'RHOBH' 's Erika Girardi Opens Up About the Dramatic New Season: 'There Are Shifts in Alliances'

According to Girardi, new cast member Denise Richards fits right in

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It’s no secret that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has its share of conflict, but Erika Girardi says that this season, even loyal fans may be surprised.

“There are going to be some interesting shifts in friendships and alliances,” the Housewife, 47, tells PEOPLE. “It’s going to be full of drama.”

Girardi has her hands full these days. Not only is she shooting for the Bravo show, but she’s also on tour, performing through December as her alter ego Erika Jayne.

“We added a second leg based on the first selling out all but one show,” says Girardi, who will perform at Borgata in Atlantic City on Dec. 1. “It’s been such a lovely reception, and I’m really proud. People are wild from opening to closing and that’s what it’s supposed to be — a good time dance party!”

Girardi credits “extra cardio and adrenaline” for the stamina she needs to carry her through grueling rehearsals and the performances — plus a little secret before she goes onstage.

“We always have a group prayer and a shot of Fireball before we go onstage,” she says. “I know I sound like I’m reliving some college fantasy!”

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And as far as the new season, despite a few bumps, “we are more united as a cast than ever,” says Girardi. “We stick up for each other a lot more. You’re going to have one or two where you don’t see it, but the majority of the women are backing each other up.”

And new cast member Denise Richards fits right in, according to Girardi. “I really like her. I think she’s smart and she’s fun and she has a good story to tell,” she says. “Plus, her personal history with the group is interesting. She’s known some of them like Lisa Rinna and Kyle Richards for a long time!”

When Girardi isn’t filming or performing, she looks forward to down time and a treasured tradition.

Says the star: “I take a hot shower, get in my comfortable pajamas, jump in my bed with my dogs and watch Turner Classics!”

Season 9 of RHOBH is expected to premiere on Bravo in early 2019.

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