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Season 2 of Fox’s Special Forces: World's Toughest Test premiered on Monday, and already featured multiple celebrities breaking down in tears, including actress Tara Reid who had some very raw emotions about her treatment by the tabloids through the years.
In contrast to the first season's steaming-hot location in Jordan, the second installment takes place in the cold mountains of New Zealand, where 14 celebrities take on what’s been described as “the ultimate test in military training.”
Here’s a breakdown of how the first episode went.
Introduction to intensity
After some harsh introductions from the staff of ex-Special Forces operatives that included a bus ride over scary terrain, bags over all their heads, insults being hurled and the threat to remove The Bachelorette star Tyler Cameron’s smirk for good, it was time for the first challenge of the eight-day process.
While suspended 340 feet in the air above a body of water, the recruits had to get from one platform to the other while walking on two metal poles. One of the only ones to struggle with the task was Reid, who had already faced an initial challenge with the zipper on her jacket while changing into her uniform. Then on her way down to the platform, she got tangled up in her safety harness.
When it came time for Reid to try the actual challenge, she slipped on her second step and nearly fell through between the two poles. After pulling herself together and slowly starting to make it across using all fours, she once again tried standing and stepping and this time fell all the way through and ended up hanging by nothing but her safety rope.
But in order to leave this competition you have to go out on your own decision or with an injury. So Reid and the rest of her fellow recruits lived on to the second challenge later in the day. This time they had to hold large rocks above their heads for a certain amount of time and then crouch-walk them some distance before dropping them off. Once again, Reid struggled with the challenge but ultimately made it through.
One of the first people to break down was dancer/actress/singer Jojo Siwa when she sat down with the directing staff agents. They brought her in to tell her to stop being so happy and smiling so much, while she revealed that her desire to do the show was to get away from being “babied” all the time and to get away from her little kid image. Discussing how close she is with her mom — she said she still lives with her parents — brought the tears.
Reid was also brought in to speak with the staff agents after her struggles early on, and then also getting caught with packs of cigarettes in her uniform pockets. When asked why she went on the show, Reid was brutally honest and emotional.
“I get bullied a lot and stuff, and I just wanted to make myself a stronger person, and I thought this could help,” she said. “Everyone says, ‘She got so old looking, she looks bad, she looks like s**t.’ And just this s**t that goes on social media and stuff like that.”
Reid also touched on the things that have been written about her earlier in the show, saying that she’s been called “anorexic” or people saying “she’s gonna die” and other "shaming" that she admitted does take a toll.
“People still judge me of when I was 18 and I’m 47 now. I can’t play, you know, American Pie anymore,” Reid said to the staff agents. “I used to be a lot more stronger. I feel like sometimes, like I’m a… like a broken bird, kind of. I want to get, like, have thicker skin and not let people bother me so much.”
The staff agents set her up with the goal of trying to gain more confidence in herself, which they considered to be “shattered” and “quite sad" after she left the room.
In an interview to camera, Reid articulated a bit more about why she ventured all the way to New Zealand to take on these challenges.
"The tabloids have written so many things about me that aren't true. It's really easy to get caught being depressed and staying home and staying alone. And the challenge is about me and my demons inside of me. Can I heal a little bit more? And that’s really why I’m here,” she said.
Aside from Siwa and Reid, the rest of the cast stayed relatively drama-free in the first episode. That is until the closing moments when a tense exchange occurred between TV personality Blac Chyna and actor Brian Austin Green. She didn’t like the playful comments directed toward her and she let him know, then left the room and got emotional by herself.
On the challenge side, the staff has promised an even more difficult road ahead and not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally. And while no cash prize is dangling at the end for these celebs, what they will be able to leave with is their dignity, pride and a greater public image.
Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox.