Tamra Judge at BravoCon 2023 in Las Vegas
Photo by Rich Polk/Bravo via Getty Images

Tamra Judge Reveals Wild Story on Being Cast for Real Housewives of Orange County

Every Real Housewives star has an origin story. They don’t just appear fully formed on Bravo. And while some were more popular than others before stepping into the Housewives world, hearing how they got started is always interesting. 

The latest to share her “origin story” was Tamra Judge, who told Alex Baskin how she got cast for Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo’s Hot Mic Podcast. The timing is perfect as the housewife returned to the show this year. 

How Tamra Judge was cast on RHOC: From open house to open life

Tamra joined RHOC in Season 3 when she was “on the verge of turning 40,” as host Alex pointed out. “And you were reconciling aging in Orange County,” he added as he asked how she ended up on the show.

“I was in a bad marriage and just a bad place in my life,” Tamra added. “It wasn’t the life I saw for myself.”

Then, one day, she and a girlfriend were sending each other instant messages, and her friend mentioned there were going to be auditions for the Real Housewives and asked if she wanted to go. Tamra immediately responded, “No, I have an open house that day. I can’t make it.”

Either way, Tamra decided to fill out the online application form anyway.

“I know there was a line around the door at the Balboa Bay Club,” she said about the auditions. “Of people with pictures of their Rolls Royces and bank statements.” She felt she was too normal and there was nothing exciting about her.

A little bit obnoxious

Tamra Judge at the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion
Photo by: Clifton Prescod/Bravo

But she was wrong. The producers saw something they liked in her application and called and came over to meet her. “They came over. And I think, just in general, I’m a little bit obnoxious,” she shared. “Especially when I get nervous. And I think I said something about Jeana Keough. They asked if I knew her, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I know her. I run circles around her.'” 

But that wasn’t true. Tamra recalled she was just starting in real estate at the time. “I was just saying sh*t.” Either way, she made an impression, and they asked her to fill out another thick application form and said they’d be in touch.

They returned to meet her then-husband, Simon Barney, and the kids. Then, she eventually found out it was down to her and another real estate agent in her neighborhood, which brought out her claws.

“I was like, ‘Aw, hell no,'” she laughed. After that, she waited and waited. And when she didn’t hear from them, she decided to call the producer herself. “I’m like, ‘Hey Pete, it’s Tamra. Did I get the f*cking job or not?’ And then I hung up.”

He called her back, laughing, and confirmed she got the job. And that’s how Tamra ended up on RHOC. Looks like sometimes being obnoxious pays off.