Heather Explains It All -RHOC’s Heather Dubrow Discusses Season 9

Photo:Bravotv.com

Photo:Bravotv.com

After three seasons on The Real Housewives of Orange County, one would think Heather Dubrow would have risen to the top of the pecking order, especially with two newbie cast members. In Housewives land, however, nobody’s role is ever guaranteed. The once revered voice of reason is now finding her season in the hot seat. I caught up with Heather just days before she was departing for a much needed family vacation. She took a break from packing  to give me a little Season 9 behind the scenes.

TBB: Was there any hesitation about returning for a third season on RHOC?

HD: Definitely! This show is difficult to do. It’s really hard to be held accountable for everything that comes out of your mouth. We film so much and in the end (the viewers) see pieces of things, and the way they are put together is not really reality, and it’s frustrating.

TBB: The dynamics of the group have changed this season. What’s your take on the new girls (Shannon Beador and Lizzie Rovsek) and your role in the show now?

HD: I think they are both really good additions to the cast. As for my role on this season…every week when I get my screener I’m sort of scared to see what’s on there. We filmed twice as long as the previous season and I had a lot going on so it was a very stressful season from me. I felt very isolated from the other girls. I really wasn’t seeing them except for at major events.

TBB: We have been watching your once tight friendship with Tamra (Judge) unravel. In the final cut it looks like you sabotaged her ride on a mechanical bull causing her to fall. What went through your mind while watching that incident?

HD: The truth is it just didn’t happen all that fast. I made a joke in saying, “Turn it up”. I said it when I got on the bull, I said it again when Tamra got on. It didn’t mean “turn it up and maim or hurt my friend”. If my comment or joke is in any way responsible for (her falling) I apologize profusely. I feel terrible. I would never do that to my friend. There were cameras everywhere and we’d been drinking. I’ll be apologizing for this for a long time. I love Tamra and would never want to hurt her.

TBB: How do you feel about the other women accusing you of acting out your friendship with them?

HD: When Shannon and I had lunch I walked away thinking we were okay and it was going to be a fresh start. When I saw what she said I felt like I was being talked about behind my back. I was very disappointed in what she said to Tamra at her Christmas party. If I had known that I probably wouldn’t have gone to the party.

TBB: Did you fake that phone call at Shannon’s Christmas party?

HD: No, and so many people have tweeted pictures of me holding the phone, picking up the phone and the lights are clearly on. Anyone who watches this show would know that my husband, who would say if I kicked him under the table, “Why are you kicking me,” would say “There’s nobody there” if I handed him a phone with nobody on the other end. Furthermore, I would never fake anything having to do with my kids’ health. That’s such bad Karma.

TBB: Do you feel that the absence of Gretchen (Rossi) and Alexis (Bellino) who were both long standing cast members has affected RHOC?

HD: Each season feels like such a restart. It seems to me like Gretchen and Alexis are in better places doing what they want to do, and they are happy. Thankfully it didn’t affect the show. I think OC is a really strong franchise and the whole is greater than its parts.

TBB: You have had a few guest roles on some scripted series since becoming a Housewife. Are you looking to make a complete transition from reality back to scripted television?

HD: I’m enjoying the opportunities that are coming to me. I just finished a 12 episode series as part of Sony’s Vision Network and am actively pursuing auditions and reading for roles. I’m in a position where I can pick when I want to work, not that they always want me, but I don’t want to give up too much time with my children. Right now I’m very happy and feel very balanced doing both, I don’t think one has to be exclusive of the other.

TBB: Your husband Terry has been very supportive of you. Watching the RHOC how do you feel about his involvement in the drama?

HD: I think, especially this season, I felt very isolated from the other ladies. They were getting together a lot without me and anything that was going on with me was discussed at these parties. (Terry) was my only advocate. Terry and I are a partnership. We aren’t always perfect but we are a really good team. At the end of the day I go home with him, not one of the other Housewives.

TBB: Terry has his own show, Botched, coming to E. What has it been like for your family doing reality television double duty?

HD: It was very stressful. Terry was not around. He was filming Botched and I was filming Housewives. We were both stretched really thin, but he was so happy with what he was doing. It was such a fun extracurricular add on to his plastic surgery business, and when you are happy and successful you let a lot of things just roll. I think it was more stressful for me because I didn’t have him around that much.

TBB: I was surprised to learn that Terry’s brother was Kevin Dubrow, the late lead singer of Quiet Riot. Does Terry sing at all?

HD: No…that would be no. He has many special gifts, but that is not one of them.

TBB: If Housewives is renewed would you be interested in returning for the next season?

HD: I think so much happened this season and it was such a long season. I need a break. I’m definitely ready for a break. It will depend on what’s going on in my life and also what happens during the reunion. I have to take one day at a time.

TBB: What’s the story on the new house? Is it finished yet?

HD: We have about another year to go.

TBB: Have you got a favorite interior design tip to share with us?

HD: I love mirrors! They can make a small room look bigger and you can find many great inexpensive ones. It’s such a great tool to use in your house.

TBB: Thank you for chatting with me once again. Is there anything you’d like to add?

HD: It’s been a tough season (of RHOC) but I’m really grateful that I’ve had an opportunity to be on the show. I’m really grateful as it’s been wonderful for our whole family. It’s truly been one of those really great life experiences, so thanks Bravo!

What are YOUR thoughts on season 9? Are you team Heather or team somebody else? Join the conversation below! To read our Season 8 interview with Heather click here!

One Year in the Biz: Time to Quit Bitchin’

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Dear Readers,

One year ago I had this quirky idea to start blogging about going to local reality star appearances in an attempt to get a media intership. I was hot off of reading A Place Of Yes by Bethenny Frankel and ready to claim the career of my dreams. This, in my mind, was the booby prize after a failed attempt to move South and be a stay at home mom. The rationale was “Well, if I have to work, it best be something I enjoy.” Fast forward 365 days and nothing, I mean NOTHING, is what I thought it would be.

My original site, thebravobitch.com , quickly became a real true reality television website. The modest product signing idea, with the aid of Twitter, morphed into full fledged reality star interviews, first via email, then by phone, and eventually in person.  Waiting in line to have a book signed would give way to sitting at tables for ticketed events, to, now, invitations complete with press passes and red carpet access. My life became a double one. I’d spend my days as I always had, working, cleaning, mothering to have to change into dresses and heels to go to evening events from which I would come home late. Often I’d get up at 6am the following day to do it all over again. Exhausting, yes, but the sheer energy and bliss that comes from living the life that excites me has been fuel enough to combat the lost sleep.

My goal for an internship also changed. Before I knew what was happening I was hiring my own interns. My interns turned to writers and I now keep a staff of 5 incredibly talented people. We are like one little family. Our group texts alone could be a reality show. They’ve become my core group of friends. Add on to that the friends I’ve made in the business and 4,000 fantastic tweeters and I would say my cup runneth over.

It has not always been easy. I’ve been criticized, I’ve been harrassed (you would not even believe how serious it got at one point), and I’ve been full of doubt. However, everytime I felt like giving up something would happen that told me it was not the right time. It could be as simple as an encouraging tweet, to as huge as the knowledge that someone very influential was watching me.

So what have I learned in a year? I have learned that with hard work, dedication, and the willingness to put myself out there I can move mountains. If I can impart any wisdom to you all it would be don’t be afraid to ASK for things. You would be surprised how often people say “Yes.” I also learned that reality stars work their asses off to stay relevant. These people are on the move and getting their names out there everyday. They are some of the most driven and dedicated folks I have ever met. I learned not to take myself too seriously. I learned that  I can  put myself out there and if somebody doesn’t like me or what I have to say I will be OK. I learned that things often don’t go the way we want them to, because sometimes what we think we want isn’t what’s right for us at all. I thought I wanted to not work outside of being a mom, reality is, working at something I love to do is the best thing for me.

People ask me, “What is your  long term plan?” Where am I headed? The honest answer is I really don’t know. I couldn’t have predicted I would be here typing this today, so I certainly can’t predict what’s going to happen next year, next month, or even tomorrow. Recently I had the chance to interview for what could be my dream job. If this works out, I honestly could not write a better ending (and new beginning) to my story. But, if it doesn’t, I won’t be sad, because I now know that a power greater than I am can see that it was only what I thought I want, and some other magical surprise will be waiting around the corner. I hope you will all continue to follow me and hold my hand so that we can turn that corner together.

Regards and Hugs,

TBB

PS: I also learned that nobody thinks I’m a bitch, so from here on in you can find me @TheBravoBlonde ! (But, I’ll always keep my other name in my back pocket …just in case ;))

TBB Meets WW

imageOops I did it again! By now you all know that I have the gift of gab. Often a 15 minute phone interview can turn into an hour off the record convo if the chemistry between my subject and I is right (remember these folks are all talkers too!). The pressure I feel at meet and greets to get an impression made in as little time as possible is particularly extreme. Things were no different on May 9th when I once again descended the steps at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ to meet one of my idols, Wendy Williams.

The first year of my career a co-worker introduced me to Ms. Williams’ show which was broadcast every afternoon on New York’s 107.5 WBLS. “You have to listen to this woman” she told me one day. “She talks about ‘Baby Mamma Drama’, and gets the craziest advice calls.” I remember being hooked instantly. How dare my suburban uppity white surroundings keep this show a secret from me for so long! Within weeks Wendy became “a friend in my head” and I would look forward to her company on my tedious traffic plagued ride back to the burbs. I started quoting her to others and was excited to find my equally uppity white male cousin (who shares his July 18th birthday with Williams) was also a fan.

I read Williams first book many years ago. Usually the world’s slowest reader, often starting a book and never finishing it, I devoured Williams’ text in the course of one day. My heart was broken when she left the radio. Her hit talk show is never on when I’m at home or awake, and I am left to wait until summer (when I have a lot of vacation time) to watch repeats. Still I have the utmost admiration for her and continue to consider myself a fan.

Back in February I had what I thought was an opportunity to meet her when I covered an event she was rumored to be attending. She never materialized, at least not that I saw, and I left that night feeling a bit disappointed. So when Brent (AKA our very own Housewife Guy) told me she was going to be signing books at our fave mom and pop book shop I was raring to go!

When Williams arrived, in some of the highest heels I’ve seen, she wobbled down the steps to her awaiting fans holding on for what seemed like dear life. Once she was safely down she let out a boisterous “How you doin?” and the crowd went wild. She was casual in skinny jeans and a fitted red top. With minimal makeup on she still looked stunning and very lithe in person. I made sure to glance at her diamond ring which I’d heard her talk about. Now I happen to have a decently sized diamond for the average woman, but this ring ate my ring and all its cousins. It’s quite impressive.

William’s latest book, Ask Wendy, is based on the questions she’s received and the advice she’s offered over the course of her career, so in keeping with the theme she started the signing by taking questions from the gathered group. Everyone seemed too nervous, but one woman, who boldly told us about her vile sister in law who has torn her family apart. After that there still were no takers so I raised my hand and asked about dealing with mom guilt while trying to get the work/family balance right (and shamelessly plugged our little website).

After telling me that basically there is no way to achieve that balance, the signing commenced. Williams, like Bethenny Frankel and Teresa Giudice, was friendly, open to taking pictures, and brief chit chat. Here’s where I flubbed again. I introduced myself and delivered my business card, my main mission for the evening. Then I talked a wee bit too long. “Well Tara,” she looked at me a bit sternly, ” I have your business card.” Translation: “Move it along…now!” So I may or may not have gotten a bit scolded by Wendy Williams yesterday, but hey she’s the Queen of Media, she can do whatever she wants…and she has my card! Hey Wendy, call me, maybe?