Lydia McLaughlin brought glitter, fairy dust, and the word of god to the Real Housewives of Orange County. I’m not sure anyone was really asking for mixing those elements in with the drama, dysfunction, and delusion that keeps viewers tuning in for more. Just look at the demise Alexis Bellino, aka “Jesus Jugs.” And after quitting not once, but twice, it’s clear Lydia was not meant to be in the RHOC group.
At the time that Lydia returned for round two, the Tres Amigas of Orange County formed. The hell-raising trio of Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, and Shannon Beador dominated the entire cast. Lydia became more of a rainbow unicorn filler, while Tamra took over the role of reformed sinner on the side.
Though Lydia left the show for good after Season 12, she still has a lot to say about the experience. And during an interview with Us Weekly, Lydia revealed that producers were trying to protect certain cast members.
“The season that I was on, like, they didn’t even show the drama,” Lydia said, “because the producers said, ‘No.’ [They said], ‘You still need to [act] like [a] Housewife and you can’t show so much of [people’s drama] that they can never recover.’”
Not to say that all the unfavorable moments were edited out, just that producers only let it go far enough that the cast member could have a redemption phase with viewers.
Lydia described it as taking viewers on a “ride,” and the cast must, “show all of your warts, but then they redeem you.”
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And some of the actions behind the scenes were just so rotten that “forgiveness” from viewers would be impossible. So producers were forced to hide the extent of the behavior to protect their core cast.
“What was going on behind-the-scenes, I felt, was [something] that if the viewer saw, they would never be able to be redeemed,” Lydia continued, “they were so mean. They were just so mean that it was, like, you can never vote [for them to win]. You can never, like, cheer someone on that would be so cruel.”
While Lydia does not name names, one can deduce she is referring to Vicki and/or Tamra because she, “thought they should have been let go.”
“They were being mean to me, but I’m just saying that it was hard to see,” the mother of three explained, “there was a lot that wasn’t shown that season, even in the reunion, which I think does the show a disservice. You want to show the reality of everyone, so show it.”
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Lydia left the show after completing Season 12 because she anticipated drama being directed at her. She said, “I decided to walk away [the second time] because of my relationships with the cast members. I felt like if I did another season, I would have been the target and I would have been who everyone would be attacking. And I just wasn’t up for that. I didn’t want to do that.”
Now that the Tres Amigas are disbanded, the cast doesn’t seem solidified, especially after the rumored firings of Season 15. If producers wanted to take the show in a more wholesome direction, Lydia has a lineup of friends that she says, would better portray life in Orange County.
“I gave them, like, so many of my friends that I think would be amazing cast members and that I have a real friendship with and that I thought would be really interesting,” Lydia said, “I just don’t understand what the casting producers are looking for. Like, there’s a lot of really amazing women in Orange County that I feel aren’t represented.”
TELL US- WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT LYDIA’S STATEMENTS? DO YOU WANT HER BACK ON THE SHOW? DOES THE SHOW NEED A CAST SHAKE-UP? WHO SHOULD BE FIRED? HIRED?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]