While we all know that reality TV isn’t exactly authentic, the real-life allure makes viewers feel connected to its stars, even if they’ve been performing for the cameras all along. Some reality TV stalwarts seem to never leave our screens, while others disappear from the public eye when they exit a series, leaving fans feeling bereft. With many reality shows clocking multiple seasons and spin-offs, this is the perfect moment to revisit some of the most engaging characters to grace the Bravo television network.
From Real Housewives who have all but disappeared to the real estate moguls we love to hate on Million Dollar Listing, so many former Bravo stars have embarked upon new careers or continued to develop their skills away from the spotlight. Find out what your favorite former Bravo celebs look like today and what they’ve been doing since stepping away from the popular shows that made them famous.
Madison Hildebrand (Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles)
Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles has featured a plethora of cast members over the years, and one of its most memorable real estate agents was Madison Hildebrand. When we last saw him on the show in 2016, Hildebrand had to get his jaw wired shut after his teenage cousin accidentally clipped him in the face while jumping off of a diving board. Hildebrand didn’t return for Season 11, but he continues to work in real estate. Unfortunately, his luck hasn’t gotten much better — the Malibu agent required additional surgery after breaking even more bones!
Speaking to The Cheat Sheet in April 2019, Hildebrand revealed, « I was cooking and chopping in the kitchen. I went to turn, but didn’t see that my dog Prince was laying right under my feet. » In order to stop the knife from injuring his dog, Hildebrand put his own body in the way. « I fell down hard on my left hand, » he said, and needed extensive surgery to repair the damage. The real estate mogul was also forced to flee from his home during the 2018 California Wildfires, and was faced with further heartache when his beloved dog, Maya, fell ill. As he wrote on Instagram in March 2019, « I caught a flight home, from my own hospital surgery journey, just in time to go straight to the ER to see her; she hung in there for me! »
Alex McCord (The Real Housewives of New York City)
Alex McCord and her husband, Simon van Kempen, completely changed their lives after leaving The Real Housewives of New York City at the end of Season 4. They moved to Australia with their two children in 2014, with McCord calling the transition a « midlife reinvention » in an interview with The Daily Dish. « Simon decided to go to law school, and he’s halfway through at this point. And I decided to get a degree in psychology, » she said during that 2017 interview. The Daily Dish shared an update about the couple in 2019, revealing that van Kempen was now a director at a law firm, while the former real housewife graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree.
McCord certainly appears to be happy with her life now and seemingly shaded her time on the reality show in her interview with The Daily Dish. While discussing her pursuit of a science-based degree, the former reality star said, « I won’t age out of it. I don’t need boobs or Botox for it. I’m fascinated by the way the brain works. » She planned to specialize in geriatric psychology in hopes of advancing research into conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. Van Kempen and McCord’s bold moves certainly demonstrate that anyone can reinvent themselves, at any time.
Lauren and Ashley Wirkus (Summer House)
The Wirkus twins were regulars on Bravo’s Summer House, which follows a group of young professionals enjoying weekends in the Hamptons. However, when Season 3 aired in 2019, Lauren and Ashley Wirkus were noticeably absent from the scene. The ladies issued a joint statement to explain. « Much has been speculated about the Summer House cast over the last few days. Regretfully, we can confirm that we will not be full-time cast members for the third season, » they said, per Us Weekly. « We depart Summer House with nothing but good wishes to those at Bravo, and to the cast and crew for helping to create life-lasting memories over the last two years. »
Despite no longer appearing on the show, both Wirkus twins have been extremely busy. Lauren announced in February 2019 that she was no longer going to be living in New York full time. She posted the news on Instagram: « After 8+ years of living in NYC I can officially say now I’m freakin’ BI-COASTAL and basically going to live the dream splitting my time between both San Diego and NYC (with an emphasis on Southern California until it warms up on the east coast). » Ashley, who now goes by her married surname, welcomed her first baby with husband Brad McAtee in May 2019. She announced the happy news on Instagram: « On Friday the most overwhelming love affair began when we welcomed our baby boy Dean Hudson McAtee. »
Taylor Armstrong (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills)
Since leaving The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Taylor Armstrong has faced a lot of tragedy. She filed for divorce from her first husband, Russell Armstrong, in 2011, alleging that he had verbally and physically abused her. Russell died by suicide soon after those allegations were made public. Taylor faced a lot of public scrutiny in the wake of his death, but as she told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live! (via HuffPost): « I have a titanium mesh implant holding up my right eye right now, so I don’t know what more radiographic evidence you need than that. »
Taylor found love again and wed attorney John Bluher in 2014. She’s been busy raising her daughter from her first marriage, Kennedy, who will turn 14 in 2020. In July 2019, Armstrong sparked rumors about a return to the Housewives franchise when she replied to a fan on Twitter who had suggested that original cast members return to the series. Armstrong tweeted in response: « That would be amazing — the OGs back together xo. » Cross your fingers, RHOB fans.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
Ross Inia (Below Deck)
Below Deck Season 6 star and New Zealand native Ross Inia earned the wrong kind of notoriety following his appearance on the show. In December 2018, the Bravo alum was reportedly arrested for disorderly intoxication and battery during a night out with Below Deck Mediterranean star Joao Franco. According to Deadline, the pair had been drinking in West Palm Beach, Fla. and documenting the night on social media via their Instagram Stories. Per Deadline, Inia spent a night in jail, posted a $15,500 bail, and was released the following afternoon.
It’s also been reported that Inia’s love life has gotten a little more complicated since appearing on Bravo’s hit show. One of the most demanding charter guests in Season 6 was a woman named Krystal, so when Inia posted some loved-up looking selfies with the former yacht guest on Instagram, questions were asked, especially since Krystal had been married when she appeared on the show. During the Season 6 reunion episode, host Andy Cohen asked Inia if he was « friends with benefits » with Krystal, to which the bosun replied, « Just benefits. » He also let slip during the episode that at some point he allegedly hooked up with Hannah Ferrier, the chief stew on sister show Below Deck Mediterranean.
Lisa Wu (The Real Housewives of Atlanta)
Since leaving The Real Housewives of Atlanta, twice-divorced Lisa Wu has continued to work in the entertainment industry. She appeared in an episode of Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns in 2010, and more recently had a leading role in the TV movie London Mitchell’s Christmas. You can also catch her in a police drama called Atlanta (ATL) Undercover. Additionally, Wu co-wrote a book with Miasha Coleman called When the Cake is Made. According to the fictional story’s official synopsis, the tale involves « three women, three disaster weddings, one dress burning ceremony and a connection that is deeper than anyone could imagine. »
These days, Wu’s Instagram profile describes her career as « A Lil’ bit of acting, producing, writing.., and brokering to sell u a house in between. » A July 2019 Instagram post revealed that she’s shooting a movie called Stolen Lilies. Though the former reality star described herself as bi-coastal in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she continues to be a fixture on the red carpet-scene in Atlanta. « I still love Atlanta, » she said. « My kids are here. »
Luis Ortiz (Million Dollar Listing New York)
Luis Ortiz left Million Dollar Listing New York at the end of Season 5. Having become a super-successful real estate agent, Ortiz decided he wanted to pursue other ventures. The Real Deal revealed in November 2016 that the mogul was transitioning into property development by joining Empire Capital Holdings, a real estate investment firm. In a since-deleted Instagram post cited by The Real Deal, Ortiz said: « It was time for me to transition to the other side of the business and become a principal, an owner and a developer myself. »
That same year, Ortiz launched his since-lapsed website, Happyholic, and according to the Inquisitr, Ortiz was « writing a book about his life and how to find happiness. » The lifestyle brand initially received some backlash for apparently trying to sell items to consumers, per the Inquistr. During a guest appearance on Million Dollar Listing New York in Season 6, Ortiz announced that he was moving to Paris, but it seems that the broker-turned-property developer is returning to his Million Dollar roots. Bravo announced Ortiz’s return to the show in the Season 8 trailer. « It’s nice to be back, » he says in the footage. We suspect fans will wholeheartedly agree.
Phaedra Parks (The Real Housewives of Atlanta)
Entertainment attorney Phaedra Parks is described by Bravo as « a best-selling author, funeral director, entrepreneur, as well as a social and political activist. » She also describes herself as a « mommy, lifestyle guru, mortician, mediator, attorney, author, and Wilhelmina Model, » because why pigeonhole yourself? She founded the Phaedra Foundation, which advocates for social justice and education, in 2016, but that doesn’t mean we’ll never see her on reality TV again.
« I know there’s lots of rumors swirling around about me returning to the housewives, but I haven’t had any discussions about returning, » she told the Daily Mail in July 2019. « I never say never to any opportunities, but I had a good run and you know, I’m very happy right now. » Her tenure on The Real Housewives of Atlanta was filled with big highs and lows. « I was on Real Housewives for eight years. Both of my children were born on air, my ex spouse went to prison on the show, » she said.
Parks also started a new YouTube channel in 2019, suggesting that she’s still more than happy to share her life with fans, and she’s also reportedly found love again. The Daily Mail reported that she’s dating Medina Islam, who is fellow housewife Claudia Jordan’s ex.
Jo De La Rosa (The Real Housewives of Orange County)
Jo De La Rosa has pursued several new ventures after leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County. In 2014, The Daily Dish reported that De La Rosa became a « marketing and ad sales exec » following her reality TV foray. Since then, the former singer has discussed launching her own lifestyle brand. According to her Instagram, her site will provide fashion and beauty tips, exclusive insights into her personal life, and help followers « create a life you love. »
In January 2019, the reality star broke off her engagement to Mark Lovette, the CEO and founder of media company Empire Digital. « Starting over is hard. Posting on social media pretending like your life is ‘perfect’ going through it for me was even harder, » she wrote on Instagram. « Sometimes you need to step away, figure out what the hell you’re doing with your life, cry until you can’t cry anymore. » In May 2019, De La Rosa posted a make-up free selfie and said she was « baring it all » as she forged a new path. We’re confident that whatever De La Rosa does next, she’s sure to capture the attention of avid Bravo fans.
Everett Weston (Summer House)
Season 4 of Summer House shows Lindsay Hubbard and Carl Radke getting closer, but fans of the show won’t have forgotten Hubbard’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Everett Weston. Despite their tumultuous relationship, which often ended with massive arguments in the Hamptons each summer, Weston and Hubbard seemingly couldn’t stay away from each other. Until now, that is. According to Hubbard herself, Weston has moved on for good, and strangely, it’s with one of Radke’s exes. Of the surprising love square, she explained on The Daily Dish podcast in February 2020, « Everett is very seriously dating this girl who they live together. They’re probably gonna get engaged fairly soon, but that girl is Carl’s ex-girlfriend. »
The woman in question is Courtney Cavanagh, who Weston called « my dream girl » in a romantic September 2019 Instagram post. « It’s been a memorable last year since we started this journey together, and building this life with you has been unequivocally exhilarating, » he added. « I couldn’t be more excited for every new adventure that each sunrise brings us. » It sounds as though the couple’s relationship is getting very serious.
Meanwhile, Weston’s LinkedIn profile reveals that he’s currently a regional sales manager for Rapid Ratings International, as well as a strategic advisor for Spotfund Technologies. Weston is also listed as an investor in Loverboy, the alcoholic drinks brand started by Summer House stars Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula.
Kelley and Amy Johnson (Below Deck)
Kelley and Amy Johnson delighted fans of Below Deck by bringing their wholesome brand of sibling friendship to the boat. Both Kelley and Amy have parted ways with the show (for now, at least), but they’ve both been keeping busy. Drawing upon his background in the Marines, Kelley started a YouTube channel called That Military Guy. Describing his channel, Kelley wrote, « I have served in the Marines, been on a reality TV show, and been a Captain on yachts. I am going to share with you my strife, the mindset of a former military member trying to make it in the civilian world, and what steps I’m taking to better myself. » With his videos, Kelley is hoping to use his platform as a reality star to help other people.
Meanwhile, Amy has reportedly found love since leaving the show. In 2016, Kate Chastain told The Daily Dish, « I’m really sad that Amy’s not here, but I also know that she has a really gorgeous, younger South African boyfriend, and they are working on a yacht together, so she has sailed off into the sunset and is very happy. » Amy returned the love when Chastain announced her retirement from Below Deck on Instagram in February 2020, and wrote in the comments section (via The Daily Dish), « Proud of you and excited to see you rock your next chapter!!! Just please don’t run off to Canada. Love, your loyal stew. »
Adrienne Gang (Below Deck)
Before Kate Chastain became Below Deck‘s resident chief stew, Adrienne Gang was in charge of the interior — and everyone knew it. Gang left the show at the end of Season 1, after she’d ruffled a lot of feathers. But since finishing her stint on reality TV, Gang’s life appears to have calmed down considerably. In October 2018, the former chief stew got married to chiropractor Dr. Andrew Danks in an idyllic beach wedding. Sharing some adorable wedding pictures on Instagram, Gang described the nuptials as « the most amazing weekend of our lives to date! » According to The Daily Dish, several Below Deck stars attended the wedding, including Jamie Jason and Chandler Brooks.
Gang also revealed that she’s since moved on from being a chief stew, and instead works as a yacht chef. In January 2018, she took to Twitter to explain, « I chef all over. Currently in the Bahamas as a chef on yachts. I’d love to go back! » The former stew also revealed that she still watches Below Deck, but tweeted in February 2020, « No secret that I’m not a Captain Lee fan. » And judging by her Twitter feed, she’s not much of a Kate Chastain fan either, which would make for a very interesting reunion indeed.