The Bravoverse experienced some déjà vu on Friday, Feb. 9 when it was once again announced that Lydia McLaughlin was leaving Real Housewives of Orange County. Yup, again. What will Lydia do after RHOC this time around? Where will she take her sparkle? What’s next for the Bravolebrity who made that "balls voyage" joke happen whether we liked it or not?
Last month, the former OC Housewife shared some major news on her personal website, OC Lydia. In a post titled "Hanging Up the Orange," Lydia revealed that she has decided to step away from the Bravo reality series a second time. She wrote,
“RHOC has given me a great platform and I’m grateful for that. However, I feel like I can only handle this show one season at a time. I need a break! There is a lot of good that comes from the show, but also a lot of negativity. After a family vote, it was unanimous that I should take a break. Sometimes the people who love us the most see things even we don’t see. I trust my path and I’m excited for what the future holds.”
While last season's The Real Housewives of New York City cast has remained entirely intact, it looks like the RHOC lineup has experienced a major shakeup. Lydia's RHOC co-stars Peggy Sulahian and Meghan King Edmonds also left the show before Season 13 filming commenced. Given how... weird RHOC Season 12 was, a shakeup probably isn't the worst idea. Bringing in some new personalities may be just the thing this show needs. Here's hoping the Season 13 cast doesn't spend the first half of the season avoiding each other at all costs.
What does the future hold for the sparkliest OC Housewife to ever share her glitter with the Bravoverse? It sounds like she's got quite a bit on deck. “Being a full time mom to THREE little boys, publisher of NOBLEMAN Magazine, blogger, jewelry designer, author, and wife, I have a lot going on!" Lydia blogged. "I will continue to share my life and faith and use this platform to be a lightworker.”
So, there you have it. Lydia's going to keep blogging over at OC Lydia. She’s going to keep selling jewelry. She's going to keep spending time with her family. She’s going to keep making Nobleman magazine. And she’s most definitely going to keep being sparkly.
Lydia joined RHOC during Season 8, and then left after the season was over. But before Lydia came back for Season 12, she did the thing many Housewives before her have done: She penned a book. Lydia’s memoir, Beyond Orange County: A Housewives Guide to Faith & Happiness, was released in 2015. She explained in her blog,
“After season 8, I decided to take a break and write a book and have my third baby. That was the right decision for me although many people didn’t understand why I would walk away."
Several seasons after Lydia left Season 8 (aka the season when she delivered her legendary Slade Smiley roast at Vicki Gunvalson's Christmas party), she returned to Season 12 for another round… only to call it a day again after the season was through. But hey, this is Lydia we’re talking about here; she could return at some point down the road for another one-and-done season. Not to get too hung up on the phrasing of her announcement, but she did say she needed a “break.” She didn’t say it was a permanent exit. She didn’t call it a severed tie that’s impossible to repair. She called it a “break.” Keep her orange on ice.