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The Real Housewives of Orange County

For the average person, life can be pretty mundane and boring. Perhaps like me, you’ve wondered how the other half lives. Well, will Bravo TV, you get to step into the stilettos of the wealthy and privileged by watching “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” If you are unfamiliar with the American landscape, or geography, Orange County  is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in Southern California.  The 2010 census estimates the population to be about 3,010,232, or the sixth most populous county in the United States.

But getting back to the Real Housewives of Orange County. This show features the lives of housewives living in the gated communities of Orange County, California. The show follows them through family life, work, and socializing. It premiered on March 21, 2006. At the time,  the original housewives were Kimberly Bryant, Jo De La Rosa, Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough and Lauri Waring. By the time the next season rolled around, there was a change in the housewives line up. During season two, Kimberly Bryant was replaced by Tammy Knickerbocker.  True to form, there were additional changes the following season. At the beginning of the third season, the show dropped Jo De La Rosa and welcomed Tamra Barney. Halfway through the third season, Quinn Fry was added as well.

Here is a little information about each housewife:

Vicki Gunvalson. Vicki is very dominant. Her friends, enemies, family and frenemies describe Vicki Gunvalson as controlling and a workaholic. Even her kids Michael and Briana call her crazy. Vicki and her second husband Donn bought a smaller house to move into in the third season, but decided to keep their larger residence in Coto. Full of vanity, Vicki thinks moving to a smaller house will be a sign to her family, friends and enemies that she and her husbands are financial failures. So what does she do?  She decided to sell the smaller house through Jeana Keough, which causes problems occasionally through the friends. Vicki is the owner of Coto Insurance & Financial Services.

Jeana Keough. Jeana is a former Playboy Playmate (November 1980) and actress (The Beach Girls, 10 to Midnight) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was also one of the three girls featured in the ZZ Top video’s “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” and was featured in several commercials in the 80s including those for Ditto Jeans, Honda, and 7-Up. Jeana is currently separated from her husband Matt Keough, a former pitcher for the Oakland A’s. The couple has three children – Shane, Kara, and Colton. Shane is playing minor league baseball, Kara is preparing to attend UC Berkley, and Colton is still living at home. Jeana is now a realtor.

Lauri Waring. Lauri is the mother of Ashley, Josh, and Sophie. A former model, Lauri had been working in Vicki’s home office to help make ends meet while living in a smaller townhouse. However, just as she was struggling to adjust to a less affluent lifestyle, Lauri met wealthy real estate and land developer George Peterson. During Season 2, the two became engaged and season 3 has shown them preparing for their wedding. George’s daughter McKenzie lives with the couple. After allowing him to live in the townhouse, Lauri kicked Josh out after breaking several of her rules. He moved in with George’s ex-wife Gina and Lauri has all but said the two don’t speak anymore.

Tammy Knickerbocker. Tammy is a single mother to two girls, Megan and Lindsey by her first husband Lou. She has a 10-year-old son, Ryley, from a relationship with Duff, who works for Vicki. Lou had an affair with an assistant and broke up their marriage. He died of a heart attack in April 2007 without leaving a will, putting a financial strain on the girls. Tammy is living in a rented house while her home in Coto is undergoing renovations due to water damage. Tammy has been friends with Jeana for over 15 years. She works as a loan officer.

Tamra Barney.  Tamra is very headstrong. She refers to herself as the “hottest housewife in Orange County.” Tamra recently became a real estate agent, working in the same territory as Jeana. She and her second husband Simon have two children, Spencer and Sidney. Tamra has an older son from her first marriage, Ryan, who is 21. Ryan recently moved back home and is causing problems between Tamra and Simon. Tamra is facing her 40th birthday and is filled with the self doubt that accompanies aging. As such, she is always looking for ways to help keep her looking young and hot.

Quinn Fry. Quinn was born in 1955 and at 52, is the oldest of the housewives featured on the show. She was raised in Fort Knox, Kentucky. She has been married twice, but is single now. She lives in San Clemente and has two children, Shannon, who have moved out and Colin, who still lives at home. Quinn is an Internet marketing manager and the managing editor of an Orange County lifestyle and entertainment website. Quinn likes to date younger men, including Jarod (who is 26) and Billy (who is 40). She is old fashioned about romance and looking to fall in love and marry again one day.

Interview with Real Housewives of Orange County,  Vicki Gunvalson April 2007

Here it is, the interview with Vicki Gunvalson! Along with Laurie Waring, Jo De La Rosa, Tammy Knickerbocker, and Jeana Keough, Vicki was one of the original Real Housewives of Orange County during the first two seasons. Her fans ask, “will she be back for the third season?” No one knows for sure, only time can tell. But as we wait for the final word from the executive producers of Bravo TV, here’s what she had to say about her life since the show, here career, and her family!

There are no doubts. It is unequivocal and undeniable. The portrayal of Vicki Gunvalson on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County is pretty precise and highly accurate. Even though she’s a successful business person, she’s believed to be an excellent mom and a loving and caring person. Recently, I had the chance to talk to Vicki about her involvement with the show and her life since Season Two ended.

“We never thought it was going to be on television!” Vicki was in Mexico when she got a call from her son Michael that Bravo was thinking about doing a new show about life behind the gates. He told her that he had written a letter to the producers about her, and they later contacted the family. The makers of the show came over to her house, hung out by the pool, and got to know the family. “We had a fun time. It was, ‘Here’s this professional businesswoman who can have fun, too!’”

After that, Vicki and her family pretty much forgot about the show—until four month later, when Bravo phoned her with the news that she was their first pick. “I was like, ‘First pick for what?’ Doing this show wasn’t even on my schedule.” At first, both she and Donn, her husband, weren’t interested, but a meeting with Bravo convinced them to sign the contract to film the pilot. No one ever thought the show would be aired, and even after the first season was picked up, no one realized the Real Housewives phenomenon that would hit America.

And then, something even more incredible happened—Vicki started getting phone calls and emails about her insurance business. “People were saying, ‘I want to live the way you do. I want a career like you!’” All of these calls inspired her to launch and new business venture—Coto Insurance and Financial Services—aimed at helping fans interested in her business become successful as well. The night her website, was featured on the show, the site got over a million hits. Vicki wasn’t always in the insurance business, however. At 29 years old, she suddenly found herself in the middle of a divorce with no real source of income. A friend got her involved in the insurance business, and now, through Coto Insurance she’s doing weekly training calls and hosting forums with insurance agents who want the secret to her success. She also just finished writing her first book, Internet Insurance Selling Made Easy. Her goal is to continue to grow this business across the nation, helping others find success.

But oh no, that isn’t all, folks. Vicki also was inspired by all of the inquiries she received about her clothing and makeup. “People would really send us great emails about our fashion,” she says Together with the other ladies from the show, Vicki started The Real OC Brand, a company aimed not necessarily at making money, but more at simply helping fans connect with the products they see the ladies using and wearing every week.

So with all of these business ventures, how does Vicki stay in control? “The key is being organized. I keep on top of everything. Things don’t go undone. That way, you don’t get overwhelmed.” From doing the dishes immediately after dinner to folding the laundry as soon as the dryer buzzes, Vicki makes sure that she keeps ahead of her work. “My days are very hard—they are just packed with things to do.”

That won’t stop Vicki from taking a few moments to brag about her kids, which is fully justified considering how well they are doing! According to Mom, Brianna has made the dean’s list and is currently moving in order to be a little closer to home and to her still-boyfriend, Colby. Michael is attending summer classes and is looking for a job, maybe bartending, in order to buy himself a car. He’s also still with his girlfriend from last season, and they are very happy. And Donn? “He’s still putting up with me!” says Vicki. The entire family is doing great.

Beyond that, Vicki is making good on her promises last season to simplify her life. “The viewers will probably be surprised to know that my house is for sale,” she says, talking about how she’s trying to slow down and relax more often. She and Donn are moving to a smaller house in Coto in order to be able to take more time to enjoy life. Her goals for the future are to continue building the business, promote her book, and continue being herself—a positive role model. “Morals always shine through, when you do the right thing.

This morning I had the privilege of speaking with one of the most positive role models on Bravo television–Vicki Gunvalson from the Real Housewives of Orange County! She truly is as nice in real life as she seems on the show. I’ll be posting the interview later this month, but you can get it EVEN SOONER by signing up for the

Fierce. Even if she does get on my nerves, the girl is gorgeous and definitely knows how to dress!

The Real Housewives of Orange County, Jo De La Rosa 2007

Can’t get enough of Jo De La Rosa? Star magazine recently featured an interview with the Real House wife of Orange County, who opens up to her fans about her new life living in Los Angeles, her singing career, her relationship with Shane Keough, her bitter fall out with JJ, and the possibility of a third season of the Real Housewives of Orange County.

Jo De La Rosa: “I don’t think of myself as someone people love to hate. I get along with everyone. I’ve always gotten along with guys and girls. I’ve never thought of myself as that way. I think of myself as outgoing and I try to live by the idea of treat others as you want to be treated. Unless they are Slade Smiley then that goes out the window with him. I was busy compromising in that relationship… I forgot how to be respectful in an argument because I was too busy trying to argue my own point. Sometimes you say hurtful things to the people you love most and you are regretful. I do love him with all my heart.”

The Real Housewives of Orange County, Andy Cohen’s Commentary Goodbye for now

Here is my recap of the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion gathering with Andy Cohen.  I’m excited to see what is going on in their lives since the show has come to an end. Tonight on Bravo, Watch What’s Happening’s Andy Cohen hosted the lovely ladies of the Real Housewives of Orange County on a talk show to wrap up the season. If you didn’t catch the show, I’m sure Bravo will be replaying it again and again, but here are some highlights:

  • Each one of the housewives on the show have had breast augmentation surgeries or boob jobs, with the exception of  Vicki Gunvalson. She actually had her breasts reduced. Jo Del La Rosa, not to be left out is having her breasts enlarged next month. Many of the ladies also admitting to having other cosmetic procedures done.
  • Lauri Waring’s bubbly cheeks are real. She and George are getting married…soon. They still haven’t announced a date.
  • Jo and her ex-boyfriend, Slade Smiley, are still not together, they haven’t reconciled yet. She and Shane Keough are both denying being anything more than party friends. Jo says that she’s single.
  • Tammy Knickerbocker fielded some questions about her and Duff. They originally broke up because HE was the one who didn’t want to make the commitment to getting married. His recent proposals have come two years later, which is why Tammy has decided to move on.
  • Jeana Keough and her husband, Matt, are still living together, but its up in the air right now.
  • Kara (Jeana’s daughter) and Brianna (Vicki’s daughter) are no longer in the OC Angels or Aqua Angels, whatever you want to call them, because they thought that the modeling they were being asked to do was uncomfortable. Ashley (Lauri’s daughter) is doing this job full time and now pays some of the bills at the townhouse.
  • All of the ladies are members of the Republican, not Democrat political party.

And honestly, the overlying theme of this show was that these mom really do love their kids. Many people, myself included, like to criticize, but these are real ladies with real families, and they are doing what they think is best for their children.

I’m going to miss the show–I hope it comes back for a third season, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m sure it’s really hard to have your entire life filmed, so I don’t know if they OC ladies will want to do another season.

The Real Housewives of Orange County, Recap Goodbye for now

Here it is–the recap you’ve all been waiting for and my opinions on the matter! Last night was the series finally of the RHOC and it will be sorely missing my household! I resisted at first (it seemed like SUCH a dumb idea for a tv show) but I got hooked, and now I feel like the OC ladies are people I really know. Alright, so here is what happened:

Tammy, as it always seems to be, was not in the episode all that much. She may not be my favorite housewife, but I’m guess that it means she’s pretty drama-free. They did show her playing with her son, and I have to say, both her and Duff are great parents. Apparently, Duff gets the kid 50% of the time, which is really odd for a man, and I think that’s just great. Tammy’s big claim to fame this episode was brining a date to Vicki’s BBQ, and the credits after the show said that she is currently still dating that man. They did show her girls for awhile, and it seems as though Megan is back home, having broken up with Roman, the pit bull breeder. Good thing she has his company logo tattooed across her hip! Regardless of her bad ink choices, I do like Megan. She’s not afraid to speak her mind!

Did anyone else feel really, really badly for Jo last night? She had a rough episode! She and Slade couldn’t stop fighting, so they went to couple’s counseling (which I actually thought was funny…shouldn’t you go to counseling AFTER you are married). Slade broke up with her there, in front of the counselor and cameras. Real smooth. It was the right choice, I think, though. I mean, they didn’t seem to have a lot in common in their lives. My boyfriend is my best friend, and that’s how I believe all couples should be to some extent. Her and Slade weren’t there anymore. What is really messed up, however, is that four days later, Slade brought a date to the BBQ where he knew Jo would be. That was a low blow. She really did look like a tramp, too, although I bet she’s actually a very nice girl and just was trying to look her best in front of what she knew would be a bunch of rich OC ladies. We left off with Jo talking to both Lauri and Shane about it. Man, I hope those two hooked up. You know they wanted to…

In this episode, Lauri proved to everyone that she may not be mom of the year, but it is not for lack of trying. I think she has her priorities a tad bit messed up, because she seems to win over her kids by being a friend and giving them things. For Sofie’s ninth birthday, Lauri gave her a cell phone and a horse. The kid is NINE. My god. The horse…ok, I can see her trying to give her something that will be a lifetime gift and give her responsibility, but a cell phone? Give me a break! Her daughter, Ashley, spent the whole episode being pissy about the idea of sharing Lauri’s townhouse with her brother. I’m not a fan of Ashley at all, but according to the ending of the show, Ashley is now paying rent and utilities at the townhouse, so maybe she’s growing up a little. It’s about time.

Jeana wasn’t the star of this final episode, but she did talk to Vicki about how her and her husband, Matt, are growing apart. I wish Jeana all the best, and I think that includes a divorce…or at least some couple’s counseling. I’m glad she recognizes the problem and hope she will have the strength to do something about it, although currently, that does not seem to be the case. Vicki, however, is seeming to understand Jeana’s problem and is working on her own marriage. Her husband is as well. He planned a romantic getaway for the two of them, and later they threw the BBQ together for all of their friends. Of all of the housewives, it’s no secret that I like Vicki the most, and her commitment to her family makes me love her even more.

Next week, the RHOC ladies will be getting together for a reunion special with Andy Cohen, and I’m excited to see what is going on in their lives since the show has come to an end.