Is it better to be a Real Housewife and lose your spot on the show or to never be one at all? That is definitely a tough question to answer, and I'm sure it is something that all of the former Real Housewives cast members have pondered at some point. I'm sure that being a part of the most successful franchise on Bravo opens doors, but what about if you were on the show for one season and got the boot?
As an avid fan of anything Housewives, I get pretty excited when rumors swirl around about departed ladies who might return to their old show. But not all of the women are Bethenny Frankel (aka the Michael Jordan of Bravo) and successfully return to their old stomping grounds. These woman cannot just go back and forth between being a cast member and not on a whim. There are plenty Housewives who want to return after they leave (or at least, who are rumored to want to return after they leave), but along with them there are actually a few women who seem like they have moved on from Real Housewives all together. I'm pretty shocked by this, but apparently it is possible.
They are not all trying to linger around for cameo appearances and callbacks to return as series regulars. Some of the women have left (or were fired from) their shows and haven't looked back since.
1. Lydia McLaughlin
I thought Lydia was adorable on Real Housewives of Orange County, but she just wasn't the right choice for the show. And apparently Lydia shares my sentiments. She explained her thought process in her book Beyond Orange County: A Housewives Guide to Faith and Happiness :
When I was asked back to do Season 9, I wanted to do it. Being on the show was everything the world tells us to desire and it was what I desired. But deep, deep down — so quiet I could almost silence it — I knew in my heart it was not God's plan for me to go back. I knew God was calling me to walk away from the show.
She also shared a revelation that she had during the show's reunion taping, "I remember sitting on the couch, having nothing to do with the conflict or the drama, but feeling so sad. I sensed the Holy Spirit inside me saying, ‘You don't have to be here.' So I stood up and walked off set." Well, clearly a woman who is avoids conflict as much as Lydia has no place on a show like Real Housewives, and she admits this with zero bitterness. But I guess she had no issue capitalizing on her reality TV notoriety to sell books?
2. Carlton Gebbia
Carlton was a pretty polarizing presence during her one season on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She was extremely fascinating, but truthfully out of place among a group of women with such interwoven personal history. Carlton spoke to E! News following her departure and said, "I sort of look at it as a blessing in disguise because my husband does have a project in the works, a reality show." (For the record, the reality show never took off.) Carlton also said, "I would like to go into a show and not have to watch the knives coming at my back. That would be great!"
3. Kimberly Bryant
In a rare occurrence, Kimberly Bryant didn't leave Real Housewives of Orange County after one season as a main Housewife due to conflicts with the cast; she actually moved away from Orange County so it made no logistical sense for her to be on the show. Why did she leave California? Kimberly battled skin cancer multiple times and on top of that doctors found that her son had a precancerous mole, so the family decided to relocate to the Midwest to get away from the harsh California sun. Does she regret ditching the show before it became the major franchise that it is today? Nope. In an interview with the Daily Herald , Kimberly said, "The show has morphed into this huge phenomenon that's much more dramatic, with a lot of backbiting and nastiness." Seems like she got out just in time.
4. Cindy Barshop
Cindy Barshop was climbing an uphill battle when she joined Real Housewives of New York City after the departure of my beloved Bethenny Frankel. She only stayed on the show for one season, so is she bitter about not getting a fair shake during a transitional period for the show? Not at all. In fact, it just wasn't her scene. During an ABC News interview, Cindy said, "Following the reunion it was clear that the women genuinely didn’t like each other anymore." Aside from that, maybe reality TV just isn't her thing in general. In an E! interview, Cindy said, "It's a lot of work. I didn't realize how difficult it was going to be. It's like being on Survivor!"
5. DeShawn Snow
DeShawn Snow was gone from Real Housewives of Atlanta after just one season so she didn't get to ride that wave of being a Bravolebrity or trying to sell her own liquor products. And she is actually very thankful for that privacy because life got tough for her after that first season. In an interview with AttaGirl, DeShawn declared, "Since then, I've had a lot of drama in my life, but I'm thankful that the cameras weren't there!" She ended up getting a divorce from her longtime husband NBA player Eric Snow, so maybe he departure was a blessing in disguise since it allowed her to keep her family's business out of the public eye.
6. Tammy Knickerbocker
Life got very tough for Tammy outside of being on RHOC. Her ex-husband and father of her daughters, Lou Knickerbocker, passed away. Tammy took a step back from the show and went from being a Real Housewife to a Friend of the Housewives before she left completely. She chose to live her life off-camera and has no regrets about dealing with her issues in a private manner. Tammy is still friendly with the cast and has even helped Vicki Gunvalson with online marketing for her insurance company. In a Bravo blog she explained her short time on the show was "such a good experience." Tammy has stayed out of the spotlight, neglecting her Twitter account for over a year now. She has truly moved on.
7. Lisa Wu
Apparently Real Housewives of Atlanta was not real enough for Lisa Wu. In an interview with The Jasmine Brand, Lisa explained her feelings about the show:
If you’re telling me what I should be doing and what my story line should be then it sounds scripted to me. If it’s scripted, let me do damn scripted. If it’s reality, let it be reality. For me, I just bowed out because I don’t have to do that … There were certain things that I just would not do.
So I guess she wasn't meant to be a part of an ensemble cast on a reality show. She also said, “I liked having my privacy back. I liked not being on TMZ and all that other stuff with the negative stuff.”
8. Larsa Pippen
It's kind of hard to remember that Larsa Pippen was on Real Housewives of Miami because it is hardly ever on TV. It has far less repeat broadcasts than any other city and the fate of the show is chronically unclear. Nevertheless, Scottie Pippen's wife and Kim Kardashian's bestie was on Season 1 of the show and didn't miss a beat when she wasn't called back for the second season. She made herself busy as wife, mother, and business woman and moved to Chicago. She jumped ship at the best time since RHOM is not really a thing these days anyway.
I thought that most people fired from Real Housewives would be pretty bitter and longing for a comeback, but, clearly, that is not always the case.