Only five recruits remained out of 14 heading into Monday’s season finale of Fox’s Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, and after a couple more tough exits there were three left with “passing” grades for the course.
With just 12 hours of military-grade interrogation standing between them and the end of the course, Erin Jackson, Nick Viall and Tyler Cameron managed to survive, while JoJo Siwa and Tom Sandoval exited the show in the 11th hour, or in this case during the 8th episode.
Here’s a look at how it all went down.
The show and its finale
The second season consisted of eight days of military training in the New Zealand mountains, with 14 celebrities trying to get through exercises that are “from the playbook of the Special Forces selection process,” according to Fox, and led by a team of ex-Special Forces operatives known as directing staff agents. With everyone being compensated the same despite how they finish, the real incentives are meant to be internally motivating.
The cast for this season included former NFL player Dez Bryant, former NBA player Robert Horry, Olympic gold medalists Bode Miller and Jackson, actors Brian Austin Green and Tara Reid, model and actress Blac Chyna, influencer and host Kelly Rizzo, YouTube star Siwa and reality stars Savannah Chrisley (Chrisley Knows Best), Jack Osbourne (The Osbournes), Cameron (The Bachelorette), Sandoval (Vanderpump Rules) and Viall (The Bachelor).
After being “captured” by enemy forces during the penultimate episode, the finale centered around an interrogation simulation during which they were hooded, bound, intensely interrogated, kept in stress positions in a freezing cell and forced to listen to unpleasant sounds.
The final two failures
The first to go during the episode was Sandoval, who was there to try and better (and punish) himself after the cheating scandal he was embroiled in earlier this year.
The interrogators were not fans of Sandoval’s signature white nail polish, and they didn’t much care for his reactions to their process, particularly when the cold cell he was being kept in caused him to claim a medical issue. But he was checked out and cleared to return.
“He’s been overdramatic the entire course,” one of the course staff agents said.
Shortly after that, Sandoval was given the news that he was being eliminated from the course.
He was followed by Siwa a little bit later, who informed the staff agents that she wanted to voluntarily withdraw, acknowledging that she believes one has to “know their limit.”
She told The Wrap later that quitting felt right, but that didn’t stop her fans from being shocked and saddened by her voluntary exit considering how far she had come.
damn, did NOT expect jojo to leave special forces
— j (@dalla_scienza) November 28, 2023
The winners! Aka the ones who “passed”
Jackson, an Olympic gold medalist in speed skating, credited her ability to survive the interrogations on both losing her mother at a young age and competing in an individual sport.
“I think I’ve learned that I’m a bit tougher than I thought, definitely mentally,” Jackson said in a confessional to close the show. “It’s been an all-around, life-changing experience for sure.”
Viall, who made a name for himself on both The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, told People that he experienced “some of the most painful and exhausting moments” of his life during the show, adding in his final confessional that it’s “a very rewarding feeling” and “truly something” he’ll remember for the rest of his life.
Cameron, also of Bachelorette fame, said that the biggest reflection he learned from this experience is the man he “wants to be,” calling it a “huge stepping stone and a foundation to build my future.”
But first was a nice long vacation as soon as the experience was over.
Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test airs on Fox.