Since 2006, Bravo has aired 10 American installments of The Real Housewives franchise, beginning with The Real Housewives of Orange County. Season 16 is in full swing, and fans still can’t believe that Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson are no longer part of the series. After Season 14 of RHOC, Vicki departed from the series after her demotion from a full-time cast member to "friend."
Not too long after Vicki announced she was exiting the show, fellow castmate Tamra Judge followed suit. Fans were utterly shocked when the long-term Housewife suddenly declared that she too would no longer be a part of the franchise. Neither Vicki nor Tamra was seen in Seasons 15 or 16 (though the latter star's name was brought up many times), but both will be part of the upcoming second season of The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.
Before two-thirds of the Tres Amigas make their long-awaited return to the small screen for the Peacock spin-off series, you may be looking for a refresher on whether Tamra left RHOC, or if she was fired.
Was Tamra Judge actually fired from 'The Real Housewives of Orange County'?
In January of 2020, Tamra took to social media to share with her fans that she was leaving the Bravo franchise after 11 seasons.
In an Instagram post that featured a photo with her and her husband, Eddie Judge, she wrote, "It's been a wild 12 years. But it's time for me to move on. I'm sad to go but very excited about my future. Love you guys."
Tamra was first introduced to viewers during Season 3, and quickly became a polarizing figure. While some viewers thought that she was too mean-spirited toward some of her castmates (like Alexis Bellino and Gretchen Rossi), there was no denying that Tamra knew how to stir the pot, and that she was loyal to her close friends.
It appeared that, for the most part, Tamra also enjoyed her time on RHOC. However, there were several occasions in 2019 when Tamra had expressed her dismay with the negative light she felt was being cast her way. The reality star even held producers responsible for the editing that made her look bad after fans complained that Housewife was stirring up drama for no reason among her co-stars.
Once the news broke that Tamra would not appear in Season 15, she decided to connect with Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen in an Instagram Live to discuss her departure. Per Us Weekly, she revealed to Andy that she didn't choose to leave but was "fired." She shared, "I'm not cheap, Andy, and that's why I got fired! I'm not going to go into detail, but I'm going through some difficult times right now, and it was best for me to step away so I can deal with it on my own."
She also told Andy that she had been having a hard time dealing with the news of her firing and admitted she had "been crying for three days" and that she hadn't "slept or eaten." But she did she tell the Bravo producer that she would be "all right."
And, two years later, the CUT Fitness co-owner is doing more than alright. With a return to the Real Housewives universe on the horizon, Tamra is now joking about her firing.
During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in February of 2022, host Andy Cohen asked Tamra what she thought about the Season 16 return of her former co-star and her current close friend, Heather Dubrow.
"I love Heather. I asked for her return for many years," Tamra said on the late-night talk show. "But, then you fired me and hired her."
Would Tamra Judge ever return to 'RHOC'? She says...
While fans hoped that the blonde spitfire would be a "friend" on RHOC Season 16 or that she would least return for a cameo, Tamra has yet to return to the original Bravo franchise.
When asked about her thoughts on coming back to the show during her WWHL appearance, she coyly responded that it was up to her husband, Eddie Judge.
"That's an Eddie decision," she said, right after Eddie confirmed that he enjoyed his wife more since her departure.
She then addressed Andy, and she noted that she was grateful for the platform she got from the show.
"Listen, I am so thankful for everything you've ever given me, so," Tamra concluded.
Time will tell if this RHOC staple will ever come back as an orange holder.
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo.