Season 14 of Real Housewives of Orange County is officially underway and former full-timer Vicki Gunvalson is now just a friend of the show. Rumors have swirled for months about why Bravo demoted the OG of the OC, but will fans ever find out the real reason behind the cast change?
Along with her demotion, there are reports that claim Gunvalson received a massive pay cut – from $60,000 an episode to $20,000 an episode – and executive producer Andy Cohen says that the decision was nothing personal. Gunvalson didn’t do anything wrong, says Cohen, they just needed to shake things up.
— People (@people) August 8, 2019
“The truth is we’re always looking to freshen up every show. [Vicki has] been on the show for 14 years. That is an unprecedented run on a scripted show, on a reality show, anything,” Cohen told Us Weekly. “It’s just about keeping everything fresh.”
Gunvalson has told her fans that she “didn’t know” why Bravo demoted her, but even though her role has changed, she is still a major part of RHOC this season. Shannon Beador says that Gunvalson is still an “integral part” of this season’s drama, and there is no reason to feel sorry for her because not many people can accomplish what Gunvalson has on television.
Beador also says that the Tres Amigas (Beador, Gunvalson, and Tamra Judge) are alive and well during Season 14, and she filmed with Gunvalson a lot. She added that she still sees Gunvalson as a full-time housewife.
When the news of Gunvalson’s demotion broke, she told fans that she has opened up her life, loves, and ups and downs for 14 years, and she will be right back in the middle of the action this season. She added that she hopes fans will have as much fun watching new episodes as she had living her life in front of the cameras.
— Christian (@ChristianGSnow) August 6, 2019
Gunvalson’s engagement to Steve Lodge will be a big part of her storyline, as well as her ongoing feud with Kelly Dodd that escalated during the Season 13 reunion. Earlier this year, Dodd claimed she would quit the series if Gunvalson was still part of it going forward. But, Dodd didn’t follow through with her threat; and instead, she and Gunvalson go at it again during Season 14.
New episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County air Tuesday nights on Bravo.