The ambitious blonde, who promises to bring "positivity" to the show, joins returning housewives Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Kelly Dodd, Gina Kirschenheiter, Kelly Dodd, Emily Simpson, and Shannon Beador.
"I'm one of five children and I'm a mediator so I end up mediating a lot on the show," she exclusively told OK! at an ultra-exclusive premiere party in Corona del Mar, Calif. "But at the end I just kind of say screw it and get into it. I get down and dirty."
Vargas' first season on RHOC was certainly unlike any we've seen before. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, production had to change plans and let the ladies film themselves.
"It was nuts," she admits. "I thought, OK, have fun, I'm getting a divorce, what can I do to get my mind off it? So, I start hanging out with the girls, then COVID hits and they tell us, you're filming on your own now, here's an iPhone. Here I am like, wait a minute, no camera crew, no makeup artist, no hairstylist, no nothing. I'm filming confessionals in my garage, doing my own makeup and hair."
Vargas said she would never want to put the camera crew or anyone in jeopardy for the sake of a show.
"I understood exactly why we had to produce the show we did during COVID but it was extremely difficult," she said. "I was pretty much my writer, producer, director. It was a challenge for sure."
A major VIP on the Newport Beach social scene, Vargas was first introduced to the Bravo ladies by Dodd. Vargas' manager, David Weintraub, then paved the way for the socialite to get on the show.
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"Elizabeth lives a very extravagant lifestyle," she said on the first episode. "She has jet planes and a whole bunch of big mansions."
Despite Dodd's dramatic ups and downs with the fellow housewives, Vargas said she was really helpful in getting to know her new castmates.
"Kelly has a different dynamic to the group all together," she said. "She introduced me to the girls one at a time and I got to know their personalities, it was kind of like, Shannon has her own personality, Gina definitely has her own personality, Braunwyn has a big personality in a whole different way. So, I got to meet the girls separately but together and collaboratively during the entire season. We went up and we went down and in the end we all understood each other."
With one of the best taglines in O.C. history, "I earned my money the old-fashioned way: marrying it, then making more," the Missouri native comes on to the series amid her split from billionaire businessman Bernt Bodal.
"I married very well and I divorced very well, but the point of me divorcing wasn't just for me to be an angry old bat with money," she explained. "I wanted to transition those finances to better life around me. I say money the old-fashioned way but ultimately I'm not just a bobble-head billionaires wife. I have a brain, I'm an entrepreneur, I have drive."
With the means to give back, she started the We Care Rescue Ranch Foundation, which will be opening a rescue center for dogs that will include a rehabilitation center and a medical center.