‘RHOC’: How Andy Cohen Decides Who Will Get Fired

No one is safe in the Real Housewives franchise. Whether you have been on the show for 10 seasons or two, if you don’t bring anything to the show or the viewers aren’t feeling you anymore, you could get cut. Recently, Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson of The Real Housewives of Orange County found that out the hard way. Now, all of the housewives are fearing for their jobs. But how do the producers of the show actually decide who to let go?

Kelly Dodd, Tamra Judge
Kelly Dodd, Tamra Judge | Trae Patton/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge exit ‘RHOC’

Some might say that Gunvalson’s exit from RHOC has been a long time coming. First, she was demoted from being a full-time cast member to a “friend of the cast.” And then, she wasn’t asked to come back at all. So, after 14 years, Gunvalson parted ways with the franchise.

“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 to thank all of you for your support, for your love and for ‘whooping it up’ with me along the way,” she said in an Instagram post. “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

Judge, on the other hand, was a little more shocked to be let go. When she found out that she wasn’t returning to the show, she unfollowed everyone associated with RHOC.

“I actually [unfollowed everyone] when I got the news,” Judge told Andy Cohen in an Instagram Live. “So I got the news when I was camping. I had no (cell phone) reception.”

“I knew it was going to be a sh*tstorm,” she continued. “I didn’t want to read about it, I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to be hurt any more than I already was. So I just unfollowed everybody. It was just like my instinct. Out of sight, out of mind. I don’t have to see it. Now I’m good. I’ve accepted it.”

How does Andy Cohen decide who gets fired?

Every season, production has to decide who to bring back on the show and who to let go.

“It’s a long conversation that goes on through the season and even during production,” producer Andy Cohen said on The Jenny McCarthy Show.

But it isn’t just the producers’ opinions that decide the fate of the women. They also conduct focus groups to see who is resonating with audiences.

“We do focus groups every season of Housewives, we do massive research look,” he continued. “And we look at that and usually, thankfully, because we’ve been doing this for so long, what we find is not a surprise to us. So that always makes us feel pretty good. Like oh good, this is reinforcement of what we were always feeling as producers.”

“Sometimes we get a surprise where there are people who are maybe even more popular than we realized,” he said.