For the first time in eight years, Bravo cameras did not capture summer at SUR.
Several weeks after the network cut ties with Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, Scheana Shay confirmed on July 20, 2020, that production on Vanderpump Rules season 9 has yet to begin. The longtime Bravo personality spoke out after speculation surfaced that she was done with the show as she made moves from Los Angeles to San Diego with boyfriend Brock Davies.
“Y’all just bc I’m moving now, does NOT mean I’m quitting the show. I love my job!!” Scheana tweeted. “We aren’t filming right now. SUR/LA is closed. I’m wasting so much $ on rent and I’m lonely all the way out in PS. It just makes sense. Once work opens/picks back up, I will too have an apt in LA!”
Vanderpump Rules has followed the employees at Lisa Vanderpump’s West Hollywood restaurant during the summer months since 2012. After the coronavirus pandemic forced the cast to film a virtual reunion for season 8 in April, news broke that Stassi, Kristen, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were fired after their past racially insensitive remarks resurfaced. All four former Bravo stars have since apologized for their past comments.
“Stassi and Kristen acknowledged what they did was wrong, have apologized and been punished,” their rep, Steve Honig, told Us Weekly in a statement on June 12. “Without casting aside their actions or the impact of those actions, they want to move forward as part of the solution in ways that are productive, meaningful and sincere. Both of them recognize actions speak louder than words and that is what will guide them as they move forward.”
While Stassi and Kristen plan for their future offscreen, their former castmates remained in limbo during the summer of 2020. Us confirmed in April 2021 that production was set to begin in May.
“It’s been two years of, like, pent-up animosity,” Lala Kent told Us at the time. “Little things that everyone’s done where it’s like, ‘Bitch, I have an issue with you and I need to talk to you about it.’”
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Ditching the SUR Dresses
Lala’s fiancé, Randall Emmett, shared an Instagram photo of the Vanderpump Rules ladies dressed up in white outfits on May 14.
“Raise your glass,” he captioned the photo — a nod to the show’s theme song.
Credit: Courtesy of Randall Emmett/Instagram
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After Stassi, Kristen, Max and Brett were fired, Us confirmed that Stassi’s husband, Beau Clark, would not film the show without her.
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The Boss Weighs In
Lisa seemed confident that the show would be back for season 9 during an August interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“There are new cast members,” she said before acknowledging the lack of the show. “It’s really up to people that want to be front and center. I mean, I’m always all about that. Our companies are like the United Nations.”
Credit: Gregory Pace/Shutterstock
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Jax and Brittany Are Done
The couple, who welcomed son Cruz in April 2021, confirmed in December 2020 that they wouldn’t be back for season 9.
“The last 8 years on Vanderpump Rules have been some of the most challenging, rewarding and fulfilling years of my life,” he wrote. “We are excited to take this time to focus on our growing family and share with you our new endeavors.”
Credit: Courtesy of Brittany Cartwright/Instagram
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“Obviously, we would be seeing the births of Lala, Scheana and Brittany. … It’s a pretty compelling story that half of them are pregnant and having babies,” Ariana said of a potential season 9 on the “#NoFilter with Zack Peter podcast” in November 2020 before Brittany announced her exit. “I think you probably would see possibly some more new cast members. I don’t have any real information on that, but I can only imagine that given that they’re not going to have a couple of the new ones back that they would probably want to pick that back up with some new new people. And I’m open to all of it … I know people love the drama, but for me, I’m not mentally stable enough for drama sometimes. Especially in the world that we’re living in. So, I might be excited to have a season that’s a little a bit, like, some positive, and super fun, uplifting, like let’s go party and try to be in a better place.”
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Scheana and Lala Are on the Outs
While Scheana and Lala have both expressed interest in filming season 9, the pregnant stars argued over the summer of 2020 after Scheana accused Lala of not being there for her when she suffered a miscarriage.
“I unfollowed [Lala]. I never see a friendship with her again. And I am completely fine with that,” Scheana said on the “#NoFilter with Zack Peter” podcast in October 2020. “Because honestly, for the last three years, I felt myself forcing a friendship with her because every time she hurts me, she feels bad, she begs for my forgiveness — but, it’s usually when there’s a camera in her face — and I forgive her! And then she does it again. And I forgive her. And then she does it again. And I’m, like, I haven’t wanted this friendship to continue for years. I just, I keep forgiving you. And at this point, I’m done. I’m checked out. I don’t have room for that type of fakeness in my life anymore.”
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With the exception of boss Lisa, the TomTom co-owner was the first current cast member to react to the firings.
“It’s crazy,” he told St. Louis’ News 4 in June 2020. “It definitely changes things and honestly, we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens.”
Credit: John Salangsang/Shutterstock
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The Status of LVP’s Restaurants
As COVID-19 cases surge in Los Angeles, Lisa and husband Ken Todd were forced to close SUR, TomTom and Pump again in July 2020. Their restaurant Villa Blanca has also closed for good amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“SUR began reopening two weeks ago but ended up locking everything down again after Governor Gavin Newsom announced reclosures in L.A. including indoor restaurants,” a source told Us in July, noting that “staff has not heard from Lisa or Ken.”
A second source previously told Us that Max and Brett’s jobs at TomTom and SUR, respectively, were still to be determined after Bravo fired them from the show.
“Brett and Max haven’t heard anything in regards to their employment at the restaurants yet once they open back up,” the source said in June. “It’s still all being worked out.”
SUR opened again in February 2021.
Credit: Courtesy of Lisa Vanderpump/Instagram
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Scheana’s friend Jasmine Goode, who appeared on season 21 of The Bachelor and season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise, hinted that she’s spoken to production about possibly joining the cast.
“I think it’d be great! One, I think it’d be great because you guys do not have anybody that looks anything like me on the show. So No. 1, you need some [Black] representation there. … The thing about Vanderpump which I love, the reason I would consider it is because it’s not like The Bachelor where it’s all about love. This is your life. You’re filming your life, everyday things, and I think that’s so cool,” Jasmine told Scheana on her “Scheananigans” podcast in July. “I’m friends with [the cast], of course. … It’s like, if I’m filming, yes, I’ll film with Scheana. It’s not a big deal. … This is what we normally do.”
Faith Stowers, who was the one who initially called out Stassi and Kristen for their past behavior, previously told Us that she would be down to return too.
“I would love to go back on Vanderpump Rules. I don’t have a problem with Vanderpump Rules. I don’t have a problem with Bravo in general,” Faith, who appeared on season 4, told Us. “I love their shows. I think it’s really cool. I would love to join their cast again and to be able to showcase my life to people because I know people can relate to it. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to show my military career with Vanderpump Rules and you know, my dating life. … I respect the network even more now.”
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Katie Maloney Gives a Filming Update
In September 2020, Katie had “no idea” whether the Bravo series will come back for season 9. "Every day, I'm being like, 'Maybe today we'll get the phone call!' But, no … I'm hopeful,” the “You’re Gonna Love Me” podcast host told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “They haven't canceled it, so there's hope still. At least there's not, like, anything definitive in that regard."
Katie pointed out that when the show returns, it will look different after the firings earlier in the summer. "I try to picture and think about it, and it's so weird," she said, referencing the exit of pals Stassi and Kristen. "It's weird. Yes, it's definitely gonna feel different and look different, but it's not like they're not a part of my life, you know? So, it's gonna be weird to have this part of my life that was very much on the show not on the show anymore."
Credit: Gregory Pace/Shutterstock
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Dayna Kathan Is Also Out
“I’m not returning but excited to see next szn!” the Bravo star revealed via Instagram in April 2021, after a fan asked when she’d be back after she joined the cast halfway through season 7. “The pod will be back soon, you’re amazing, thank you!!!”
Credit: Chris Haston/Bravo
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Finally, an Update
In April 2021, Bravo announced the series will begin filming with new protocols in place in early May.
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Lala Unfollows Ariana
Months after Lala and Scheana feuded (and subsequently started talking again after they welcomed their respective daughters), the Give Them Lala author revealed she was on the outs with Ariana over the drama.
“[Ariana] loves a good underdog. She loves anyone who’s drowning, which is great when you’re the one drowning because she’s definitely going to throw you the life vest. You know, with Ariana, it is what it is,” Lala said on the “#NoFilter with Zack Peter” podcast in May 2021. It’s like, you know what, let’s not pretend. You don’t give a f—k about me. I don’t care about you — whatever. You know? Unfollowed her on the ‘gram. Which, you know, for us, it’s like, pretty — that solidifies a lot, right? Yeah, I’m good on you.”
Credit: KCR/Shutterstock; Courtesy Ariana Madix/Instagram
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LVP Promises Drama
In June 2021, the big boss herself told Entertainment Tonight that filming was "a third of the way in" and the effects of the coronavirus lockdown were already apparent. "You can tell they've been locked up for a year," Lisa joked. "Everybody's got a point of view, and they're willing to air it and vent it." As Lala predicted, there was a lot of pent-up energy. "A lot of stuff was festering where they say, 'OK, now I want to talk to you about what you said,'" the SUR owner shared. "So, there was a lot of that, but you know what? Give me anything, but don't give me boring."
Though several cast members were fired during the break since season 8, the restaurateur said the smaller ensemble has made for "more focused" episodes. "I think it's more mature, the show, but there are people that really like to have their opinion and that's not going to change," she explained. "And they've certainly got a lot of them. ... I'm surprised, actually, how amazingly quick, fast-paced and intense we're in and we're only a third of the way through, so it's good.”
The Simply Divine author added that viewers will see Raquel Leviss "blossoming" after her engagement to James Kennedy. "She's the best thing that ever happened to him," she told ET. "But you really do see Raquel kind of blossoming, blooming. ... You see her really having a voice. She was very much, like, a deer caught in the headlights before, but now she's, like, actually kind of really comes out of a shell."
Credit: Sara Jaye Weiss/Startraks
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That's a Wrap!
Season 9 came to an end in July, with their final day of filming taking place at James and Rachel's engagement party.
Credit: Courtesy James Kennedy/Instagram