Over the weekend, Tamra Judge shocked the world by quitting The Real Housewives of Orange County rather than accept a Friend role.
She's not the only one taking her ball and going home. The OG herself is stepping down.
On Saturday, January 25, Vicki Gunvalson made a startling announcement on Instagram.
"I will always be the OG of the OC," she begins.
"But," she writes, "it’s time to say goodbye to The Real Housewives of Orange County."
"It’s been an incredible ride for 14 years," Vicki expresses.
"And I want thank all of you for your support," Vicki's post reads, "for your love."
She then adds: "and for 'whooping it up' with me along the way."
"I’ve been working on new projects," Vicki reveals.
She details that these, which she has been teasing for months, are projects "that will be exciting, empowering, and inspirational."
"My podcast with Westwood One will be launching soon," Vicki announces.
This is where, she notes, she'll be sharing a lot more about her decision to depart from the show.
She writes: "and I will have much more to say about this on 'Whoop it up with Vicki.'"
"I hope you will join me with my new journey," Vicki expresses, "so please stay tuned."
"I love all my fans," Vicki affirms in the heartfelt Instagram post.
She acknowledges: "And I want to thank Bravo and Evolution for this incredible experience."
She notes that this has been an incomparable journey "which my family and I have will never forget."
Okay, wow. I wouldn't describe myself as a Vicki stan necessarily but that ... that stirs up some emotion.
Andy Cohen also took to Instagram to share his own statement about the OG's retirement.
"I remember the first reunion I did with Vicki Gunvalson," Andy writes alongside a photo of him and Vicki embracing.
"Occasionally," he recalls, "our eyes would meet as I grilled the other women."
Andy describes: "and she would wink at me optimistically and effervescently as both of her deep dimples shone."
"She kept winking at me Year after year," Andy wistfully recounts, "and it always made my heart smile."
"Vicki is an original," he praises.
Andy writes that Vicki is someone "who remained her authentic self from her Family Van-freakout through her last reunion."
"It’s so hard to remain exactly who you are after being on television for so long," he admits, "but Vicki is one of a kind."
"Thank you for everything, @vickigunvalson," Andy gushes.
"What a ride," he expresses. "And it’s not over."
It's not over for the show, which will continue without her or Tamra. It's also not over for Vicki, for reasons that we'll get into very shortly.
Finally, Andy includes a note: "This pic is actually from the Season 3 Reunion, and I always really liked it."
Vicki's departure from The Real Housewives of Orange County signals the end of an era ... but that doesn't mean that it's final.
As interesting as it will be to see Shannon Beador as The Una Amiga on Season 15, this may not be the way of things forever.
See, remember when NeNe Leakes was offered a "Friend" role on RHOA, turned it down, and that season's ratings sucked?
They asked NeNe back and she returned, making more money than before. No one has dared to question her role on the show ever since.
A lot of people thought that Vicki should have said no to the "Friend" role for Season 14 and tried the same strategy that NeNe did.
(To hear Vicki tell it, it appears that she felt deceived about her role on the new season, so that's a little complicated)
Maybe she and Tamra will "tough it out" (as much as is possible when you're rich) for Season 15 and see if Bravo comes crawling back.
Plenty of Housewives leave the show and return.
And if not, they're both rich and extremely famous. They can market themselves as former Housewives for years to come.