Andy Cohen is paying tribute to a franchise veteran. On Friday, January 24, the Bravo boss, 51, took to his Instagram account to share his personal thoughts on reality star Vicki Gunvalson following her shocking announcement that she would officially be leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County.
The Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen host posted a photo of him hugging Vicki, 57, along with a solo shot of the reality star. “I remember the first reunion I did with Vicki Gunvalson. Occasionally our eyes would meet as I grilled the other women, and she would wink at me optimistically and effervescently as both of her deep dimples shone,” Andy captioned the snap.
He continued, “She kept winking at me year after year, and it always made my heart smile. Vicki is an original, who remained her authentic self from her Family Van-freakout through her last reunion.”
Andy finished his message saying, “It’s so hard to remain exactly who you are after being on television for so long, but Vicki is one of a kind. Thank you for everything, @vickigunvalson—what a ride. And it’s not over. (This pic is actually from the Season 3 Reunion, and I always really like it …) red heart emoji and orange #RHOC.”
Earlier that same day Vicki announced that she would not be returning for season 15 of the RHOC. The Bravo star told Us Weekly that she chose to leave the show because she and the Bravo network were “unequally aligned.”
The Coto Insurance founder announced her decision on Instagram writing, “I will always be the OG of the OC, but it’s time to say goodbye to The Real Housewives of Orange County.” She added, “It’s been an incredible ride for 14 years and I want to thank all of you for your support, for your love and for ‘whopping it up’ with me along the way.”
Seemingly unbothered, the RHOC star then went to highlight her various upcoming projects. “I’ve been working on new projects that will be exciting, empowering and inspirational,” she revealed. “My podcast with Westwood One will be launching soon and I will have much more to say about this on ‘Whoop it up with Vicki.’ I hope you will join me on my new journey so please stay tuned.” Vicki finished her post saying, “I love all my fans, and I want to thank Bravo and Evolution for this incredible experience which my family and I will never forget.”
Costar, BFF and "Tres Amigas" member Shannon Beador reacted to the news and commented on Vicki's post. She wrote, “You will always be my tres amigas sister. ❤️. The show may be over, but our friendship will always continue on. Will miss seeing your hospital visits, taking tequila shots, driving gold carts into restaurants, flipping kayaks, and basically just whooping it up! Love you! ?”
Former RHOC star Gretchen Rossi also commented, "Ahh you had an incredible run! You will always be the OG of the OC.! ?."
Former castmate Meghan King Edmonds also reacted to Vicki's shocking exit. She told Us Weekly, “I figured Vicki would be eventually phased out since she was a friend last season, but it’s still a little surprising since she’s been around since the beginning."
As OK! readers know Vicki was demoted to a "friend of the cast" for season 14. The businesswoman later declared that she would not return for another season unless she was promoted back to being a full-time housewife. “I’m never coming back reduced again,” she told the crowd at BravoCon 2019 in November.
What are your thoughts on Andy's message about Vicki? Sounds off in the comments.