Madison LeCroy weighs in on all the drama set to hit Bravo on season 9 of 'Southern Charm,' and reflects on her own tabloid tangle.
Madison LeCroy helped usher in a new era for Southern Charm when she officially joined the Bravo hit as a "friend of" the cast in season 6, as Austen Kroll's girlfriend. Now, three seasons later, she's ditched him, stepped up her star power and found herself narrating the series' ninth season.
"Can you believe it?" she laughs, sitting down with ET inside her home in Charleston, South Carolina. "I was kind of joking when I applied. I was like, 'Hey, guys if you ever need a narrator, call me!' And it was funny, 'cause back in the day, my cousin goes -- I said, 'I want to be a radio host' -- she's goes, 'Yeah, and what? Eating your pork rinds and drink a Mountain Dew?' 'Cause I'm so southern, I was what like, what?! And here we are, I'm the narrator. Dream come true."
Madison has yet to bring those snacks into the recording booth ("But in the car? Yes," she quips), but she does seem to have her cake and be eating it, too, thanks to her upgraded role. Fans will get to hear Madison's additional commentary on the season-long saga of Austen's entanglement with Taylor Ann Green, ex-girlfriend of his good buddy, Shep Rose. Their hookup becomes a major focus of the season, as the cast tries to figure out what's fact and what's fiction amid a sea of denials from the pair.
"I think [viewers] are gonna be kinda surprised by Taylor's behavior, honestly," Madison teases. "It's out of character, for sure, and almost a little scary ... because she's a really good liar."
Madison won't say if all those lies come out by season's end, but promises to reveal anything still lingering at the yet-to-tape reunion.
"After filming doesn't mean the world stops," she notes, seemingly a warning to her co-stars. "So, I still have some things."
It was at last season's reunion where Madison claims to have first picked up on the fact that something might go down (or be going down) between Austen and Taylor.
"Oh man, I was so validated on that," Madison says of learning about their hookup. "I knew that they were going to become a thing at the reunion last year, because I said it; I said, 'You two are in love with each other.'"
Austen became Taylor's protector and main source of comfort at the season 8 reunion, where she laid into Shep just weeks after they broke off their two-year relationship. Taylor became aware of Shep's infidelity during their time together just prior to the taping, all while processing her sister's battle with cancer. Her emotions brought emotions out of Austen.
"I mean, let's be honest, if a guy is sitting there crying over an argument that someone had with their boyfriend, he might be in love with her," she muses.
Madison considers herself a bit of an expert on reading Austen after spending nearly two years in an on-again, off-again relationship with him. Today, she calls him a friend, but cautions "that can change very quickly." As seen in the trailer for season 9, they get into it on the cast trip to Jamaica, where the hookup drama seemingly implodes, as Austen calls Madison "sloppy" and she fires back by threatening to "rip his a** apart."
"Wow, yeah, that was not my best look," she admits. "I don't know why I said 'rip your a**,' because I'm pretty sure there's already a rip there, and I don't even know why it went there. Was I being sloppy? Yeah, of course I was, I had to. I mean, have you ever been in Jamaica? It's like, the rum is like gasoline. So that was really, yeah, that was harsh to see, but he is the definition of sloppy, so it's OK. I'll let it go."
The "sloppy" moment seems to come during an all-hands-on-deck interrogation of Austen and Taylor on that vacation, with Austen's other ex, Olivia Flowers, leading the charge and calling out "lies." She considered Taylor her best friend before the hookup reveal.
"You know, as far as the guys go, we know that they are never going to break up," Madison says of the shifting group dynamics in the wake of the scandal. "It's like, the boy band that is just together forever, but for the girls, it was a little hard. Girl code, I think, means a little bit more to us."
"I think every girl in America would be upset by something like that," she adds.
Thankfully, Madison's man wants nothing to do with the drama. She married firefighter Brett Randle last November, after falling in "love at first sight" with him while on a girls' getaway to Scottsdale, Arizona. Their romance blossomed as she found herself in a bit of a media firestorm toward the tail-end of season 7, when co-star Craig Conover exposed her for being in a textual relationship with Alex Rodriguez, the MLB icon who was, at the time, engaged to Jennifer Lopez. A-Rod has denied any involvement with Madison, but just two months after Craig's reveal, he and J.Lo called off their wedding plans.
"My husband doesn't have social media, he's not really into all that, which is so good," Madison reflects, looking back at the turbulent time she was plastered across tabloid covers for weeks.
"He has no idea, like, what's trending, so for that to be said it, he didn't really know," she continues. "I kind of told him at the very beginning, because he does come from a Mormon background; I knew that, you know, that could be an issue, so yeah, he was like, 'Wait... you're that girl?!' and I was like, 'Oh s**t!' Hopefully he'll just fall in love with the charm."
Madison's alleged DMs with A-Rod could be seen as the thing that brought the world Bennifer 2.0, as J.Lo reconnected with and later married her former fiancé, Ben Affleck, after splitting from the ball player. Madison's not holding her breath for a "thank you" card, though.
"But she did, or she didn't, but someone invited me to one of her events for one of her products," Madison reveals, "and I said, I think we should double check on that."
Madison didn't document her and Brett's own "I dos" for Southern Charm ("No regrets," she declares, saying it would've added stress to the day), but making their love legal proved to be enough to convince Brett to finally film the show. He shied away from the cameras in season 8.
"It's nerve-racking, I think, for him, but I think he's doing pretty good," she reviews of his reality TV debut so far. "I was impressed."
Brett only filmed a little this time around, avoiding big group gatherings, except for the post-wedding celebration he and Madison threw for her castmates on the season premiere, including Austen.
"Well, I kinda just wanted Brett to know that he had nothing to worry about," she cracks as an explanation for the invite to her ex. "Brett actually thought Austen was funny and he said that he understood [the attraction], I guess, and didn't at the same time."
Austen had a similar mixed review of Brett after their meeting, questioning in a confessional what Madison's husband has that he doesn't.
"Do we even need to say?" she scoffs. "Really, it's completely different. It's just, Brett is kind. He's sweet. He's this father figure he didn't even need to be, 'cause Hudson's father is very involved, but he stepped up to the plate, like, 100 percent."
Hudson is Madison's 10-year-old son with ex-husband Josh Hughes. Next up on her vision board is promoting her mini-me to "big brother." Fans will see some of Madison's family planning and fertility journey on season 9.
"My husband says it has to be after ski season," she half-jokes of their timeline, going on to reveal that Hudson may not be onboard with a sibling just yet.
"He told me I couldn't do it until he went to college," she shares. "But now after hanging out with a bunch of friends that have siblings, he's now really into it. Little does he know, he'll be the babysitter!"
Southern Charm airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. Tune into Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, Sept. 20, to see more from Madison, including a tour of her and Brett's new home. Find where to watch by checking your local listings.