In a major cast shakeup, The Real Housewives of Orange County will lose not one but two of its longest-lasting stars next season. Both Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge have each announced that they will not return to the hit Bravo series.
Gunvalson, who is nicknamed "The OG of the OC" since she was the lone Season 1 star to make it this long, announced her departure in a lengthy Instagram post Friday, writing that while she's still proud to hold that show moniker, "it's time to say goodbye to The Real Housewives of Orange County. It's been an incredible ride for 14 years and I want thank all of you for your support, for your love and for 'whooping it up' with me along the way."
Her exit, though major, is perhaps not unforeseen since she'd been demoted to "Friend" of the Housewives in Season 14 and did not appreciate that phrasing being used. In a 2019 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Gunvalson revealed that she didn't like being called a "Friend" of the show and vowed to "never come back part time. I'm either all in or all out. I'm not a part time girl."
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I will always be the OG of the OC, but it's time to say goodbye to The Real Housewives of Orange County. It's been an incredible ride for 14 years and I want thank all of you for your support, for your love and for "whooping it up" with me along the way. I've been working on new projects that will be exciting, empowering and inspirational. My podcast with Westwood One will be launching soon and I will have much more to say about this on "Whoop it up with Vicki" . I hope you will join me with my new journey so please stay tuned. I love all my fans, and I want to thank Bravo and Evolution for this incredible experience which my family and I have will never forget. #bravo #rhoc #whoopitipwithvicki @westwoodone @bravo @whoopitupwithvicki
Executive producer and Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen reacted to Gunvalson's departure with an Instagram tribute, writing, "Vicki is an original, who remained her authentic self from her Family Van-freakout through her last reunion. It's so hard to remain exactly who you are after being on television for so long, but Vicki is one of a kind."
Soon after Gunvalson revealed her exit, Judge, who'd joined the show in Season 3 and earned her own 2013 spin-off about her wedding, Tamra's OC Wedding, signed off with a social media post as well. "It's been a wild 12 years. But it's time for me to move on," Judge wrote on Saturday alongside a picture of herself with husband Eddie Judge. "I'm sad to go but I'm very excited about my future. Love you guys."
Gunvalson responded to Judge's news with a comment that read, "We have shared so many great and not so great times together and it has been the ride of our lives. Thelma and Louise .... now where do you want to go?!"
Judge further revealed to People that her decision to leave the show was also based on role reduction. "I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms," she said. A source told the site that Judge had been asked to return for three episodes in Season 15.
TV Guide has reached out for comment from Bravo.