“Vanderpump Rules” is the most successful of all the spin-off series of the reality television franchise “Real Housewives”, aired on the Bravo cable network. It focuses on the staff of the SUR Restaurant & Lounge in West Hollywood, co-owned by Lisa Vanderpump, the breakout star of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (RHOBH). After nine seasons, many believed that the time has come for the network to cancel the show.

Meet the original cast

Stassi Schroeder – Server

Stassi’s mother told her that she’s a descendant of a Swedish princess, so she acted like one. She has been the center of attention since she was 10 or even younger; she says what’s on her mind, regardless of who gets hurt, and believes that she’s always right. Stassi is a friend of Lisa’s daughter, Pandora, and she also writes for their online luxury lifestyle magazine called “Divine Addiction.” She has always wanted to become a fashion writer, and she’s apparently good at it.

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Kristen Doute – Server

Kristen gets in the middle of everything, as she makes everybody’s problem her problem, even if she’s not wanted. Her boss found her difficult to work with.

Katie Maloney – Server

She’s earned the nickname, “Tequila Katie,” due to her behavior when she’s drunk.

Scheana Shay – Server

From when she was a little girl, Scheana dreamed of being famous, so eventually she would go to auditions in between work. She never had vocal training, but a record producer wanted her to record demos as he was looking for a brunette version of Britney Spears; she was often mistaken for the Princess of Pop when she was in high school. Admittedly, she’s not sure if anyone’s going to take her seriously as a singer, but said that being a pop star isn’t being a singer but a performer, and she’s the latter.

Jax Taylor – Bartender

He likes being with someone who can tell him what to do. He’s been accused of being a pathological liar and a cheater.

Tom Sandoval – Bartender

He’s obsessed with his hair.

About the show

All the gossiping, drinking, dating and fighting among the uninhibited staff of SUR (Sexy Unique Restaurant) made “Vanderpump Rules” such a captivating TV show. It initially centered on six attractive people with aspirations to become famous actors, musicians, or models. Some of their love interests landed a job at SUR, or other employees became their significant others and appeared in the show.

According to British restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump, she and her husband, Ken Todd, had two restaurants in California: the Villa Blanca where a man could take his wife, and SUR where he could take his mistress. SUR’s design was eclectic, and people who worked there a little bit crazy.

Lisa admitted that the energy and character of her staff are what made them great servers, not necessarily their skills at waiting tables.

While most owners have a strict policy against fraternization in the workplace, Lisa has none as she said, ‘If I fired somebody who slept with another member of the staff, I’d have no employees left.’ As her people were all young and good-looking, dating amongst them was bound to happen. SUR manager Peter Madrigal dated Stassi and her bestie Katie, and by the time the show started, Stassi was dating Jax while Katie’s boyfriend was SUR bartender Tom Schwartz. Kristen was seeing Tom Sandoval.

Scheana was the new girl who had difficulty fitting in, as Stassi, Katie and Kristen were already in a tight clique. She initially wasn’t even given a chance to be part of them, as Queen Bee Stassi took a dislike to her as she said she didn’t want someone in her circle that was ‘husband-stealing fame-whoring piece of shit.’

Apparently, Scheana’s reputation preceded her, as she had a two-year affair with the actor Eddie Cibrian (“Third Watch”) while he was married to Brandi Glanville of RHOBH.

However, it was also known at SUR that whenever beautiful new girls started working there, all the guys become excited, and all the girls become pissed off. As beautiful and confident as Stassi was, she often felt jealous for no reason. Stassi tried to make Scheana quit by being mean to her, but it didn’t work, as Scheana stood up for herself upon the advice of their boss. She later admitted that she didn’t want Scheana around Jax, as she felt threatened by her.

Stassi and Jax were having problems, and they eventually broke up amidst rumors of him cheating on her with a girl he met in Las Vegas. No one from her posse sided with her, and they even turned against her; she and Scheana then became close. Jax later confessed to Stassi that the rumor was true.

Stassi then hooked up with another bartender named Frank, two days after the split. Her birthday celebration in Vegas turned into a nightmare, as a fight broke out.

Jax started dating Laura-Leigh, a server at SUR, to make Stassi jealous as he wanted her back; he was even caught having sex in SUR’s washroom. He later dumped Laura-Leigh at the worst possible time as it was after her AA meeting and then he and Stassi had sex again and he disclosed it to the rest of the staff despite their agreement to keep it a secret.

The boss lady would often call a meeting to sort things out so none of the conflicts amongst her staff would affect their work. She said, ‘All the people that worked here are so passionate about life and each other but that’s also the thing that makes it very difficult to run,’ and added, ‘it is what it is and I wouldn’t change it for the world.’

There was a lot of drama in season one that got millions of people hooked on the show.

It gets more complicated and interesting in the seasons that followed, with break-ups, new hookups, cheating, and fighting along with revelations that broke friendships and relationships. So is it reality-TV, or a soapie…..?

What happened to the “Vanderpump Rules” cast members?

Stassi and Kristen were fired

In 2020, during an Instagram Live interview with the actress Candace Renee Rice, former cast member Faith Stowers, opened up about the time she was working with Stassi and Kristen. It appeared that in 2018, the two called the cops on her for theft upon reading in the news that a black woman was wanted for robberies in the area. Faith said, ‘It was just funny, because they thought it was me because it was a Black woman with a weave.’ Fortunately, the police didn’t pursue the case.

The story became viral, and resulted in Stassi being dropped by her publicist and agent according to some reports. It was not the first time she’d made a racially insensitive remark, as during her podcast, “Straight Up with Stassi,” she mentioned being tired of the complaints made by African Americans about racism. ‘Why is it always just about the African Americans…It’s always just that, and then whenever they get upset, everybody has to go above and beyond to make them happy,’ she said.

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Stassi apologize to Faith via an Instagram post, saying she hadn’t realized that what she did could have serious ramifications.

Kristen also addressed the issue, and said that what she did wasn’t racially driven. She said she failed to recognize how her actions could have put Faith in danger, and admitted that her privileged life had blinded her from the reality of how the black community was treated by law enforcement. ‘I’m ashamed, embarrassed, and incredibly sorry,’ Kristen said.

Lisa Vanderpump said that what her former employees did was wrong, but they weren’t racist. ‘Do I think it was a racist action? No, not at all. I think it was just awful timing and stupid and ignorant,’ she said.

In 2020, Stassi married casting agent Beau Clark, while pregnant with their first child. Kristen is in a relationship with Alex Menache.

Jax and Brittany Taylor left the show

Jax fell in love with Brittany Cartwright upon meeting her in Las Vegas in 2015 – she joined the cast in season four, landing a job as a server at SUR, after working for some time at Hooters.

They starred in their own Bravo series, “Jax and Brittany Take Kentucky,” which chronicled their time in Brittany’s hometown, premiering in 2017, but didn’t get past season one. Despite cheating on Brittany by hooking up with Faith Stowers, he and Brittany tied the knot in 2019, and she gave birth to their first child in April 2021.

In December 2020, the couple announced that they were leaving the show and their representative said that the two were working on projects in which they could ‘share their own lives without Bravo’s limitations.’ Jax later revealed in an interview that it was a huge relief for him to no longer be part of the show, saying it didn’t make sense anymore to be a 40-year-old guy hanging out, fighting, and arguing with kids in the show who are half his age. He did reveal that he’s not leaving the TV industry for good, but would just move on to something family-oriented.

Scheana’s happily ever after

Sheana married Mike Shay, her high school friend, in 2014 but it ended after two years with the divorce finalized in 2017, due to his substance abuse problem.

Brock and Scheana 😍

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A month right after that, she jumped into another relationship with an old flame, Robert Valleta, but it didn’t work out either. Scheana later married Brock Honey Davies, as she said, ‘I’ve never been with someone who made me feel so loved and not insecure. We are a good fit for each other.’ They now have a daughter named Summer Moon.

Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz

TomTom Restaurant & Bar in West Hollywood opened in 2018, with Lisa Vanderpump as the senior partner, and Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz as junior partners; the two even developed their signature cocktails, and they also have their own whiskey label, “Tom’s Good Lovin.” It was hailed as the Best Bar in Southern California according to the Los Angeles Travel Magazine. The two Toms have been working on establishing their own bar called Schwartz & Sandy’s in the Franklin Village area of Los Angeles, and their former business partner Lisa has been fully supportive of their plans since she heard the news.

All’s well with their personal lives, as Schwartz is happily married to Katie Maloney while Sandoval’s relationship with Ariana Madix is still going strong.

Reasons why fans believe it’s time to say goodbye to “Vanderpump Rules”

So much has happened since the hit Bravo TV show premiered on 7 January 2013, that kept the viewers glued to their screens. Filming for the ninth season was delayed, as SUR closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but it reopened and is back in business for the cast members, with the show resuming in September 2021. It was said that the interest has waned with the ratings at an all-time low, with viewers down to half a million. It appeared that fans are ready for “Vanderpump Rules” to end. Many theories were thrown in as to the reason why.

Letting some of the original cast go, even if justified, was said to be their downfall, as people have become invested in their lives, and actually fell in love with their craziness. Without them, the viewers have no one to root for, or even hate.

When it first became known that Stassi, Kristen, Jax and Brittany would not be part of season nine, the future of the show seemed bleak, as they were central characters.

It didn’t help that Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, the two main stars introduced in season eight, were fired from the show as well, due to their racist tweets from their past that resurfaced. Both apologized for their actions, Max wishing that people would be given a chance to prove they can change and become a better person. He continued to work as a manager at TomTom a year after that, but quit due to health insurance issues. It was said that he now works at UNA MAS cocktails as its Chief Financial Officer.

Brett, a SUR server, said that he’s a good guy who made a mistake. He was grateful to his boss for understanding him and believing that he was capable of learning from what happened. He’s busy running a lifestyle and fitness YouTube channel these days.

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Never mentioning what happened to those who were fired was a bad move, according to fans, as the TV series has been known for not shying away from showing their controversial behavior.

Even if the show retained some of the original cast members, there were those who said that people couldn’t relate to them anymore, as they’ve become popular and successful, far removed from their days of struggle. It also felt rather ‘off’ that they were still working at SUR as servers or bartenders, when they could afford expensive weddings and big houses with swimming pools. It was said that the conflicts and fights among them became less intense, as they were more careful with their words and action for fear of a backlash from fans, which could result in them being fired from the show, or losing endorsements and other projects. Some believed that the show had lost its authenticity, in that every scene felt forced or scripted.

Despite everything that’s happened, Andy Cohen, host of each season’s “Vanderpump Rules” reunion, believed that they still have a solid cast.

TONIGHT!!!!! Don't miss the return of #PumpRules at 9/8c on @BravoTV!

Posted by Lisa Vanderpump on Tuesday, September 28, 2021

However, it seemed that the new cast failed to charm their way into the viewers’ hearts, which might have something to do with them not knowing each other prior to the show. Some said that their stories weren’t that interesting, while others said that the storylines have become darker, as there was suspicion of domestic violence between James Kennedy, SUR busboy turned DJ, and Raquel Leviss, SUR server. Her nose was bent to the left as James accidentally bumped it as he went in for a quick kiss on her lips. It was said that even their boss had some doubts about her story and thought that somebody had hit her, but Raquel said that wasn’t true.

There’s still so much talk about the show, good or bad, which meant that people are still interested. Many are wondering if the show has been renewed for its 10th season, but there hasn’t been any official statement from the network. As some of Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurants closed permanently, fans were concerned about the fate of SUR, as the show was dependent on it. While waiting for news, fans are still updated on the lives of its stars, as most of them are highly visible on social media.

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