Bravo's hit show Southern Charm hit a few bumps in late 2019, and we don't mean Thomas Ravenel ... in general.
We're referring to the actual filming schedule, which began a couple of months later than usual ... in February 2020.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, not long after that, filming was halted - possibly for good, at least for some.
There was a small exodus of beloved members of the South Carolina-based cast at that time, for myriad reasons.
Others endured some serious, potentially career-ending scandals. With that said, is Season 7 even happening?
If so, is it filming now? Anytime soon? And when and if it does come back to TV, who will even be on it?
Here is everything we know so far:
This series about poorly behaved Charleston socialites and lost boys has had a decade worth of controversies in its six seasons. Will there be a seventh?
Yes, Season 7 is real
“It’s nuts. It’s been really fun and interesting to watch everybody grow in different ways,” Cameran Eubanks revealed at BravoCon 2019 about Season 7. “Season 7 is going to be a very high opening season in terms of, you will see that some people have made some big strides in growth and some have stayed the same. Sadly.”
Cameran's husband even filmed for the first time
“Jason was on the last episode, it went well. Jason’s shy and private, so I think that was kind of a little intro,” Cameran teased of her husband, Dr. Jason Wimberly. “I think you might see him again now that he’s more comfortable.”
Eliza became engaged to boyfriend Mark “Struthers” McBride, Jr. after Season 6. In August 2020, she confirmed that she will not be returning for Season 7.
“I’m excited that if it comes back, this will be the first year that I’m doing anything successfully, there was a lot of times that I was doing stuff, but it was half-assed,” Craig Conover teased in October of 2019. Those were simpler times. “I’ve never been in his capacity before while filming. It’s great that I’ve had this fall to really focus on the company. … I’ve never had a successful business on the show.”
So Craig was hyped! However ...
Filming, which usually begins during the autumn, did not begin until February 2020. That was, for obvious reasons, deeply unfortunate timing. Craig himself confirmed that filming had been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s a bummer with this unprecedented situation but it really felt like we got back to our roots. It’s very organic and transparent,” he opined. “[After] having such a long break, everyone kinda came in full steam ahead, so it was pretty wild and a lot of drama. Everyone basically kept what was going on in their lives and the cameras showed up and started to catch all the drama that happens in our everyday life. It was really good.”
Oh no ...
The good news is that apparently filming is underway. In July 2020 -- almost a year after filming would normally have begun, but only 5 months after production was paused -- Naomie Olindo revealed that it is her understanding that the cast is once again filming.
Speaking of the beautiful Naomi Olindo
She is done with Southern Charm. She hinted to fans that she was over reality TV in February 2020. Months later, she confirmed it. “I mean some people on Southern Charm will literally write notes and read books and write notes in the margins [like], ‘Oh this is what this cast member does so I want to crush my enemy and I’m gonna follow this strategy,’” she said during a podcast interview in July.
“So people will strategize and once it starts getting to that point, it can get so toxic," Naomie lamented. "So that’s why for me, and I think I could probably speak for amid and Chelsea too, when it reaches that level where some people just have nothing to lose and are willing to sing for their supper and do whatever it takes whether that’s try to ruin your marriage or your relationship or say something about your children or whatever, it’s just too much and personally for me, I can’t be in that because it makes me depressed.”
Cameran is done
“You must protect what is sacred to you. Some things aren’t worth a big paycheck. What upsets me the most is that my husband, who is the most sincere and faithful human I know being is falsely dragged into this. It disgusts me,” Cameran informed her social media followers in May. “He always supported me filming the show even though he wanted no part of the spotlight. I can’t get too upset though because this is what you sign up for when you put your life on reality TV … and why I’m getting out of it now."
You can understand why
"Drama is needed to stay relevant on reality television and sadly false rumors about others are sometimes created," she lamented. She told followers that she had given Bravo notice of her quitting “months ago” and emphasized that it had “absolutely nothing to do with ridiculous and fake rumors about my marriage.” Those rumors were that her husband was cheating, and it was believed that Kathryn had started the rumor. Cameran went above and beyond, apologizing to the innocent girl in question that her name was dragged into things.
And Chelsea Meissner makes three
“I’m so damn proud of you and us @chelseameissner58,” Naomie expressed to Chelsea as reports announced that Cameran, Naomie, and Chelsea had dropped Southern Charm.
Rumor has it ...
That conflict with Kathryn was a major driving force behind these departures. Not even that they were all feuding with her, but that Kathryn's behavior as a reality star was leaving them horrified and disgusted.
As for Kathryn herself
While we haven't heard about her leaving, she has had a ROUGH summer in terms of public relations, and it's entirely her fault. A racism scandal -- sending monkey emojis to a Black woman -- was already bad before it was revealed that she was doing so in enthusiastic support for a mid-pandemic Trump rally. Many fans think that Kathryn is struggling to seem likable or even just decent without Thomas for contrast.
Shep Rose's gal pal
“Shep and I are great friends, loving spending time and laughing together,” Taylor Ann Green expressed after sharing flirty photos of her and Shep. “Looking forward to season 7!” She later confirmed that they were in a relationship. It is unclear if she will actually be on Southern Charm, but it makes sense
Thomas Ravenel has been banished from Southern Charm permanently because he has been accused by multiple women of rape. One of those accusations led to his arrest and assault trial, during which he pleaded guilty. He is not welcome back on the show -- this is Bravo, not TLC. There are SOME standards.
Speaking of Thomas
Ashley Jacobs is not expected to return. She is very much Thomas' ex (he has since gotten with a new woman, broken up with her, and also welcomed a baby with that woman) and we hope, for the sake of her overall well being, that both Thomas and Southern Charm remain part of Ashley's past.
Ashley was completely out of friends on the show. At BravoCon, Kathryn confirmed that Ashley was permanently gone from the show.
Madison posted enough selfies with the Southern Charm cast in late 2019 that fans believed that she was filming with them. Whether she is still part of the group that is filming has yet to be confirmed.
Sort of like her romance with Austen Kroll
"This week, I’m doing well with Madison. Next week, I’ll let you all know,” Austen acknowledged in November 2019 at BravoCon. “I tried to go our separate ways. Madison has been a person for me for a long, long time. It’s hard to walk away from someone like that. She really is a hell of a woman. She’s got it going on. I find it hard to walk away from her.”
So is that it?
NO! Because obviously, Bravo has worked to fill in the gaps in terms of the show's cast.
Welcome Leva Bonaparte
In July, Naomie revealed that her friend Leva Bonaparte -- who is outrageously gorgeous and seems to have ties to multiple other stars -- was filming as part of the Season 7 cast.
She is GORGEOUS
Looks aren't everything, but in a visual medium like reality TV, they count for a lot. We look forward to seeing how Leva gets along with the rest of the cast. And Naomie referred to there being "a couple of new girls," so it doesn't sound like Leva is alone.