As it goes with the Real Housewives, nothing is final until the new season airs. We’ve seen Housewives negotiate up until filming has already begun and even ousted wives asked to return at the last minute due to a new wife dropping out. (This is supposedly what happened last time around with Alexis Bellino–she was reportedly out and then right before filming was asked back due to a newbie backing out.)
Bravo has yet to confirm any casting changes, but we’re hearing that Gretchen Rossi and Alexis Bellino will not be asked back for Season 9 of The Real Housewives of Orange County.
According to an inside scoop, Life & Style reports that “Gretchen and Alexis are not going to be back next season. Every season they look at how to shake up the cast. They needed new women and in order to do that they had to say goodbye to some of the current cast.”
The source continues, “Alexis doesn’t really have much going on and Gretchen has reached the end of her story on the show — she’s happily engaged and starting a new life with Slade [Smiley].”
But neither of the ladies were expecting the crushing news. Adds the insider, “They both wanted to come back.”
During the Season 8 Reunion, several of the other ladies accused Gretchen of staging her engagement with Slade as a desperate attempt to drum up something interesting in her storyline. But, even if that were the case, it doesn’t seem to have worked for Bravo.
Alexis had this to say recently:
“Everything is still in the air. [Jim] and I haven’t addressed it; we’re just enjoying the time off. I don’t even want to think about it. Right now I’m very undecided and I don’t want to think about what we’re doing,” she said. “Supposedly, we only have a month, month and a half before everything starts up again. So it’s not a very long hiatus. That’s basically getting the kids ready for school. Halloween and that’s it. That’s the end of it.”
Gretchen has been an OC Housewife since season 4 and Alexis since season 5. I guess I’m not so surprised about Alexis because, as I mentioned above, it was rumored that she almost didn’t even make it to Season 8. Her story was also a little bit lackluster this season and actually almost felt like she knew an exit was coming–she spent most of the season mending fences and making nice with her former foes. For whatever reason, (either he became a nice guy all of a sudden or producers took pity on them) Jim was painted in a much more flattering light last season, too. Perhaps this was a parting gift from Bravo who wanted to wrap up Alexis’ story in a nice little rose-colored bow?
When it comes to Gretchen, however, I must say that I am more surprised. Not necessarily disappointed to see her go but somehow she has always seemed like a staple of the show to me. I mean, what could be better TV than the new hot housewife dating the old hot housewife’s (Jo De La Rosa) man? But, I suppose that storyline ran it’s course a few seasons ago and perhaps the fact that Gretchen & Slade did get engaged last season really just helped Bravo to close her chapter altogether. In an era when it seems that every Housewife who gets engaged gets her own wedding spinoff series, I wonder if Gretchen is feeling extra rejected right about now.
No word yet about possible replacements but we’ll be sure to keep our ear to the ground! What do you think about Gretchen and Alexis potentially not returning for Season 9?