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Lala Kent was actually ‘very, very nervous’ before filming new ‘VPR’ season. She explains why

The Bravo star is opening up about filming Season 11 of "Vanderpump Rules" after the eruptive cheating scandal known as "Scandoval."

/ Source: TODAY

Lala Kent has a message for viewers ahead of the Season 11 premiere of “Vanderpump Rules”: She doesn’t care what people think of her.

But she did care about what she was walking into ahead of filming the new season, following the explosive cheating scandal deemed “Scandoval” that took on a life of its own outside of the Bravo universe as it garnered nationwide attention.  

Katie Maloney, Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval, Lisa Vanderpump, James Kennedy, Lala Kent, Tom Schwartz, and Scheana Shay from season 11 of "Vanderpump Rules."
Some of the "Vanderpump Rules" cast returning for Season 11, which premieres Jan. 30. at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.Gizelle Hernandez / Bravo

In March 2023, former “VPR” couple Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval confirmed they had split after nine years together amid allegations that Tom and Ariana’s then-friend, Raquel Leviss, were having an affair. Tom first came forward in an Instagram post March 4 saying he deserved “anger” and “disappointment” from fans, and on March 16, Ariana broke her silence, writing that while she was “devastated and broken," she had “the best support system in the world.”

That support system included Lala, among many other "VPR" cast members who jumped to Ariana’s side.

During an Amazon Live stream on March 7, Lala addressed the cheating scandal and revealed whether she saw Scandoval coming.

“You’ll see, you’ll see,” she said, alluding to the updated Season 10 finale that Bravo announced would be filmed after news of the affair broke. "Let’s just say when he whose name we shall not mention, when his mask fell, everybody’s did. Everybody’s did. Started seeing things from a 30,000-foot view, people."

She added that she “never liked” Tom and that it “feels good to have everyone else feel the same way.”

On May 24, the first episode of the fiery three-part reunion aired, where Lala and most of her castmates continued to show support for Ariana while Tom struggled to get any words in. Raquel was stowed away in a trailer outside during part one of the special due to a restraining order she filed against Scheana Shay, who was present during the reunion’s first episode.   

Looking back on the reunion, during which Lala called Tom a “dangerous human being” whom everyone needs to be “warned” about, she tells during a recent phone interview that she stands by “everything she said” at the time. However, Lala admits the affair “triggered” her at the time and “opened up the wounds again that were barely even healed” following her own relationship ending with ex Randall Emmett, who is the father of her 2-year-old daughter, Ocean. caught up with Lala on how life has been since cameras turned off (for real this time) ahead of the Jan. 30 premiere of Season 11, from how she felt leading up to filming the new season to finding balance in her life and what fans can expect of the Tom-Ariana dynamic.

Did you feel any pressure going into filming for Season 11 following Scandoval?

Before we went to start filming Season 11, I was very, very nervous. I just felt like we had kind of hit the high note, and I was like, where do we go from here? Because number one, this was the biggest thing that could have possibly happened, it literally doesn't get any bigger than this. What are the fans of the show going to expect for next season? And also, I was worried that kind of the main storyline was in Tom and Ariana's corner because Ariana, for many seasons, has just been Switzerland. And I'm like, wow, our main storyline is with her, this could be very bad. I'm just going to be honest, I was very nervous.

In the S11 trailer, you said: 'I have never experienced someone who gets cheated on and then suddenly, she becomes God.'

I stand by that comment. When the viewers see that actual episode, I think people are going to understand why I said it. I'm trying not to give too much away, but I love that they put that in the trailer because I think it gets people hyped. And it gives people a really strong opinion about the show, about all of us, and I want the conversations to happen. I want you to like sit there and be like, "I cannot miss tonight's new episode." And whether you look at me like I'm jealous, or I make all this sense, like, I really don't care. I just want my name and "Vanderpump Rules" in your mouth and on your brain 24/7.

Do the tides change at all in S11 with the cast being on Ariana's side vs. Tom's?

I think obviously for Tom it's going to be really hard for people to be on his side just because of his past and what happened. But I do think people are going to be torn. I don't know that either of them are going to have a super easy season, and I do think the tides are going to turn.

Tell us about Lala: What chapter are you in now?

Lala Kent - Vanderpump Rules - Season 11
Lala Kent opens up about finding a healthy balance in her life and learning how to practice compassion.Gizelle Hernandez / Bravo

I think I'm finally starting to find balance. After my life kind of took a turn, then the whole scandal situation happened, which re-triggered me and kind of solidified like, everyone is a piece of s---. Men can't be trusted. It opened up the wounds again that were barely even healed to begin with. Now, it's not like, I'm angry at the world. And I'm not sitting here being like, I forgive everybody and everything because I just want to be a kind person. It's like, OK, we're learning how to like find the middle ground and say, you know what, I can practice compassion. But also, here's a boundary and I don't know that I really want to be around you, but I'm not going to hold you to your past. And I'm in a really, really great place now.

You've been open about wanting to use a sperm donor for baby No. 2. Any updates?

I'm still wanting to go the donor route. I've really prayed on this and had many conversations about if this is the right move for me, if and when I'm ready to have another baby. So you'll see a lot of that journey play out on "Vanderpump Rules," and I'm excited because my family unit is definitely not normal. And I didn't expect it to be this way. But, you know, we're making it work. I've just really learned to kind of just roll with the punches. And for someone who really loves control as a Virgo, it's definitely been a learning process.

Virgo energy! What else, in your opinion, makes you a true Virgo?

In my mind, I fully encompass Virgo. I like full control, no one can do anything as great as me — unless you're Jessica, my assistant, then you can do everything better than me and I'll give you full control. It's very intense being a Virgo, but I would not trade it for anything.

Spoken like a true Virgo. OK, back to family talk: Tell me more about why you want Ocean to have a sibling.

I think just my experience with my brothers, like having a sibling is so incredible. You can relate when your mom or your dad (are) acting a damn fool, you have someone to call and banter with. It's just like, it's a best friend, but you're also blood related, so it's a bond like nothing else. And I feel like I would be doing her such a disservice by not giving her a sibling, like what I grew up with.

Like a built-in support system.

Right. And someone who's been with you your entire life. They know every wound, they know exactly why you are the way you are. And you know, you can really go toes and then you can shake it off and forgive and forget. I want her to have that. And also if Ocean is older, and she doesn't really like me that much, I need another option.

Do you plan on having a big family?

I think I'm going to play it by ear, but I feel like if I venture into having more than two, like if we're doing three, then we might as well do four. I would cap it at four but like three kids ... I always think at Disneyland, one person's not going to have a friend to ride the ride with.

Unless mom goes on the ride ...

But what if mom finds a boyfriend? Mom's going with her man.

Speaking of that, are you dating at all?

No, I am not dating. I just think it would be weird to date when I'm actively trying to like figure out if I'm having another baby or not. It just seems like my family unit is so up in the air that to date someone, it's just like, I don't know where I would put that. They have no place right now. But let me tell you something, when I'm ready to date, I'm out in the streets and no one is safe.

Do you have a message to men in 2024?

Step your game up. It’s that simple. I look around and I’m like, "Wow, women are really crushing it," and I’m not some weird, intense feminist. I’m really not. I just enjoy women more so than men. I’m looking around, I’m like, "Wow, chicks are so freaking powerful right now. They really don’t need men." So if men really want to keep getting laid, they gotta step it up because we really don't need them.

Is there anything else you want 'VPR' fans to know ahead of the S11 premiere?

Ally Lewber, Lala Kent, Katie Maloney, Lisa Vanderpump, Scheana Shay, Ariana Madix
Lala is hopeful that fans of "Vanderpump Rules" will enjoy Season 11 — and the drama that comes with it.Todd Williamson / Bravo

I would just like people to kind of open their minds a bit and remember that a lot of time has passed. And, like my mom says, put the shoe on the other foot. I think people are really going to enjoy the season, and at the beginning, I wasn't so sure. So, really, I just hope people sit back and enjoy and have a lot of opinions just like they always do.

Season 11 of “Vanderpump Rules” premieres Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo and will air new episodes on Tuesdays moving forward. Fans can also stream episodes the following day on Peacock.

(Peacock is part of our parent company, NBCUniversal.)