Was Kelly Dodd fired to bring back Heather Dubrow? 'RHOC' fans love cast shakeup
For 'Real Housewives' fans the OG franchise 'Real Housewives of Orange County' will always remain close to their heart, considering the smashing success of 'RHOC' led to Bravo creating eight other 'Real Housewives' franchises. Although the Orange County housewives continued to entertain fans with their lavish lifestyle and over-the-top catfights, fans have off late been unhappy with certain cast members of the show- especially Kelly Dodd and Braunwyn Windham Burke.
Kelly's controversial statements off-camera have led to several fans boycotting the show, while Braunwyn's plotline had fans wondering if she was faking everything to stay relevant on the show. From admitting to being an alcoholic to coming out as lesbian, Braunwyn's stint on Season 15 of 'RHOC' didn't go down too well with fans as they demanded the housewife be fired. It looks like the folks at Bravo heard the fans' requests as an announcement of a major cast shakeup was made late on Tuesday (June 15th) night. Kelly, Braunwyn and new cast member Elizabeth Lyn Vargas' contracts were reportedly not renewed for Season 16 of 'RHOC', while former housewife Heather Dubrow will be making her big comeback on the show.
Kelly joined 'RHOC' during Season 11, which also happened to be Heather's last season on the show. The two ladies clashed almost immediately, with Heather declaring that she would never film with Kelly and soon quit the show. Braunwyn made her debut on Season 14 and Elizabeth joined the cast on the most recently aired Season 15. A spokesperson for Bravo reportedly confirmed the reports of the housewives' departures to Variety.
As soon as fans heard the news, they were beyond excited to learn about Kelly's exit and Heather's return. Soon many began wondering why Kelly, Braunwyn, and Elizabeth may have received the boot from Bravo. Since no official statement about the reason behind their exit has been made by the network nor the housewives, fans began conjuring up their own theories.
Several fans believed that Kelly may have been fired to make way for Heather's return to the iconic reality show. A fan tweeted, "Wow heather really did it, she said she wouldn’t come back to #rhoc if Kelly was still a cast member and they fired her and she secured a spot." Another fan wrote, "I have to give it to Heather dubrow! That lady knows her worth! She maintained her stance that she’d only return if Kelly is fired! And that’s exactly what happened! I have to Stan #RHOC."
"Not at all surprised that Heather returns as Kelly exits. Kelly brought the show down to a level of low base bullsh*t that Heather couldn’t be associated with. Now that she’s gone, the Queen can return to the throne @HeatherDubrow @RHOC_KellyDodd #RHOC," echoed a fan.
Wow heather really did it, she said she wouldn’t come back to #rhoc if Kelly was still a cast member and they fired her and she secured a spot 👏— kasey (@shelley_kasey) June 16, 2021
I have to give it to Heather dubrow! That lady knows her worth! She maintained her stance that she’d only return if Kelly is fired! And that’s exactly what happened! I have to Stan #RHOC— Legally Fit (@legallyfitt) June 16, 2021
Not at all surprised that Heather returns as Kelly exits. Kelly brought the show down to a level of low base bullshit that Heather couldn’t be associated with. Now that she’s gone, the Queen can return to the throne 👑 @HeatherDubrow @RHOC_KellyDodd #RHOC pic.twitter.com/NIPmnzLOdY— All Things Bravo (@BravoThings) June 16, 2021
While fans are beyond happy with the major shakeup of 'RHOC' Season 16 cast, Braunwyn, however, is 'incredibly sad' about it. In a statement to PEOPLE, Braunwyn said, "I'm incredibly sad to not be able to come back to The Real Housewives of Orange County next year. I loved every moment of being a Housewife, and am so proud of my time on the show - the good, the bad, and the in-between. It feels revolutionary to say, but I was able to get sober and stay sober on reality TV. That something for which I will forever be grateful. And I came out, becoming the first gay Housewife in the franchise's history. What an incredible honor to look back upon, especially during Pride Month."
The cast shakeup has been a long time coming as fans had been demanding Kelly's firing from the show for a long time. Even the show's executive producer Andy Cohen seemed to be tired of the housewife's controversial remarks and behavior. During the reunion of the show's Season 15, he revealed that he received several messages from various people saying that Kelly was behaving like a 'moron'. The housewife snapped back at Andy by calling him 'Anti-American' due to his political beliefs.
In an interview with Variety, Andy also hinted that Bravo was considering 'taking a pause' from 'RHOC'. He said, “There were times in the past where we would say, “You know what? Let’s let the women live their lives for a while, and see where they’re at. There’s a clear hope from the fans that there’s some kind of shakeup. And I think we’re analyzing everything. I think we just wanted to be really deliberate too. I mean, this is obviously the show that started everything for this franchise. And it’s really important, and it’s important that we keep getting it right.” It looks like we finally got the big cast shakeup that Bravo was looking at.
Now, we can;t wait to see how Season 16 of 'RHOC' pans out.
Old episodes of 'Real Housewives of Orange County' are available for streaming on Bravo and Peacock.