A one-hit wonder. After her first (and only) season on Real Housewives of Orange County, Dr. Jen Armstrong was fired from the show. The decision came after a season of poor ratings, which were arguably caused by the unfortunate cast shakeup.
After news of Jen’s termination broke, viewers soon discovered another twist: Tamra Judge is set to replace her. Many fans (who were tired of watching Jen and Heather Dubrow argue with Noella Bergener, who’s also fired) are pleased with the casting decision.
In an interview for the Behind The Velvet Rope with David Yontef podcast, Dr. Jen opened up about the firing. “I think [it] may have been more of a last minute decision,” said the star, who is grateful she won’t have to film amid her recent divorce. “I just moved into a new house… It’s just kind of chaotic right now.”
When asked about her “lows” on the show, Jen pointed a finger at editing. “The low is definitely the editing. So I felt like I was heavily, heavily edited almost to make me like a mute, which bothered me because I’m like, wow, that was a ton of work to do those scenes,” she said.
What did producers leave out? “With that whole Noella thing, we had a whole lunch. I confronted her, I had like a timer and a list and like, I didn’t not respond to all those allegations or her ridiculous behavior. And then it was just all edited out,” she said. “It just made me look like I stood there and I was like, huh, which wasn’t actually what happened.”
“Or even like at Heather’s daughter’s book party,” Jen continued. “I brought one of my best friends who’s a psychiatrist with me and I was like, ‘Hey, ladies, I brought my friend, he’s a psychiatrist, in case if any of you act up tonight,’ and it was just funny little things that were cut out, you know? And I’m like, that’s too bad because it doesn’t show like the real side of you.”
Dr. Jen suggested that her “dry sense of humor” was “dumbed down” for the show.
She would have “probably” asked producers to make her a ‘friend’ (rather than a full-time castmate) because of her time commitments. “You know, I worked full time and I have three kids. And so I don’t have the backup rich husband. Filming five days a week and working five days a week, it was a lot,” she said. “It was definitely a unique experience, but I’m not like the drunk mean girls. I definitely have a different play on it. You know, I was just myself, and my world kind of crumbled a little bit during filming.”
When asked about “regrets,” Jen explained: “I would have prepared better for work and I probably would have [found time] to meet with [my husband] Ryan and to get everybody on the same page on a weekly, daily, monthly basis during that.”
If she had a choice to come back, the doctor would “have to think about [it]… I think that anyone would take it just because these are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities… People don’t just ask you to do TV shows every day.”
Unfortunately, Jen believes that Noella overshadowed her. “Yes. I’ll say that very definitively. She sucked the oxygen out of the room, is what a lot of people, I think Heather said that accurately… Instead of engaging, it’s just taking.”
“What bothered me about Noella is that it was definitely acting. So we’d end, the cameras would leave, and she’d be like, ‘Oh my gosh, wasn’t that just so good. Oh my gosh, the fans are just going to love that.’ I’m like, ‘What? Like what are you talking about?’”
Jen insinuated that Noella fake-screamed in the woods during that awkward cast trip. “I mean, come on. Pups could act better than that. Like that wasn’t, that was clearly not authentic… It was just bizarre behavior.”
When asked if producers told Jen that Tamra was her replacement, she explained, “No, I did have some people who worked there but gave me some heads up, but nothing confirmed. That is good for Tamra. She really, I don’t know if she has anything else going on, but she really, really wanted to come back so good for her.”
In Jen’s opinion, is the potential return of Tamra and Alexis Bellino a good idea? “If you’re not going to keep the same cast and let that work itself out, then bringing in old Housewives… is probably the better idea. But my first idea would be, keep who you have. You know what I mean? It’s just like this constant switch-out [is] not going to be good.”
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