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Last Tuesday marked the season premiere of Real Housewives of Orange County. Now in it’s seventh season, Bravo’s original Housewives series suffered from dismal ratings last year, but after shaking things up a bit, garnered about 2.3 million viewers last Tuesday – up 10% from last year’s season premiere.

Pretty impressive for a show most people swore they wouldn’t watch. I knew you would! Perhaps new Housewife Heather Dubrow, along with Tamra Barney and Gretchen Rossi putting their feud to rest, is what attracted more viewers. Or maybe it was other newbie, Sarah Winchester who was bringing the curious?

Sarah, billed as a “Friend of the Housewives,” is a close friend of Gretchen’s and a self-proclaimed heir to the Winchester Rifle fortune. Sarah made her mark when she showed up at Vicki Gunvalson‘s season kickoff party in a pair of ratty, old jeans and hair she forgot to comb. It wasn’t a great first impression.

An even worse impression comes in the form of Sarah’s dating history – most prevalently that she has been crushing hardcore, and apparently having a fling, with former Housewife Jeana Keough‘s eldest son, Shane Keough.

Fans of the show may remember Shane for his straight-up a$$hole outbursts and blatant disregard for his mother – oh yeah and his baseball career. Well it seems Shane has been hooking up with the 33-year-old Sarah for about a year. “They’ve had a fling for over a year,” an insider revealed to Star Magazine. Shane, a former Minor League Baseball player, is eight years younger than Sarah. So, does that make her, like, a cougar?

Sarah’s alleged fling with Shane may make sense given Jeana’s guest appearance this season. Perhaps we’ll see Shane as well! I know you’ve missed him! Upon hearing the news that he is supposedly dating Sarah, Shane immediately denied it via Twitter, answering: “Nooooo<<Weird that I am unaware of this,” when a fan asked about it.

Sadly for Sarah, Shane (who isn’t even admitting to dating her) is a “major upgrade” from the “sleazy guys” she usually dates. Where on earth does Bravo find these classy women?! According to the insider, Sarah whose seeming more and more like a grifter by the minute usually gravitates towards the sugar daddy types!

“She was living off older men,” the insider explained. “She was flying to the Hamptons all the time, always seen court-side at Lakers games, yet she never worked.” Because she’s an heiress. #duh

Apparently, much like Gretchen scored her spot on the show through her affiliation to wealthy former fiance, Jeff Beitzel, Sarah attracted producers, not through Gretchen, but through one of her wealthy, older men! “This rich dude, Kurt,” the insider says, failing to elaborate on just how this “Kurt” is connected to honchos at Bravo. Kurt, a sixty-something Newport Beach businessman, is a former boyfriend of Sarah’s, whom she was able to parlay her relationship with into appearing on RHOC.

Moving on to other less scintillating Housewives news, Vicki opened up about the season premiere and wants us to know she’s a whole new gal! We’ll believe it when we see it, Vicks!

Reflecting on how far she has come since her inaugural season, she is glad Gretchen and Tamra have made amends and are working to put the past behind them, although, she was as shocked by their new friendship as viewers were! “Watching Gretchen and Tamra go to lunch and discuss their past issues was interesting to me. How can Gretchen just put the past behind her and simply forgive Tamra for all the hurt she has put her and Slade through? From what Gretchen has told me, it was easier to forgive then keep fighting,” Vicki explains in her Bravo Blog.

“Maybe that’s a lesson for all of us. I just don’t know if I could do have done it. While I was watching Tamra give Gretchen a friendship bracelet with a key on it and “locking up the past and entering a new future,” I thought WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE?!?”

Vicki, like Tamra, is really, really impressed by Heather. And Vicki thinks they have a lot in common. Sit down for this comment. “Tamra introduced Heather to our group by inviting her to my dinner party. When I met her, it was an immediate ‘Wow’ moment,” Vicki muses. “She was absolutely stunning, classy, and the only one who brought me a hostess gift. I liked her immediately and thought. . .’finally someone I can connect with.’ ” I thought Tamra was her BFFL?! What the heck?!

Vicki also talks that awkward moment when Alexis Bellino ran into her ex-friend whom she believes is secretly in love with her husband after they hooked up fifteen years ago. “I felt bad for Alexis tonight seeing Peggy [Tanous] walk in my dinner party. You could cut the air with a knife. The ended the season finale last year with such an uncomfortable situation with Alexis finding out Peggy dated Jim [Bellino]. How uncomfortable.”

Finally, Vicki gives us an update on her divorce to Donn Gunvalson. Vicki claims the two get along well. “Donn and I are at the final stages of settling our property and our divorce,” Vicki explains. “Donn is still active in my kids’ lives, and we are very amicable, which I am very grateful for. We truly want the best for each other, and realized we weren’t the best for one another.”

“As you will see this year, I am dating a great man named Brooks [Ayers]. He has become my best friend, my true partner, and someone that I really enjoy being with,” she concludes, reminding us that this will be a great season. I hope so!

SURPRISED BY THE RATINGS? DO YOU THINK SHANE AND SARAH ARE HOOKING UP? IS SARAH A GRIFTER OR DO YOU THINK SHE REALLY IS AN HEIRESS? ARE VICKI AND TAMRA STILL FRIENDS OR HAVE THEY “BROKEN UP”?

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