Real Housewives of Orange County Recap
Photo Credit: Casey Durkin/Bravo

Real Housewives of Orange County Season 17, Episode 5 Recap: Campfire Confessions

The first cast trip of the season brought the ladies of the Real Housewives of Orange County to a dude ranch in Montana. The trip was spurred by Tamra Judge’s potential property buying, but no house hunting was to be had. Instead, the real hunt was for the amount of IMDB credits between Taylor Armstrong and Heather Dubrow

While Taylor and Heather fought over who would win a Razzie award first, Shannon Beador and Tamra had nothing but love for each other. All it took was a saloon girl costume and a couple of shots of tequila to banish ghostgate back into the nether realms. Gina Kirschenheiter hoped rooming with Jennifer Pedranti would bring them closer together, but we all know these bunkmates are not going to be best mates.


The war over IMDB credits continued on at the saloon. Heather accused Taylor of being “anti-female,” for bringing up her IMDB page to Tamra. Taylor said it was Tamra who made a dig that Heather hadn’t worked since the 1900s. Tamra shouted she said “90s” and swooped Heather off to the bathroom to run interference. Heather wanted to believe Tamra didn’t fire any shots but her spidey sense was tingling. Whether it was the alcohol or everyone was tired, no one could say IMDB correctly. Shannon determined IMDB should be called STFU and called it a night. 

Tamra kept the party going over at the villa by throwing gummy bears at Shannon and Heather until they did shots with her. Shannon licked Tamra’s face and the two ended up on the floor wrestling. That is the Tamra and Shannon energy I like to see! Heather pretended to be happy for their newfound friendship, but was worried she would be the odd man out. Which coincidentally was a sitcom she starred one episode in during the 90s! 

The mood at the bunk house was more sober as Taylor was shocked Tamra wasn’t the friend she thought she was. Jenn was just happy to have the heat off of her and her relationship with Ryan Boyajian. Little did she know that the heat was on over at the villa. Tamra spilled the tea to Heather and Shannon that Jenn told her Ryan did cheat on her. On top of that, Tamra was told by Heather Amin that Ryan had set his sights on sleeping with Tamra two months before dating Jenn. Shannon wondered if Jenn knew, and if not, what would happen once she found out?

The wheels on the bus go round and round

The next morning chef Shannon cooked up a tasty looking breakfast buffet. On the menu was evil skeevers, aka aebleskivers, a Dutch pancake that is fried ball of dough. Yes, please! While Shannon made breakfast, everyone called their loved ones to check in. And for Gina, that meant ringing up Emily Simpson to dish about the IMDB drama. Emily surmised they made fun of Heather’s IMDB, and Tamra didn’t want to get caught so she threw Taylor under the bus. Then Tamra would drive the bus over the body and then burn the bus to make sure no one would find evidence of the crime. Classic Tamra, y’all! 

The ladies split into groups of three to do their cowgirl chores for the day. Tamra, Shannon, and Taylor drove tractors, while Heather, Gina, and Jenn rode horses and shoveled poop. I think I know which side I’d like to be on. While Taylor drove her tractor, Shannon asked Tamra if she was going to tell Jenn about Ryan’s comment that he wanted to sleep with her. Tamra wasn’t sure what to do about it. Meanwhile, Gina tried to convince Heather that it was really Tamra at the head of the IMDB bus and not Taylor. Heather wanted to put the whole situation to rest under a pile of horse manure. 

Truth of the day

The chores were done and it was time to get some grub. Heather, Jenn, and Gina were first to the saloon to grab salad and champs. Real ranch food. Gina told Jenn she was happy they got to bunk together because she wanted to get to know her past the infidelity talk. Jenn appreciated Gina being open with her and sharing her feelings. Once again, Heather sat there and felt like the odd man out. Womp, womp. 

Gina then spilled the ranch baked beans to Jenn that Tamra said Jenn’s stories were inconsistent and she said truths of the day. Jenn was infuriated that Tamra talked about her behind her back. She thanked Gina for being up front, but she was going to have a conversation with Tamra later. Heather gulped her champs down as she knew there was much more to come. 

Showbiz Shane

Back in the OC, Emily and her husband Shane Simpson celebrated Annabelle signing with a modeling agency. Emily ensured Shane that she will prioritize Annabelle’s modeling jobs over her Botox appointments. First world problems. Emily wanted to support her daughter as she used to be a model too. Shane said he used to have his own David Letterman type show on cable when he was a senior in high school. Anyone have his IMDB page at the ready to confirm?

Over at the dude ranch, Tamra had plans within plans. She had everyone pack their flannel PJs and an overnight bag to go to an undisclosed location. They are about to spend the night in the middle of nowhere and she knows they won’t agree to it if they know where they are going. While the ladies packed their mascara and curling irons, Shannon pulled Tamra aside.

Shannon said she wanted to proceed with caution. However, they had so many good times she didn’t want to give up on their friendship. Both Shannon and Tamra admitted their faults and genuinely apologized for their behavior over the past two years. No passive aggressive “I’m sorry if you felt that way” apologies here!

Gina needs her vacation wife

There were no glamping tents for the ladies at their destination; just three tiny tents that barely covered anything. Everyone grabbed a drink to numb the feeling of rocks that would be under their backs when they slept on the ground later that night. Heather chopped some wood and lasso’d a glass of champs from Tamra’s hand. Heather joked to Tamra to add that credit to her IMDB.  

That inspired Tamra to ask Taylor if they made fun of Heather’s IMDB. Taylor noted they were being sarcastic. Tamra said it was Gina who said they made fun of Heather and she should mind her own business. Heather joined in and said Gina implied Tamra has a pattern of this behavior. Suddenly Gina was on the menu and she did not have her vacation wife Emily to back her up.

Tamra came clean to Jenn about Ryan saying he wanted to sleep with her before he met Jenn. Tamra then said she caught Jenn and Ryan together in the parking lot. Jen admitted that was the day she decided to end things with her husband William Pedranti. Tamra told Jenn she saw a d*ck pic that Ryan had sent to Heather Amin. Jenn said that was an accident but it was meant for her. The ladies agreed to move past this and be on good terms.

Gina couldn’t get over how Jenn walked away from her marriage and stormed off to call her boyfriend Travis Mullen. Heather took the phone from Gina and hung up on Travis. She told Gina to pull herself together. In her confessional, Heather wondered if Gina wasn’t over her past relationship. She worried if Gina told Travis her concerns, he would think they are not solid. To be continued…

Real Housewives of Orange County continues Wednesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.