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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

Explaining the Tres Amigas: Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, & Shannon Storms Beador

The trio of friends from The Real Housewives of Orange County has had many ups and downs over the years.

By Talia Ergas
The Tres Amigas Are Back Together Again!

The Real Housewives of Orange County’s Tres Amigas — Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, and Shannon Storms Beador — have been making Bravo fans nearly pee with laughter since Shannon joined the show in Season 9 and the legendary group was formed. The ladies love to have a good time which, for them, routinely includes lots of tequila shots, trips to Mexico, fun costumes, themed parties, and plenty of “whooping it up.”

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Still, the friendship hasn’t always been smooth sailing: Various members have fallen out with each other over the years, but then gotten back together again. To everyone’s delight, in Season 17 (which is currently airing), the ladies have reunited, and their bond is stronger than ever.

Here’s what to know about Vicki, Tamra, and Shannon’s friendship over the years.

The Tres Amigas formed when Shannon Storms Beador joined RHOC

Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador pose for a photo together.

Shannon first met Vicki and Tamra — who were already besties — when she joined RHOC in Season 9 (which premiered in 2014). The ladies met at a Halloween party that Tamra was throwing, and they hit it off right away, which was a shock because Vicki notoriously didn’t like new cast members.

“I’m not a big fan of meeting new women because most of them are fake,” Vicki said in Season 9 Episode 2. “Shannon, however, I like her. She’s not 12. She kind of looks like she’s got some smarts to her. And she’s an Aries. So, I’m going to give her a shot.”

Tamra added: “Vicki likes nobody. And she seems to be hitting it off with Shannon… What is going on? Either Shannon has voodoo power or it’s a full moon.”

Shannon was also excited about her new friendships. “Tamra seems like she’s a lot of fun,” she noted in the episode. “I really connected with Vicki.”

Vicki Gunvalson fell out with Tamra Judge and Shannon Storms Beador in 2016

Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador at Watch What Happens Live.

A few years later, however, tensions had begun to rise among the trio, mostly because Tamra never liked Vicki’s then-boyfriend Brooks Ayers. By the start of Season 11, Tamra still had hard feelings around Brooks faking treatment records for cancer. However, Vicki was determined to get their friendship back on track.

"Tamra and I have a really interesting relationship. I care for Tamra, I know she cares for me. We're both very opinionated. And Tamra's Tamra. We all know Tamra likes to stir the pot, so to speak. She even admits it," Vicki told The Daily Dish in June 2016. "She's gone through some tough times in her life, and I hope she knows that I really want to be there for her. That's what happens when you film for nine years together, you grow a strong friendship and bond together." 

However, by October of that year, things got worse between the former friends after Vicki made comments about both Tamra and Shannon’s husbands.

In an October 2016 interview with E! News, Tamra shared that spreading a false rumor about her husband Eddie Judge crossed the line for her. “Vicki has been spreading rumors about me and Eddie for about four years. She didn’t know that I knew. And so I said basically if she did one more thing to me this season, I’m done. I’ve forgiven her for lying about cancer and brought her back into the group when a lot of people didn’t want to be around her,” Tamra shared. “Sure enough at the end of the day, she stabbed me in the back again.”

"I will never trust her. No, there's just no way," Tamra added. "I didn't trust her going into it. I knew that she talks behind people's backs, and I just wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, I forgave her and I wanted to move forward."

For her part, Shannon was also reeling after Vicki made allegations about her relationship with David Beador. “That’s it. Ties are severed — forever,” Shannon said in the interview. "With Vicki, I don't think that the friendships ever were truly sincere. I mean you've had a long history with her, I have too … I don't think that was a true friendship. Tamra and I, we have a true friendship. We are friends when we're filming, we're friends when we're not filming."

Things hadn’t been resolved by the time RHOC Season 12 aired in 2017. During a July 2017 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Vicki said she felt Shannon was to blame for her not being able to mend things with Tamra. According to Vicki, Shannon’s “alliance” with Tamra was making it hard to fix her rift with Tamra.

When RHOC Season 13 premiered in 2018, the Tres Amigas were back together

Bienvenidos a Puerto Vallarta!

RHOC’s Season 13 started with Vicki finally repairing her friendships with Tamra and Shannon. And, by Episode 3, the Tres Amigas were fully reunited and en route to Mexico for an epic girls weekend filled with tequila, hot tubs, and lots of laughs.

Shannon Storms Beador acknowledged tensions during the Season 13 cast trip

This Is the Real Reason Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador Had a Falling Out

However, the peace was short-lived as an emotional cast trip to Jamaica later that season brought some rising tensions. This time, it was Shannon who was on the outs. “I felt that everyone was turning on me,” Shannon later said, reflecting on the trip. “I didn’t have any support.”

By the Season 13 reunion, Tamra and Shannon’s relationship was worse than ever. It was revealed that the height of their disagreement happened during a summer 2018 trip to New York City off-camera. Watch the video above to hear Tamra and Shannon rehash what went down on that trip.

“You play victim a lot,” Tamra said to Shannon while explaining her grievances during the reunion. The two managed to apologize to each other in the hopes of moving forward.

"I clearly have to work on listening and not icing out, because that is what I do," Shannon said at the reunion, while Tamra offered: "I had a hard time getting my point across, and I was going through so much, I kind of just laid it on thick, and I just wish I wouldn't have done that.” 

Tamra Judge and Shannon Storms Beador made amends by April 2019

Shannon Beador and Tamra Judge's Friendship Is Back on Track

Following their apologies at the Season 13 reunion, Tamra and Shannon were able to get their friendship back on track. “We’re all good; it’s a good year,” Tamra said in the video above, to which Shannon added, “It’s about time we have a flippin’ good year.”

The Tres Amigas were on the rocks again following RHOC cast changes in 2020

Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge at Watch What Happens Live in New York City.

In January 2020, some big cast shakeups were announced regarding RHOC. Both Tamra and Vicki confirmed they would not return to the show. This caused tensions between them and Shannon, who remained on the RHOC cast. In March 2020, it was reported that Tamra and Vicki had unfollowed Shannon on Instagram.

In August 2020, Tamra revealed she was no longer friends with Shannon. “There was no big fight that happened between us,” Tamra explained on an episode of Jeff Lewis Live, adding that they hadn’t spoken since February 2020. “We had a decent talk and then I just really never heard from her again.”

However, Shannon held out hope that the trio would reconcile. “There have been certain relationships with castmates where I have said, ‘I’m done, never again.' And you know, I’m friends with them, so … never say never. Who knows," she told Us Weekly in October 2020.

By 2022, their issues still had not been resolved, and Tamra even used the hashtag “dos amigas” on Instagram alongside a photo of herself and Vicki.

The Tres Amigas reunited in Season 17, and they’re going strong today

Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, and Shannon Beador pose for a photo together.

Thankfully, the Tres Amigas saga currently has a happy ending. It began with Tamra rejoining the RHOC cast for Season 17 (alongside Shannon, who remained with the show). Though Shannon and Tamra were still on the outs at the start of the season, they were able to hash things out and move forward.

Later, when Vicki appeared on the show as a friend, all three Tres Amigas were reunited and they toasted their rekindled friendship with margaritas (of course).

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