Kristin told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in April. “I loved seeing everybody and filming. I did one episode and I’m so happy that I was able to go back and have a good time. You’ll have to wait and see what kind of trouble I stirred up when it comes out!”

Even though Kristin had a great time filming The Hills, though, don’t expect her to be back on the show permanently any time soon. “A lot of stress came from that show,” she told Us Weekly. “I mean, a lot of great came from it, too, and I really had the time of my life, but I’m more of a homebody. I don’t like being written about. I don’t like when people think they know me or [think they] know what they’re talking about. That stuff gives me stress. So, no I’m more than happy to have my life be private!”

Rather than reality television, Kristin is focusing on her kids and her work these days. Of course, there’s also been some dating in the mix, which she’s admitted has been “fun.” Kristin and Jay also have an amicable relationship as co-parents now, too.