Despite only being on The Real Housewives of Orange County for just one season, Lizzie Rovsek was able to win viewers over with her charming life and ‘no nonsense’ attitude. From her epic showdown in Bali with Tamra Judge, to supporting cornered castmember Vicki Gunvalson; Lizzie had no problem leaving her mark on the show and standing out with her opinions. Because of all of this and much more, many viewers want the swimwear designer back on the show full time after she was demoted to “friend of ” last season. I was able to catch up with the mommy of two and see what she’s been up too since we last saw her on our Bravo screens…
What have you been up to since the viewers saw you last season?
I have been super busy with Sun Kitten and my family. As many of you know, I did the swimwear for Miss USA, which was an incredible experience despite the show being pulled from NBC. I was in Baton Rouge doing fittings with contestants when it was announced that the show would no longer air on NBC due to Donald Trump’s negative remarks. I watched as one by one the hosts and sponsors dropped out. I spent a lot of time with the contestants and I felt it so unfair for all the hopefuls that were following their dreams. Why should they have to suffer? So, I made a decision to stay for the girls. Like, what….I’m going to leave with my bikinis and Miss USA isn’t going to have a swimsuit competition? The girls had been let down enough. The show aired on Reelz TV and the lovely Olivia Jordan took home the crown. I competed in Miss USA and Miss Teen USA and it has always been a dream of mine to design the swimwear for Miss USA. I guess I can check that off my bucket list.
My boys have been growing up and they surprise me everyday with the things they say and do. I love being a mom to boys and yes, I still hope for a third baby.
I just did a collaboration with Gretchen Rossi. I designed a small collection of swimwear inspired by Gretchen, Gretchen Christine for Sun Kitten Swimwear. We just debuted the line at Scottsdale Fashion week and we had a great time! I am currently designing 2017 and have an appointment next month in Philadelphia with QVC!
How were you first approached to do the show?
I literally got a phone call out of the blue from the show’s creator Scott Dunlap. He had heard about me from someone at my sports club. I was impressed at how much he already knew about me and asked if I would Skype with casting. I did the interview and then didn’t give much thought to it. I left on a trip to St. Barths and when I was returning home and going through customs in Miami I got a phone call from a producer from the show. They wanted cameras in my home within the next few days and the show wanted me! I took a leap and signed the contract. God put this opportunity in front of me so I accepted.
What was the very first scene you filmed for the show? What were you thinking?
The first scene I shot was at home in my kitchen with Christian and the kids. I’m pretty sure it was the ‘throw me over the kitchen counter’ scene. We didn’t even have the lighting set up in the house yet. I think I embarrassed Christian, but I meant what I said. Christian was so nervous filming at first and the kids took a while to warm up to the crews and cameras. Eventually we all got used to it and now my boys just love the producers and camera guys. Christian always got in trouble because he would always talk directly to the camera guys, even ask them if they wanted to take shots with him when we would film big group parties.
The first group scene I ever filmed was at Danielle’s house. Remember where I fall on my butt!! I was thinking, omg! Lizzie you never fall!! Now you fall with cameras everywhere. What an entrance!
Off camera, you and former Housewife Gretchen Rossi became quite close. How did you guys meet and how was this friendship between the two of you sparked?
I met Gretchen and Slade at a Life & Style party in Los Angeles. They were both super friendly. Gretchen and I hit it off right off the bat. She has a very warm and genuine demeanor. I had just gotten back from Bali and was very shook up from the season. As you can guess, she had a lot of great advice and soon became one of my closest confidants outside of the show. I left season 9 reunion in tears after Tamra told me I was going to “burn in hell” and had spoken negatively about my child and marriage. I grabbed a bottle of pinot grigio and jumped in the back of my car and talked to Gretchen the entire drive back to Orange County. That reunion was hard for me; they didn’t invite my friend Danielle to the reunion or my husband who were witnesses to the season. I basically sat their alone being called a liar and getting personal attacks on my children and marriage. I’m so glad I didn’t stoop to the level of saying a word about anyone’s children. In my opinion children are off limits. However, I do regret not telling Tamra more of what I thought about her. I was backed into a corner and felt inferior. It was really unfair. I will say that Vicki and Shannon were awesome at that reunion. They totally had my back and even Heather came over to sit with me after some really low blows came out of Tamra’s mouth. I honestly just felt very sad for Tamra. She was a woman that must have been in an absolute horrible place in her life. I really and truly prayed for her.
During your time on the show, we saw a lot of your relationships with the other ladies change. You fell out with People you got close to right off the bat, and got close to People who initially you weren’t connecting with. Who, from your time on the show; would you say you’re currently closest to? And why?
When I started the show in season 9 I felt closest to Heather and Tamra and Danielle. I soon found out that Tamra was doing things behind the scenes to instigate drama. She would say one thing to my face and insult the same things behind my back. For the RECORD, I could care less if Tamra or anyone else didn’t want to go to my birthday party. What happened was she waited until I was in the limo to cancel. She knew her daughter was sick at 7am. Then I heard from Vicki that Tamra told her not to go also. She told her to tell producers that she was sick too (she told them to tell them she had yeast infection…classy right?!) There was apparently a group text going around with Tamra trying to get people to cancel on my party. Pretty mean, right? Anyway, Vicki didn’t cancel. She came, which said a lot to me. I know she didn’t want to go alone with me. She hardly knew me at this point and we did not get off to a good start. The next day Danielle tells me that Tamra was making fun of my dress and me. Which was a beautiful dress, just hiked up a little high from sitting for hours in the limo. There were other incidences too, it’s just too much to rehash and I don’t even care anymore. Regardless of what happened with Tamra, I remained good friends with Heather and grew closer to Shannon because we bonded over how Tamra had hurt us. When I showed up at reunion, I felt like shit. I had no one. Had no idea how it was going to go down. I adore Heather, but I know at the end of the day she will always stand behind Tamra. I got a text from Vicki right before we walked out onto the set and she said, ‘Let’s go out there and tell the truth. I got your back.’ At that moment I had a whole new respect for Vicki and she was my friend from that day forward. So, in season 10 when Brooks’ health became the main drama of the season, I wouldn’t play into it. If Brooks lied about cancer, shame on him!! But he will have to deal with that karma in his life. What I know is that Vicki was soooo in love with that man and would have done anything to defend him. Haven’t you ever seen good girls get messed up with bad boys and do things that they shouldn’t? It doesn’tmake the girl bad; it makes her blinded by love. More than anything I think that what Vicki needed from the women was love. She needed support. She was lost and needed friends. I did not see Vicki go out of her way to hurt the women on the show. Did she get feisty at times, well yes, but that’s what we are hired to do! When you are being attacked you defend yourself. Remember Bali? I had to defend myself from a false accusation and when Tamra insulted my friends and me; yea I got feisty. That’s what happens. The show is not about our husbands or boyfriends. I honestly couldn’t even get involved in the whole fake cancer debacle. There was no drama all season and they found this one thing to latch on to and it became a take down. Vicki really suffered and she also had to get over a break up (which is the worse pain ever, even if it’s not the right person for you.)
What really hurt me more than anything in season 10 is how Shannon completely dropped me as a friend. Isn’t Shannon the self-proclaimed, “truth” guru? I wrote a blog explaining my truth. The entire blog was pro Shannon. I defended Shannon all season on the show and off. I reread the blog numerous times to see if I said anything bad, I didn’t!!! I got a crazy text message from Shannon at like midnight going off on me. Literally taking me to town. She even added that everyone talks horribly of me and she must be a moron to defend me? I thought Heather, Vicki and Meghan were my friends, hell even Tamra and I were on good terms. I did nothing all season for any of them to talk badly of me. What was she talking about? Did she make that up? Meghan and I had our differences but that doesn’t mean we aren’t friends. But this incident with Shannon happened off camera. It happened months after filming had stopped. She basically ended our friendship ruthlessly over a text message. I told her I loved her and she should read the blog again, I never ever said anything to hurt her. What I did was tell my side of the story. (She called me a liar and then later admitted to Meghan that she did confide in me and I was telling the truth.) She said she was “done!” with me. I couldn’t figure out if this was for real or if someone was in her head. Did she not need me anymore since I wasn’t a main housewife? I couldn’t figure it out. To this day she has not spoken a word to me, nor a text. Nothing bad even happened and she just cut me off like that. For what?! I still want to know, for what? I have seen other people around her treat her far worse and she forgives and forgets. I will never ever forget how she made me feel that night and I will never ever look at Shannon the same again.
I talk to Meghan regularly. Meghan is a very sweet girl and has become a very good friend to me. Heather is also a good friend and I adore her. When I finished filming Tamra and I were on good terms. I keep hearing some ‘not so nice’ things that she has said about be since filming to people I know and in the media. So I’m a little confused about that because I thought we were good and had moved on. Oh well!
Lets talk a little bit about Season 10 for you, how did you end up being a “Friend Of” last year?
I was hired for season 10 as a main housewife. I filmed for over half the season as a main housewife. We filmed so many adorable moments with my boys. They finally lovedthe cameras and were really being themselves. 2015 was an amazing year for me! I just signed on to design the swimwear for Miss USA, Sun Kitten Swimwear was featured on Charlotte McKinney the number one viewed commercial in history for Carl’s Jr all natural burger during Super Bowl, I even made sports illustrated swimsuit edition. However, I don’t think it was in the cards for me to have a ‘good’ year on housewives. Perhaps it was my year to go down. I just had a whole lot of positive exciting things happening in my life. Tamra and I were getting along which I was very glad about. Things in life were really good for me. Miss USA and some affiliates of the Miss Universe Organization flew out here from NYC to film with me. It was really exciting stuff.
A couple of things happened that led to the deterioration of my role. First, I fell and broke my rib, which was so painful I couldn’t do anything for a while. I missed the Bunco party at Shannon’s when Vicki found out her mother passed. The few times I filmed after that I was injured and couldn’t participate in racing cars and had been on pain meds and truly not myself. I thought I was pregnant and I was told to wait and announce that I thought I might be pregnant on our trip. After I found out that I wasn’t pregnant on the trip to Tahiti I was demoted. I got demoted the week we returned home. I wasn’t pregnant and I didn’t have any negative drama. I had a great year in life, but not juicy enough for Housewives. I am big on prayer and ask God daily to protect me and give me signs and hold my family in his hands. I am 100% certain that God put those downfalls on me on purpose. Everything happens for a reason.
Word Association Game:
Vicki Gunvalson— fun, crazy, big heart
Heather Dubrow—over the top, thoughtful
Meghan K Edmonds—ballsy, serious, to the point
Gretchen Rossi—genuine, beautiful, sweet
Bethenny Frankel—smart ass
Lisa Vanderpump- queen
Would You ever do the show again?
I never say never… However, I don’t think people really got a chance to really meet me and see who I truly am. I really am about uplifting and promoting other women, not tearing them down and I think that may have been my biggest downfall on the show. I can hold my own, I have opinions and I can certainly take someone to town if I have to, but you have to really piss me off first. I have a wild and carefree gypsy spirit that was never really shown on the show. I have a good life. I’m happy and focusing on Sun Kitten and my family and hope to have another baby sometime in the next year. No regrets.
And there’s that! Lizzie is someone I ABSOLUTELY LOVE so when I thought about who I wanted to do my first exclusive, of course I thought of her! She’s currently participating in the OC Trunk Show benefiting MS, which takes place Thursday, March 10. To find out more about that and get tickets, go to octrunkshow.com. I have a lot of other fun interviews coming up so stay tuned for those!