‘I Miss My Best Friend’

A rift in relationships appeared to be a running theme in the season 17 premiere of ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’

Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador

Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador

the Real Housewives of Orange County is in a season of new beginnings.

On Wednesday night’s season 17 premiere, Tamra Judge made her return after being fired from the show two seasons prior — and her life looks a little different than it did when she left the franchise in 2019.

Tamra and her husband, Eddie, closed their gym of 10 years, CUT Fitness, marking the end of an era.

“With the economy the way it is, people weren’t coming,” Tamra said as she reflected on the changes in her life since viewers last saw her on their screens. “CutFitness was Eddie’s baby and now I am concerned, like what’s next? How is he going to feel?”

“Is he going to get on my goddamn nerves? I don’t know,” she wondered.

Related: Tamra Judge Returns in 'Real Housewives of Orange County' Season 17 Trailer: ‘I’m Back, Bitches’

CUT Fitness Instagram

CUT Fitness Instagram

Talk of Tamra continued as the cameras cut to Emily Simpson and Shannon Beador discussing their costar’s return as they hiked.

Emily reflected on her own challenges with Tamra, bringing up a comment she made on her podcast with former RHOBH star Teddi Mellencamp about how Emily was “dancing on my grave when I got fired,” to which Shannon noted that Tamra “hits below the belt.”

“There’s a lot of stuff she’s said about me that isn’t accurate,” Shannon added.

Shannon and Tamra’s broken friendship was a hot topic throughout the episode — the two had a rocky relationship in the seasons leading up to Tamra’s departure, with Shannon’s lack of reciprocation in the relationship driving a wedge between the former best friends.

They seem to have ended season 14 on a good note, but Shannon said after their “six year” friendship, things changed when Tamra got fired.

“Tamra and I have a really long history of really going deep with each other,” Shannon explained. “I mean, I witnessed Tamra getting baptized. She helped me officially take my wedding ring off. I gave her an enema. I’ve traveled with her. I’ve never laughed more with a person in my life and to all of a sudden have that cut off was devastating to me, because I really was there for her as a friend.”

Related: Shannon Beador ‘Blindsided’ as Boyfriend John Janssen Ends Their Romance, 3½ Years Into Dating

<p>Andrew Eccles/Bravo via Getty Images</p>

Andrew Eccles/Bravo via Getty Images

Despite Shannon feeling like she was a good friend to Tamra — claiming she reached out to Tamra numerous times to no avail — she said Tamra continuously “came up with new falsehoods about me” during the two years she was off the show.

“I was crushed,” Shannon admits.

Tamra had a different view of what caused a rift in the relationship, saying in a confessional that she “told the truth” when she publicly said Shannon stopped reaching out to her.

Snapping back, Shannon told cameras, “Tamra wants to try and push my buttons so I get to the point where I do go to the press and we have this big argument that everybody knows about and she becomes relevant again.”

When Emily told Shannon that her friendship with Tamra would be “good for your heart,” Shannon agreed but also stressed that she needed to “stand up” for herself.

“I need to be heard,” she said.

The next scene reveals another friendship on the rocks, showing a flashback where Heather Dubrow told Emily it has been “radio silence” between her and Gina Kirschenheiter — someone she considered a good friend last season.

“Gina’s canceled on me multiple times, but at some point, I see her on social media going to events so I guess I’m not at the top of that list,” Heather told her husband Terry before continuing to say that she won’ don’t put the effort in if Gina doesn’t.

Related: Watch Tamra Judge's Brash, Expletive-Filled Return to 'RHOC': 'Careful What You Wish for' (Exclusive)

Santiago Felipe/Getty

Santiago Felipe/Getty

Terry speculated that their friends think the Dubrows are too “fancy” — after all, Heather’s long-time RHOC nickname is “fancy pants” — but Heather recalled feeling like she and Gina were “friend friends” when they took a private jet to New York in season 16.

Related: Heather Dubrow Teases 'Very Difficult' Season of ‘RHOC’: ‘Friendship Runs Deep — and So Do Feuds’ (Exclusive)

Cameras then turned to veterans RHOC member Tamra as viewers met new housewife Jennifer Pedrati, who explained that she owned a yoga studio that she opened during the pandemic and was excited to hold a yoga retreat later that week.

CUTFitness then came up because that was where Jenn met her current boyfriend, Ryan. “He was kind of like Rico Suave, staring at himself in the mirror all the time,” Tamra said.

Jenn agreed she had the same first impression, but later developed real feelings.

<p>Andrew Eccles/Bravo via Getty</p>

Andrew Eccles/Bravo via Getty

Tamra then expressed fear that her husband — whose medical journey with atrial fibrillation has been documented on the show — will feel the loss the hardest.

“I’m very concerned for Eddie because I don’t know what’s going to fill that void,” Tamra divulged in a confessional. “He’s always been an athlete and to train people and connect with people at that level was everything to him. It was never about the money.”

Cutting to a conversation between Heather and Gina over coffee at Heather’s home — which recently sold for $55 million — Gina shared that she is getting her real estate license before Heather asked Gina why she had been “MIA.”

“I totally understand how crazy the summers are, but I mean, never a text, never anything and I’m like, I invited you to all of these things, I [had] your parents over — I felt very close to you and then you just completely disappeared,” Heather said.

Related: Heather and Terry Dubrow Step Into ‘Next Chapter’ in LA After Selling $55M Newport Beach 'Chateau'

Gina explained that she had been going through problems with her boyfriend Travis Mullen because he didn’t have his children for “a little bit” so Gina’s kids became sad, making Gina sad too. She said she went to New York, where she is from, to escape her problems.

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Still, Heather said she thought Gina was “avoiding the conversation,” and asked about the charity event Gina and Emily had that Heather had never received an invitation to.

In her confessional, Gina said, “Heather Dubrow isn’t going to come to a dive bar where they’re not serving food. Heather Dubrow just wants to be invited to the dive bar so that she can say no.”

Gina and Heather ultimately agreed to move on.

Related: Heather Dubrow Shares Secrets of Her 24-Year Marriage to Husband Terry Dubrow: ‘Date Your Spouse’

Viewers later got a look into the new cast member Jenn’s life, where she introduced her five children — ages 9, 12, 13, 16 and 18 — and twelve pets. Jenn also revealed an even more unconventional part of her life.

“Do you and your ex-husband still live together?” a producer asked from behind the camera.

“Will and I share a house,” Jenn responded as the camera jumped to her and her boyfriend agreed that the arrangement “works for now.”

Tamra, Heather and Gina later meet for a game of pickleball, where Shannon’s name once again comes up. Tamra pointed out how hurt she felt by Shannon’s betrayals of their friendship, saying Shannon is a “self-centered person who only gives a f— about herself.”

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic;  Charles Sykes/Bravo

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Charles Sykes/Bravo

At the group yoga retreat a few days later, all the women reunited. After a talk between Tamra and Emily — where she told Tamra, “Deep down in there you have a really child-like, kind soul, but you have this tough exterior” — the pair made amends.

After yoga, the cast caught up with one another, with Gina saying she thinks Shannon is less “wounded up” with her boyfriend of three years, John Jansen — who she split from after season 17 wrapped filming — than with her ex-husband, David Beador.

Jenn then reveals her family was disappointed with her when she decided to get a divorce from her ex-husband in the past — even flying out to have “an intervention” with her.

Related: Taylor Armstrong Went Through 'So Much Trauma' on 'RHOBH', Promises a 'Different Side' on ‘RHOC’

As the episode wrapped up, Emily, Gina and Tamra began discussing Shannon, but when Shannon walked into the conversation, she and Tamra were forced to confront their feud.

Face-to-face for the first time in years, Tamra cried as she told Shannon about her dog recently dying, her ex-husband receiving a cancer diagnosis and Eddie losing CUT Fitness.

“It’s a lot going on, I miss my best friend,” Tamra confessed.

Shannon responded that she also had a lot going on, and the two decided to start mending their relationship.

“Good to see you, I know we both have a lot of hurts,” Shannon acknowledged. “I’m at a point in my life where everything is so good and I don’t want to have hardships about anything or with anyone. Let’s get together and start talking through it.”

The screen then reads “One week later” against a black screen as it flashes forward to a teaser of the next week’s episode, where Shannon and Tamra sit down to talk about their complicated history.

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The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET on Bravo.

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