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Everything the ‘Special Forces’ Cast Members Have Said About the Show’s Extreme Living Conditions

Special Forces Cast Quotes About the Show Worst Living Conditions
Pete Dadds/ FOX

One lesson the stars of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test have learned is that rough living conditions can be just as tough to handle as the challenges.

Celebrities are pushed to their physical and mental limits by undergoing military training on the Fox competition series. The show’s first two seasons placed its casts in two different — yet equally extreme — climates as season 1 was filmed in the deserts of Jordan and season 2 took place in frigid New Zealand.

“We didn’t have any toiletries, so no shampoo, no conditioner, no combs, no brushes,” season 2 contestant Kelly Rizzo revealed during an October 2023 interview on Jana Kramer’s “Whine Down” podcast. “The only thing we were allowed was deodorant and a toothbrush and toothpaste. That was it. So, I had to comb my hair with a metal fork.”

Additionally, Rizzo said she slept with paper towels in her ears due to her castmates’ loud snoring as she was not permitted earplugs.

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Keep scrolling to find out what else the Special Forces cast has said about the show’s living conditions:

Absence of Luxury

“Basically they starved us. We were on an 800 calorie a day diet,” season 1 star Kenya Moore revealed in a January 2023 interview with Hollywood Life. “Physically working, doing these exercises probably 16 hours in a day. Not having any sleep, being woken up in the middle of the night for any challenge. It was grueling. Sleeping on cots in the desert in the Middle East in 130-degree weather. With no plumbing. I could go on and on.”

The Real Housewives of Atlanta star went so far as to say her experience on Special Forces was “tougher” than when she gave birth. “And I almost died giving birth, so that’s saying a lot,” she added.

Nothing But Dirt

“We’re in this tent that’s just dirt. And it got so hot during the day, it would be 108 degrees in the tent. We’re supposed to be relaxing, but there’s no relaxing. The cot was, I mean, the guys are probably falling out of it [because] it was so small,” Bachelorette alum Hannah Brown exclusively told Us Weekly of the season 1 cast’s bunks in January 2023.

She continued: “The pillow [is] covered in dirt and [the size of a book]. It was horrible. … The pillow was the thing that I cleaned the sand off of my bag with and then slept on, so you can imagine what my skin was like after the show. But you’re so exhausted that you just fall asleep. The shower situation was just a little dripping water, so you’re not really that clean. We couldn’t bring razors. All we had was a bar of soap, deodorant and a toothbrush [with] toothpaste.”

Special Forces Cast Quotes About the Show Worst Living Conditions Tara Reid
Tara Reid Pete Dadds/ FOX

Not-So-Sanitary Bathrooms

Brown went on to reveal to Us that she was taken to the show’s medic because she refused to use the show’s outdoor bathroom. “They’re like, ‘You’re gonna get sick,’” she shared. “It was so disgusting [that] my body wouldn’t allow me to be able to relax to go to the bathroom. You sat down on the toilet and 50 flies would attack my ass.”

During a season 1 episode, Mel B found herself grossed out after Dwight Howard entered the stall next to her to relieve himself. “You are not pooping beside me!” the Spice Girls singer yelled before leaving her own stall.

Tight Quarters

While filming season 2 in New Zealand, Rizzo and her costars slept in close proximity to each other. “It’s not like your cots are 10 feet apart, you’re about 18 inches apart, so you’re lined up one next to another,” she revealed on Kramer’s “Whine Down” podcast.

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Shower Struggles

Though contestants were allowed to shower, Rizzo noted that the process to do so wasn’t worth the hassle. “They have a shower but you have to, like, fill up this water tank with water from this, like, trough thing,” the lifestyle blogger explained. “It was either freezing cold or boiling hot, and then, you had to walk outdoors from the shower all the way to the barracks. It was way too much of a process.”

Rizzo, for her part, said she did not shower during filming. “I think there were only two people that showered that I know of while I was there, which was Tyler Cameron and Savannah Chrisley,” she added. “They were the only people who took one shower, and it was, like, a big deal.”

Special Forces Cast Quotes About the Show Worst Living Conditions JoJo Siwa, Tom Sandoval and Bode Miller
JoJo Siwa, Tom Sandoval and Bode Miller. Pete Dadds/ FOX

Dealing With Dehydration

Season 1 star Dr. Drew Pinsky revealed that the cast would be punished if they didn’t keep up with drinking their fluids. “And my fluids were never topped off because I was drinking water all the time,” he told CinemaBlend in January 2023. “And so I wouldn’t admit it when I needed more water. I didn’t want the group to get punished. So I think I kinda got behind that way, but I didn’t have any idea how far behind I was [on fluids].”

Following his elimination due to heat exhaustion, Pinsky said it took receiving “five liters of IV fluid” before he was able to stand himself up. “It was pretty crazy,” he added.

Freezing Temperatures

“You’re cold, you’re miserable, you’re physically exhausted, and your mind is always the first thing to tell you to quit, but your body’s got more in the tank than you think it does,” Cameron told The Palm Beach Post in October 2023 of filming Special Forces season 2. “I think it’s always a mental game no matter what.”

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