This much we can say for certain:
The Real Housewives of Orange County will look very different in 2022.
There’s no real debate at this point that the long-running Bravo franchise will replace some cast members and keep other cast members, but this fact still leaves one obvious question out there:
Who is leaving?
Who is staying?
And why is this so gosh darn complicated?
Speculation over a mass firing by executives ran rampany a few days ago after a popular Instagram account shared a tipster’s alleged inside information about the program.
This individual person claimed that Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Emily Simpson, and Elizabeth Vargas had all been fired.
Tamra Judge, meanwhile, was supposedly set to return; while Heather Dubrow and Alexis Bellino had been extended a contract, but actually turned it down and were planning to become free agents.
Was there any truth to this detail rumor?
All we can do is quote social media user Deuxmoi, who wrote online this week:
“Same friend also works at Bravo. RHOC shakeup is coming.
Kelly, Braunwyn, Emily, and Elizabeth are out. Tamra will be back. Heather and Alexis said no.
"They’re trying to get Gretchen [Rossi] and her rich Newport [Beach] friends on but Gretchen won’t return if Tamra’s still on the show.”
Based on this intel, the only stars guaranteed to appear next season would be Shannon Beador and Gina Kirschenheiter.
But wait one second, people! Hold everything! Pick your jaws up off the floor!
Dave Quinn — who refers to himself as the “Housewives scholar” on Instagram and who has shared reliable information in the past — jumped in to the fray shortly after this rumor got started to say this:
It’s total BS.
“[For your information], that [Deuxmoi RHOC] tea isn’t true so please stop sending it to me,” he tweeted on February 21.
A fan, hoping for Tamra’s return, subsequently asked Dave to confirm which part of the rumor isn’t true.
“All of it isn’t true,” he wrote. “There [have] been no decisions made yet.”
Oh, well. Okay then!
It’s been discussed for several weeks, of course, that Dodd is on her way out, following her many anti-mask comments, her stark racism, her open disdain for public health and her general elitiism.
Until she claimed the opposite, that is.
"It’s actually kinda funny…" Dodd Tweeted this week. "I’ve heard these rumors every year for the last five years."
Kelly even boasted: "Looking forward to my sixth season #RHOC 16!"
Is she actually coming back, though? Have producers really arrived at this decision? Or any decision?
A network spokesperson told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday that no casting choices have been made just yet.
What does all this mean?
Mostly that The Real Housewives of Orange County continue to win because here we are, in the offseason, obsessed with the show and what comes next.
But if Dodd truly does return? After all she has said and done and how much she just sucks so much?
It may be a pompous bridge too far for some viewers.