A familiar face is coming back to Real Housewives of Orange County — and she's "excited" to be there. No, it's not Slade Smiley. Us Weekly reports that Lydia McLaughlin is returning to the OG real housewives series after departing the franchise following its eighth season. Back in 2013, McLaughlin made a splash when she appeared alongside longtime Housewives Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, Heather Dubrow, Gretchen Rossi, and Alexis Bellino. Fans may remember her as being very religious and always playing the peacemaker (as well as having super-cute tête-à-têtes with her mom, Judy) while the other housewives butted heads over things like gym openings and handbag designs. "It's bittersweet. I compare it to breaking up with a boyfriend you know you're not going to end up with — it's hard, but overall you know you're doing the right thing," Laughlin told Us Weekly when she left the show.
Since her time on the show (McLaughlin only appeared for one season), she gave birth to her third child, son Roman, and renewed her vows with husband Doug. There's no telling what Laughlin will bring when the show returns for its 12th season, but knowing the ladies of Orange County, there'll be plenty of
jewel-toned shift dresses drama.
McLaughlin's return is the latest news from the Golden State. Last month, Bravo fans learned that Heather Dubrow would not be returning for the new season (she made her Housewives debut in season 7). "These past five years have been an incredible journey, and I'm so proud to have been a part of such an iconic piece of pop culture," Dubrow said in a statement.
Additionally, Meghan King Edmonds will not be making a return to the franchise after two seasons on the show. As for who's definitely back? Housewives stalwarts Gunvalson, who has been on the show since its debut season; and Judge, who joined the cast during season 3, are both on board. Season 11 cast members Shannon Beador and Kelly Dodd haven't confirmed their returns just yet.