Tom Sandoval said his recent run on Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test was ‘exactly what I needed’ after Scandoval.
He became a hate figure in March when it emerged he had cheated on his girlfriend of nine years Ariana Madix with their Vanderpump Rules co-star Raquel Leviss.
Tom, 40, was heaped with public opprobrium and was still a subject of widespread mockery online when he joined the cast of Special Forces.
On the Fox program, celebrities work under the tutelage of actual ex-Special Forces operatives to complete grueling military training exercises.
In a new interview, Tom told TMZ that the show provided an escape from the ‘media frenzy’ of Scandoval, what with ‘no phones’ or ‘contact with the outside world.’
Tom Sandoval said his recent run on Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test was ‘exactly what I needed’ after Scandoval
He became a hate figure in March when it emerged he had cheated on his girlfriend of nine years Ariana Madix (right) with their Vanderpump Rules co-star Raquel Leviss (left)
Tom, pictured with Raquel, was heaped with public opprobrium and was still a subject of widespread mockery online when he joined the cast of Special Forces
Reflecting on whether his controversy ever intruded onto his Special Forces experience, Tom explained: ‘One of the good things about it is, besides when they brought that s*** up, I mean, I wasn’t really thinking about it too often, you know, or only unless somebody else brought it up.’
He added fondly: ‘That was one of – the beauty of that situation was being able to just focus on the things in front of you. You know, no phones, no anything, no contact with the outside world. You know, you’re just there worried about people next to you and what you have to do.’
Special Forces was, he said, ‘exactly what I needed in my life at that moment. It was such a, you know, I just felt consumed by this scandal, and it was a way to go and work hard at something, do something that didn’t have to do with that.’
The reality TV hunk also noted that his own troubles paled in comparison to those of many of his castmates, such as Jack Osbourne, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and had to be removed from the show because of a medical emergency.
He also invoked Bode Miller, who tragically lost his one-year-old daughter to an accidental drowning, and Brian Austin Green, who at one point was left unable to speak because of health problems including vertigo and colitis.
‘All these people have gone through things, and hearing them tell their stories, you know, it puts things in perspective in life, you know, it really does,’ said Tom.
‘It was hard to sort of not feel stupid talking to staff sergeants when we were, you know, interrogated, about my situation. Because in the grand scheme of things, comparatively to everybody else, it doesn’t really seem like that, as big of a deal, you know what I mean?’ he acknowledged.
‘Like, but I think it was because of the media frenzy, it obviously became that. So it just, it was very hard for me to talk to them about it and not feel stupid, really stupid.’
Season 2 of Fox’s Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test came to a close this Monday, with three of the five finalists emerging victorious – Olympic speed skater Erin Jackson and The Bachelor stars Nick Viall and Tyler Cameron.
Tom was removed earlier in this Monday’s finale by a mysterious adjuticator known only as The Umpire
Internet personality Jojo Siwa voluntarily bowed out halfway through the final phase, while Tom was removed earlier by a mysterious adjudicator known only as The Umpire.
The episode begins with the challenge on its eighth day, with the narrator revealing, ‘The recruits have been captured, and will now face up to 12 hours of military grade interrogation.’
Billy adds in confession, ‘This is now the final stage. Now, the question you’re asking yourself is, “Can I survive? Will I survive?”’
A title card reveals that, ‘Resistance to interrogation is a key stage of Special Forces selection. It prepares recruits for enemy capture by subjecting them to techniques not permitted by the Geneva Conventions.’
Internet personality Jojo Siwa voluntarily bowed out halfway through the final phase
They bring in a team of expert interrogators (John, Erine, Dilksy), who the narrator says has, ‘over 30 years combined experiences,’ along with an adjudicator only known as The Umpire, ‘who cannot be identified for security reasons.’
‘Resistance to interrogation is the toughest phase that Special Forces operators will go through. That’s because this is primarily a mental exercise. It’s psychological warfare. The interrogators are never your friend. They are always the enemy and never to be trusted,’ The Umpire says.
The interrogators and Rudy start discussing the recruits, starting with Number 3 – Jojo Siwa, who Rudy says is, ‘the youngest of our recruits, but extremely motivated. Lots of energy. The poster child of influencer. She is very comfortable being on.’
They move to Number 5 – Tyler Cameron – who Rudy describes as, ‘a model, very “All American.” He has a brother who is a soldier, and, I believe, always, he’s thought that his brother is the real hero, the real man.’
Rudy moves on to Number 6 – Erin Jackson – who he describes as, ‘30 years old, Olympic gold medalist speed skater. Speed skating is so individual. Out here in a team environment, she tends to be a wallflower.’
Rudy describes Number 12 – Nick Viall – as, ‘a gray man,’ adding, ‘We expected him to do better throughout the course. However, the last couple days, he’s come on stronger.’
They finish with Number 4 – Tom Sandoval – with Rudy adding that he is, ‘going through something so difficult, personally. I think he’s vulnerable.’
The Umpire adds, ‘But the reality of now is, if, if… If he fails to communicate effectively, he won’t succeed here. Let’s do it.’
They bring in a team of expert interrogators (John, Erine, Dilksy), who the narrator says has, ‘over 30 years combined experiences,’ along with an adjudicator only known as The Umpire, ‘who cannot be identified for security reasons’
‘Resistance to interrogation is the toughest phase that Special Forces operators will go through. That’s because this is primarily a mental exercise. It’s psychological warfare. The interrogators are never your friend. They are always the enemy and never to be trusted,’ The Umpire says
Tyler Cameron is seen rubbing his hands together to try to stay warm, but he’s told, ‘Keep rubbing your hands together, I will shove them up your a**.’
Jason “Foxy” Fox adds in confession, ‘The aim of interrogation is to push the recruits to see where their breaking point is.’
Sandoval is asked who told him he could put his gloves on but he sheepishly says his hands are cold.
One of the captors says, ‘You need to learn you don’t do anything unless we tell you, do you understand?’
Fox adds, ‘You will be tired, exhausted, cold, hungry. And you’ve got to push all that to one side. You have to survive by making people think that you’re worth keeping alive.’
The narrator adds, ‘Due to the high risk involved in interrogation, the Umpire is responsible for the safety of this phase. And has the power to remove recruits at any point if he deems them incapable of continuing.’
‘I am the Umpire, and I’m in charge of this phase. I cannot be impersonated. If at any point you wish to leave this phase, you simply raise your hand and you ask to speak to the Umpire,’ he tells them.