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The Southern Charm premiere has Craig, Shep and Austen’s friendships on the rocks

Southern Charm season 8
(Image credit: Bravo)

The birds and the bees and the ones, twos and threes are back with the premiere of Southern Charm season 8! As we catch up with the cast, one thing is very clear: A lot has changed in Charleston, South Carolina.

One order of business was seeing where Naomie Olindo stood with the group. After all, she had left the show at the end of season 6. She revealed that she and her ex-boyfriend, Craig Conover, happened to both be in Las Vegas two months prior on separate trips. 

The exes met up and, well, Naomie was hesitant to say exactly what happened, but she did say that they “got together” and that when they were dating, they had the “biggest love” she’s had in her life. Craig confirmed that they did hook up in Vegas. This was around the time that he started dating Paige DeSorbo from Bravo’s Summer House, according to Craig.

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There's a major riff in the trio that was Craig, Shep Rose and Austen Kroll. The current state appears to be Craig vs. Shep and Austen. Shep’s gripe, as he talked about with Austen over a beer, is that he hadn’t seen Craig in months and he isn’t putting effort into the friendship. Austen shed some light on the situation saying that Craig thinks that Shep never wanted to see him succeed. 

However, Shep said “that’s insane” and that it has to do with how he’s handling that success. “I do feel like it’s his way or the highway these days,” Austen agreed. “Yeah, he thinks he’s the big shot of the century. But I think he knows he’s in the wrong and there’s a small reckoning coming,” Shep said. It all comes to a head (with Craig!) in this first episode — more on that in a minute. 

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Kathryn Dennis celebrated her 30th birthday with a Great Gatsby-themed party, but there was already drama before the big night. Kathryn and Naomie got into rocky waters when Naomie posted an Instagram Story saying “shame on you” to Kathryn for spreading rumors last season surrounding the marriage of Cameran Eubanks, a longtime cast member who had left the show. Still, Kathryn invited Naomie to her party which, in hindsight, might not have been the best idea. 

Southern Charm season 8

(Image credit: Bravo)

Craig, Shep and Austen sat down at Kathryn’s party, and the Vegas hookup got brought up. Once again, Craig confirmed that it was true, although, according to Austen, he was told that they just had lunch. “Well I couldn’t tell you, ‘cause you’d tell everyone,” Craig said. “One of these days, dude, you’re going to wake the **** up and realize I’m your biggest God damn advocate and I’m your God damn brother and you should stop being a c***,” Austen said. 

There are two separate friendships here with a similar problem. Austen doesn’t feel like Craig is treating him like the close friends that they are, and Shep doesn’t think Craig puts effort into their relationship. “It wasn’t healthy for me to hang out with you,” Craig said. The conversation ended with Craig walking away and saying he wanted to talk about it another day. 

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Now it was time for Kathryn and Naomie to come face to face. Kathryn brought up that she felt hurt about Naomie’s Instagram Story. “What you did, Kathryn, you tried to ruin a good person’s family,” Naomie said. “Done with your ****ing ass,” Kathryn said, walking away. But it didn’t stop there. Kathryn told Naomie that she’s not better than anyone else and that she’s fake. Naomie came back by saying that she fights dirty. Let’s just say that there was a fair amount of back and forth, and Kathryn started getting loud, to which Naomie walked away. 

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Previews for the rest of the season showed that there’s a whole lot more to unpack with these deep relationships. Season 8, you’re looking good.

Southern Charm season 8 airs on Bravo on Thursdays at 9 pm ET.

Caitlyn has been a professional editor and writer since 2014, and her work can be found on a range of websites, including Hearst's BestProducts.com, POPSUGARStyleCaster, and InStyle. Her favorite TV shows are Law & Order: SVU and Organized CrimeThe Real Housewives franchise, just about anything on Bravo, and Netflix Originals.