The reality world was sent reeling with the news that Vicki Gunvalson had been demoted to a mere "Friend" of the Housewives.
Vicki had responded to the rumors by insisting that she was still in negotiations, even after filming began.
It looks like those negotiations paid off, because Vicki started filming for the show. But at what great personal cost?
Vicki Gunvalson took to Instagram to share a glimpse of her with a bouquet of flowers and some good news.
"First night of filming for me and @stevelodge_oc in the books," Vicki announced in the caption.
To make it absolutely clear what she meant, Vicki wrote: "Season 14."
This could have been a run-of-the-mill announcement for the longest-reigning Real Housewife in the business.
But given recent reports, many had not expected to see Vicki at all this season.
It was reported that Vicki had been demoted to being a mere "Friend" of the Housewives.
In fact, it was unclear if she would be willing to accept that role. Some expected her to simply quit.
RadarOnline reports that Vicki had to give up a lot to remain on the show.
According to their insider, Vicki "took a nearly 50 percent pay cut per episode, and she has no guarantee for episodes"
"Vicki already missed a week of filming," the source notes.
“Vicki’s attorney pitched to the show the idea of her getting engaged to Steve as part of a big storyline," the insider reveals.
The source characterizes: "That was basically her only leverage."
"It’s soon to tell whether Vicki will be an RHOC full-time member or a part-time member," the insider cautions.
The source adds: "She will, however, have getting engaged and getting married as a major part of her story line this season."
"That was a game changer when she brought that to the table," the insider admits.
According to the source, Bravo "will let Vicki say whatever she wants about the negotiations."
"They aren’t going to trash talk her," the insider says.
Apparently, some people think that Vicki is giving too much.
The source says that some of the ladies think that Vicki "should have walked like NeNe Leakes did after The Real Housewives of Atlanta season 7."
"Producers did the same thing to her that they did to Vicki," the insider explains.
"But," the source notes. "NeNe left making $50,000 an episode and then ratings tanked without her."
"NeNe then returned at $100,000 per episode," the insider continues. "Getting the last laugh!"
But regardless, Vicki made her deal, and the source says that, ultimately, Vicki feels that she got "exactly what she wanted."
We have to say that it's a little jarring to hear of someone frantically promising to get engaged as a ploy to remain on reality television.
Does that sort of thing happen all of the time? Absolutely.
But it's not terribly dignified.
Maybe it's unwise to get engaged just to stay relevant.
Or maybe we're the short-sighted ones, and taking engagements too seriously. This is Vicki's reality career we're talking about.
Either way, her return to the show is great news for her fans, who were worried after she missed the first week of filming.
One person will be sorely disappointed by this news: Kelly Dodd.
While Vicki's friends had bemoaned her demotion, Kelly had seemed practically gleeful at the news of Vicki's fallen fortune.
Vicki has mended fences with some of her castmates, but not with Kelly, with whom she continues to feud.
It was reported that her rumor-mongering about Kelly, accusing her of habitually using coke, was part of what put Vicki's reality career in danger.
More than anything, though, it was Vicki's lack of storyline.
Will getting engaged be enough -- and is it really worth it to make a major life decision just to stay on the show?
We suppose that we'll all find out together.