The Kelly Dodd Factor: How the Rookie Jolted Life Into ‘RHOC’

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Kelly Dodd has been dubbed by Andy Cohen as “one of the most polarizing” cast members to stand in The Real Housewives of Orange County spotlight.

Shannon Beador might disagree, but “polarizing” is just a buzzword for “fantastic” — in the world of reality TV. Some viewers love Kelly, others hate her, but there is little doubt that Kelly Dodd has added a much needed jolt of power to a franchise in desperate need of a jump. Kelly breathed life into the OC — and is most definitely a keeper. 

Kelly was introduced as a pal of Meghan King Edmonds — but was most pointedly hired to give cast pariah/head honcho, Vicki Gunvalson, a fair shake. Kelly and Vicki had instant “whoop it up” chemistry, and seemed to genuinely hit it off. Kelly shrugged off Vicki’s overhyped baggage, and the duo developed an honest and fun to watch friendship. Kelly’s corny jokes and snarky wit weren’t an instant hit with all of the ladies, but she did her best to roll with the challenging group dynamic.

CLICK: Shannon Beador Taunts Kelly Dodd Over Andy Cohen’s ‘Polarizing’ Compliment — Twitter Responds!

The new girl was beautiful and wealthy, and her home dished up a healthy helping of real estate porn. Kelly’s beach pad reflected her large and sparkly personality, and her family was interesting — even though her marriage was a rocky one. Kelly was an open book — dodging the snare that grabs and strangles many reality newbies. Kelly owned her skeletons loud and proud, not waiting for tabloids or nosy cast members to expose her sins to the public. She was honest about her history, and made herself instantly vulnerable. Sneaky, predictable manipulation wasn’t part of her game. Kelly was different — not always pleasant, but never boring. 

CLICK: #RHOC Kelly Dodd Feels Shannon Beador Pushing Drinks On Her In Ireland Proves 70s Party Set Up!

Kelly bounced between target and aggressor with three of the women, throwing boozy verbal punches when she felt threatened. The veterans  reacted — and their own shady patterns were exposed. Veiled issues bubbled to the surface, triggered by loose lips, and a shot at payback. Kelly was mouthy but real — and with a backdrop of pretentious fakery as the norm, she added much needed dimension to a flat picture. Kelly gave us a shot of adrenaline in a land cluttered with reality zombies, rinsing and repeating the same tired shtick. She was a sad soul with a short fuse — an unpredictable and intriguing combo. Kelly’s verbal arrows were lethal, but her apologies sincere, in a pattern that revealed a flawed woman, working to navigate a whole new world.

When it comes to Kelly’s first year approval ratings, fans are as split as Donald/Hillary supporters. The Kelly Dodd factor gave a diseased Season 11 crazy new life — and I loved it.

What are your thoughts about Kelly’s first season?


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