‘RHOC’: Why Did Tamra Judge, Vicki Gunvalson Get Fired? Jeff Lewis Has a Theory

Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson were let go from The Real Housewives of Orange County and won’t be appearing in season 15, for now. Judge had a hard time initially accepting she would no longer star on the Bravo reality series. She initially blocked her former co-stars and Andy Cohen from social media but later walked back and started following them again. When Judge sat down for an interview with Jeff Lewis, the host had an interesting theory on why she was released from the series.

Vicki Gunvalson, Jeff Lewis and Tamra Judge
Vicki Gunvalson, Jeff Lewis and Tamra Judge | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images / Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The fitness guru said that after she was fired from RHOC, she has been approached to do another reality show. When she ran the offer by her former boss, Cohen, he told her to hold off on signing anything.

“It was a job to me and when this job ended, I never thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to get another show,’ because I don’t have agents,” Judge said on the SiriusXM show. “Well, I’ve been approached. Andy told me to hold off on signing any kind of contract, run it past him first cause he says that I’ll be back next year.”

Taking a step back for a season after continuously having her contract renewed, gives way for a renegotiation of Judge’s contract. This is why Lewis thinks she was let go, not because she was not doing well, but so they could cut her salary.

“It’ll be half of what you make today,” Lewis told Judge about the money that they would offer her to return to RHOC. “I think it’s all about money [and] that advertisers are not paying what they used to. I don’t think it’s as profitable as it was and I think they have to go through and they have to cost-cut.”

Is Tamra Judge returning to ‘RHOC’?

There are new rumors that Judge would not only return to RHOC for season 16, but she might do so this same year. New reports suggest producers are less than thrilled with the footage they’ve gotten so far for season 15. They would be looking to sign Judge back up as a guest star throughout the season to spice things up.

“Tamra is working out a deal that would bring her back for more than three episodes for between $20-25,000 each,” a source told Radar Online. “She didn’t like just being on three episodes. She was being phased out and she knew it and wanted to control the narrative.”

According to the source, Judge has been in communication with Cohen trying to figure things out.

“Tamra and Andy have been in communication non-stop since she announced she wasn’t coming back,” the source added. “He has been lobbying for her to come back.”

Season 15 of RHOC would consist of Shannon Beador, Kelly Dodd, Emily Simpson, Gina Kirschenheiter, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, and an unconfirmed addition.

Production for the new season of the Orange County-based franchise is already underway and fans can expect it to premiere later this year on Bravo.