After all this time, too. Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson recently took to Instagram to share that she and her boyfriend, Steve Lodge, had started filming for season 14 of the show on February 16. But according to Radar Online, the 56-year-old Housewife has made some negotiations that will undoubtedly reduce her time on the show that made her famous, while also allegedly saving her from getting cut altogether.
“First night of filming for me and @stevelodge_oc in the books,” she captioned a video post about shooting the show on February 16. “Season 14 @evolutionusa #bravo #rhoc.”
She might be filming, but the RHOC star was rumored to be “demoted” to a “friend” role on the upcoming season and she “took a nearly 50 percent pay cut per episode and she has no guarantee for episodes,” an insider told Radar. That’s some pretty crazy stuff, considering Vic has been a mainstay on the show since season 1.
According to the source, she’s already missed a week of filming, but her attorney offered up some serious leverage to keep her shooting the show. Her lawyer reportedly pitched production the idea that Vicki and her BF would get engaged this season. Spoiler alert: it worked.
“[It’s] too soon to tell whether Vicki will be a full-time member or a part-time member [of the cast],” a source very close to production added “She will, however, have getting engaged and getting married as a major part of her storyline this season. That was a game changer when she brought that to the table.”
Considering this isn’t the first time a Housewife has been pushed around (or out), the source also noted that the Bravo TV star “should have walked like NeNe Leakes did after Real Housewives of Atlanta season 7.”
“Producers did the same thing to her that they did to Vicki,” the insider revealed. “But NeNe left making $50,000 an episode and then ratings tanked without her. NeNe then returned at $100,000 per episode, getting the last laugh!”
However, the Chicago native told the insider she got “exactly what she wanted” in the deal.
We can’t help but wonder if the origin of these negotiations has anything to do with RHOC costar Kelly Dodd, as she and Vicki have really been at each other’s throats recently — especially during the season 13 reunion. If we see more of the 43-year-old and less Vicki next season, we may have our answer.
It will be interesting to see how many appearances Vic makes over the course of the season, considering there’s about to be an engagement in her future. We hope she gets more than a few episodes.