She’s back, baby! Former “Real Housewives of Orange County” star and fan favorite Heather Dubrow is returning to the Bravo franchise. The RHOC season 16 cast will include Heather Dubrow, Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson, People confirmed on Tuesday, June 15.
Dubrow first began her time as a Housewife on season 7 in 2012. She instantly became a fan favorite alongside her outspoken yet lovable husband Terry Dubrow. After five seasons, she decided to temporarily leave RHOC in 2017.
In addition to those four confirmed cast members, People also stated that Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn-Vargas would not be returning.
Dubrow spoke out about her decision to return on her podcast “Heather Dubrow’s World,” which aired Wednesday, June 16. She explained that she initially laughed off the first time Bravo producers asked her to return. “Well, what was funny was — so, production called me, like, I don’t know, December or something like that, and I laughed,” she told Andy Cohen. “My first reaction was like, I kind of laughed. And then I thought about it.”
The mom of four also shared that she and her family had a serious family meeting to discuss rejoining the show. “I was negative,” she confessed. “I was like, ‘Guys, you’re on social media now. You do this. You do that. People will comment,’ and they were cool.”
RHOC fans remember as Dubrow struggled with her final season when the addition of Kelly Dodd came along. The two clashed for a majority of the season, and she then decided to leave the franchise on her own accord. While the two didn’t get along, Dubrow hinted that she wouldn’t be opposed to returning to the franchise, saying, she would, “never say never” to appearing on the show again.
“Honestly, I would never say never, you just don’t know what life is gonna throw your way,” she said during an episode of the “Behind The Velvet Rope with David Yontef” podcast. “Or how circumstances change or what you feel like doing. I don’t even know what that set of circumstances would look like.”
Rumors Circulated That Dubrow Would Return
As many RHOC fans know, it’s not a total shocker that the cast has undergone a major shakeup. After the latest season, many viewers became disappointed in the franchise and too many newbies. RHOC has gone through major cast changes, including long-time cast members Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson leaving the franchise ahead of season 15.
Shortly before this new cast was announced, many fans theorized that besties Judge and Dubrow would be returning. “So apparently Heather and Tamra will be returning to RHOC,” one fan tweeted on June 6. A fan replied back asking for their sources, and the account responded, “Very close to RHOC.” Dozens of Bravo fan accounts have also shared the rumor that Judge and Dubrow will be returning.
Executive producer Andy Cohen teased in March 2021 that Bravo has been taking its time to seriously improve RHOC. Cohen tweeted on March 10, “Killing time before a show. Any Q’s?” A fan replied to the tweet asking, “Any news on an OC shake up?” Cohen then responded, “Taking our time.”
Fans Seem Thrilled to See Dubrow Return
It’s no surprise that Dubrow became a fan favorite over her years on RHOC, and it seems like that hasn’t changed. Fans have flooded Twitter with their excitement, with one viewer tweeting, “Yesssss I’m so excited for heather to return & she doesn’t have that added pressure of trying to get old kelly dodd out!! She goneeee!!!”
Another tweeted, “Heather Dubrow you coming back to #RHOC truly brings me to tears. This show really thrives the most with you on it. Love you.” A fan shared that sentiment writing, “PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED.
Heather Dubrow is coming back to #RHOC. I AM SO EXCITED. Luckily Heather looks super fit…because she has the weight of the show on her shoulders.” Another added, “Heather Dubrow coming back to RHOC is one of the best Bravo/Housewives decisions in years.”