Teddi Mellencamp just had quite the first season on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."
The only newcomer to join the Bravo hit for its eighth go round, Mellencamp knew that she was going into reality television "blind," but made it her mission to stay as true to herself as possible, regardless of what was going to happen while hanging out with this new group of women.
And, though she definitely stuck to her guns, it was clear that not everyone was a fan of the accountability coach and mother of two: Mellencamp routinely butt heads with Erika Jayne and Dorit Kemsley throughout this most recent season, resulting in a series of confrontations that never truly got resolved.
AOL Entertainment caught up with Teddi Mellencamp after Part 1 of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" reunion last week to reflect on her first season on the Bravo juggernaut, why she was never able to fully connect with Erika or Dorit and whether or not she sees herself returning for a second season.
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Check out our full conversation with Teddi Mellencamp below:
So, the season has officially ended and fully aired -- except for the end of the reunion. How has your mentality changed between when you first signed on to do the show and now?
The biggest thing for me is, when you’re living it, you think that maybe you’re being too much in your own head or too self-critical, but when you watch it back, it’s like, "No, this is actually happening, this person is actually treating you this way and you're really feeling this way." In a way, you feel almost validated by your original thoughts, but sometimes it doesn’t feel great. The biggest thing I can say, whether it was when I started the season, watching the season or living it, is that I was completely myself the whole time. I can be embarrassed by something, but I can’t really have any regrets because I’m being honest.
And I think that that came across on the show. Do you feel as though it did?
Yeah. Going into a reality show, you think they’re scripted or edited or whatever, but it’s a true story. It’s actually what’s happening, and it plays out the way that it actually happened. Nobody is coaching you. You’re going in blind, living your life the way you’re going to live it and that’s how it’s shown. The only person you can be upset with is yourself. It’s truly is like therapy.
What's something that you found out about for the first time while watching the season back?
On a superficial level, I had no idea how much I talked with my hands. [Laughs] It’s like, why do I look like a baby T-rex?! I noticed my hands, but other than that I kind of knew what I was going to see, because I lived it. I know that I can be a little outspoken and direct and it can rub people the wrong way. I also know that I’m super self-deprecating, and the hardest part for me was that some of the women aren’t that way, so they don’t know when I’m joking.
What about things that other members of the cast said? Was there anything that sticks out from watching the season?
I’m glad I trusted my instincts, because how I was feeling was true. My very first time in Vegas, I felt a certain way about how someone felt about me and I ended up being right. As hard as it was for me to say to Erika that she made me uncomfortable in Vegas, I still had to do it. There’s no way I can’t be straightforward with people. If you’re honest, you can apologize for being honest, but you’re not a liar, which is a lot better. [Laughs]
Lisa Vanderpump really seemed to take you under her wing, and she was pretty protective of you throughout this season. Is that how it felt at the time?
From the very beginning, Lisa was always checking in on my and being nice to me. I have nothing but respect for her. She is a good person, she has a good sense of humor and she does a lot for charity. She can laugh at herself and make a situation lighter. She’s a really well-rounded person. People say she throws digs, but she’s doing it with humor and that’s what the show is about. The same goes for the confessionals. If you throw a little shade in a confessional or on a tweet, as long as you’re not malicious, come on. Everyone’s doing it. And Lisa owns it.
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Where do you stand with the other ladies right now?
Kyle and Lisa Rinna I talk to a lot. Lisa Rinna and I are both big into SoulCycle, so we love that. Kyle and I are very similar, and we are both over-thinkers. We’re great about balancing each other out and talking things out. Lisa Rinna, Kyle and I were just in Coachella together! We have true, good friendships. I love hanging around them, because they’re strong, smart, successful women. And neither one of them takes themselves too seriously.
Meanwhile, you and Erika never really hit it off. What do you think the blocker was for you guys?
For me, right from the beginning -- and I can’t get too much into it because of the reunion -- but sometimes you have a connection with somebody and sometimes you feel like someone is immediately taken aback by you. I just never felt comfortable with her. At first I took that blame on myself and as my own issue, like, "Maybe it’s because I’m shy," but I think I was confused because the outside is so [over the top], so for her to then be so reserved was confusing to me. Partially that, but then at the beginning there just wasn’t the same kindness that I felt from some of the other women.
You and Dorit also get deep into your friendship issues on the reunion, which we saw during Part 1. Did you go into the reunion having things that you wanted to put out there?
The biggest thing with Dorit and I, which you heard at the reunion, was I was always straightforward with how I felt. Up until now, I have felt the same way, which was that I think you probably talk too much and it gets you in trouble. Do I think you’re malicious? No. Do I have fun with you? Yes, but these are my issues with us. That being said, since then there have been some things that make it feel intentional and that hurts. Regardless of where we stand, going into the reunion I thought we would have more resolve than we have coming up.
What was filming your first reunion like? Considering we're getting three parts, it must've been a long one.
It’s such a blur, because there are so many little things that you don’t realize before starting! Like, I didn’t practice sitting down in my dress. I just tried on my dress, sent the picture to Bravo, got them to approve it and whatever. So, I sit down and all of a sudden my dress opens, so we had to sew it. [Laughs] All of those little things that, now, if I were to ever do another reunion, I would know about. Kyle luckily gave me certain tips, but nobody warned me not to get a spray tan the day before wearing a white dress! You probably didn’t see it, I was sweating yellow and orange. All of a sudden I look to Rinna and I was like, "Am I orange?" And she was like, "Yep! Put your arm down." But all of the conversations I had with the women, I needed. I’m happy those happened.
Looking back at this whole experience, what did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I should always trust my gut. I do that in my day-to-day life, but going into the show, I hesitated with my gut a little bit. That led me astray, but then I was like, "No, go back to trusting your gut and what works for you." I also wanted to remain kind and try to always treat people the way I wanted to be treated, which I think I did and that’s all I can really do.
Holding true to some of these tenants must've been hard with the constant social media feedback, though. How did you navigate that?
As long as you’re being truthful to yourself, you can’t be that mad about what people say. I talked about my IVF struggles, and I said something like I thought one of my biggest jobs was to have a baby and I couldn’t and that was really hard for me. I got emotional, and it rubbed some women the wrong way. I apologize for rubbing people the wrong way, but I wasn’t make a statement for all women. I was talking about myself, and there was a whole group of women who had also struggled and were able to say that they felt the same way.
What about for your career as an accountability coach? Have more and more people been reaching out for help?
It has been insane! I’ve had to say on my Instagram, I do not D.M. I try to read as many as I possibly can, because it helps me answer questions on my Insta Story, but I don’t want it to take over my whole life. I’m at the point now where I have over 350 clients, 13 women that work for me and we’re trying to grow as organically as possible. The people that are reaching out to me because I’m on the show and just want to talk to me, I’ll know within the first three days of working with them.
Finally, would you do this whole thing again? Would you do a second season of the show?
I’m at the place where I had some amazing moments doing that show and made some amazing friends and learned some amazing lessons. I’m open to whatever the next year holds, whatever the different opportunities may be. As long as my family is healthy and happy, that’s really all I care about. Life’s good!
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