During a joint interview, Dolores and Rachel, who joined the show in 2022, looked back on what they appreciated about the dynamic of season 13 as Dolores shared how she felt about welcoming boyfriend Paul “Paulie” Connell, who she’s been dating since late 2021, to film alongside her.
“Paul Connell was very involved in my life in a very nice and good way and I just loved how my friends, the whole cast, as much as there was a lot of drama, a lot of fighting this season, I appreciate all of them as friends for how they treated him and embraced him into the group,” she explained.
According to Dolores, she appreciates the cast welcoming Paul with open arms, saying their kindness was “really, really nice” as she admitted to showcasing a more “vulnerable” side of herself on the season.
“It was fun and I love having Rachel on,” she added as Rachel described her debut season as “absolutely crazy.”
As for what Rachel appreciated about the season, she praised Dolores as “an amazing support system” as she said it’s “been interesting” to navigate her other relationships on the cast.
“It’s a new job, to put it in layman’s terms, it’s a new job so there’s a learning curve there but it was interesting, it was exciting, [and] it was stressful,” she continued. “I started filming with a seven-and-a-half-week-old baby, that was really stressful but having the support of my castmates and friends has been really, really helpful.”
Rachel also enjoyed that she and her family, including her husband John Fuda, were “forced to not be on [their] phones” while filming scenes as a family.
“Having a 16-year-old son, it can sometimes be tough to get things out of them, to have conversations. We were put in those situations and forced to talk so I found myself wanting to do that more. So it kinda propelled us further into that direction,” she revealed.
Then, in regard to the finale, where Teresa Giudice‘s relationship with Joe and Melissa Gorga reportedly imploded, leading the couple to skip her and Luis Ruelas‘ wedding, Dolores said, “The finale is just, like, an explosion.”
And Rachel agreed, saying, “That’s the best word that’s exactly what happened, like somebody set a bomb and just walked away.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey season 13 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.