Here’s How Gina Kirschenheiter Survived Her First Season On ‘Real Housewives Of Orange County’

Gina Kirschenheiter with Real Housewives co-stars on a sofa
Phillip Faraone/Bravo / NBC

Gina Kirschenheiter was in the hot seat this year as one of the new girls on the Real Housewives of Orange County block, and the reality star is spilling the tea with Bravo’s Daily Dish on what it took to get her through her first season. Hint: it wasn’t just the alcohol.

Kirschenheiter is nominated as one of the six Rookies of the Year for the Real Housewives Awards, along with Eva Marcille, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Margaret Josephs, Candiace Dillard, and Emily Simpson.

“I feel like I’ve been nominated for an Oscar, basically,” the reality show star said.

Things weren’t easy for Kirschenheiter on her first season. She famously hit trouble with her marriage and ultimately separated from her husband while filming the show, revealing that she and her ex Matt are in the process of getting divorced.

The reality star says she and her husband are good friends, but they no longer had a romantic connection, which she realized while filming the show.

The mother of three kids – all under the age of five – had a secret weapon to help her get through the season, however.

Co-star Emily Simpson, who is also nominated for the Rookie award, helped her get through the challenges of a difficult first year. According to Kirschenheiter, they call themselves Team Gemily.

“I think if I didn’t have Emily by my side going through this, I would’ve gotten through it, but it definitely feels good to go through it with somebody. You can confide in them, you feel like you’re building your own friendship, and it’s kind of nice because these women have so much history together,” she said.

The pair bonded over being mothers with several young kids and had each other’s back throughout the season. The two are still friends even now that filming is over.

Kirschenheiter isn’t sure why she should win Rookie of the Year in the Real Housewives Awards.

“I have no idea why I should win Rookie of the Year. I still keep saying I have no idea how I even got to be a part of this whole thing, so I don’t know!” she said.

“I was just myself, I guess. I seem to be getting a good response from people, so it’s nice when you put yourself out there and people have a positive response to that. That’s pretty awesome.”

She does, however, think that Kelly Dodd or NeNe Leaks deserve Best Actress, and co-star Vicki Gunvalson is a sure win for Best Comedic Performance.