Tom Sandoval “felt terrible” about that viral moment when JoJo Siwa hoisted him over her shoulder on Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test.
“I felt so bad because it made everybody really scared to not pass challenges after that,” Sandoval, 41, exclusively told Us Weekly. “JoJo definitely helped out a little bit, which obviously, she’s a badass and she killed it with carrying me.”
Sandoval and fellow contestant Bode Miller won this particular challenge, which meant the other Special Forces stars had to endure a punishment. Viall was forced to carry Sandoval back to base, but when he was unable to complete the challenge, Siwa stepped in.
While the moment with Siwa went viral, the Vanderpump Rules star wanted to give a big “shout-out” to former Bachelor Nick Viall who “carried [him] most of the way.”
“He was hurting” at one point, Sandoval told Us of Viall, which is why Siwa took over. “I felt really bad for him.”
While Sandoval is known from his presence on the Bravo reality show, he put his physical and mental skills to the test for Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, where ex-special forces operatives lead a group of celebrities in various training exercises that mirror real life grueling tasks based on the special forces selection process.
Sandoval’s appearance on Special Forces came months after Us confirmed that Sandoval had cheated on girlfriend of nine years, Ariana Madix, with fellow Pump Rules star Raquel Leviss. The scandal played out during Pump Rules season 10, which aired its finale in June.
Once Sandoval took the trip to New Zealand to film Special Forces, he claims Scandoval wasn’t on anyone’s mind, which was “so nice” for the controversial reality star.
“It was great to just have to worry about what you’re doing that day,” Sandoval admitted to Us. “Sitting in the barracks, we didn’t even know until after the fact. We thought the staff could see us and that they were maybe waiting until we were vulnerable or changing. … We didn’t know that they weren’t watching us till later, but we were constantly on edge.”
Sandoval said he “didn’t have time to worry about other things,” like the aftermath of his cheating scandal. The physicality of the competition allowed a “weight to be lifted” from his shoulders, the Pump Rules season 11 premiere in January is still looming.
Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test — which Viall, Tyler Cameron and Erin Jackson won during the Monday, November 27 finale — is now streaming on Hulu.