For Naomie Olindo, rejoining the cast of "Southern Charm" was “an amazing experience.”
After taking one season off, Olindo is back for Season Eight of the Bravo series, alongside resident Charmers Leva Bonaparte, Craig Conover, Kathryn Dennis, Austen Kroll, Madison LeCroy, and Shep Rose and newcomers Venita Aspen, Taylor Ann Green, Olivia Flowers, Marcie Hobbs and Chleb Ravenell. Patricia Altschul, Whitney Sudler-Smith and John Pringle will join the group as well. Season Eight premieres Thursday, June 23, at 8 p.m., and each episode will stream the next day on Peacock.
Set in Charleston, South Carolina, “Southern Charm” has grown in popularity over the years, with Olindo and Conover’s former relationship taking center stage during the first few seasons of the show. Olindo’s last season saw her departing Charleston to move to New York with her then boyfriend. Soon after the move, the pair broke up, and Olindo moved back to Charleston, allowing her a chance to return to the series.
TODAY sat down with Olindo to hear about her return and all that’s to come.
Olindo shares that re-joining the show was 'therapeutic'
After moving back to Charleston, Olindo re-joined her friends and foes to film Season Eight. Olindo said the experience was “therapeutic,” as she got to “make a lot of amends where I felt like I needed to.”
“I said things that I felt that I had left unfinished or not in the best way, I got to kind of redo it, which was an amazing experience, and I would not trade it for anything” Olindo continued.
Olindo said she was “nervous” about coming back, as she was worried about how she would be received, as many felt she thought she was “too good” for the show, a sentiment Olindo denies.
Olindo explained, “I never thought I was too good for the show or anything like that. ... I left because I thought that was the right decision for me in my life at that time, and then I changed my mind.”
Olindo also got the chance to film with her family again, giving viewers a tease of a continued look at her personal life, although she mentioned her mother doesn’t love to film.
“She hates filming, so she did it for me, once, but she’s so nervous. I’m like, just be yourself. It’s not really a natural thing for most people. I think you have to be a little bit sociopathic to just totally be able to film personal things” Olindo explained.
Olindo gets into the thick of the drama this season
Newly single prior to filming, Olindo re-addressed her romance with Conover as the season began, and the trailer teases a potential romantic rendezvous between Olindo and Conover. Olindo noted that their relationship was a “roller coaster” throughout the season.
Olindo said that her and Conover are on “good terms” today, as Conover is dating “Summer House” star Paige DeSorbo, who will also appear on this season of “Southern Charm.” Olindo added that we’ll see her in the dating pool during the upcoming season.
Season Eight also gave Olindo the chance to square up with friend-turned-foe Dennis, which Olindo noted as a “difficult point” for her throughout the season. A clip from the upcoming premiere shows Olindo sparring with Dennis over Dennis’ accusations that former castmate Cameran Eubanks’ husband was cheating on her during Season Seven, a season Eubanks and Olindo did not appear on.
Olindo revealed that she “did get screamed at a couple of times” during the season, but noted that even though she “didn’t miss” the dramatic moments, she “leaned heavily” on her female castmates. Olindo said “all the girls get along great, other than one.”
Who the “one” may be? We’ll just have to wait and see!
Olindo shares if old castmates will rejoin the show and if she’d join a crossover show
Olindo, who remains close friends with former charmers Eubanks and Chelsea Meissner, says that she “doesn’t think” we’ll ever see her pals back on the show.
Olindo continued, “Never say never because I thought I would never go back. Then, I was like, ‘please take me back.’ So never say never, but I don’t think you’ll see them.”
If given the opportunity to take her reality television talents to a crossover show like Bravo’s “Winter House,” which is a combination of “Summer House” and “Southern Charm,” Olindo said she “has no idea” if she’d join.
“I learned that you can’t just be planning to do all these things, things kind of happen. I’ve also learned, don’t say you’ll never do something again.”
Olindo said that Season 8 is the 'best season yet'
The Season Eight trailer shows drama aplenty for Bravo’s resident charmers as they navigate the throes of life in Charleston, and Olindo said that the season is the “best season yet because so much happened.”
Olindo continued, “We were even getting surprised at what was going on. We were like ‘you cannot make this up.’ I hope that it will translate because we had so much fun filming. There were some low points for sure, but I hope that the fun that we had filming will translate and it’ll be fun to watch, too.”
Olindo continues to have fun with her castmates, noting that she recently played pickleball with Kroll, Flowers and Green, a “hilarious” experience between the friends as they’re “all so bad.”
Outside of the show, Olindo is trying to “slow down,” spending time with friends and family, learning how to fly and getting her pilot’s license, riding horses, and playing tennis.
Olindo explained, “Sometimes being really busy is good, but sometimes being really not busy is good and it’s very good for my mental health to kind of slow down sometimes.”
Olindo answers rapid-fire questions about Season 8
Here’s what to look out for on “Southern Charm,” according to Olindo.
Who causes the most drama this season: Dennis
Who has the best storyline: Olindo. She said, “I like mine!”
Who challenges you the most this season: Conover
Who throws the best events: Altschul
Who she has the most fun with: Bonaparte, and the group as a whole!
“It was just so much fun minus a couple outliers. It was such a cohesive season and everyone hung out together” Olindo explained.
Who spills the most tea: Kroll
Who she’s the closest to daily: Bonaparte
“Leva and I have been really close for a very long time. I threw her baby shower…she’s like a sister” Olindo said.