Monica Garcia saved RHOSLC, but has she played all of her cards too soon?

Monica Garcia stares at Heather Gay.
Monica Garcia knows how to navigate Instagram, but not her relationships with the RHOSLC cast. Pic credit: Bravo

Bravo has been getting more cutthroat with The Real Housewives in recent years.

The Real Housewives of Dallas got canceled, The Real Housewives of New York got rebooted, and we’re not quite sure what’s going with The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Whatever it is, it isn’t good, according to Kandi Burruss.

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, which is currently wrapping up its fourth season, was left in disarray when resident pot-stirrer Jen Shah got sent to prison.

The third season didn’t leave a good taste because viewers were less than impressed about how many cast members mindlessly followed Shah, who feigned innocence — until she changed her not guilty plea to guilty.

The show broke through at a time when the overall franchise was going through a downturn in quality. It has a devoted audience that tunes in and lights up social media with excellent commentary on the biggest twists and turns.

But many observers figured The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 4 would be the series’ death knell. Thankfully, it’s been quite the opposite.

Monica Garcia scandal elevates The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

The last thing I expected was for it to be the best season, pumping out some of the best episodes in Real Housewives history, but it can all be attributed to Monica Garcia, a new housewife with ties to Jen Shah.

Monica has a personality purpose-built for reality TV, and I don’t doubt she’ll appear on countless other shows in the future.

She started the season on relatively good terms with co-stars Lisa Barlow, Heather Gay, Meredith Marks, Whitney Rose, and Angie Katsanevas.

Garcia had squabbles with Barlow and Katsanevas as filming got underway. Still, she was public enemy number one on the season finale during a trip to Bermuda when Gay delivered receipts, proof, and timeline screenshots that seemingly showed the newest cast member had been trolling the women for years before joining the show.

We’ve heard of fans being cast on The Real Housewives, but internet trolls are another story and may be a little too dark for this series.

For her part, Monica doesn’t think she should be held responsible for the account’s actions because it was run by more than one person, something we’ll probably learn more about during the third and final part of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City reunion.

Fans love Monica Garcia, but could she return for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 5?

You only need to look at the show’s hashtag to see what people think of Monica. To many, she’s this savior who breathed new life into a tired franchise. Is that the case?

Her personality and commentary undeniably made this season far more appealing than the others. Still, it puts the show in a precarious position because fans will expect it to be just as chaotic next season. I’m here for the drama.

Right now, that doesn’t seem possible because most of the women probably won’t be interested in filming with Monica again. Why would you want to film with someone who may or may not have been saying mean stuff behind your back on a face-less social media profile?

The true extent of Monica’s involvement is yet to be revealed, but we know that she was a part of the account because she’s admitted as much in confessionals. That’s a big red flag.

As a fan of these shows, they need chaos because it translates into good TV. Just look at how RHOSLC has been soaring in the ratings this season after kicking off late last year with some of its worst numbers.

People are talking about the show, and that can be attributed to Monica’s impact, but would that influence disappear if she returned for another season?

It’s possible.

Monica lied about the email she sent casting to join the show

Monica lied about the email she sent casting during the reunion, saying she told them the show needed her to save it.

While that may have been the case, Bravo showed the actual email that didn’t include Monica saying the show sucked or needed help in the ratings. It was pretty unhinged.

Other events at the reunion found Monica throwing Meredith Marks under the bus during an argument with Angie Katsanevas. Surely, any hope producers had of Meredith filming with Monica again fizzled out like her favorite bath bomb at that point.

Meredith looked like she wanted to disengage from Monica and the rest of the reunion when her name was brought up. Maybe Monica will extend the olive branch by talking about bathtubs to get Mer’s attention again. Okay, I’ll stop with the bathtub puns!

The only path forward for Monica is to have some allies to help her find an “in” with the women again.

It’s hard to imagine Mary Cosby regaining her snowflake any time soon. If RHOSLC Season 4 was her chance to audition again for producers, she failed miserably.

Mary Cosby’s first season back was less than stellar

Despite cracking plenty of one-liners and being randomly cruel to the other ladies, Mary didn’t offer much besides comic relief. She wasn’t interested in group events, which are imperative for any Reality TV series.

Mary could get another chance as a friend if she’s still aligned with Monica after the reunion. Tuesday’s episode found Heather leaking a less-than-flattering voice recording of Monica seemingly speaking badly about Mary.

Heather could be only leaking parts of the clip to frame Monica badly, but we’re sure that will be cleared up during the final part of the reunion.

Another possibility is bringing Danna Bui-Negrete back into the mix. Danna got a tryout as a housewife on RHOSLC Season 3, but we knew her time was up when Bravo nixed a heated debate with Shah from the final cut of the finale.

Why would you remove such a scene if your show thrives on chaos?

Danna Bui-Negrete could return for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 5

The good news for Monica is that, if social media is to be believed, she’s friends with Danna, so producers could bring her back into the mix if they intend to keep Monica.

Losing their most talked-about star doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, but we said the same when Shah exited the show to report to prison.

We don’t know much about Monica’s friendship circle, but there is a possibility she will offer producers some names of people who will film with her.

Can we please not have another season of her bickering with her mother? If the reunion made anything clear, Linda Darnell has been desperate to be on TV for years.

If Monica and her co-stars agree on that, we can do the same.

My ideal scenario wouldn’t mention Linda again because why keep this storyline dragging on at this stage?

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 5 may not include Monica Garcia

There’s also a chance that producers are already forging ahead without Monica. If the OGs and Angie aren’t interested in filming with her, trying to capture two friendship groups would make the show disjointed.

But then again, maybe the other cast members will take note of the increased attention this season has gotten and have a change of heart.

They have to be wondering how badly things could go next season, so they will probably be considering their next moves very wisely.

The sad reality is that Monica played too hard, too fast. She mastered the art of deflection, but it’s doubtful she’s mastered the art of forcing women to film with her who would rather act like she never invaded their show in the first place.

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.

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