The End of an Era! Kandi Burruss Is "Taking a Break" From 'RHOA' After 14 Seasons

Elizabeth Randolph - Author
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Feb. 5 2024, Updated 11:00 a.m. ET

Each year, The Real Housewives of Atlanta fans discuss which peach-holders should leave and who should stay based on their performance that season.

Kandi Burruss is one RHOA star who had long been rumored to be handing over her peach. After 14 years of being on the show and receiving the honor of being Bravo's longest-running housewife ever, Kandi's fruitful opportunities outside of the show made fans wonder if the series she's been on since 2009 still serves her.

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Amid RHOA's cast shakeup intentions, which Bravo began working on after the show's 15th season fell flat to many, Kandi revealed she's decided to step away from the madness to focus on her booked and busy schedule. However, is Kandi leaving RHOA for good? And, if so, why? Here's what to know about Kandi's shocking departure.

Kandi Burruss posing for 'RHOA' Season 15
Source: Bravo
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Kandi Burruss announced she decided to leave 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' ahead of Season 16.

Rumors of Kandi’s future on the series aren’t anything new. In Season 13, her name was mentioned as viewers discussed who would be the next cast member to exit the series. While Kandi ended up staying on RHOA for another season, she admitted to Access Hollywood in 2021 that she's "always contemplating when it's [her] time to make a move.”

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While Kandi has considered leaving RHOA before, she officially made up her mind that her 2024 wouldn't include the show. In February 2024, Kandi shared with Variety's at the Grammys that, although Bravo hasn't officially announced the new RHOA cast, Season 16 wouldn't include her.

“I’m not really keeping up right now,” she replied, when asked about the show. “I’m not keeping up. I already said it, so I’ll tell you. I decided I’m not coming back this year."

Kandi explained that she chose to exit RHOA for Season 16 because Bravo allowed her and her castmates "sit around for a little too long" to answer whether they were returning to the show for another season. The Chi star said that, while waiting for Bravo's answer, she reflected on her reality TV journey and decided it was best for her to "take a break."

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"During that time, I had started working on a lot of other things, and I got some nice big projects coming soon, so I’m super excited about those things," Kandi explained. "But it’s not just that. It’s just like, after you really have time to think, and a friend of mine was like, ‘Why do you keep doing it?’ And I was like, ‘Well, I think because I’ve just been doing it for so long, it feels weird to think not to do it?’ So I was just like, ‘You know what? I’m going to take a break. I’m going to take a moment… I’m not coming back this year.'”

Kandi Burruss
Source: Getty Images
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Rumors swirled that Phaedra Parks could take Kandi Burruss’s place on ‘RHOA.’

Kandi's choice to pause her RHOA reign shook many Bravoholics to their core. Although Kandi has been criticized by viewers (and her castmates) for seemingly not wanting to share her life or failures on the show, those who watched her from the beginning were still sad to see her go, at least for now.

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Amid the responses to Kandi's exit, several fans swiftly wondered who would replace the Bedroom Kandi CEO. Unsurprisingly, one of the famous names that came up was Kandi's former BFF, Phaedra Parks, who is enjoying a renaissance on Bravo and Peacock's Married to Medicine and Traitors after being fired from RHOA in 2017.

Phaedra left the series once she admitted spreading rumors about Kandi and her husband, Todd Tucker. During Season 9, Phaedra told Porsha Williams that Kandi and Todd wanted to drug and sexually assault her at a nightclub. The allegations ended Phaedra and Kandi’s relationship, and Kandi refused to film with her former friend and co-star.

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Kandi has since said that Phaedra's betrayal and the drug accusations during Season 9 was "one of my worst years on the show" and one she undoubtedly doesn't want to revisit. Nonetheless, Kandi's news of stepping back from the show offers Phaedra a chance to be a part of RHOA's reimagined cast.

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Despite Kandi's departure, her behind-the-scenes work will likely keep her in the Bravo family. Kandi has the most Housewives spinoffs on Bravo — Kandi’s Wedding, Kandi’s Ski Trip, Kandi Koated Nights, The Kandi Factory, and Kandi & The Gang. The network revived the latter show after it was canceled in 2022 after one season.

Whatever happens with Kandi's future at Bravo, the multitalented artist knows she will be OK either way. Following her announcement of stepping back from RHOA, Kandi shared on Instagram that she was "looking forward to all the blessings that are manifesting in my life!" Ase, sis!

Catch new episodes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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