Vanderpump Rules could have a major casting shakeup next season. Billie Lee will reportedly replace Kristen Doute as a full-time cast member on the popular Bravo reality show’s seventh season, according to a new report from Radar Online.
The transgender SUR hostess made waves last season when she dated Ariana Madix’s brother, Jeremy, and talked openly about her gender reassignment surgery. Now, fans will get a chance to learn more about Lee as she moves up to full-time status on the hit show.
Bravo has not confirmed the casting change, but a Vanderpump Rules insider told Radar that Lee “did extremely well” during her first season of the show and that she is well liked by all of the cast and was a bit of a ratings magnet. Lee will reportedly take over Kristen Doute’s full-time slot on the show. Doute has been on Vanderpump Rules since the beginning and has been known for her wild and crazy antics. But the source revealed that, at age 35, Doute is “just not crazy Kristen anymore.”
With Doute’s time on the show in danger of being reduced, transgender activist Billie Lee is giving Vanderpump Rules the full-time LGBTQ representation it was lacking.
Lee told the Huffington Post that she was really just looking for a job when she landed at SUR and didn’t even think about being on the hit Bravo show.
“As trans people, we don’t get the same opportunities,” she said.
“The unemployment is three times higher than the general population. I didn’t think of the big picture. Now that all of this is happening, I am so grateful. All this hard work of being who I am and telling my truth in my everyday life makes a difference, and people are inspired by that and people can relate.”
Lee also talked what it was like being the newcomer at SUR with the tight-knit Vanderpump Rules posse, revealing that she’s not a fan of all of her co-workers.
“When you start a job, you’re thrown into a group of people,” Lee told HuffPo. “I love a bunch of them, but some I find are a little too much of a victim. They take big, life-changing things and make it about themselves. I feel like some people are very self-involved and privileged and I’m not down for that.”
Meanwhile, Billie Lee is already marking her turf at Lisa Vanderpump’s SUR. She even heads a recurring brunch at the West Hollywood hotspot, called Brunch With Billie. Lee told Page Six her daytime dance party came about because she loved brunch, so she worked with Vanderpump’s business partner, Nathalie Pouille Zapata, to come up with the theme. Lee also revealed that she encouraged her co-stars to help out with her Sunday special.
“I love my friends and they were all willing to help when I told them about my Brunch With Billie idea,” Lee told Page Six. “It’s really a family.”
Vanderpump Rules returns to Bravo next year.