Sanya Richards-Ross on ‘RHOA’ season 15: ‘This year is so much richer’

The 15th season of the popular "Real Housewives" series returns this Sunday on Bravo.

Sanya Richards-Ross came ready for her sophomore season on “The Real Housewives.” TheGrio caught up with the Olympian and reality TV star ahead of the premiere this weekend, breaking down her strategy going into her second season, what has shifted for her since she first appeared on our screens in 2022, and what fans can expect as the season progresses.

This Sunday, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” returns to Bravo for its 15th season, now the longest-running series in the franchise after “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” Sanya, after making history as the first Olympian and first Jamaican housewife in the franchise, is back again with her fellow housewives Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Shereé Whitfield, Marlo Hampton and Drew Sidora.

Sanya Richards-Ross of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”
AB+DM (Ahmad Barber and Danté Maurice)/Bravo

Coming back for her second season, Sanya experiences a “Real Housewives” rite of passage: throwing the season premiere party. It is a Roaring ’20s-themed party for her husband, former NFL player Aaron Ross, complete with lavish costumes and decor. Of course, there is plenty of drama from her castmates. “Either way I would’ve done a huge bash for my husband’s 40th,” she explained.

Sanya continued, “The timing was just perfect for when we started filming … it just gave me all the feels. I was really happy to celebrate him in such a big way and for all the girls to come. I couldn’t have imagined all that transpired there. It made for a really strong opener for us but I also think it was really cool for me and for my family.”

Reflecting on the differences between her first year and now, she told theGrio, “Nothing can prepare you for your first season as a housewife. I think after having the first year where you watch it back, you go through the reunion and you go through all of those things, you realize, ‘OK. I can just be.”

Specifically, being real. “It really is about just showing up authentically in every situation and letting the chips fall where they may,” Sanya explained. “I think for me I wanted to do more of that this season. I wanted to show up more, I wanted to speak up more, I wanted to really become more invested in everyone’s lives. I wanted to build real friendships with the ladies!”

With the new season, this iteration of the group is given a chance to settle after last season’s cast shakeup, something that only strengthens their bonds and the show as a whole, Sanya disclosed. “It makes a big difference and that’s why this year is so much richer. All of us have more skin in the game, especially me.”

It helps that Sanya has that first season under her belt. “You can’t fake it,” she added. “Last year, I had just met the girls so it’s hard to say what you would normally say to your girlfriend when you’ve only known the person for a month or two. Now, I feel like they get me. I feel like I fit and I feel like I understand my role in the group.”

And she feels that the audience will be pleased with how things play out this season. “I think the viewers will really enjoy seeing how the new relationships are developing, how some of the old relationships are tested, some of the truths that are told this season like, a lot happens!,” Sanya said. “A lot happens this season.”

Season 15 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is scheduled to premiere at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on Bravo. Episodes should stream the next day on Peacock.

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