The Real Housewives of Orange County is about to undergo some very real changes.
As you may have heard, two relative newbies are on their way out, as neither Jennifer Armstrong nor Noella Bergener will return to the franchise next year.
It doesn’t sound as though the women, each of whom joined the show for Season 16, were given much of a choice in the matter, either.
“I loved opening up about being a working mom on Real Housewives of Orange County,” wrote Armstrong on Instagram last month.
“I am so grateful to have had the privilege to talk about my father, my kids, and a real modern relationship on national television.
“My family and my work are the most important aspects of my life, so I am stepping away from RHOC and focusing on them.
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out in support — especially from the working moms. Women can really have it all if you work for it.”
At just about the same time Armstrong released the above statement, Bergener wrote:
“After a wild season of ups and downs, I will not be returning to The Real Housewives of Orange County.
“I am so grateful to Bravo, Andy Cohen, and Evolution Media for giving me this incredible platform to share my story.
“Thank you to all of the fans for all of the love and support during quite possibly the hardest year of my life. I am looking forward to brighter skies ahead, and can’t wait to share what’s next.”
So there we have our pair of dismissals.
As for who will be taking their place?
Tamra Judge confirmed recently that she’s on board for Season 17… and then, in a true shocker, we learned that Taylor Armstrong is also set to make history.
She’s about to become the first woman to ever switch Bravo franchises!
Armstrong was one of the original stars on the Beverly Hills-based version of this series when it premiered in 2010.
Where does this leave other familiar names and faces?
“Heather Dubrow, Shannon Beador, Emily Simpson, and Gina Kirschenheiter are all returning from season 16; however Gina has [rumored] to be demoted to a ‘friend’ for the upcoming season,” the Real Housewives Franchise on Instagram revealed this week.
“Tamra Judge is making her turn as a full-time housewife.
“Taylor Armstrong will be featured as a ‘friend of’ for season 17.”
The report went on to allege that former housewife Alexis Bellino is “in contract negotiations,” and may very well rejoin the show as a part-timer.
“Likely to be [one] (maybe [two]) new housewives, and Vicki Gunvalson may make guest appearances, as Tamra has stated that she will be inviting Vicki to events filmed throughout the season,” the message read.
Why is the program making so many changes?
Because Bravo is giving it one last chance to turn things around.
According to this same Instagram account, the cast has been told to “bring it” on Season 17.
The show could be split into two shows in some sort of legacy move… akin to what happened to The Real Housewives of New York City after its lackluster 13th season.
In a statement of her own, meanwhile, Armstrong confirmed she’ll be making appearances next season.
“I am excited to be back on Housewives as a friend of the ladies. Orange County has been my home for the last seven years.
“I recently bonded with Tamra on RHUGT, and have met Shannon and Heather. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the women and get going,” she said, via The Real Housewives Zone on Instagram.