In its six-year run on Bravo, we’ve seen just about everything go down on Vanderpump Rules, from secret workplace trysts to cheating scandals to short stints in a Hawaiian jail cell. However, the upcoming 8th season of Rihanna’s favorite reality series hints at something that fans of the show never saw coming: the lasting relationship between Stassi Schroeder, Katie Maloney, and Kristen Doute reaching its final days.
We met the self-proclaimed Witches of West Hollywood in season 1 of Vanderpump Rules. The trio, along with the curious array of characters at Lisa Vanderpump’s SUR, was made for reality television. Stassi is the bossy and emotionally unstable leader of the pack. Kristen is the brash friend with a temper as short as her signature bob. And Katie is the calm one — until a sip of tequila does her in. Together, they were the queen bees of Vanderpump Rules.
As the years passed, and new faces were introduced to the SUR family and the show, the Witches of WeHo remained a solid unit...for the most part. There were some fissures here and there — we’ll never forget Stassi putting hands on Kristen for cheating with Jax Taylor or Katie literally exiling Stassi from her life for years — but the girls always bounced back, no matter how catty and mean they were to each other.
However, previews of the upcoming season suggest that their bond is about to break. While we’re surprised that we’ve reached the end of the road, it’s not exactly coming out of nowhere. Last season, Stassi and Katie teamed up on a special mission to get Kristen out of her tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship with Brian Carter. Despite not being the poster children for healthy relationships themselves (yes, Stassi is now engaged to a real-life scruffy Prince Charming, but did people block Tom Schwartz’s unconscionable cheating binges from their memory?), Stassi and Katie put immense pressure on Kristen to cut ties with Carter. The tense three-part reunion didn't help matters much; a dark cloud of resentment and disappointment hovered over their friendship even after the season ended.
In real life, fans of the show noticed that Kristen wasn't hanging out with her Vanderpump Rules BFFs as much as she used to. Whether Stassi and Katie were icing her out or Kristen herself had taken a step back from their relationship, it was clear that something had changed.
At Bravo's inaugural fan festival BravoCon, the new dynamic between the women was impossible to hide, and the girls came clean about their split. "I just think we're changing. We're growing in different directions at certain points," Kristen admitted in brief interview with ET during BravoCon. "I don’t think we'll never be, have any sort of relationship again, personally."
Katie and Stassi, who did their joint interview with the outlet separately from Kristen, were less certain of the demise of their friendship. "It's sad," said Stassi. "We're both sad about it and we talk about it all the time. And we're like, 'I wish it wasn't like this, but what can you do right now?' But obviously, we hope this doesn't last forever." Judging from this season's trailer, it just might.
The season 8 premiere of Vanderpump Rules will air on January 7, 2020.