Since it first hit the small screen back in 2006, The Real Housewives franchise has spawned six successful series (read: D.C. didn’t cut it) all across the nation. But Bravo’s spotlight on all that lavish living, girl fights and gossip started with one original: The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Now as the show dives into the drama of its eighth season, there is a single survivor who has been there since the beginning: Vicki Gunvalson.
“It feels great,” she told Celebuzz at the Bravo upfront event in New York City on Thursday. “If we weren’t successful season one and two, we wouldn’t be here.”
After many have come and gone from the O.C. mania, Gunvalson now stars alongside five other diamond-dripped Housewives: Tamra Barney, Gretchen Rossi, Alexis Bellino, Heather Dubrow and Lydia McLaughlin, the newest woman to hop aboard the Bravo bandwagon.
“I don’t know if I’m even looking forward to it after all these interviews,” McLaughlin admitted. “They’re all saying, ‘Be careful. You’re not going to be excited. It’s a lot of drama.’ So I guess I’m a little more nervous now.” The O.G.’s advice? “Just to have fun and to trust us,” Gunvalson said with a wink.
Though the new season has only just premiered, the women are already waging war, so to speak. Not only are Gunvalson and Barney still at odds, but Dubrow stuck it her nemesis Bellino by making her the sole persona non grata at her posh clambake, a snub Bellino isn’t taking lying down. “Well, I sold her to another country,” Bellino joked, as Dubrow was absent at the Upfront because she’s vacationing in Mexico with her children. “So she’s gone.”
But the season promises more than just bad blood between the women — wedding planning is underway for Barney, who is engaged to fiancé Eddie Judge. Though she stayed lips-sealed on what role, if any, her costars will play in her big day, there are four people who Barney promises will have a hand in the ceremony: her four children, eldest son Ryan Vieth, 24, from her first marriage, and her three younger kids, Sidney, Spencer and Sophia, from her second husband, Simon Barney.
And might wedding bells soon ring for another one of the O.C. women? Rumors have been swirling that Rossi is ready to say “I do” to beau Slade Smiley after she was spotted sporting blinding bling on her ring finger. But turns out, the sparkler is not a gift from Smiley.
“You know what? This is my ring from Jeff,” Rossi explained, referring to her late fiancé Jeff Beitzel. “I will always wear this. It’s a very sentimental piece to me. I’m never going to stop wearing it.” But Rossi didn’t deny that an engagement could be on her horizon. “There might be,” she teased. “So you have to watch to see what happens.”
For more from the biggest Bravo-lebrities — from The Vanderpump Rules cast to the confirmed returning stars of RHONY — watch the videos below.