It wasn’t coming up roses for Hannah Brown — or anyone — on Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test — but the former Bachelorette wouldn’t change her experience on FOX’s intense new reality show.
The series follows 16 reality stars in the Jordanian desert training with a Special Forces team. In the first episode, which aired on January 4, the stars jumped out of a helicopter, completed a “bee sting” exercise (a demanding obstacle course) and walked across a 300-foot canyon via a wire.
“I saw on the U.K. version them jumping out of the helicopter and I was like, ‘OK, oh no, no, no, I don’t wanna do that,'” Hannah, 28, exclusively told Us Weekly. “Even though I’ve jumped out of a plane and gone skydiving and bungee jumping and all the things, like, just falling backward, I was like, ‘Ah, I don’t wanna do that.’ And that one wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.” Though the God Bless This Mess author revealed that the chopper jump “definitely hurt when you hit the water” and was “not enjoyable,” it was still doable on day 1.
While the Dancing With the Stars champ noted that she isn’t typically scared of heights, she has a freakout during an upcoming balance task.
“There was one that really freaked me out,” she said, adding that the physical challenges might not look as hard on TV as they were in person. “The ‘beet [bee?] sting’ — when we had to go through those tiny tunnels or we had to do the monkey bars and, like, roll around — that was horrible. But the way that it was shown, you can’t really see how physically tough that was. I mean, we were having to go through this little tunnel that had rocks all in it. And even my size, I could only use my arms to push myself through. Like, you couldn’t use your hands and feet, so you’re just covered in rocks, like, grinding on your hands and then pushing yourself up out of things. It was so much harder than it looked. I wasn’t gonna be, like, the strongest there, so that didn’t really surprise me, but it was just all hard.”
The living arrangements didn’t help matters.
“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,” Hannah said. “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.”
She continued: “And then the bathroom situation — they took me to the medic because I wouldn’t go to the bathroom because they’re like, ‘You’re gonna get sick.’ 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.”
The cast also includes Mel B., Jamie Lynn Spears, Beverley Mitchell, Gus Kenworthy, Danny Amendola, Dwight Howard, Carli Lloyd, Mike Piazza, Nastia Liukin, Anthony Scaramucci and Kenya Moore. During episode 1, Kate Gosselin, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Montell Jordan and Tyler Florence were all medically withdrawn or quit.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, like, why I am here?’ There are so many cool people here. … I did end up bonding with [everyone] at different times or another,” Hannah told Us, adding that the athletes were intimidating. “But it was really cool to be able to just see what makes them so great in their field of work — the motivation and the power of their bodies. … Someone asked me, like, ‘Who inspired you the most?’ [And] honestly, everyone inspired me at some point in time because we’re all, like, facing a fear or being triggered by something and not wanting to do the thing, but then deciding to do the thing anyway. Like, doing it scared and watching people do that was just so inspiring to me and made me just really respect them so much more. You saw that in everyone.”
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Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test airs on FOX Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. Scroll through for more from Hannah on her famous costars: