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Filming has only just started on The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 18, but Heather Dubrow promises that there hasn’t been a slow day yet.
“Usually filming starts a little slow and takes some time to catch up. Not this year,” she told StyleCaster at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection Concert in New York on January 31. “This year, truth is stranger than fiction. You can’t make this stuff up. I think the audience is going to be very happy.”
One thing Bravo fans have to look forward to is the return of Alexis Bellino, who is set to come back as a Friend Of for Season 18, according to TMZ. Alexis, who previously starred on The Real Housewives of Orange County from Seasons 5 to 8, has been the talk of the Orange County ever since news broke in December that she was dating current RHOC cast member Shannon Beador’s ex-boyfriend, John Janssen.
“We’ve only just begun, so time will tell on all of that,” Heather said about how Alexis has fit in with the cast so far. “But I just think she’s terrific. I’ve known her for 13 years. We’ve only become closer over the last couple of years, so I’m really excited to have her back and I’m excited for the audience to see Alexis as who she is today, as an independent single mom. Her glow-up has been really great.”
When asked if she’s nervous for Alexis and Shannon’s first time filming together, Heather simply smiled and said, “I have no comment.” Of course, Alexis isn’t the only thing fans have to look forward to on The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 18. In early January, the Tres Amigas—consisting of Shanon, current RHOC cast member Tamra Judge, and RHOC alum Vicki Gunvalson—made headlines when Tamra revealed that she had fallen out with Shannon and Vicki, as well as quit the trio’s Tres Amigas comedy tour. The tour has since been rebranded as Shannon & Vicki Live!
“Listen, I think a lot of that stuff is really fluid. We’ll see what happens,” Heather said when asked whether she thinks the Tres Amigas can repair their relationship. “I think everything is possible. When you’ve had friendships for that many years and you’ve been with their families and seen them have children and marriages, you have history together. I don’t think you can toss that away so easily.”
Heather, who is married to Botched star Dr. Terry Dubrow, joined The Real Housewives of Orange County in Season 7. She left the series in Season 11 before returning in Season 16. Along with Heather, Shannon, and Tamra, The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 18 cast is also expected to include returning Housewives Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson, and Jennifer Pedranti. Alexis replaced former Friend Of Taylor Armstrong after her exit following Season 17.
Heather and Terry made headlines in August after Terry revealed in a virtual appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that he suffered a mini-stroke due an anatomical defect in his heart, which Heather forced him to check out at the time, consequentially saving his life.
“After Terry had his stroke last summer and it made some headlines, we have been very interested in keeping the conversation going in other people’s homes about cardiovascular health, knowing what the warning signs look like and trying to save some lives,” Heather said at Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection Concert.
Terry added, “We have great cures and great treatments, but if you don’t get an early diagnosis, they’re not effective. It’s the number one cause of death in men and women. Go to the doctor, get your heart work up for any age, and make sure you’re not at risk for a cardiovascular event.”
Heather and Terry also advise anyone over the age of 30 to be “surveyors” of their bodies and check up on their heart health. “We try to exercise every day. We do surveillance. We know exactly how much blockage there is in our coronary arteries, our carotid arteries, we know what our cholesterol is, we try to keep our body fat low. We’re very precise surveyors of our own bodies and we recommend that everybody do that starting at the age 30,” Terry said.
The Real Housewives of Orange County is available to stream on Peacock.