Olivia Flowers reflects on her freshman run so far on Bravo's 'Southern Charm,' from falling for Austen Kroll to drama with the girls.
"No one held back their heads-up, so I got an earful," she confesses to ET over video chat. "But that didn't really have anything to do with me though, so I still moved forward with it."
Olivia and Austen's would-be romance is front and center in season 8, though neither Charmer has revealed the status of their relationship.
"You have to tune in and watch the rest of the season to find out, but we're in a very good place," Olivia offers when pressed to DTR. "I wouldn't be involved with him, how I have been, if I couldn't [see a future with him]."
Austen's appearances across the Bravo-verse -- from Southern Charm to Winter House and Summer House -- over the last year have stoked a bit of controversy within the fandom, as he played the field between Lindsay Hubbard and Ciara Miller on both House series.
"I think he's very misrepresented," Olivia says of Austen's reputation with the audience. "He's very sensitive, and I think a lot of the times, he really does just speak his mind and say things how they are. And I think they can be misunderstood sometimes."
"The Summer House thing, when I watched it back, I thought he was very honest about his intentions," she adds. "He was showing up single and wanted to have a good time. So I think sometimes people can get in their own feelings, and he's just an easy one to make the bad guy. But I don't think he ever is out to intentionally hurt anyone."
Olivia says her favorite thing about the Kings Calling Brewing Co. founder is his sense of humor ("We just have so much fun together and we have the same sense of humor... He makes me laugh constantly," she shares), but admits to not liking how hung up Austen seemed on his ex, Madison LeCroy, at least at first.
Now, nearly a year after she first started dating Austen, Olivia seems to place more blame on Madison for that than on Austen. She alleged on a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that Madison still sends Austen late-night texts.
"I really had the intention of just at least being cordial [with her]," Olivia says of Madison. "She and I never needed to be friends and go to brunch together, but I didn't see any reason for us to have anything negative to say about the other or be nasty to one another. So, when I kept hearing some things that she was saying about me or people that I care about, after a while -- and we'd had such friendly interactions -- so then to have those friendly interactions and then to hear that she was saying other things behind my back, and saying nasty things? It was like, I just got pushed to the point of frustration."
That frustration is evident in the trailer for season 8, which previews a finale fight between the women, Olivia storming off from a conversation with Madison and flipping the bird at the hairstylist.
"I don't want to do this fake nice thing," Olivia explains. "If you don't like me, for whatever reason, then we can just do our own thing. And that was, I think, the point that they captured with me doing that awful, awkward, flip the bird -- I don't think I've ever given anyone the middle finger, as you could probably tell in that scene -- I was just frustrated because it was yet again another fake conversation that I didn't want to have."
The tension between these two has only grown in the months since cameras went down, with Madison calling Olivia "homely" and "trust-fund trash" in interviews promoting the season.
"I went from 'homely' to 'homeless,' to 'trust-fund trash,' which I thought was impressive," Olivia admits. "Who goes from homeless to trust-fund trash in a day?" She also says she's chosen not to respond to Madison's digs because "I just let her have her time of relevance."
She has, however, sought peace with Venita Aspen. She and her fellow Southern Charm newcomer got off on the wrong foot, as Venita questioned why Olivia was standing up for Kathryn Dennis in the wake of last season's controversy involving racially-charged messages sent by Kathryn on Instagram. When Venita first attempted to ask Olivia about it at a garden party, Olivia shut down the conversation as soon as Venita brought up the word "racist."
"I just was really taken aback because I had just met her," Olivia explains. "I thought going about it at the garden party, and the way she went about it, was really inappropriate. And like I said, I was more than happy to have that conversation. That just was not the time to do it, it was such an awkward party to begin with, and that just wasn't the time."
"I still feel that way about that," she admits. "However, I never meant to do anything to make her feel dismissed. I just felt that was a really bad time to have that conversation, and I didn't understand where it was coming from, also. That was also the confusing part to me. ... I was like, 'I have nothing to do with [Kathryn's history].'"
Olivia and Venita ultimately had the conversation a few weeks later, meeting for coffee after Olivia disinvited Venita from an oyster party at her house.
"Venita and I are in a good place now," she shares. "It really was just that one conversation we needed to have, and I do wish we had had the conversation before my party, because that's all I really needed. We just needed to be on the same page. And I mean, after that, throughout the rest of the season, we're fine. And we're in a good place, now. So if I could go back and do it different, I would have had her at my party."
As for what's still to come, Olivia says she's not looking forward to reliving her finale fight with Madison, nor facing off with her at reunion, but she's "overall pretty excited" for everything else, which includes more of her parents -- Garry and Robin -- popping up on screen.
"They're more popular than I am!" she notes. "My dad, he doesn't like really watch all that. He'll pop his head in when he hears his voice and he'll be like, 'OK.' I'm like, 'Dad ... you're fine." But they've enjoyed [it]. The whole process was fun together because I was home the whole time."
This isn't the first time TV cameras invaded the Flowers household. MTV featured Olivia and her brother, Conner, on an episode of Teen Cribs back in 2009, when the family lived in Dallas.
"This was the thing I was most dreading, my 'dirty sex tape,' you just hide it under the bed and hope no one sees it," Olivia jokes. "Nothing awkward, but I'm in my awkward phase."