'Vanderpump Rules' Expert Says a "Shift is Starting To Happen" For Tom and Ariana (EXCLUSIVE)

An expert on 'VPR' and reality TV weighs in on what fans really think of Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval now, more than a year after Scandoval.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Feb. 13 2024, Updated 7:03 a.m. ET

Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix at the LA premiere of Universal Pictures' "Jurassic World Dominion" on June 6, 2022
Source: Getty Images

Without a doubt, Season 10 of Vanderpump Rules was the most iconic and chaotic to date. It was so wild that we decided to combine those two words to create a new all-encompassing descriptor: chaonic. Naturally, Tom Sandoval cheating on Ariana Madix with Raquel Leviss was the heart of this mess. Or should we say, the heartbreak of it.

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It didn't take long for fans to dub it "Scandoval," with most, if not everyone, taking the side of fan favorite Ariana. Over the years, she has widely been considered the most likable and grounded person on the show. Was it worth it? With this in mind, we couldn't help but wonder: Is Tom Sandoval leaving VPR? We chatted exclusively with a show expert and moderator of the official VPR subreddit Sarah to gain some insight into Tom's longevity with fans.

Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval at the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards: UNSCRIPTED on June 5, 2022
Source: Getty Images
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Is Tom Sandoval leaving 'Vanderpump Rules'?

For reasons we aren't entirely sure of, Tom chose to tell his side of the story on the Howie Mandel Does Stuff podcast back in April 2023. That's right, Tom needed to unburden his soul with the man who usually determines which Americans have talent. This led to speculation that Tom might be fired from the show because it was believed to be an unauthorized interview, reported Radar Online.

Have no fear because a Bravo spokesperson told the outlet that "Sandoval did give the network a heads up that he was going on Howie’s podcast," thus putting to bed any rumors of Tom going rogue. Bravo and by extension Andy Cohen won't let anyone from Vanderpump Rules run wild on these streets. But, will Scandoval push Tom off the series and into a new reality?

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Although Tom is absent from the Season 11 premiere of VPR due to filming reality show Special Forces in New Zealand (something he tends to talk about a lot), he's still here in full force. Sure, he might be a bit ostracized by literally everyone in the main group, but longtime bestie Tom Schwartz is doing his best to be there for Sandoval. And, according to the VPR subreddit mod Sarah, there is a slow turn in fans suddenly supporting Ariana less. This could mean they start supporting Tom more.

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"I do think that there's a lot that's being said right now, that Ariana is overreacting or being unreasonable. She's, like, having tantrums, [things] like that," Sarah shared with us. "So it's definitely over the last year that since this came out, it's been very positive for her. And now it's definitely since the episodes have started airing... it does seem like that shift is starting to happen."

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Sarah added, however, that "there's a really big layer of misogyny to it" in terms of fans' feelings toward Ariana and Tom.

"I would say the shift right now that's happening is less that it's going in favor of Tom, and more that it's going more negative towards Ariana," she explained.

Still, if that's the case, then Tom might claw his way back to the top. We aren't saying "number one guy in the group" status, though.

Will Ariana leave 'Vanderpump Rules' at some point?

It's no secret that Ariana has been lucky enough to thrive under Scandoval. From competing on Dancing With the Stars to being cast in Chicago on Broadway, Ariana has a lot going on and it's all good. That being said, she hasn't announced an exit from VPR, even if her schedule is incredibly busy these days.

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And if Ariana filming with Tom hasn't caused her to one to exit the show willingly, we suspect she'll be here until the long running Bravo series features his final slow motion drink splash in the opening credits.

Watch Vanderpump Rules on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.

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