The celebrity spin-off of Channel 4’s toughest reality competition, which sees a group of famous figures put to the ultimate test by undergoing tasks from the Special Forces selection process, came to an end on Sunday (5 November).
Of the 16 original celebrity recruits, only model Danielle Lloyd, singer Gates, politician Matt Hancock, reality star Teddy Soares, and athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton made it to the final episode. Soares and Shakes-Drayton were soon eliminated during the “resistance to interrogation” challenge.
Hancock, Lloyd, and Gates then faced one last gruelling physical test, after which they were praised for making a “f***ing good effort, all of you”.
“You chose to come on what is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most brutal course in the world, so stand proud,” said chief instructor Billy Billingham.
Lloyd and Hancock, however, fell at the final hurdle and were made to hand back their armbands. Just Gates remained, and was told: “Congratulations number seven. You’ve passed this course.”
Overwhelmed with emotion, Gates began to tear up, saying: “Wow” as he rubbed his eyes and thanked the group leaders. “Enjoy that moment,” he was told, while the singer embraced his fellow finalists.
Speaking about the experience, Gates said: “To hear the DS at the end, when Billy said, ‘There’s only one person we’d actually stand shoulder to shoulder with. And that’s you number seven.’ That was a really amazing feeling.
“I think winning, or passing, was amazing but being the only one really meant a lot to me. Realising that this is real for these DS, was really eye opening. We’re just here creating a TV show but this is what they’ve had to do for real. I just had huge respect for them, that they have to go through this for real whilst protecting our country.”
Earlier in the final, the recruits had been put to the test by a team of interrogators with over 40 years’ experience in war zones. The “resistance to interrogation” test is a key stage of real-life SAS selection, and uses techniques not permitted by the British Army.
Here, the recruits were placed in detention, where their heads were covered in sacks and they were forced to listen to uncomfortable noises and sit in “stress positions”. They were then subjected to the most intense interrogation process of the series so far, where they had to maintain an alibi as furniture was thrown around the room.
During his interrogation, Hancock, 45, was accused of not properly answering the questions put to him. Watching from outside the room, the top interregator praised his “credible delivery”, saying: “The reality of it is he’s really good at lying.”
However, he was later berated for being a “f***ing arrogant w*****”, and punished. Here, he was taken outside in the rain, restrained and made to sit in an extreme stress position on two wooden blocks while the rain poured down.
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