Season 17 of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” will be extra juicy, according to Gina Kirschenheiter.
The Bravolebrity claimed to Page Six that returning star Tamra Judge was often drunk while cameras were rolling.
“Tamra was very lit a lot of the [time],” Kirschenheiter exclusively told us Saturday at a kickoff event ahead of the premiere of “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge.”
The new real estate agent was joined by show newcomer Jennifer Pedranti, who was “shocked” by some of Judge’s behavior toward her.
In Bravo’s explosive trailer for the upcoming season, Judge angrily throws her dinner napkin in Pedranti’s face, which the yoga instructor told us left her “frozen” like a “deer in headlights.”
“There were parts that I was like, ‘Sit down, have a bite, have a drink of water, girlfriend,’” Pedranti recalled of filming with Judge, 55.
Kirschenheiter, 39, concurred, adding that the “Two Ts In A Pod” podcast co-host was in frequent need of “carbs and a little time out.”
However, the CaraGala co-founder admitted she was “actually happy” when she heard Judge was making a comeback to the reality series, calling her “a really good cast member.”
“If nothing else, she’s Tamra, and she’s feisty as f–k,” Kirschenheiter said, acknowledging that Judge’s on-screen personality was “probably difficult” for Pedranti to navigate “because they have history.”
Pedranti, for her part, has “never known” Judge as a “Housewife” — only as her “girlfriend.”
“And so to come into this part of Tamra’s life and our friendship, there were parts for me where I was like, ‘Holy s–t, what is happening right now?’” she confessed.
But Kirschenheiter gave the Bravo freshman credit for sticking up for herself, noting that she’s “not afraid of Tamra.”
Like Kirschenheiter, Pedranti agreed that Judge is “made for” reality TV.
As Page Six previously reported, Judge and Heather Dubrow “butted heads” for the duration of filming, but Kirschenheiter told us that she, too, experienced friction with Dubrow.
“I’m not gonna lie, this season, Heather and I went through it. We definitely did,” she admitted. “It really was up and down for Heather and me this season. It got real.”
Kirschenheiter shared that fans thought she was “up Heather’s ass” all of Season 16, but she explained to us that Durbow, 54, was “just really cool” toward her, so they struck up a “friendship.”
“But when I get offended or somebody crosses a line — I don’t care who you are, how much money you have — I have boundaries. And when you cross those boundaries, that’s not OK with me,” Kirschenheiter said, adding that she was “very vocal when things were bothering” her.
As for Dubrow, she recently told us it was “a difficult season” for her.
Despite the learning curves, she and Kirschenheiter are apparently “solid” these days, as the latter claimed they “addressed things and worked things out.”
She also gushed over Vicki Gunvalson, who will make a few cameos in the upcoming season.
“When she first came back, I was like, ‘I don’t know how I feel about this.’ But honestly, Vicki was so fun. She’s so funny. It was a joy to have her back,” Kirschenheiter told us, pointing out that the “OG of the OC” was “so nice” to her.
Pedranti had a similar experience, saying her “first interaction” with Gunvalson — who’s always notoriously feuded with the newbies — was “great.”
“She was a girl’s girl! She would pull me aside, and she kinda wanted to love up and give me advice,” Pedranti shared.
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Both she and Kirschenheiter said the insurance maven, 61, appeared much “happier,” more “at peace” and more “comfortable” than when she exited the show in a huff in 2020 after 14 seasons.
At the time, she was still dating Steve Lodge, whom she later accused of cheating on, lying to and using her. (The former politician has denied the claims and branded Gunvalson a “pathological liar.”)
Both Kirschenheiter and Pedranti approve of Gunvalson’s “new relationship,” which the former described as “realistic” and “a good one for her.”
“She’s not forcing anything. It’s kind of long-distance, and I think that she’s OK with that,” Kirschenheiter said of Michael Smith, whom Gunvalson has been dating since January 2022. “This person makes her happy.”
“The Real Housewives of Orange County” Season 17 premieres June 7 on Bravo.
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