Don’t be fooled by the three new faces joining The Real Housewives of Orange County this season — just because you don’t know them yet, doesn’t mean they won’t stir things up in a big way. We will miss Gretchen Rossi, Alexis Bellino, and Lydia McLaughlin (and Lydia’s mom), but former pageant queen Lizzie Rovsek and quirky housewife Shannon Beador seem like great replacements!

Though we have yet to meet these women on-screen, RHOC vet and fan fav Tamra Barney sure has, and Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with the outspoken SoCal gal to find out how they fared in this ninth season. Read on to learn which newbie Tamra considers a Gretchen-Alexis hybrid, and who almost caused the end of her friendship with Heather Dubrow.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Congrats on Season 9! You have two new Housewives this year. How do you think they changed the dynamic?

Everything has kind of changed. When you have two new full-time girls, it takes a while to get to know them and their personalities. What you’ll see is that I give everybody the benefit of the doubt. You know me, I speak my mind.

Shannon started filming with you all first. How did you get along with her?

I got to know Shannon pretty quickly, we hit it off. You’ll see how things turn out with us. She’s a little bit quirky in some of her ways but very sweet and we got along very well until midseason. Her and Heather didn’t really hit it off so I was like the middle person. I was in a weird position where I wanted to be friends with both of them, but both of them had such strong opinions about the other one. I think that Heather knew things that I didn’t know about Shannon that I had to learn on my own. My friendship with Heather got sort of screwed up because of Shannon, and it was a whole big mess. But Heather and I remain good friends.

Can you tell us more about how the other newbie Lizzie interacted with the group?

I like to say that Lizzie is like Gretchen and Alexis mixed together. It’s the pageant of Gretchen, and with Alexis it’s the va-va-voom look. I liked Lizzie and we got along well — she seemed like a good addition to the cast. And then we started to see a different side to her when she drank. It made a lot of us question who she is. She seems like she’s very opinionated, which works great for the show — I think both Shannon and Lizzie are great additions. We’d had the same arguments for so many years, I think it was good that Bravo mixed it up the season.

Any truth to rumors that you didn’t get along with new “Friend of the Housewives” Danielle Gregorio?

I was kind of shocked with Danielle. I hit it off with her and her husband immediately and we went to dinner and did a lot of nice things. I really thought she was a nice girl, and all of a sudden at the very end of the season she did like a 180 on me and did a lot of things that were not so nice. It was just really hard on me. I felt like I was just kicked in the gut. It was so manipulative. She did some things that I just couldn’t even believe.

Real Housewives of Orange County premieres tonight, April 14, at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Are you excited for the new season of RHOC? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Samantha Lear is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!