"I know Tamra, and I think Tamra gets such a bad rap. Consistently a bad rap, and I don't think it's fair," Gina told Andy after he asked if she agreed with Kelly Dodd's conclusion that Tamra was the "snake" of the group.
Last year, Gina called Kelly her "ride or die," but she doesn't necessarily feel that way anymore. When a caller asked Kirschenheiter what caused the rift, she sarcastically replied, "I think basically she called me an unaccomplished woman, she smacked me in the back of my head, she called me ugly when I dyed my hair. Probably those things."
A few episodes back, Gina lost it on newcomer Braunwyn Windham-Burke after the latter insisted on talking about herself when the former was trying to open up about her daughter's health concerns. In the moment, Gina called Braunwyn an "asshole" and a "snob."
When a caller asked Kirschenheiter if she regretted yelling at Windham-Burke and calling her annoying, Gina laughed. "I definitely still find Braunwyn annoying," she said, "but I don't think Braunwyn's a bad person. I don't think she's malicious. I think she's really good for the cast and us as a group of friends. She keeps me on my toes for sure with all the stupid stuff she says, and it's good!"
During her first season as a Housewife, Gina found a friend in the other newcomer of the season, Emily Simpson. This season, though, they've butt heads on a few different occasions, and it seems to have actually fractured the friendship.
Emily's marriage has been a point of contention for her since the start, but things with Shane seem to be worse than ever. As recently as Tuesday night, she cried to the camera after an insanely cringe-worthy dinner date.
"Remember you are perfectly designed, and leave that man immediately. Seriously!" he said after watching back a clip of the date. "All of that? I mean, that was bad from beginning to end. He was telling her what she should eat, he was not listening to her, she was trying to express that I need help and he was like, 'No, how about you be nice?' putting all the fault on her, not taking any of it on his own. Leave! Time to go."
But Kirschenheiter, who knows the ins and outs of the relationship a little better than most, says she sees fault on both sides.
"It's hard for me. Obviously, my situation as well, I never wanna see anybody being treated like that," she said. "I don't even think Shane really respects me or any of her friends, let alone her, so that's very difficult, but I do think that there are very deep-seated problems there that involve both of them. Do I think he's handling them well? No. Do I think that's coming out well? No. But I do think there are things on both sides."
She went on to explain to an inquiring caller that she understands why viewers thought she was being a "mean girl" this season to someone who considered her a best friend.
"I think I understand why it comes off that way. I have a hard time I feel like in a lot of my friendship with Emily, I've been thinking about it a lot, and I feel like honestly I have been almost protecting Emily in a way that I used to protect my ex-husband," Gina explained. "And it's very difficult for me because I care about her and I love her, but there's a lot of things that I think she does that is not how I have friendships."
"There's examples of them that we're not gonna actually go into on 'Watch What Happens Live,' but they're there," she added. "We'll get into them at the reunion! So I will tell [Andy] those examples on Friday, but you know, it's hard for me. I have [been looking at it]. It's a hard thing for me 'cause I do love her, but she's confusing sometimes. Our friendship's confusing."
Karamo praised Gina for opening up and said he knew there must've been a reason why she was behaving that way toward Emily, noting, "It's not mean girl, you're just being triggered."
"I didn't trust Dennis from day one. Not day one!" he said. "I really think that Dennis is not in a space yet where he's ready to change his bachelor behaviors, and so she has to make a choice: Is that the behavior she wants to make a model for her child, of staying with someone who's gonna treat her like that?"
"The Real Housewives of Orange County" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.