Bravo stunned fans with recent reports of a The Real Housewives of Orange County casting shakeup.
Some fans feel disappointed, but it’s not all bad news.
Viewers have been anticipating Tamra’s return to the series for years, especially after her Ultimate Girls Trip adventures.
Now, it’s official, with Tamra confirming her return — with a little behind-the-scenes glimpse.
“The Judge is back and drama’s in session,” Tamra Judge tweeted on Wednesday, July 20.
While she didn’t explicitly state that it’s her tagline for Season 17 … she came pretty close.
First and foremost, she included tags like “#RHOC” and “#Season17” along with an orange emoji.
Tamra also included a GIF of herself posing in front of a green screen.
We all recognize the poses that the Housewives do to create the title graphics for each season.
Twitter did that annoying thing where it turns every GIF into a video, but we turned it back into a proper GIF:
Tamra joined The Real Housewives of Orange County way back in Season 3.
From there, she became part of the core cast for twelve seasons.
A couple of years ago, however, that changed, as Bravo planned to “shake up” the cast by canning OGs.
Technically, Tamra wasn’t fired — but only in the sense of, like, a retail worker whose hours are cut down to nothing.
Bravo offered Tamra a “Friend” role … after twelve seasons clutching her orange, it was an insult.
Alongside franchise OG Vicki Gunvalson, she turned down the “offer.”
We don’t have to tell you that Season 15 and Season 16 did not quite live up to Bravo’s expectations.
Several factors lowered ratings, from a boycott to pandemic filming limitations.
But no matter which way you put it, the show hasn’t been the same since Tamra left.
Some would say that Bravo felt overwhelmed with regret and wanted her back.
That may be partially true.
But even in the weeks after Tamra left RHOC, Andy Cohen made it clear that he’d love to have her back.
In a perfect world (okay, more like “if Bravo’s plans had worked”), the Season 15 cast would have worked.
Braunwyn could have become a central focus for the cast, with Shannon finding a new dynamic without her Tres Amigas.
Then, Tamra would have rejoined a cast where the politics and alliances and feuds were different than before.
That is obviously not how things went down at all.
In addition to the pandemic troubles, Braunwyn ended up destroying her own reality career just as it began.
She openly spoke about committing domestic violence against her husband — more than once. Vile stuff.
Even if Bravo’s dreams had come true, it would be time to bring Tamra back into the fold.
As things stand, the show likely needs Tamra’s return.
Will Season 17 go over better with fans than 15 and 16 did? We sure hope so.