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Arts + CultureHow do you spell 'Real Housewives' trouble? Two T's,...

How do you spell ‘Real Housewives’ trouble? Two T’s, please.

Fired Bravo stars Teddi Mellencamp and Tamra Judge blaze again with a podcast, live show, and plenty of dish

When “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” alum Teddi Mellencamp and her “Orange County” counterpart Tamra Judge got fired from their respective Bravo series in 2020, they say it hurt so bad.

“It was hard because it was during the pandemic, and life was hard in general,” says Mellencamp, daughter of singer-songwriter John Mellencamp. “I just had a baby who had neurosurgery. Life was heavy. Then I got the news, and financially, it felt uncomfortable; also, the idea that I wasn’t enough…”

“It was disrespectful after 12 years of being a popular character on the show,” adds Judge, who’s since returned to the show. “It was something I didn’t expect yet secretly wished for because I was tired—but didn’t ultimately want. It was like a death. Not only did I get fired, but there was also a pandemic. So financially, it was rough.” 

It would take almost two years to recover, but the two T’s eventually picked up the pieces and launched their podcast “Two Ts In A Pod” on iHeart Radio. They figured that if they could no longer be at the center of “Housewives” drama, they could at least watch and judge from the sidelines—with popcorn.  

Often siloed in the echo chamber of their studio, they’re excited to bring their show—rounded out by fellow “Housewives” Emily Simpson (“Orange County”), Angie Katsanevas (“Salt Lake City”), and Cynthia Bailey (formerly of “Atlanta”)—directly to Bay Area fans this week (Palace of Fine Arts, Thu/25) and get their takes on all the latest “Housewives” drama.

Mellencamp and Judge have never been shy about expressing their opinions about their castmates and breaking “Housewives” news, so there’s no telling what tea these T’s will spill.

They gave me a taste in a recent interview, where we chatted about Mellencamp’s real-life drama of undergoing cancer surgery late last month, some of the latest “Housewives” rumors, and coming up north to cause trouble.

48 HILLS First and foremost, Teddi, how are you doing after your recent wide-excision surgery for melanoma?

TEDDI MELLENCAMP I’m starting to turn the corner and feel good. I feel lucky and blessed to come through it. 

48 HILLS That’s wonderful. And you’re good to go on this tour? 

TEDDI MELLENCAMP Oh, yeah. 

TAMRA JUDGE I will feed her pain medication and champagne and hold her up like a marionette if I have to. 

48 HILLS How did you team up for this podcast? 

TEDDI MELLENCAMP I already had a podcast, and they kept saying, “Teddi, we want you to start talking about ‘Housewives’ now that you got fired.” I finally said, “OK, if I get to pick my cohost.” And they were like, “Well, can you find somebody with a T?” And I’m like, “Why?” And they’re like, “We like the name ‘Two Ts In A Pod.’”

I needed somebody willing to get in the trenches with me—and knew just the woman for the job. 

TAMRA JUDGE Teddi asked me, “Would you do a podcast about ‘Housewives’?” And I’m like, “That seems like the perfect fit.” 

Then iHeart called, and we hit the ground running and went No. 1. I felt whole again like I had a purpose. It also gave me one foot into the “Housewives.” 

But after a year of doing the podcast, I was asked back on “Housewives,” and [Bravo] didn’t want me to continue with the podcast because if I recap “Orange County,” I’m giving away my cards for the reunion. We had to make arrangements for things I was allowed and not allowed to do. 

48 HILLS Teddi, you’ve had past difficulties confronting Housewives. Tamra, you’ve never had a problem challenging anyone. How have you rubbed off on each other?

TEDDI MELLENCAMP I’m an overthinker and had too much time to self-process on the show, whereas we do this four times a week and are so close that it feels natural to say what I’m thinking. It’s like being on a group text exchange where you don’t edit yourself. It’s made me feel comfortable in my opinions, good or bad. 

TAMRA JUDGE  Teddi has made me think more before I speak. Our balance together is so good. We just bounce off each other.

48 HILLS You’ve both received a lot of hate on social media. How do you absorb that and still have the confidence to step on stage before an audience of strangers?

TAMRA JUDGE People behind computers aren’t as brave in person. They just want to talk to you. When people are coming at me on social media, if I say something nice to them, they are glad for the attention. 

TEDDI MELLENCAMP I can’t appease everybody. When I was trying to appease everybody, I was making myself miserable. So I’ve got to go and be me. I can be awkward, annoying, and hold grudges too long, but I have to be me. Or else I will make myself as unhappy as the people who want to send me death threats. 

TAMRA JUDGE All of us on reality TV have gotten death threats and horrible things sent to us. I’ve also gotten letters at my house. In the early days, it would bother me, and I would respond to them. Now I don’t give a shit. It’s just scary that people do this.

TEDDI MELLENCAMP Also, the shows should be entertainment. It’s not live or die. I’ve had the reality of real shit being bad for me, and this isn’t it.

48 HILLS Teddi, tell me about your close friend and former “Beverly Hills” castmate Kyle Richards whose separation from husband Mauricio took the Internet by storm last year. What can you say about Kyle’s rocky year or how you’ve supported her through it?

TEDDI MELLENCAMP I love Kyle and will always be there for her. When traumatic things happen in your life, a lot of changes occur. That’s what you’re seeing on the show. It’s all starting to play out. Kyle’s best friend from childhood passing away was heartbreaking. When somebody that close to you takes their own life, you look at your own life and make a lot of changes. 

TAMRA JUDGE It bothers me that they’re talking about her getting fit. She’s always been a petite woman, but she’s more fit now. So I’m sick of people like [“Beverly Hills” Housewife] Garcelle Beauvais saying, “the weight loss.” Since when is working out and eating healthy a negative? 

48 HILLS Tamra, the Bravoverse is also buzzing about “Orange County” housewife Shannon Storms Beador’s ex John Janssen dating “Orange County” alum Alexis Bellino. What can you tell me?

TAMRA JUDGE This is a love triangle. So at BravoCon, I was with Andy Cohen and [former “Orange County” Housewives Lauri Peterson, Jo De La Rosa, and Alexis.] Andy, Alexis, and I talked, and it went well. Alexis and I decided to go to lunch in Orange County and move forward.

We were texting, and then a picture surfaced that the press took to mean that John and Alexis were dating. So I got on the podcast and said, “It’s nonsense. They just ran into each other.” Alexis reached out to me and thanked me, saying, “People are making such a big deal about this, and I just met this guy.” But people were smart and called it out.

She eventually told me, “I met him that night, and we talked and are going through similar stuff with recent breakups.” Within a month, they were dating.

There are rumors that she’s coming back on the show. God’s like, “Here, “Orange County.” We’re handing you something special.” So I’m here for it.

48 HILLS Almost 15 years ago, there was that equally drama-fueled San Francisco trip on Season 5 of “Orange County” that came to a head at an epic confrontation at Waterbar Restaurant. Have you been back since?

TAMRA JUDGE I haven’t been in seven years. I went for my birthday. I love it there. I love the culture, food, and restaurants. I’m excited to go back. 

Also, I got my first YSL Tribute Platform Sandals—those embarrassing shoes all the Housewives get because you can run in them—in San Francisco.

TEDDI MELLENCAMP I am ready to create my first real memory of San Francisco at this live event. I have not spent much time there and am ready to come up and cause some problems. [Laughs]

TWO TS IN A POD WITH TEDDI MELLENCAMP AND TAMRA JUDGE Thu/25, Palace of Fine Arts, SF. $49-$129.50. Tickets and more info here.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Joshua Rotter
Joshua Rotter
Joshua Rotter is a contributing writer for 48 Hills. He’s also written for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, SF Examiner, SF Chronicle, and CNET.

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