“The Real Housewives of Orange County” viewers were greeted on Monday night during the reality-TV series Season 9 premiere with the departure of two longtime cast members, fashion designer Alexis Bellino and singer Gretchen Rossi. While some fans of the Bravo program may have been sad about the O.C. natives’ absence, "RHOC" current stars couldn’t hide their happiness over the two women's departure during an interview.
Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson admitted on Monday's “Today Show” that they don’t miss certain co-stars on the drama-filled series. “We ran them out of the O.C.,” Judge said on the morning talk show, when prompted to discuss the two women's departure. Rossi was on "RHOC" for five seasons, and Bellino was on four continuous seasons of the program.
When asked if the women miss Bellino and Rossi, Gunvalson, the longest housewife personality, said that she was only sad to see one of the series' regulars go. “I miss Alexis, I do," Gunvalson said. "Her and I are good friends.”
“What about Gretchen?” "Today" show hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb asked. Judge replied, “Who? I’m sorry, who? You know, when you’re gone, you’re gone.”
Following Judge's public dig, Rossi, who will appear later this year in an episode of WETV’s reality-TV series, “Marriage Boot Camp," shared an inspirational message on Twitter. “When you dance to your own rhythm, people may not understand you; they may even hate you. But mostly, they’ll wish they had the courage to do the same,” Rossi tweeted on Tuesday.
So is Judge responsible for getting her former co-stars booted?
After hearing Judge's remarks, it's easy to assume she may have had a hand in the ouster of Rossi, and possibly, even Bellino. But according to several reports, Bravo executives simply decided to shake up the cast to introduce a new dynamic to the show.
"Producers are currently meeting with new women,” an insider told E! News, following the Season 8 finale of "RHOC," in August.
"Neither will be returning for Season 9," the source told E! last year. "The feeling is both of their journeys on the show have come to an end."
In addition to the two former leading women, “RHOC” star Lydia McLaughlin left the series after just one season, Season 8. Despite the latest departures, the series did welcome two new faces on Monday night, former beauty queen and Kentucky native, Lizzie Rovsek, and holistic housewife and the mother of three, Shannon Beador.
“The new housewives come in strong to shake up the status quo with their fresh attitude and bold opinions,” Bravo said on its website.
“The Real Housewives of Orange County” airs at 9 p.m. EDT Mondays on Bravo.