After news broke that Taylor Armstrong would not be returning to Season 18 of The Real Housewives of Orange County in the coveted “friend” spot, many Bravo fans began to speculate who might be taking her place. After months of quiet, it seems like we finally have our answer: Alexis Bellino.
Bellino started filming with the RHOC ladies on Tuesday evening, TMZ reported on January 24th. The tabloid news organization shared an image of the television personality at dinner with Heather Dubrow and Emily Simpson — which is shocking to longtime fans who will remember that Debrow and Bellino hit a rough patch in the latter’s last two seasons. So, it has me thinking that not everyone will be thrilled about her return.
Alexis Bellino Returns To The Real Housewives of Orange County
Though originally a full-time cast member from Seasons 5 through 8, Bellino will only be returning in the “Friend Of” slot, at least for now. After all, several cast members have started out in the friend role and gotten the promotion to a full-time cast members if they earned enough fan praise and brought enough drama. Both of which Bellino should have no problem with.
To the outside world, it might seem odd to bring in the former housewife when she’s been missing from the show for ten seasons, but Bravo superfans know this is a calculated move by producers. See, Bellino and current housewife Shannon Beador have never got along, and things are even worse between the women now, which means not everyone is going to welcome her back to RHOC.
But I Don't Think Everyone Is Going To Welcome Her With Open Arms
The current drama comes in the form of relationships, because Bellino is officially dating John Janssen, Beador’s ex. The current housewife was in a relationship with Janssen for over two years before the pair called it quits one week after Season 17 stopped filming. This led to an emotional reunion that had Beador constantly reaching for tissues as she shared the details of the blindsided breakup.
Less than three months after the breakup, rumors started circulating that Janssen had moved on with another housewife: Bellino. The two made their relationship “Instagram Official” in December when she shared a photo of them together, praising him for his loving personality toward her.
This isn’t the first time Housewives costars have dated the same person, but it’s definitely one of the most volatile cases given Bellino and Beador’s complicated history. There have been a handful of reports over the years of the current housewife publically ranting about the other prior to her DUI and hit-and-run arrest, mostly as it pertains to the 2018 defamation lawsuit filed by Bellino’s estranged husband.
One thing is for certain, Bravo fans aren’t going to want to miss Season 18 of The Real Housewives of Orange County when it releases later this year. It was already set to be an intense season given Heather’s treatment during Season 17 (which led many to proclaim themselves Team Heather fans) and her iconic reunion rebuttals, but with this added drama it’s poised to be the best season yet.