While Vicki Gunvalson’s demotion may have shocked fans, she isn’t the first Real Housewife to get reduced screen time.
Several stars of the popular Bravo franchise have been forced to take the backseat after joining the cast. (Fun Fact: Brandi Glanville is the only Housewife to go from “friend” to “full-time” without being part of an original cast.)
Vicki, for her part, was named a “friend of Housewife” after starring on The Real Housewives of Orange County for 13 seasons. Us Weekly broke the news in July 2019.
The shocker came after months of speculation about the O.G. of the O.C.’s role. In February 2019, Vicki denied reports after it was revealed that she had yet to officially sign on for season 14.
“Unless you hear it from me, then it’s simply a rumor,” she tweeted at the time. “I am in negotiations.”
Months later, an insider told Us that Vicki was not included in the official cast photo.
“The RHOC cast shot their official photos for the next season. Vicki was not included in the group cast photos and they shot multiple options,” the insider told Us in May 2019.
Days before news of Vicki’s demotion broke, Andy Cohen opened up about the details behind casting the popular reality shows.
“If they become a turn-off to viewers, for whatever reason — they appear too fake, they’re not interesting, they’re not entertaining — [then they’re no longer a fit],” Cohen told Paper magazine in June 2019. “When people cross the line and it becomes unreal, that’s when they are out.”
When asked what the network looks for in a Housewife, Cohen said “someone who’s funny and unique and interesting to watch.”
“There’s a fine line between people who are desperate to be on reality television, and people who you want to watch on reality television,” the Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen host explained. “The Venn diagram of desperation and watchable, it’s a very slim thing in the middle where it overlaps, and you’re like, ‘That’s the bullseye, that’s NeNe Leakes, that’s Vicki , that’s Bethenny [Frankel].’”
Scroll through to revisit which Housewives have been demoted over the years:
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