Tamra Judge admits she had a little bit of trepidation about returning to The Real Housewives of Orange County. “When I got the call to come back, I was like, ‘Yes, this is what I’ve wanted,’” says the 55-year-old, who was a series regular for 12 seasons before getting the boot in 2020. 

“Then after I accepted, I thought, ‘Oh, s—t! What am I doing? I’m going right back into this, but I don’t know who my friends are or where my place is.’” Here, the former fitness club owner and cohost of the podcast “Two Ts in a Pod” talks to In Touch’s Fortune Benatar about figuring out who to trust in season 17, where she currently stands with her castmates and how she and husband Eddie keep the romance alive after 10 years of marriage.

In Touch: What was it like going back to the show? 

Tamra: It was a little strange. A lot was said about me. A lot of people said they danced on my grave. One person said on their podcast there was no place for me anymore.

In Touch: Did you miss it while you were gone? 

Tamra: The first year I was off, I was devastated. I was just like, “Why, why?” By year two, I was like, “OK, this is my new life,” and then I got my podcast, “Two Ts in a Pod.” But I missed everything about the show. I’d been with the crew for 12 years. And the trips were always amazing.

In Touch: How have you changed since you first started the show? 

Tamra: I’ve changed completely. I was only 39, and now I’m 55. There are two types of their mistakes and wants to improve, and then the people who are like, “F—k it, I’m just who I am.” I’m the person who looks at myself and tries to change.

RHOC Season 17 Trailer 346 Tamra Judge
Andrew Eccles/Bravo

In Touch: Who brought the most drama this season? 

Tamra: Me, for sure. I didn’t hold back, and I called people out. 

In Touch: How’s your friendship with Shannon Beador now? 

Tamra: It was really difficult when I was let go. I felt like she wasn’t there for me. Suddenly, I didn’t hear from her anymore. I was hurt. At the end of the day, we acknowledged what went down and we moved on.

In Touch: Things also got tense with Heather Dubrow. Where do you stand? 

Tamra: We did not end on a very good note. But I don’t hate Heather, and I’m not going to bash her. When my daughter Sophia graduated high school, Heather texted me saying congratulations. I think we’ll settle things at the reunion.

In Touch: Eddie is on the show a lot more. And you also work together with your CBD business, Vena. How do you keep the spark alive after 10 years of marriage? 

Tamra: Eddie’s my best friend. We just get along well — maybe it’s because it’s my third mar- riage, and I knew exactly what I wanted. Our relationship is easy. He doesn’t tell me what to do, and I don’t tell him what to do. We have a mutual respect. I’m very lucky.

In Touch: How do you get along with your podcast cohost, RHOBH alum Teddi Mellencamp?

Tamra: We get along well. We do butt heads a little, but she’s an amazing person. We make a great combination. She takes control of everything, and I fly by the seat of my pants!

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