Why RHOC OG Vicki Gunvalson Is A "Friend" & Not A Housewife This Season

Photo: Tommy Garcia/Bravo.
There are a few things in life that most of us take for granted. Oxygen. The Earth circling the sun. The perfection of a McDonald’s French fry. Vicki Gunvalson as the OG housewife of the OC. Yes, as many of you Real Housewives Of Orange County fans may have heard, the Housewife-most-likely-to-go-to-Andales is no longer a Housewife but — gasp — simply a “friend of” coming into the new season. But why isn’t Vicki on Real Housewives Of Orange County in a regular capacity? Her demotion on the show was shocking to everyone — especially her.
Vicki has been around Real Housewives Of Orange County since season 1, and she’s perhaps the show’s biggest mainstay. There have been problems — a divorce, her boyfriend allegedly lying about having cancer, fights with her son-in-law, spreading rumors, fighting with all the other women — but ultimately, Vicki has been there. She was the chain restaurant of Housewives, the kind you see on a road trip when you’re really hungry and think, “it’s not exactly what I wanted, but at least I know exactly what I’m getting.” She was a big-time drama maker, which is why it was so shocking when Bravo revealed the cast for Real Housewives Of Orange County season 14 and… Vicki wasn’t on it.
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According to Radar Online, Vicki took a huge pay cut when she got demoted to “Friend,” which is a bummer for the insurance entrepreneur. And it wasn’t necessarily personal, Bravo exec Andy Cohen told Us Weekly — it was just about trying to make things feel new again.
“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,” he said. “It’s just about keeping everything fresh.” That’s fair, but it seems like that information wasn’t shared with Vicki at first, because, per OK!, Vicki told a fan on Instagram that she “didn’t know” why it was her that fell on the chopping block and not some of the other Housewives.
That said, Vicki was gracious about the whole thing, releasing a statement on her Instagram telling fans the fun wouldn’t stop now.
“For the past 14 years I’ve opened up my life, my loves, my ups and downs on The Real Housewives of Orange County and I am proud to be the ‘OG of the OC,’” she wrote. “I am back again this season right in the middle of the action in a different role. I hope you have as much fun watching the show as I did living it in front of the cameras.”
And if Vicki fans are still sad that she might not be in as many scenes as before, don’t fret — Shannon Beador recently told TooFab that Vicki is “an integral part" of RHOC even if she’s not in the main credits. “There's not many people that can say — there certainly aren't many, if any, actors that can say — that they were on a successful television show for 14 years, but yet, she can. She's done something that most haven't,” Shannon said.
So don’t cry for Vicki, Real Housewives Of Orange County fans — she’s still on the show, she’s planning a big wedding to fiance Steve Lodge, and she’s figuring out what’s next, whether she’s holding that orange or not.
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