Ariana Madix Talks ‘Scandoval’ and ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Sequel

After a few uncertain years, the Bravo reality series “Vanderpump Rules” seems to have found a new lease of life.

In the past two months, news broke that co-star Tom Sandoval had cheated on his girlfriend of nearly a decade, Ariana Madix, with their friend and co-cast member Raquel Leviss. . Viewer interest in the show has declined in recent years. But with this new twist, there’s no more question of whether there will be a season 11. It’s more about what it will look like.

While the show — following the drama of people who worked and currently work at the SUR restaurant in West Hollywood, owned by Lisa Vanderpump, a star of fellow Bravo reality show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” — has given its fair share of controversy, none have had this level of impact and consequence. The cast is no longer just a group of young adults; the stakes are higher, and “Scandoval,” as the case is called, has dismantled not only their romantic relationships, but also their financial futures, friendships, and real lives off camera. In turn, public interest piqued.

Ms. Madix has long been a fan favorite on ‘Vanderpump Rules’ for speaking openly about her grief and mental health struggles. And now that the affair has come to light, its popularity has skyrocketed.

Now his star is on the rise. She’s struck brand deals with companies like Bloomingdale’s and Bic Razors, launched her own line of products, co-starred in a Lifetime movie, and even attended the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. She is also in the process of opening a sandwich shop with her friend and colleague Katie Maloney.

Filming for season 10 wrapped last fall, but cameras resumed in March after producers learned of the affair. In an edited interview, Ms Madix spoke for the first time in months about Mr Sandoval and how she feels about being on reality TV.

Why do you think the public got hooked on this infidelity scandal?

I think our relationship was so long that people, myself included, saw it as an endgame. I also think the people involved were so deceitful and deceitful. (Mr. Sandoval) was also someone who constantly preached integrity when it came to empowering others and I think that change in him – having no integrity – is something that shocked people. Moreover, there are also so many people who can understand the situation and put themselves in my shoes.

Your professional success seems to come at the expense of your personal life. How do you handle this?

It’s a lot of pressure because for any woman in public contact or any woman in general going through something, there’s a lot of expectation as to how you’re supposed to handle things. It’s a lot of pressure when someone puts you on a pedestal; you will eventually fall. I just try to stay focused on myself and make sure I’m just me and living life, and sometimes that means making mistakes and not doing what everyone else wants me to do. But it’s really amazing to have that support and I feel like it comes at a cost, a very unexpected cost.

How did you feel resuming filming after the announcement of the affair?

A lot of times I feel like with our group of friends and with our show, I’m in a position where somebody said something or there was an argument, and I wasn’t there to see it, so I have a hard time knowing how I feel about this kind of situation. In this situation, I felt so strong. I knew exactly how I felt.

What was it like filming the series finale with your ex?

When he sat down on that couch (during filming) and tried to do the sad bag number, I knew he was going to try to sell a little. I knew he was trying to be that person for me to be the angry person; I could see what was happening in front of my face, and it was really frustrating. Honestly, when he started yelling at me, I felt kind of satisfied that he was finally going to be the real him.

Kristen Doute, Tom’s ex-girlfriend, also appeared in the finale with you. Your friendship has come a long way. Why was it important to film this scene? She was at my house (after I found out). I think at that time my blood was 80% rosé and nicotine because I was burning the wick at both ends. She was asked (by the producers) if (she would be filming) and she said, “It’s up to you.” I love him deeply. Their relationship was very different from my relationship with him, but at the same time, I think there’s a common denominator when it comes to certain issues. The crazy thing is that their relationship ended 10 years ago, and yet somehow he managed not to grow in those areas at all.

What was it like filming the reunion?

It was a bit of a weird day because I feel like most of the time in any other meeting we go through the whole season. But in this reunion, it was really everyone against one or two (cast members). We have never been united like this.

Do you think there is room for redemption for Tom or Raquel?

I think any chance either of them separately had for that ended when they started giving self-victimizing garbage interviews, his TMZ (interview) and his Howie Mandel (interview) . I think if they hadn’t done or said all those horrible things, maybe one day, but I think the answer is ultimately no. In our group of friends, the answer is no.

Are you ready to film with them?

No. I have nothing to say to either of them. Our show is very real and follows a real group of friends, and none of them are in the friend group, so good luck.

Did this experience change your feeling of being on reality TV?

I’ve always had a bit of that anxiety about saying something that might upset someone or whatever, and I still have that to some extent. But I also feel like the worst things that can happen to someone happen to me on this show: the loss of Charlotte, my 18-year-old dog, the loss of my grandmother, it all happens very publicly. Part of me wonders, what’s the worst that can happen? The worst has already done it. So going forward, it’s kind of like, what can’t I handle at this point?

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