The “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” is the 10th version of the franchise series that Bravo TV launched in their reality-television programming. With all the scandals that occurred during its second season, including a federal arrest, racist slurs, and cult allegations, fans couldn’t wait for new developments. There was a major change in the main cast for the third season, as they welcomed two new housewives into the fold.

What is “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” all about?

Salt Lake City in Utah, mostly known for its magnificent mountains, world-class ski slopes, and the Mormon Church, had also become popular due to the reality-TV series, “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” or “RHOSLC.”

The origins and its premise

Just like the other Real Housewives franchise series, “RHOSLC” focused on the lives of wealthy housewives, this time within the elite social circle in Salt Lake City. In their world, conversations such as ‘You can’t buy my tits because my plastic surgeon retired’ were a common occurrence. These successful women live in luxurious homes, and at a distance it might look as if their lives were a fairytale, but each of them possessed flaws that led to numerous fights that were not only spicy, but also incredibly intense and wild – they could be as catty and petty as those characters seen in a soap opera. The series made its TV debut on 11 November 2020, and listed Andy Cohen, Lisa Shannon, Chaz Morgan and Lori Gordon as its executive producers, produced by Shed Media for Bravo TV.

The original cast members

“RHOSLC” started with six main cast members, who were all tough, stylish, hardworking, and not afraid to express what they feel or think.

Jen Shah, the self-proclaimed Queen Bee and MVP of their town, who worked as a CEO of multiple marketing companies is the wife of football coach Sharrieff Shah, and a mother of two.

Lisa Barlow, the owner of several alcohol brands and marketing companies in Salt Lake City, believed in the mantra: ‘When you take cheap shots, always expect a hangover.’

Whitney Rose, whom the show described as a descendant of Mormon royalty, left the Church after having an affair with her boss, who became the father of her two kids.

Meredith Marks had a difficult time with her marriage. She’s a long-time friend of Jen.

Mary Cosby became quite controversial, because she had to marry her late grandmother’s second husband to inherit the family’s empire of churches. Due to her “unconventional” marriage, she became a topic of many salacious rumors.

Heather Gay was the last to be introduced to viewers. She went to the same university as Lisa, and had just finalized a divorce when the show started.

A quick recap on the first season of “RHOSLC”

The first season had 13 episodes, and the premiere showed just how fragile the friendships were that the women had, even though some of them had known each other for quite some time.

Episodes 1 to 5

“RHOSLC” started with a birthday celebration Jen threw for her close friend, Meredith, but it turned out to be more a day of confrontation when Jen and Mary got into a heated argument about the latter’s callous comments about her family. Heather, on the other hand, heard that her longtime friend Lisa was the one spreading rumors about her. The ladies tried fixing things by having fun in Switzerland, with Whitney throwing a 1920’s party, which ended with Jen goading Mary and Meredith into a fight. Some of them including Mary, chose the high road and reached out to Jen over a luncheon so that they could sort out their issues once and for all.  However, instead of discussing everything calmly, things escalated. Somewhere along the way, Jen hurled accusations at Mary for being a racist, Heather tried to pacify things between them and talked with Mary, who in turn accused Heather of being a hypocrite and two-faced.

Episodes 6 to 10

Things calmed down as frenemies agreed on a truce during Whitney’s 52nd birthday party. Each of the ladies was busy with their businesses, especially during the Sundance festivities in Utah. Heather came clean with her daughters about her Mormon beliefs, and tried dating again. Meredith and her husband had problems for a while, but they discussed their issues and were happy to be together again. The truce didn’t last long between the frenemies, because some shared something that they shouldn’t have, and so the fights continued, with Jen on the verge of breaking her relationships with everyone. Some of the housewives in “RHOSLC” opted to focus on their businesses to reach their goals, including Heather, who became so hands-on with her Beauty Lab and Laser, which eventually thrived.

Last three episodes

As in any group that needed to be whole again, Whitney invited the ladies to Vegas. Everyone agreed immediately although Lisa was hesitant, being still upset by what had happened. Jen reconnected with Heather, as the latter was busy with her business and took her on an exclusive shopping date. When the group went out to dinner, something happened once again, that Jen felt that Lisa and Meredith had betrayed her. Jen decided to fix things with the other ladies during Heather’s Beauty Lab party, but all she got was a chilly reception.

This was supposed to be a loving, tight-knit group of friends, but by the end of the first season of “RHOSLC,” there was a realization that they were not as close as they thought they were. Meredith shared in one of the interviews, ‘There’s a lot of misrepresentation of who is friends with whom in this circle.’ In one of their confrontations, Lisa said, ‘I don’t judge you, but I don’t care enough to judge you.’

Controversial things that happened in RHOSLC’s second season

If the viewers thought the first season was one of the best seasons ever in the Real Housewives franchise, due to the intense drama and high-end fashion along with issues about Mormonism, they were in for a treat, as the second season was just as explosive. A new cast member was introduced, Jennifer Nguyen, a firecracker mother of three kids with a potty mouth. She was a Vietnamese refugee in Thailand before a Christian group brought her to the US. The reality-TV series made its second season premiere on 12 September 2021.

Federal agents were looking for Jen Shah

The housewives were getting ready for a trip to Vail, Colorado; Jen and a couple of ladies were waiting at Heather’s beauty shop while others were already seated on the bus. Jen received an urgent call from her husband, and told one of the housewives to turn off the microphone. She shared that her husband had internal bleeding, and was in the hospital for surgery. She left them, saying that she would just follow by ‘plane. However, about 12 to 15 minutes later, everyone was shocked when federal agents appeared, looking for Jen with an arrest warrant, but she was nowhere to be found. As the cameras were rolling, Whitney thought that it just was a prank.

The arrest of Jen Shah and the charges against her

It was in Episode 10 when Jen was finally arrested, along with her trusted assistant, Stuart Smith. The investigation was a result of collaboration among the New York Police Department, Southern District of New York, and the United States Attorney’s Office; even Homeland Security in both New York and Salt Lake City joined the operation. Allegedly, Jen and Stuart committed fraud along with nine other co-conspirators, accused of generating and selling a list of innocent people to be scammed for their money by their other business partners. Apparently, the two pushed anomalous business opportunities to these people, so as to steal their money. Jen was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and another count of money laundering. If proven, she would face a total of 50 years in prison for both charges.

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Meredith was suspected of tipping off the FBI agents about Jen

The ladies of “RHOSLC” continued with their scheduled filming, and talked about the circumstances of Jen’s arrest. One of them suspected that Meredith tipped-off the federal agents on where Jen could be found. Some were curious as to why she and Mary didn’t join them on the bus ride; Meredith was already in Vail when they called her, and said that she was attending her father’s memorial, but Whitney speculated that this might not have been the case.

When they had a confrontation about it in a later episode, Jen asked Meredith why she’d hired a private investigator to look into her life. Apparently, Jennie told her about it, but Meredith said that she submitted all their names because of the death threats that her family received. It was connected to her son, Brooks, who told his mom that he thought she was better off not hanging with Jen because she seemed to be an inappropriate person. He admitted to his mom that Jen flashed her vagina at him, which Jen denied. When the death threats were talked about, Jen felt that the group thought they were from her but Meredith corrected her by saying, ‘I didn’t say that…[but] the investigator did say with ninety percent certainty he thought it was you.’

Girl’s trip to Zion turned out to be an emotional rollercoaster ride

After her arrest, Jen was released on bail, but ordered not to leave Utah, and was prevented from moving $10,000 from her personal bank account while waiting for the court trial. She wasn’t allowed to reach out to any of her co-defendants, and her telemarketing operations were suspended. While she was quite embarrassed by it all, she continued filming the reality-TV show, and used it as a platform to clear her name. When the girls went on a trip to Zion for a healing session led by Whitney, it turned out to be a disaster, because Jen had some sort of mental breakdown, and told them that her legal woes were connected to Meredith and Mary. Lisa tried to be the peacemaker, but then Jen screamed at her too, which almost turned into a physical fight had the producers not intervened. Later on, during a planned activity, Mary was an absolute bitch by not wanting to participate, and even insulted Whitney about her plans.

Get to know “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” Season 3 Cast

With so many unbelievable things that occurred in the second season, Bravo TV immediately ordered another season – the producers believed that they had a goldmine in their hands. They didn’t need to invent drama in the narrative, because the housewives provided the show with all the necessary ingredients to make it controversial. There were rumors that there had been major changes in the cast for season three.

Filming for the third season started in February 2022

Many fans of “RHOSLC” posted on social media that they saw some cast members filming for new episodes back in February 2022. They were spotted in Old Town Scottsdale, in Arizona, but no one knew what they were doing specifically. There were short videos on Twitter with the ladies having fun that went viral. Scottsdale Tourism officers confirmed that the TV producers did apply for a filming permit in the area.

Is Jen Shah still around for the third season?

Due to many speculations that some of the housewives were no longer included in the new season, fans were worried that Jen Shah was terminated because of her legal problems. However, she was spotted going around Scottsdale with the other housewives. The fans need not worry, since TV insiders believed that Bravo TV would keep Jen in the series as long as they could. The reality-TV producers knew that her criminal case trial would make a great storyline. and the more controversial the case, the better for the show. Jen asked the court not to allow her video clips from “RHOSLC” to be included in the trial. In this season, she wouldn’t only be dealing with the fallout of friendships, and her legal case, but also the dream of her husband of having more children. He wanted more kids, and if Jen wasn’t amenable to that, he said that he was willing to seek other alternatives, including getting a sister wife just to fulfill that dream.

Jennie Nguyen was fired from the show

Social media have advantages in marketing a business, an idea, or a person. However, it can also be a trove of past mistakes and inappropriate behavior, that can cost someone’s job; the perfect example was that of “RHOSLC” cast member Jennie Nguyen. Her social media followers increased immensely due to her involvement in the reality-TV show, but then she was fired by Bravo TV when her past racially insensitive posts resurfaced. During the Black Lives Matter protests sometime in the summer of 2020, her Facebook post referred to the protesters as rioters, thugs, or even belonging to violent gangs. It had already been deleted, but the damage had been done. She apologized for it, saying ‘I regret those posts and am sincerely sorry for the pain they caused.’ The cast members were saddened, upset, and deeply shocked by her posts. They weren’t surprised that she was fired, but fans thought that Bravo TV failed to act on it immediately, and the TV executives promised to be more vigilant.

Who stayed in the TV show?

Almost everyone was back filming for the third season except for Mary Crosby. Fans speculated about her non-inclusion in the new season, because she didn’t appear in the reunion episodes for the second season. All of the stars were obliged to be present in those episodes, but she was nowhere to be found. A celebrity/gossip site wrote in February 2022 that Mary was no longer part of the show, but Mary immediately posted on her Twitter account that it wasn’t true. However, it was reported that she wasn’t filming with the other ladies, and that the producers didn’t have any plans to include her in the storyline. There was no official announcement yet, if she was in or out of the show.

New wives, new storylines

If the rumors were true, the third season would be without Mary and Jennie, so the production had two spots to fill. Bravo TV hasn’t officially named any new cast members, but the name of Angie Katsanevas, the owner of Lunatic Fringe, a Salt Lake City-based hair salon, was going around as one of the new wives. They said that it wasn’t a coincidence when Jen posted a photo of her along with Lisa and Whitney in March 2022. The photo was taken during the filming of a new episode, but was unclear as to the extent of her participation. There’s another new wife who’s joined the cast, but nobody has any information on her yet.

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If the fans were waiting for an insider’s scoop on Jen’s ongoing legal case, some “RHOSLC” sources said that it might not be part of the third season, since the trial won’t commence until 11 July 2022. Unless Bravo TV decided to delay its airing, the fans would need to wait for the (presumed) fourth season for the juicy details.

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