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The very interesting thing about Real Housewives is that off-screen drama is always a zillion times more interesting than on-screen drama. Case in point; the latest Real Housewives of Orange County on-again/off-again Gretchen Rossi and Tamra Barney friendship or feud debacle.

Days after a story leaked, claiming Gretchen told tabloids that Tamra and now fiancé Eddie Judge got engaged after Bravo paid for both a ring and a luxury vacation to film the proposal, both ladies are defending themselves against the allegations. First up, is Gretchen who adamantly denies any involvement in so-called tabloid tattling!

Speaking to CNN news, of all places, Gretchen claims everyone wants the fight between Tamra and herself to continue! “I think because Tamra and I have been at each other’s necks the last few years,” Gretchen claims. “I mean, bottom line, the audience likes the fight, to think that Tamra and I are at each other’s necks angry at each other.”

“[And] I think a lot of people were expecting an engagement between Slade [Smiley] and I and when that didn’t happen and all of a sudden Tamra’s engaged, I think that the press just made this up.” That’s an interesting assessment – are that many people really dying for Gretchen and Slave to tie the knot, because frankly, I think most of us couldn’t care less!

Gretchen claims that not only is she thrilled beyond belief for her new friend, she is planning the bachelorette party! “For goodness sakes, I went out to dinner with her and Eddie and Terry and Heather and we celebrated the engagement and I’m gonna throw the bachelorette and Heather’s gonna throw the bridal shower!;” Gretchen insists. “If I actually believed it’s a sham, why would I offer to throw the bachelorette party?”

“It’s disappointing; we know the truth, we know what’s going on,” Gretchen says, adding that the media is spinning it out of control. You can see the video of Gretchen defending herself below!

Unfortunately for Gretchen, Tamra doesn’t seem to exonerate her from involvement in the story – nor is she confirming any news of bachelorette parties! Instead, she is talking wedding plans and while there are none until next season she is thrilled to be engaged! “Proposing to me in Bora Bora was a huge surprise and the most romantic trip of my life,” Tamra tells RumorFix. “We have no wedding date or plans set, but we are thinking about having a destination wedding somewhere fabulous.”

“Regarding the recent report on TMZ article. I find it hurtful and vicious for someone to make up such horrible lies about my engagement,” she fumes. “To try and take away from my happiness is just down right mean.”

And she is completely insistent that Bravo had nothing to do with the most romantic day of her life! “Bravo does not control my life and my love can not be bought or manipulated by them or anyone else.” You know what, I kind of believe her!

Moving right along, Vicki Gunvalson is talking about herself again. No, just kidding… Vicki is talking how being a Housewife has changed over the years – and she blames the inclusion of younger ladies into the mix. And Vicki prefers the old way of doing things!

“I was one of the youngest cast members and now I’m the oldest,” Vicki shares. In the beginning, “We weren’t fighting, we were just talking about our lives, raising kids,” Vicki tells The Huffington Post.

Vicki believes in order to amp up drama, the producers started matriculating younger, less settled, and more fame hungry girls into the cast. “They are bringing in the girls 16 years younger. Hello,” she claims. “I think the producers wanted to sexercise it so we got the younger girls, but its okay, just more fights.” I assume Vicki is referring to Gretchen and her grifter-buddy Sarah Winchester, who has barely been on screen so far – much to my delight!

Interestingly, Vicki says the shift in the show’s dynamic has been hurtful to her insurance business; which she still maintains is her primary job. “Yes, absolutely it does hurt business,” Vicki confirms. “I have to be very careful of what I say and how my temper shows and I really try to control all drinking on camera because I’m not a big drinker anyway, but they sensationalize it. [They] Make them think you are drinking more than you are when you’re not drinking that much.”

While Vicki insists the producers don’t force the drama–they just cast accordingly–apparently it’s working! Or maybe not. NBC is reporting that the seventh season of RHOC is gearing up to be the series’ highest rated season yet. Which is ironic, considering new addition Heather is in her forties and hardly the youngest of the bunch. Also interesting, it is the OG’s Vicki, Tamra, and Gretchen who are causing the most trouble this season!

New episodes of the show are averaging about 2 million viewers and ratings are up 10% from last season, according to the Nielsen Ratings. Tuesday night’s mainly dramaless episode garnered a whopping 1.36 million adult viewers aged 18-49 and was the most watched episode of the season since the premiere. Apparently, people really want to see Vicki and Gretchen throw down over Slave Slimey!

I have to say, although the drama is exciting, I preferred earlier seasons of the shows where the fights seemed less forced and were less often. I agree, recent seasons of Housewives of all varieties have become increasingly low-brow and trashy. If I wanted all that nonsense I’d tune into Bad Girls Club! But maybe, the majority of viewers prefer the over-the-top behavior and non-stop bickering. What do you think?

SO – DID GRETCHEN LEAK THE STORY TO THE TABLOIDS OR NOT? ARE YOU SURPRISED SHE’S THROWING THE BACHELORETTE? IS VICKI RIGHT THAT YOUNGER HOUSEWIVES HAVE AMPED UP THE DRAMA AND TRASHED UP THE SHOW? THOUGHTS ON THE RATINGS?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO WATCH SEE GRETCHEN’S CNN INTERVIEW!

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