‘RHOC’: This OG Cast Member Says She Has a Few Regrets From the Show

When The Real Housewives of Orange County debuted in 2006, the quirky new show featured a group of women from various backgrounds who were living “behind the gates” of the swanky Coto de Caza neighborhood.

The reality show followed the lives of five women, giving viewers a peek into how the cast lived and worked in the Southern California community. Cast members included the show’s mainstay, Vicki Gunvalson, but also Lauri Peterson, Jeana Keough, Kimberly Bryant, and the youngest cast member, Jo De La Rosa.

Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough, Lauri Waring, Jo De La Rosa, Kimberly Bryant
Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough, Lauri Waring, Jo De La Rosa, Kimberly Bryant | Chris McPherson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

While the other cast members were either married or divorced, De La Rosa had yet to marry. At age 26, De La Rosa was certainly the youngest cast member and was engaged to Slade Smiley. De La Rosa seemed to love Smiley but pushed against the pre-conceived notions Smiley had of a wife. He wanted De La Rosa to be home more often and she instead wanted more freedom. The couple broke up and De La Rosa moved on (and off the show), but looks back with a few regrets.

She doesn’t love her fashion choices

De La Rosa looked back in 2016 and shared with Bravo’s The Daily Dish, she wished she re-thought some of her fashion decisions. “Obviously, I did the first couple seasons, just kind of seeing what Real Housewives has become, for me, I feel blessed that I was a part of the entire experience,” she said.

But she cringes when she recalls a few of the outfit choices. “Watching it back now, I would have made some different choices in terms of French maid outfits, maybe some of my fashion choices of 2006 were questionable,” she continued.

“I feel like it’s changed so much, and when I can catch an episode, I feel like the difference between the original season and the seasons now, I just love the hair and the makeup and the wardrobe, just like how everything in terms of production value, it’s just awesome to see how big of a franchise [it’s become],” she added. “I feel honored. It was a really fun experience.”

De La Rosa also had to ‘grow up’ on camera

Most people looking back at their 26-year-old self would probably cringe at a few moments. De La Rosa had to re-live her breakup with Smiley on camera, plus views some of the decisions she made as being immature.

She didn’t love “having to grow up in front of cameras and having my breakup with Slade on national TV and kind of just immature decisions that I made,” she told Bravo’s The Daily Dish. However, she credits the show to making her “who I am today, and because of reruns people think I’m still on TV. It has been such a huge part of who I’ve become regardless of whatever happened on the show. I am so thankful and so blessed and so thankful to Bravo because that’s home to me.”

De La Rosa also wishes Smiley the best too. After she left the show, Smiley and Gretchen Rossi became a couple. They recently welcomed their first baby too.  “I think that where I am in my life today, I’m probably in the happiest place I’ve been in my entire life. And I am really happy for the both of them because at the end of the day — and I will actually say he’s gotten a lot of heat for being not the best dad, in terms of what cameras have caught and what’s been out there about him — and I’m just here to say I’m really happy that he’s happy because he deserves happiness,” she shared.