SPOILER ALERT: The following interview contains spoilers for Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test. For the (non-spoilery) first part of this interview, click here.
Anthony Scaramucci bowed out of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test during the Feb. 1 episode where, even though he survived being set on fire, he felt he’d physically gone as far as he could go. In the second part of our behind-the-scenes interview, Anthony spoke with me about what factored into his decision to leave and just how tough the FOX program actually is.
Brittany Frederick: It’s very clear in the series that this is not another gimmicky reality TV show; this is serious business. How tough was it to go through?
Anthony Scaramucci: They were pretty rough on everybody. They were taking a pound of flesh out of me in Episode 4, which is what they do. I was doing the best I could to keep myself together. After smashing my head and then going on the Jeep Parade, I was really out of it. But I pulled it back together, ran up the tower, jumped out of the tower. I’m afraid of heights. I’ve been afraid of heights my whole life. I probably shouldn’t have told those guys I was afraid of heights because they put me in every high-flying, highfalutin situation. (laughs) But anyway, it was fun.
BF: How much went into your decision to voluntarily withdraw? Because we’ve seen other people quit for a lot less, but you hung in there for quite a while.
AS: I pushed myself as hard as I could push myself. I have to quit at the end of the [last] episode, primarily because I am physically exhausted.
They set me on fire; no problem. I run out of the house; I put myself out of fire. They then ask us to traverse these shipping containers. You have to do a duck walk 80, 90 feet in the air. The wind’s blowing. Then they want you to bend your knees and then hop over something. I’m actually feeling pretty good about it, but I have no strength left in my legs. I have no glycogen left in my body. I get two-thirds to three quarters of the way there. My legs are wet noodles and I flop off the thing.
When that rope caught me, it snapped me pretty good as I was coming off the containers…After I got jarred on that and after I smashed my head on Day 4, I’m like all right, I’m going to get killed out here. I went back to the base camp. I got myself some water. I sat on my cot for a minute. I’m like, okay, I’m 58. I’ve done six of the 10 days. I am wiped out. I’ve got to be self-aware enough to say that it’s over for me.
I went to go say that it’s over. [Directing staff] Billy Billingham, he’s an extreme British hard-ass. He comes out to the gate and he says hey, just to let you know, you’re 58 years old. You’re a year older than me, and you’re running around with Olympic athletes and professional athletes. You’ve only got four days left. Are you sure you want to leave? I’m like Billy, I’ve got to be honest with you. I don’t have anything left in the tank. I’m trying as hard as I can, but I’m done. Then he’s like yeah, you’re definitely no spring chicken. He accepts the band and then he gives me a candy bar. (laughs) I’m eating the candy bar like it was the last supper.
I’m telling this backstory because I would’ve loved to have stayed. Maybe if I was 10 years younger, I could’ve stayed a day or two more. Maybe if I was 20 years longer, I could’ve made it through the whole thing. I don’t know. But I was really gritting it out to the best of my capability. Dr. Drew was the oldest person out there, but he lasted a day. After him, I was the oldest person out there for five days.
BF: What was it like for you when you came back? Did the physical exertion catch up to you or just mentally, did you look at the world differently because of the lessons you learned over those couple of days?
AS: They make you see a doctor as you’re leaving. He says, “How do you feel?” I thought, I feel really good. He goes yeah, of course you do. You’ve got so much adrenaline pumping through you right now. He says in about 72 hours that adrenaline is going to dissipate and you’re going to be feeling a lot of aches and pains. If you need to call me or somebody, let me know. He was a hundred percent right. 72 hours after I left, I felt like I was in a car crash. My legs hurt. My arm hurt. My shoulder hurt. Then of course, a couple days later, everything started to feel better. I definitely had that physical trauma after the fact.
But I will say this: I’ve had no psychological trauma or anything like that. I enjoyed it. I was fortified by it. If I had something to do that I didn’t like or I had something to do that I was fearful of, I’m like well, wait a minute. I jumped out of the Tower of Aqaba and repelled down it. I probably can overcome my fear of doing this. I probably can get through the task before me. When you prove to yourself that you can do things like that, it helps you do more things. The show is sort of uplifting that way.
The Seals and the SAS guys were very good at that. They were very good at, okay, I can’t run as fast as Carli Lloyd. I certainly can’t run as fast as Danny Amendola. But for what I’m capable of, am I giving 110 percent of what I’m capable of doing? That’s how they were judging you, and I think that’s a good way to be judged.
BF: As you look back on the experience now, is there anything that comes to mind?
AS: Since we’re talking about the whole fiasco of me and Trump—had I not done that, I don’t think I would have been invited on Special Forces, so there’s a silver lining [to] every story. The Trump thing was obviously an abysmal failure and miscalculation on my part, but it did give me a profile and it certainly gave me a media presence. Which ironically led to me being invited on that show. So in a weird way, I’m grateful for all that because I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to do the show.
Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test airs Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. on FOX.
Article content is (c)2020-2023 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr and on Instagram at @BFTVGram.