Heather Dubrow Tells Andy Cohen She's 'Mildly Terrified' About Her 'RHOC' Return

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Heather Dubrow is opening up about her surprise return to The Real Housewives of Orange County.

On the latest episode of her podcast, Heather Dubrow's World from PodcastOne, the 52-year-old actress talks to Andy Cohen about why she ultimately decided to come back for season 16 of the hit Bravo show. Dubrow will be joining Shannon Storms Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson, along with additional women yet to be announced. Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas will not be returning.

"It's so great. I'm so excited," Cohen told Dubrow. "It just is a testament to kind of everything at the right time. I think the viewers want it, the show is at a crossroads right now, we have some rebuilding to do, and I think that it's just interesting. I think when you left the show, you were at a place where you were really over it. You just weren't into it."

"I think that what's great is, you can leave something ... but then years later just have the perspective to be like, 'You know what, maybe I can handle this in a different way,'" he continued. "You're coming back, and I love your attitude about coming back."

Dubrow, who originally announced she was leaving the franchise in January 2017, said her kids played a big role in her decision to return all these years later. The reality star shares four children -- Nicholas, Katarina, Collette and Maximillia -- with husband Terry Dubrow.

"Production called me, I don't know, December or something like that and I laughed. My first reaction was, like, I kinda laughed. But then I thought about it and ... timing is a big deal," Dubrow explained. "Now, things are a little bit different. My family's in a different place, my kids are a little bit older, the pandemic has sort of given me a different perspective on things. I started thinking about, 'OK, how many times do you get to go back and try something again?' This isn't really completely like a do-over, but there's something about being able to kind of go back."

"Part of the reason when I left the show, it was that the kids, at a certain age, when they're little, no one cares about them on these shows," she added. "But there is that awkward tweener time where, I mean, I know I probably wouldn't have wanted to be on TV at that time. But now, yeah, they're a little bit older. I sort of came to the realization that, wait a minute, this might be that kind of space-time continuum moment where it's like a good idea to go back, we sat down, we had a family meeting about it. We had a serious talk about it."

Dubrow shared that she wasn't sure if her kids would be into the idea, but they surprisingly were all down for it.

"I thought at least one of them was going to say, 'I don't know,' but they were one hundred percent, all of them, all in," she revealed. "My four kids are all very different and in very interesting places in their lives. They're figuring out their sexuality, where they are in their world, their place in the world and what they want to be. It's our version of a normal family that I would like to show the world."

Later in the podcast, Dubrow also admitted that she hasn't watched the show since she left.

"I didn't watch it before I started and I haven't seen it since I left," she shared. "And I'm not playing any catch-up because there's no point. As far as I'm concerned, when you meet someone, you shouldn't know their whole history, because you're meeting them for the first time and people are allowed to show you who they want you to see."

"I will tell you that I am excited. I'm mildly terrified and I don’t know. It just seems so surreal,” she continued. “I've told no one … my mother still doesn’t know."

Cohen also addressed the RHOC casting shakeup during his SiriusXM show, Andy Cohen Live, with co-host John Hill on Wednesday.

"We've been working on this for a while and I'm excited for people to meet the new Housewives who haven't been announced," he said. "I will say, regarding Braunwyn, I really, I really give it up to her and commend her for being so open and letting us in, especially relating to her journey with sobriety. She was going through some really serious life stuff on the show and she didn't shy away from sharing it with us, which I always appreciate."

"That being said, listening to her at the reunion, made me and I think the other producers feel like, 'You know what, maybe at this moment in time being on TV, wasn't the healthiest spot for she and her family,'" he continued. "I think she was dealing with some real, real stuff with herself, with her marriage, with her children. It was a lot. And Kelly Dodd, man, I have to say, wildly funny and entertaining for many years on the show. And just really had people talking for many, many years. Thank you to Kelly for her service, honestly."

ET reported on Tuesday that Dodd, who has appeared on RHOC since season 11 in 2016, would no longer be a part of the franchise. She took to Twitter to briefly address her exit.

"The last five years have been an amazing experience. The next five years will be even better," she wrote. "I am so grateful for all the love and support and so excited about the future #RHOC." 

The news comes after Dodd received backlash from controversial comments she made over the past year, and Cohen hinting on Twitter back in January that a RHOC recast was coming.

Dodd made headlines for her remarks about COVID-19 -- including one in which she declared the coronavirus pandemic was "God's way of thinning the herd" -- and wearing a hat that was seen as insensitive toward the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I'm a human being. I make mistakes," she said of the controversies during a December appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. "Everybody has said and done things in their lives that they regret, and I regret these things. I freaked out. It wasn't right."

Hear more in the video below.

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