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Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson React to Tamra Judge Returning to RHOC

The RHOC BFFs shared how they really feel about Tamra’s comeback at BravoCon 2022.

By Brad Witter

When Tamra Judge announced her return to The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 17 in July, she warned that drama was back in session. Now that RHOC pals Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson have had nearly three months to process the news, they are spilling the tea on how they really feel about Tamra’s comeback — and it’s not what you might expect.

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on  Peacock and the Bravo App.

At’s digital interview stage at BravoCon 2022, host Kate Chastain asked the RHOC BFFs how the Season 17 cast change affected their friendship, if at all.

“You know, it hasn’t, at all,” Emily explained to the Below Deck alum. “I think we’re beyond that.”

Gina, for her part, echoed her fellow RHOC ’Wife’s comment, chiming in, “We’re beyond it, yeah.”

After exiting RHOC following Season 14, Tamra made her surprise return announcement during the July 20 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. After arriving in the Clubhouse, she joked that she “forgot to get” something while grabbing an orange from a shelf. “The Judge is back, and drama is in session,” Tamra said in true Housewife tagline style.

“Do you feel more energized coming into the new season having been out of the game? Does it give you a different perspective?” Andy Cohen asked during the episode.

Tamra’s reply? “A thousand percent. A totally different perspective,” she revealed. “I think being off for two years is probably the best thing you could have ever done to me, even though I didn’t like it. But yeah, I was on the show for 12 years. Once you’re on for that long, you become a professional ‘Housewife.’”

Watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on Peacock and the Bravo app.

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