Tom was reaching the cusps of quitting when his mother altered his decision with a few words of advice.
In an exclusive interview with People, the 41-year-old star opened up about his strenuous journey on the Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test that mimics training and physical combats of military personnel. While Sandoval was enduring the pain and mental blockades that developed along the ride, a few words of encouragement from his mother, Terri Green, helped him push past the pain and continue striving toward the end.
The reality star, who was recently in a hotbed of controversy, said of his mother’s unbridled support to People, “It was so great,” adding, “Those were such unbelievably hard days. I mean, we were pushed and pushed and pushed. And that day in particular, when I got that message from my mom, I was so close to giving up.”
Sandoval clarified to People that money was not a motivating factor to strive for the winning prize because cast members on Special Forces are given the “same” compensation “whether you go out day one or the last day.” However, he strived to pass the selection round in order to make the “people that are rooting for you back home proud, and yourself as well.”
Referring to one such heinous test he faced on the show, he told People, “I was very much thinking of my family and my friends, and when I saw my mom, I was just like… I didn’t even watch that video for at least a few minutes. I was just so emotional, especially from earlier that day,” adding, “It was just the floodgates opening.”
His mother’s message made Sandoval teary-eyed, which the audience got to witness in last week’s episode of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test. The message revealed, “Hi Tom! I miss you like crazy but I’m so looking forward to seeing you and hearing all about it,” adding, “You take care of yourself and just do it, Tom. All right, I love you. See you soon, not soon enough but soon.”
Sandoval joined the competitive reality show following the public backlash he received after getting caught in a cheating scandal with Rachel “Raquel” Leviss and, in the process, ending a 9-year-old relationship with Ariana Madix. In a previous episode, according to People, Sandoval described the affair as being “a pretty juicy f—ing scandal” before elaborating on what exactly transpired.
He revealed to his Special Forces co-stars, according to People, “I had an affair, and it just blew up,” adding, “People were messaging me paragraphs of just like vicious, like, so visceral, like, hatred.” According to People, in a confessional interview, Sandoval revealed how his reputation was affected after the “Scandoval”(fans derived this name, pointing to the scandal he created). He said, “Before this whole scandal, I would meet people who had probably seen me on Vanderpump Rules, and they’d be like, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s so cool,’” adding, “And then now, people think I’m a complete narcissist, creeper vibes.”
He spoke about his decision to join the survival show, stating, “I’m definitely not here to run away. I want to punish myself. I think I deserve it.”
Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test Season 2 streams on Hulu.