As we’ve previously reported, Raquel Leviss will not be returning to Vanderpump Rules for the show’s eleventh season.
At first, it looked as though Leviss was merely holding out for more money.
But now, with filming for VPR S11 coming to a close, it seems clear that Raquel — or Rachel, as she now prefers to be known — has every intention of permanently stepping away from the show that made her famous.
And while Raquel is missing out on a mid-six-figure salary, her colleagues on the show stand to lose even more.
By all accounts, Leviss’ co-stars are furious with her decision to step away, and with good reason.
Before Raquel’s affair with Tom was exposed — setting off the series of events that’s come to be known as the Scandoval — Vanderpump appeared to be on its way out.
Though everyone involved with the show has repeatedly denied allegations that the Scandoval was staged, producer Alex Baskin has confirmed that after a disastrous ninth season, Vanderpump Season 10 was poised to be the show’s last.
“The timing of [Scandoval] happened to have been perfect. It was insane and proof that there can still be a monoculture. The story of Vanderpump is one of survival more than anything,” Baskin recently told Deadline.
“To the network’s credit, they gave us another run at it and we had a resurgence anyway,” he added.
Now, with Raquel out of the picture, the future of the show seems uncertain once again.
Yes, Vanderpump will return for an eleventh season, which is set to wrap filming in September. But after that?
After that, the show will likely resume its place as one of many long-running, basic cable reality shows that are just hanging around until network execs can find something better to replace them.
As many have pointed out, the absence of Raquel creates an annoying anti-climax that will likely leave viewers feeling unsatisfied and curious about what else is on.
Producers were able to cobble together enough footage for a new season finale after word of the affair got out, but viewers were hoping that that was only the beginning.
The season 10 reunion was the most intense in the show’s history, but it seems that’ll be the last time that we get to see the cast confront Raquel.
Leviss is only one cast member — and one of the newer ones, at that — but her absence will almost certainly trigger a downturn in ratings.
And the timing couldn’t be worse.
A Vanderpump spinoff starring fired cast members Jax Taylor, Stassi Schroeder, and Kristen Doute just began filming earlier this month.
Details are still scarce, but it seems obvious that the new show would never have been green-lit were it not for the boost in popularity provided by the Scandoval.
Now it looks as though we’ve seen the peak of Vanderpump‘s resurgence, which means that there’s nothing ahead for the franchise but a second slow decline.
So if any other cast members are thinking of embarking on a sordid affair, now would be a good time to start!
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