Why Everyone’s Talking About Bravo’s Big Cheating Scandal

Psychologists say gossip is

Psychologists say gossip is “part of human nature”. (Photo: Getty Images)

You may have noticed that Tom Sandoval’s name — along with the term “Scandoval” from which he drew inspiration — has taken over pop culture headlines and social media feeds. It’s because the 40-year-old man Vanderpump Rules The star, it was revealed, was cheating on his 9-year-old girlfriend, Ariana Madix, with one of her best friends, Raquel Leviss, while filming the show’s 10th season.

The situation seems unique, due to the fact that Bravo has captured months and years of footage that may eventually reveal more details about the case and how those involved deceived people around them. But the nature of the situation and the way fans get involved is no different than what we’ve seen before with cheating scandals – including those involving Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian, Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo, Jay Z and Beyonce and, more recently, Benjamin Millepède and Natalie Portman.

All prompted a denunciation of the cheater and alleged mistress, as viewers participate in using the clues at their disposal to investigate what went wrong. But why is everyone so invested?

Because people love gossip.

What is “Scandoval”?

A mixture of the words scandal and Sandoval has been widely used to refer to the offense of one of the show’s favorites. Sandoval – who is often referred to by his surname to differentiate him from Tom Schwartz, on the same cast – has been on Vanderpump Rules since its creation in 2013, when The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Lisa Vanderpump led a spin-off starring the glamorous staff of her Los Angeles restaurants and bars. Sandoval himself has shown his skills as a bartender, musician and restaurateur. He was also caught up in an early love triangle when his ex-girlfriend and former costar Kristen Doute cheated on him in season 2. Sandoval himself faced cheating allegations as he started dating Madix, a new cast member at the time, before he and Doute had parted ways.

Why Well done

From left to right are Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss. (Pictures: Getty Images)

Years later, Sandoval and Madix had established themselves as “life partners”, buying a house together in 2019 and co-writing a cocktail cookbook. Starting in season 9, the two had discussions about marriage and family as Madix revealed that she froze her eggs. At the end of Season 10, that all came crashing down after Madix found out that Sandoval was cheating on her with Leviss – a Season 5 addition who was once engaged to bandmate James Kennedy and is one of the closest friends. closer to Madix.

How did he get so big?

“It’s sort of a perfect confluence of events,” Allie Jones, celebrity journalist and creator of the “Gossip Time” newsletter, told Yahoo Life. “Ariana found out about the scandal on March 1, she called her producers on March 2, and on March 3 the cameras were back up and running to capture the aftermath of the scandal and the case. And then, of course, Bravo incorporates that. in the season.”

The network quickly changed the season’s ending after capturing footage of a heartbroken Madix confronting Sandoval and finding solace in friends. Bravo also featured Sandoval and Leviss revealing parts of their secret dynamic to the public for the first time in the episode, which reached a rating of 4.1 million viewers.

“Wednesday nights on Bravo are very lively,” Andy Cohen said during an appearance on Not skinny but not fat podcast.

A three-part meeting, which began on May 24, promised to leave no stone unturned. The final part airs Wednesday night.

“Bravo was really smart in making sure all aspects of this were captured and available for consumption in a timely manner,” Jones says.

Why do people care?

“I strongly believe that our fascination with gossip is part of human nature, it’s part of who we are. It’s not a character flaw. It’s a social skill,” said social psychologist Frank McAndrew at Yahoo Life. “It’s as much like breathing as anything else.”

While the cavemen couldn’t have anticipated the inner workings of reality television, nor the scandals the cameras would pick up, McAndrew explains that the gossip and knowledge that comes with it has been important throughout history. human.

“People who were fascinated with other people’s privacy simply did better than those who didn’t, and over time those genes are the ones that have been passed on to us,” he says. “So, like it or not, we are the descendants of snoopers. It’s just in our nature to be that way.”

Meltem Yucel, postdoctoral associate in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, notes that it plays an important role in our relationships and interactions with others.

“When someone is chatting, they’re telling others about the rules they’re interested in,” she told Yahoo Life. “Negative gossip with your friends about people who cheat can show others that we think cheating is not okay – we wouldn’t cheat on ourselves and we wouldn’t tolerate our friends cheating on their partner or our partner deceives us.”

It’s a “safer” way to uphold rules and standards without sacrificing personal relationships, she says, due to the distance between the audience and the people engulfed in on-screen drama.

“When you gossip about people you actually know, it’s a risky thing to do… You could get repercussions,” Yucel says, noting that taboo topics like sex inherently generate more interest. “This kind of situation also inspires a lot of questions in us. What would I do if I knew my friend had done this? What would I do if someone did this to me? What would I do if my friend knew and didn’t tell not?me?So it also allows us to put ourselves in these situations and again, in a somewhat safer way, because it doesn’t happen to us.

But also, celebrities matter to us. Despite the one-sided nature of parasocial relationships with TV stars and celebrities, McAndrew assures the public that there is a real connection that fuels the curiosity and intrigue displayed during these scandals.

“You know more about a lot of celebrities than you probably know about your neighbor,” he says. “And that means they’re part of your world, and that’s why we need to know more about them.”

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