Why 'The Real Housewives of Orange County' Needs a Cast Shake-up for Season 13
Why 'The Real Housewives of Orange County' Needs a Cast Shake-up for Season 13
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The Real Housewives of Orange County season 12 may be over and while the show hasn't officially been renewed, there's no reason to believe the OG of the Housewives' franchise won't be back for season 13. It's never too soon to speculate about which cast members will be back and who will move on to start their own podcast or wind up on some horrible reality dating show (we're talking to you, Brandi Glanville.) Season 12 was full of boobs, balls and booze, but there was also a whole lot of recycled drama, proving it's time for a facelift (or breast lift or vaginal rejuvenation.) Bravo's flagship installment of its popular franchise needs a cast shake-up. Here's who we think needs to go and who should stay.

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Vicki Gunvalson

Vicki Gunvalson's got serious credibility issues after her stomach-churning romance with con man Brooks Ayers (he faked cancer, and Vicki went along with his charade presumably for a payoff of casseroles, sympathy, attention and air time.) Fans like their Housewives to throw shade but not be full-on shady.

Vicki's also been ground zero for some pretty nasty rumors about her fellow cast members, including calling into question the sexual orientation of Tamra Judge's husband Eddie and claiming Shannon Beador's ex David beat her. Needless to say, things have not been great between the women since. Her ongoing feuding with her former frenemies hijacked most of the season.

Vicki tried to do damage control by pulling out the big guns and feigning a heart attack while on the group trip to Iceland (Vicki's official diagnosis was never clear, but Lydia McLaughlin chalked it up as a case of "the Vickis.")

It's time for Vicki to gather up what's left of her dignity and walk off into the sunset. Her whoop it up days are definitely over.

Kelly Dodd

Kelly wasn't exactly a fan favorite after her first season on the show, but she was much better-behaved in season 12. She even managed not to call any of her castmates a "cunt." Making up may be hard to do with this group, but Kelly was able to succeed where Vicki failed -- she mended fences with both Tamra and Shannon. In fact, Shannon and Kelly could be on their way to becoming the new OC power couple: they're both single and neither woman has met a cocktail she didn't like. Kelly did tangle with a few of her castmates, but by season's end, Kelly was on good terms with everyone, paving the way for a season 13 return.

Shannon Beador

Between her marital struggles and weight gain, Shannon had her fair share of meltdowns and Debbie Downer moments. But out of all of the OC Housewives, Shannon is the most relatable. It's not easy being a size 12 woman in a size 2 world, and the woman courageously revealed her mom bod on national television. 

Shannon did clash with Lydia and Peggy, but given her personal turmoil, it's easy to give her a bit of a pass. Catfights are par for the course on The Real Housewives, and let's face it, the main reason most viewers tune in. It's hard not to get excited at the prospect of watching a slimmed-down, single and ready to mingle Shannon return for season 13.

Peggy Sulahian

Peggy's constant resting bitch face could be due to the fact that she had zero interest in being on the show or around her cast members. It's a bit confounding that Peggy would choose to broadcast her personal life in the wake of her father's death and in the midst of dealing with breast cancer, especially when she was sketchy regarding the particulars of the latter leading to "Cancergate: the Sequel."

Peggy couldn't wrap her head around all the in-fighting which begs the question, "Why join the cast of a show that you appear to know nothing about?" Peggy never really jibed with any of the women with the exception of Lydia, and to be honest, her husband Diko would have made a better Housewife than his spouse. Peggy should join the ranks of other Real Housewives' one-season wonders.

Meghan King Edmonds

There isn't a whole lot to say about Meghan: she's still married to an asshole, she's in full-on mommy mode and she launched a candle line. Meghan did a little pot stirring, threw out a few digs and was otherwise utterly forgettable. She and her husband are trying for another baby which means more IVF and possibly more pregnancy-related storylines. Fans are happy Meghan has found domestic bliss, is eager to expand her family and has a baby that's as cute as a basket of kittens, but she doesn't exactly make for riveting TV.

Lydia McLaughlin

Lydia returned to the Housewives' fold after a roughly six-year hiatus and she's a bit edgier than she used to be (kind of like Mary-Kate Olsen is edgier than Ashley.) If former cast member Heather Dubrow was "Fancy Pants," Lydia's nickname should be "Tight Ass." This wasn't her first time at the rodeo, but she was still admittedly uncomfortable. She wasn't cool with drag queen bingo, gay psychics, chatter about fake boobs or basically anything that couldn't be found in the Bible. She could be counted on for impromptu prayer circles and talking incessantly about chopping off her husband's balls, otherwise known as a vasectomy.

Lydia grew so grating, she was excluded from a group dinner and had to bribe the women with a trip to Iceland just to get them to hang out with her. Whatever Lydia's higher calling is, it isn't as a reality TV star.

Tamra Judge

Tamra's found God, and like Lydia, she has an affinity for balls (she spoke about Kelly sucking on some big hairy ones.) Her roller coaster of a "friendship" with Vicki is dragging the entire show down with her, and either she or Vicki has to go. Tamra is the more entertaining of the two, although her using the show as a platform to gain favor in the court of public opinion regarding her estrangement from her daughter Sidney is icky and self-serving. Tamra might want to step out of the spotlight and work on repairing her family. But any fan who says they aren't dying to know how the whole "Eddie is gay" thing shakes out is lying through their teeth. As far as returning for another season, the jury is out on Judge.

Do you think season 12 was a hit or a miss? Which cast member is your favorite and why? Who should come back and who should leave for season 13? Is the never-ending Vicki-Tamra drama diminishing the show's popularity? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Part 1 of The Real Housewives of Orange County reunion airs Monday, November 20 at 9/8c on Bravo. Want more news? Visit our Real Housewives of Orange County page on Facebook.

(Image Courtesy of Bravo)