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Here's What Helped Gina Kirschenheiter Get Through Her Rookie Season of The Real Housewives of Orange County

"These women have so much history together," she said of the RHOC Season 13 squad.

It's never easy being the new girl on The Real Housewives, but Gina Kirschenheiter must have done something right. The Real Housewives of Orange County newcomer is one of six women nominated for Rookie of the Year in the 2018 Real Housewives Awards. "I feel very honored," Gina told The Daily Dish about the nod during an interview in New York City earlier this week. "I feel like I've been nominated for an Oscar, basically." 

However, Gina hasn't quite prepared her acceptance speech just yet. "I have no idea why I should win Rookie of the Year. I still keep saying I have no idea how I even got to be a part of this whole thing, so I don't know!" she said. "I was just myself, I guess. I seem to be getting a good response from people, so it's nice when you put yourself out there and people have a positive response to that. That's pretty awesome." 

Gina's fellow RHOC newbie Emily Simpson is also nominated for Rookie of the Year, but don't expect to be seeing any smear campaigns happening in the OC anytime soon. "Emily should definitely be nominated. Emily rocks. And we definitely are really good friends. We helped each other get through this whole thing. We're just buddies. We hang out all the time. We talk almost every day. I've talked to her, like, five times since I've been here already. We see each other at least once a week," Gina gushed. "And it was really awesome having her [on RHOC]. Team Gemily, we call ourselves."

Gina also shared that she's thankful that she had someone like Emily by her side during her inaugural season of RHOC. "I think if I didn't have Emily by my side going through this, I would've gotten through it, but it definitely feels good to go through it with somebody. You can confide in them, you feel like you're building your own friendship, and it's kind of nice because these women have so much history together," she said. "It's an opportunity for two brand new people to establish their own friendship. That was cool."

The RHOC rookies have also bonded over being moms to three kids under the age of 5. "Emily and I have a lot in common. We're the only two on the show who have little kids," Gina shared. "It's just really nice to have common ground with someone. And it's nice to have somebody to have your back that you know is going through the same stuff as you." 

Gina added that since this season of RHOC ended, her friendship with Emily "has just gotten stronger."

Gina also weighed in on several other categories in this year's Real Housewives Awards. For instance, the choice for Best Couple was definitely clear for Gina — although, picking another dynamic duo was tempting. "I definitely think Tamra and Eddie [Judge] are a really good, solid couple. They're the real deal. They love each other. He's so good for her, I think, and I think she's good for him. It's nice to see them able to kind of withstand this whole process and this crazy group of friends and just the crazy, in general," she said. "Although, I do enjoy me some Melissa and Joe Gorga. I love how much he loves her. That's adorable."

For Best Actress, Gina was torn between Kelly Dodd and NeNe Leakes, but the award for Best Comedic Performance could only go to one "hilarious" OG: Vicki Gunvalson. "She's really funny, actually," Gina said. "Just being her natural normal self is just hysterical." 

But Gina isn't so sure RHOC's Tres Amigas, which includes Vicki, Tamra, and Shannon Beador, should take home the prize. And considering the fact that she and Shannon haven't exactly hit it off this season of RHOC, she found her nomination for Miss Congeniality "hilarious," adding that she thinks the award should actually go to Dolores Catania, Tinsley Mortimer, Lisa Rinna, or Cynthia Bailey instead.  

Ultimately, Gina wished all of her fellow Real Housewives Awards nominees the best. "Good luck to us all," she said. "And vote for me [laughs]." 

Hurry! You can still vote for the 2018 Real Housewives Awards now through October 28. Cast your vote by heading to or through the Bravo Now app. The winners will be announced in a special episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Monday, October 29 at 11/10c. 

Check out Shannon's Real Housewives Awards picks, below.

Digital Original
Shannon Beador Just Cast Her Vote in the 2018 Real Housewives Awards
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