In March of 2006, the television landscape was changed forever when a little program called The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered on Bravo. The original installment of what would go on to become the ever-expanding Real Housewives franchise introduced us to Orange County residents Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough, Lauri Waring, Jo De La Rosa, and Kimberly Bryant. But as any RHOC fan knows, this lineup did not last long; the original Real Housewives cast would be the first of many to experience overhauls. Needless to say, the Real Housewives franchise has said goodbye to a lot of Real Housewives over the years. And there are some former Real Housewives I really miss. And yes, I will name names.
A few notes before we begin:
- I didn’t include any ex-Real Housewives who were on now-cancelled franchises. Let's just say I miss everyone from The Real Housewives of Miami and The Real Housewives of D.C. and leave it at that?
- I didn’t include any ex-Real Housewives who currently have their own Bravo spinoffs. Can't miss 'em if they're still around, I guess.
- I didn’t include any ex-Real Housewives who just left their shows. I need some time to process their departures, OK?
Now that all of that is out of the way, here are the ex-Real Housewives who I wish were still Real Housewives:
1. Lydia McLaughlin Of The Real Housewives Of Orange County
Every time I put my feet on my couch, I wax nostalgic about everything Lydia McLaughlin (and her flower fairy mother) brought to RHOC. Remember when McLaughlin raked Slade Smiley over the coals at Vicki Gunvalson's winter party? Those were days, weren't they?
2. Camille Grammer Of The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
Camille Grammer gifted us with one of the greatest quotes in Real Housewives history. But wait, there’s more: Grammer also introduced the Bravoverse to the Allison DuBois. She is simply legendary.
3. Dina Manzo Of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey
I always appreciated the sense of calm Dina Manzo brought to RHONJ. You know what else I appreciated? Grandma Wrinkles the hairless cat.
4. Shereé Whitfield Of The Real Housewives Of Atlanta
Here are just some of the things Shereé Whitfield gave us: a) fashion show that didn’t actually show any fashions, b) the song “Who Gon’ Check Me Boo?," and c) the Kim Zolciak wig pull. She is so dang good at reality TV.
5. Kelly Bensimon Of The Real Housewives Of New York City
Two words: Scary Island.
6. Adrienne Maloof Of The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
Two words: Maloof Hoof.
7. Danielle Staub Of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey
Danielle Staub took the first two seasons of RHONJ to a table-flippingly iconic level.
8. Carlton Gebbia Of The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
For one glorious season, there was a witch on RHOBH. Though she didn’t totally mesh with the rest of the cast, she (and her witch balls and her gothic manse) sure meshed with my heart.
9. NeNe Leakes Of The Real Housewives Of Atlanta
When NeNe Leakes surprised the Season 8 cast in Jamaica? I felt beyond alive. RHOA just isn’t the same without her.
10. Aviva Drescher Of The Real Housewives Of New York City
11. Brandi Glanville Of The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
My favorite Brandi Glanville moment ever? Sure, that Eileen Davidson wine throw was beyond bonkers, but I will always cherish the time Glanville literally ripped a branch off of the PUMP olive tree and presented it to Lisa Vanderpump.
12. Lizzie Rovsek Of The Real Housewives Of Orange County
There have been plenty of upsetting Real Housewives moments over the last decade, but few haunt me as much as Lizzie Rovsek’s sad birthday party bus. That debacle really endeared her to me, OK?
13. Jill Zarin Of The Real Housewives Of New York City
If there is one thing I know to be true in this ever-changing world, it's that I will never pass up an opportunity to use that GIF.