The original Real Housewives of Orange County will be returning to Bravo for season 9 in April, and with a serious cast shake-up.

Three cast members from last season, Alexis Bellino, Gretchen Rossi and Lydia McLaughlin, have all taken their exits. Gretchen and Alexis had been part of the cast since seasons 4 and 5, respectively, while last season was Lydia’s first and last season participating on the show. 

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There were rumors that Gretchen and Alexis would be getting the ax after season 8 because of their boring storylines (and Bravo had been reportedly trying to get rid of Alexis since after season 7). And Lydia announced she was leaving on her own accord because she wanted to expand her family and have another baby, but didn’t want to share that with cameras.

Now there are two new cast members joining original housewife Vicki Gunvalson and returning cast members Tamra Barney-Judge and Heather Dubrow.

Lizzie Rovsek is a neighbor of Tamra’s, a former Miss Kentucky, and wife and mother of two. Shannon Beador is a native Californian and stay-at-home mom to three daughters. They’ll also be joined by “friend of the housewife” Danielle Gregorio.

The new season will obviously focus on the relationships all of the women from within their new group. Vicki still struggles with her relationship with her daughter as a result of last season’s emotional confrontation with her boyfriend, Brooks Ayers. Shannon and her husband, David, struggle with their marriage after spending 13 years together. And Heather looks like she might be on the outs with the group of ladies she was once so close with.

The Real Housewives of Orange County season 9 will premiere April 14 at 9pm on Bravo. Here’s the first look:

(Image and video courtesy of Bravo)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV