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Craig Conover Teases ‘Southern Charm’ Season 9 Fans Will Think We ‘Copied’ Pump Rules’ Scandoval

Craig Conover Teases Southern Charm Fans Will Think They Copied Vanderpump Rules With Season 8 Drama
Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Southern Charm’s Craig Conover teased that fans might see a season 9 romance scandal similar to Vanderpump Rules’ Scandoval — but insisted it wasn’t planned.

“We have a pretty crazy season on Southern Charm,” Craig, 34, said during the Wednesday, August 16, episode of the “It’s Complicated” podcast on Bleav. “I was like, everyone is going to think we copied Vanderpump, but we … didn’t.”

Craig vowed that Southern Charm’s drama was “already happening” when news broke in March that Pump Rules costars Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss were having an affair amid his long-term relationship with Ariana Madix — drama that was featured heavily on season 10 of Vanderpump Rules.

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“We share some producers,” Craig said on Wednesday of the two Bravo shows, again promising the Charleston-based show’s story lines weren’t pulled from Pump Rules. “This year, you have that to look forward to with Southern Charm, we navigate some really weird water.”

He added that Southern Charm will feature a lot of Shep Rose after his July 2022 split from Taylor Ann Green raised eyebrows among viewers. (The exes dated for two years before parting ways.)

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“Shep, you’ll see him be in a position he hasn’t been in before. You can see the struggle with opening up,” Craig revealed.

While Craig didn’t give away too many details, he appeared to be tip-toeing around the alleged hookup between Taylor, 28, and fellow Southern Charm castmate Austen Kroll, who is a longtime friend of Shep, 43. To make the rumored fling even more dramatic, Taylor is close pals with Austen’s most recent ex-girlfriend, Olivia Flowers, whom he split from in fall 2022.

Craig Conover Teases Southern Charm Fans Will Think They Copied Vanderpump Rules With Season 8 Drama
Taylor Ann Green, Shep Rose and Austen Kroll. Gregory Pace/Shutterstock; Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Austen, for his part, exclusively told Us in October 2022 that he would never date Taylor because of his relationship with Shep. “I mean — bro code. … If we’re being honest, that really does cross a lot of lines,” Austen, 36, said at the time. “I love Taylor to pieces and I cherish her friendship and we’ve gotten very close. … I just think that that would be crossing a whole bunch of lines. … And a bunch of friendships would really be affected by that.”

However, when the Southern Charm season 9 trailer dropped earlier this month, it appeared that Austen and Taylor did cross a line — at least, according to him. “Something happened with me and Taylor,” Austen claimed in the teaser.

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Taylor, meanwhile, denied any sort of romance when Olivia, 31, asked her point blank, “Did y’all ever hook up?” Taylor quickly replied, “Never. Swear on my life.”

Craig hinted that the love square isn’t going to be the only drama viewers will see on season 9. “Yes, we fight a lot because we’re all crazy. We’re highly opinionated people,” he said, adding that what the cameras don’t capture is the “awesome bonding” that takes place between the cast.

Southern Charm season 9 premieres on Bravo Thursday, September 14, at 9 p.m. ET.

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