The Real Housewives of Orange County: Who's Returning? Who's FIRED?

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Last November, it was reported but not confirmed that Vicki Gunvalson regained her Orange after her role as a "Friend" on Season 14.

At the time, we made it clear that no one would know for sure which members of the Housewives cast are returning until January.

Well, Season 15 production seems to have begun.

And celebrity gossip site Radar Online reports that, just before the weekend, contract renewals went out ... but not to everyone.

Take a look below and see who's returning, whose status is still up in the air, and who is fired heading into the next season on Bravo.

1. RHOC is returning!

RHOC is returning!
To no one's surprise, The Real Housewives of Orange County is coming back for Season 15. But just because the show is coming back doesn't mean that it's bringing back the whole cast. Who's in? Who's out?

2. Everyone's been wondering about Vicki

Everyone's been wondering about Vicki
Back in November, after Bravocon, it was reported that Vicki was coming back as a Full Housewife. But a report is far from a confirmation, and at the time, we stressed that no one would know for sure until January. Well, it's January.

3. But first

But first
Tamra Judge is back! Though there's basically an asterisk beside her invitation to return to the show. We'll get into that shortly.

4. Shannon Beador For Season 14

Shannon Beador For Season 14
Shannon Beador is striking a pose here on behalf of The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 14.

5. Emily Simpson

Emily Simpson
Just before the weekend, Emily received her invitation to return to the series!

6. Braunwyn Windham-Burke

Braunwyn Windham-Burke
Despite Vicki's attempt to frame her otherwise, there was nothing "boring" about Braunwyn and she's returning for another season. I, for one, am hyped.

7. Kelly Dodd

Kelly Dodd
Yes, Kelly is coming back, too! She's a deeply polarizing figure, which can make her difficult for her fellow castmates but makes her appealing from a showrunning perspective. Up to a certain point, if one of your stars keeps people talking, then you probably want them back.

8. Gina Kirschenheiter

Gina Kirschenheiter
Gina ... did not receive the same invitation that her castmates did, the report says, noting htat it's possible that execs are still mulling it over or simply that hers came later than everyone else's.

9. Vicki Gunvalson

Vicki Gunvalson
The big question all season has been about Vicki's future status, though some had believed it settled months ago. And she did NOT receive an invite to return as a Full Housewife.

10. WHAT?!

Apparently, Vicki's demotion to "Friend" is set to continue in Season 15 ... should she choose to accept it.

11. Will she go for it?

Will she go for it?
"Vicki hasn’t decided yet if she will accept a friend role again," RadarOnline's insider reports.

12. Her future is up in the air ... and in her own hands.

Her future is up in the air ... and in her own hands.
"She has time to accept or decline the offer from Bravo bigwigs," the source adds.

13. Apparently, execs considered firing EVERYONE

Apparently, execs considered firing EVERYONE
"They don’t want the show to be boring," the insider shares.

14. They didn't want viewers to tune out

They didn't want viewers to tune out
Apparently, the higher ups worried that keeping the same cast could make the series "redundant and stale." Of course, an all new cast might have alienated viewers who don't feel like learning a bunch of new names.

15. So what's the deal with Gina?

So what's the deal with Gina?
The insider freely admits that she could remain part of the cast, saying: "Gina could get something last hour but she wasn’t sent a pickup with the rest of the ladies."

16. Tamra is coming back, but ...

Tamra is coming back, but ...
Like we said, there's basically an asterisk by her name. According to the report, Tamra's renewal contract "was sent after everyone else's."

17. She almost wasn't asked back

She almost wasn't asked back
"Tamra was about to be fired," the source shares. Wow. She was at the center of a lot of drama in Season 14.

18. Phew!

"But in the end she wasn’t," the source says of Tamra, "and was offered a contract for next season."

19. As for her friend, Vicki

As for her friend, Vicki
Apparently she was "was given an offer come back and make sporadic appearances if she wishes as a friend again." Vicki is not going to like that, and there's no telling what she'll decide.

20. This has to sting

This has to sting
Especially after Vicki (reportedly) became engaged as a ploy to save her Orange.

21. Speaking of engagements ...

Speaking of engagements ...
You can be sure that execs are excited about Kelly's engagement. It gives her a new storyline that has nothing to do with feuding with the Tres Amigas (who will now be the Dos Amigas in most episodes, we guess).

22. Plus ...

Plus ...
Engagements mean weddings. And judging by the looks of Kelly's recent, controversial photo, she and Fox News journalist Rick Leventhal may end up inviting world-famous criminals to her wedding. You know that Bravo would be excited to catch such a hive of scum and villainy on camera (plus the nuptials themselves).

23. Still ...

Still ...
We sincerely hope that Kelly has fewer violent altercations with her castmates in Season 15. No hair-pulling. No hitting anyone in the head with a mallet. A good rule of thumb is to not touch other people's bodies without their permission. Yes, even if you're angry.

24. By the way ...

By the way ...
Braunwyn went ahead and made the news official. On Friday, before the ink on her new contract was (metaphorically) dry, she shared that producers were once again filming her at her home.

25. That's no surprise

That's no surprise
Braunwyn was a LOT of fun in Season 14. Many fans feel like she was a breath of fresh air, and now some are speculating that her return tipped the scales for Tamra to come back, too.

26. Speaking of Braunwyn ...

Speaking of Braunwyn ...
Some are speculating that Vicki's continued demotion may stem from the network's discomfort with her giving off homophobic vibes (despite insisting that she is not homophobic). We're not leveling any accusations ourselves, but we did notice her vocal discomfort at Tamra and Braunwyn's harmless makeout. And then there was her controversial response to seeing a drag show. Something to consider.

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The Real Housewives of Orange County, TV News, Reality TV, TV
Vicki Gunvalson, Emily Simpson, Gina Kirschenheiter, Kelly Dodd, Shannon Beador, Tamra Judge, Braunwyn Windham-Burke
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