Scheana Shay and Brock Davies video chat with ET about the return of 'Vanderpump Rules' and finding themselves in the central drama.
Scheana Shay may just sport another crop-top wedding dress if her fiancé, Brock Davies, gets his way.
"You made it iconic, didn't you?" Brock asks his future wife, while on Zoom with ET. Scheana first sported the unconventional (and, at the time, much mocked) bridal style at her first wedding, to music producer Mike Shay on season 3 of Vanderpump Rules.
"I could do it better," Scheana admits, "I'm oddly in better shape now, post-baby, than I was when I got married the first time. So if you want me to get married in a crop top, honey, I'll get married again in a crop top."
That day will come somewhere down the line, as the couple has their sights set on a destination wedding in Bali, in fall 2022. Before then, there's a whole new season of Vanderpump Rules set to play out on Bravo -- Scheana's ninth, Brock's first. When Scheana and Brock first went public with their relationship in late 2019/early 2020, Scheana wasn't sure she wanted her new man on the show. A pandemic, miscarriage and rainbow baby changed all that. The two welcomed their daughter, Summer Moon Honey, in April.
"I wasn't ready to put a six-month relationship on national television. I learned my lesson with Brock-- I mean, Rob," Scheana lets out, a little Freudian slip. Rob is Rob Parks Valletta, her ex-boyfriend and first major relationship after her split from Mike, also known as the guy who could "hang a TV in seven minutes" by Pump Rules viewers.
"There's a lot this guy can do in under seven minutes," Scheana notes of Brock. "Making a baby was one of them."
"I didn't want to do that again," she continues, getting back to explaining her hesitancy in introducing Brock to reality TV cameras. "[But] having two pregnancies and a pandemic in between, I could not wait to show this relationship on the show. After having [my YouTube channel] for a year, and just getting so much love from all of the fans, for our relationship. I was so excited to have him be a part of it."
"I've never felt so myself and so comfortable and confident in a relationship," she adds. "We're so openly comfortable with each other on a level that I've never had with anyone else before, and he just makes me the best version of myself, has brought up my confidence and he really, he pushes me to the point where it's annoying at times, because I'm like, if I don't want to do it, I don't want to do it, but it's because he knows my potential and he just wants the best for me. And he challenges me. And I've never really had that in a relationship before. I've been with more passive guys who kind of just let me run the show. And he does not."
As for Brock, he was game from the minute Scheana said "go."
"I was like, look, I didn't meet you for the show. I didn't know about the show. Turns out people think you're somebody when we first met, you know?" he shares. "And then, as I got to realize the world she lived in, I was really proud of what she had done, and who she is, and who she is as a person, and the amount of B.S. she has to deal with. So when it came time, the year and a half later, I was like, 'Yeah babe, I've got your back.' Let's put our best foot forward because it's such a great platform. And you guys will see on the season there that there's an opportunity for us to be role models as a family now."
That comes partially thanks to Lala Kent, or in Scheana and Brock's case, a not-so moment of thanks. Their outspoken co-star brings up Brock's family who is not on the show -- his two children from a previous relationship, who live in Australia -- and claims he hasn't spoken to them in years.
"Obviously with my history being brought up on the show and all that, that's something I want to work towards always being a better version of myself and not going into any relapses or anything like that," Brock shares. "But yeah, I think the biggest [thing] is just like, these are kids we're talking about here, right? So, the fact that it's even a conversation, shouldn't be a conversation."
"As a stepmom with two kids who were left off the show, I just was hoping that she would have that same respect for Brock, as we all have for Randall [Emmett]," Scheana adds, referencing Lala's fiancé and his two children who do not appear on Vanderpump Rules. "It was disappointing that it got to the level it did."
"I'm like, I don't come for your man," she says. "I protected that relationship when her and I first met. For her to not do the same for me, you will see that play out."
"If you're low enough to bring kids into it, then do you, boo-boo," Brock cracks. "It was definitely a learning experience. But I kind of... I think I did the right thing."
"He also learned the hard way that anything you say off-camera to a cast member will then be brought up on camera," Scheana chimes in, hinting at how that Lala drama comes into play. It's a surprising twist, seeing as one, Scheana and Lala turn a new leaf in the season 9 premiere and two, appear to be on good terms today.
"Obviously it's no secret that we're in a good place now," Scheana notes. "So it's just going to be hard reliving all of that, but just knowing where we are, I think it'll be very interesting for people to see. I don't think it's like, 'Oh, spoiler! I don't want to watch it because I know they're friends now.' It's like, but getting back to where we are now was not an easy road, whatsoever."
The season kicks off with Scheana and Lala at odds over the fact that Scheana doesn't feel like Lala was there for her when she miscarried. Lala sees things differently, saying she was there for Scheana in the best way she knew how, maybe just not in the way Scheana would have liked. Their disagreement is elevated by the fact that Scheana brought the conversation to the public, slamming Lala on her podcast (Scheananigans) for hanging out with "celebrities" (i.e. Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly, who starred in one of Randall's films) instead of coming down to Palm Springs to be with Scheana in the days after her miscarriage.
It's a fourth-wall break that's somewhat new territory for the Pump Rules crew, finally addressing the celebrity that's come along with being on TV since 2013. It's something Vanderpump Rules' reality TV predecessor, The Hills, never did -- and likely, ultimately contributed to that show's end (at least its first run).
"I feel like [it was a] long time coming," Scheana says of addressing the cast's status as public figures. "I mean, I've been doing my podcast for three and a half years and it's never been mentioned. So, it's unfortunate the reason why it's mentioned is because I opened my mouth instead of picking up a phone and calling a friend. But I do like that this season you're seeing so many of the cast branch off into different business ventures."
Scheana won't be seen waiting any tables at SUR, the restaurant that served (no pun intended) as the hub of the series since its inception, this year. "I did want to get on the bar and do 'Good as Gold,' but..." she jokes, calling out the song she recorded and infamously performed at SUR early on in the show's run.
"It's really exciting to just see us working on real things than fighting over which table you're going to take in the restaurant," she notes, "and whose birthday are you going to go to, 'cause they have the same birthday. And it's a lot deeper this season. It's very real."
Much like the cast, the show is growing up. These are no longer unknown 20-somethings with Hollywood dreams. They're 30-somethings living out versions of those dreams, and that's a different story.
"And you don't lose the sense of what you guys were, which was a group of kids that want to grow up, right?" Brock poses. "But you still have the influence with Lisa [Vanderpump] around -- Lisa was a big influence, even for me this season, she's a huge influence ... You still keep the core values of what the show was about, but you do get to see a bit more of the realer stuff, because you can't hide that anymore."
Part of that "realer" stuff is the kids who have come into the picture. Both Lala and Scheana gave birth to daughters -- Summer and Ocean, respectively -- between seasons 8 and 9. That shared experience of motherhood gave them a unique bond that helped to repair the fractures in their friendships.
"Definitely added to your guy's friendship," Brock declares. "Rebuilding that friendship, it was rebuilt on a different bond this time."
"Yeah, and we want our daughters to grow up being friends," Scheana says. "We don't want our petty issues to hold back them from being friends eventually. I mean, they're already friends. They just don't know it yet, really."
Ocean and Summer have quite the built-in friend group already, seeing as Brittany Cartwright and Stassi Schroeder gave birth to kids of their own over the Vanderpump Rules hiatus, as well. The two are no longer part of the show, though, even though they're still part of some of the cast's lives. Brittany and her husband, OG star Jax Taylor, announced they wouldn't be returning to the show last December. The network cut ties with Stassi -- Scheana's longtime on-screen foe -- months before, as the Black Lives Matter movement surged and past racially insensitive actions Stassi took against former co-star Faith Stowers came to light. Scheana says it's easier to navigate her relationships, especially with Stassi, without the pressure of cameras.
"Stassi and I have a Wednesday standing Emsculpt appointment every week, we see each other," she confesses. "I think we're probably the closest we've ever been now. And the babies -- and going through giving birth and labor, and all of that -- definitely brought us closer. And being able to talk to someone who's going through the same thing, or someone who's just been through it and get advice from one another, has definitely brought us a lot closer."
Scheana says she can't say whether Stassi, Brittany and the other departed co-stars feel any FOMO about the series going on without them, but does share that the cast who stays in touch with the ex-cast speaks about them often. It's unclear -- and unlikely -- that their exits are addressed on the show. There is no mention of Stassi, her husband, Beau Clark, Brittany, Jax, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens, Brett Caprioni or Dayna Kathan -- the full list of season 8 stars who did not return for season 9 -- in the first episode.
Even with the loss of so many players, Scheana is still confident that season 9 brings it the way fans have come to expect. She says Lala is definitely the pot-stirrer of these new episodes, which is made pretty clear in the premiere. Not only does the Give Them Lala Beauty founder get into it with Scheana, but she also sparks an unanticipated feud with Scheana's BFF, Ariana Madix, oddly enough over other podcast comments.
"The day of my birthday party, that morning, a podcast comes out of Lala trashing Ariana saying, 'I don't give a f**k about you. You don't care about me. Like, why are we pretending?' And Ariana's like, 'I actually did give a f**k about you until now,'" Scheana recalls. "So that was her own issues with her on top of how [Lala] treated me. So yeah, I wasn't expecting it to blow up like it did at my birthday dinner, but also I would expect nothing less at any of my birthday parties. There's always something explosive."
"Ariana really had my back and knew every detail of the situation that happened and she wasn't standing for it," she explains. "'So, sure you can make up with her, but I haven't forgotten everything.'"
Brock also finds himself in the mix, battling James Kennedy a few times in the sneak peeks at the season alone. Early online speculation says he fills the Jax-filled hole on the cast.
"I'll take that," he says with a grin. "I know for a fact that even talking to the old cast, there was definitely a different vibe this season. ... These are nine years of friendships where they've really been tested and now they're trying to grow and evolve as individuals, and that's where my aspect comes in. And so I really enjoy that, especially this season. So that meant confronting somebody about some things, that's because we have strong opinions. And I think that kind of comes across this season real quick."
Outside of the drama, Scheana says she's excited for the fans to seeing her in action as a mom -- she has no qualms about putting Summer on TV; the child even has a verified Instagram account at five months old -- and her and Brock's relationship.
"I've never been so excited to have a relationship on this show because this just feels the most real of any I've ever had," she gushes. "I mean, I know it is. Like, this is my person. I finally met my match."
The season will cap off with Scheana and Brock's engagement, which cameras captured at the tail-end of filming, giving critics plenty of time to work on their oh-too-familiar digs, including about the ring not being a diamond. In what feels like a true sign of growth, Scheana doesn't care what they come up with.
"My daughter's birthstone is a diamond," she notes. "We're going to be buying them for the rest of our life. I've already had a diamond. I didn't need a diamond nor did I want one. I love morganite stones and this one is like a very clear, it's a light pink morganite. It's gorgeous. And it's exactly what I wanted. So I don't care what anyone else thinks about it. It's bigger than what I wanted, I will say that! ... I said eight carats, he said nine to 10 and [our designer, Kyle Chan] is like, 'How about almost 13?'"
Vanderpump Rules airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.