Tamra Judge announced her departure from Bravo's RHOC after 12 years on Saturday

By Dave Quinn
January 27, 2020 02:56 PM
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Andy Cohen is hoping Tamra Judge‘s surprising exit from The Real Housewives of Orange County over the weekend won’t be her final goodbye.

On Monday’s episode of his SiriusXM show Andy Cohen Live, the Bravo host and Real Housewives executive producersaid that he’s optimistic Judge, 52, will return to the long-running reality series one day.

“I’m hoping, and this is not lip service, that she will come back in some form, either this season or in the next couple,” said Cohen, 51. “Because I just feel like she is someone that I am always interested in, I always want to check in with her on.”

“She has been an incredible Housewife, she really has,” he continued. “She’s been dramatic, she’s vulnerable… she has been great.”

Tamra announced she was leaving RHOC after 12 seasons on Saturday.

“It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras,” she told PEOPLE exclusively. “I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms.”

Andy Cohen and Tamra Judge
| Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

The reality star has been on RHOC since its third season in 2007 and is responsible for some of its most talked-about moments, including a memorable wine-toss.

That longevity on the series was part of the reason Tamra was asked to return in the first place for RHOC‘s new season. A source told PEOPLE she was specifically “asked back for three episodes, so producers could close out her storyline.”

Cohen confirmed that on his radio show. “We had offered her three episodes to come back and kind of wrap out her story. … That is true,” he said. “She didn’t want to do that.”

“Look, she’s been on the show for 12 years. We wanted to give her a send-off,” Cohen said.

Andy Cohen and Tamra Judge
| Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

In 2013, Tamra married husband Eddie Judge at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California. Their wedding was filmed for a three-episode spinoff series, Tamra’s OC Wedding, that aired later that year.

So how is her husband taking the news? “Eddie and the kids are very excited,” she told PEOPLE of the fitness trainer and her four children: sons Ryan Vieth, 34, and Spencer Barney 19, and daughter Sydney Barney, 21, and Sophia Barney, 14.

“I want to thank all the fans who have offered me their support over the years,” she said. “It’s meant a lot.”

Also on Saturday, the Vena Wellness and CUT Fitness owner posted about her departure on Instagram.

“I’m sad to go but I’m very excited about my future,” she wrote, captioning a photo of herself and Eddie.

Tamra’s not the only major star RHOC won’t see next year.

Vicki Gunvalson, the “OG of the OC,” said on Friday that she is leaving the show. The Coto Insurance saleswoman has been with RHOC since it began in 2006 but was demoted last season to a Friend of the Housewives role.

Asked about the changes on Monday, Cohen said, “We’ve been wanting to shake it up a little bit for a few years.”

“It was a big weekend in the Housewives world,” he joked. “It was very dramatic.”

Previously, Cohen said on his SiriusXM show that there was possibility of new blood on the original Housewives franchise.

The casting for next season is some of the best casting we’ve had,” Cohen said in December, adding that he “[has] not been this excited about casting” in a long time.

Bravo has not confirmed casting for season 15 just yet. Last season, Judge, Shannon Beador, Kelly Dodd, Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson and newcomer Braunwyn Windham-Burke were all full-time Housewives.