As season 4 of Vanderpump Rules takes off, viewers may be wondering what fresh drama lies in store. This week I got a chance to chat with my favorite Tom, Tom Sandoval, of VPR to get a glimpse of what’s to come. Tom talked about the upcoming release of his band’s new single, T.I.P., his enduring love for costar and real-life girlfriend, Ariana Madix, and his continued frustrations with obsessed ex Kristen Doute and thirsty castmate Stassi Schroeder. Tom also shared his gratitude for the success that’s come his way due to the show, and his dreams for the future. 

I just got done watching the sneak peek of your video, T.I.P. (Touch In Public). Love it!  What’s happening with it – and with your band, Charles McMansion?  “It’s me and Isaac Kappy – we’re like a duo. It’s a modern day Blues Brothers vibe. That song in particular is like Rick James, kinda old school Michael Jackson, a little daft punk, Pharrell. But our overall bucket would be like, that, sort of meets Foster the People and a funk-indie-pop sort of thing.” 


Do you have plans for an album?  “We were going to wait initially because they show some of this on the show [VPR], but the thing is we wanna have another video – and songs – out by the end of the season. By the time the season’s over, we want to be touring.”  


If you had to choose just one: Modeling, Reality TV, or Music – which would you pick?  “That’s a really tough call. I mean if we’re talking about making hundreds of millions of dollars doing one thing, I would say maybe music. I don’t know. The thing about music is that you have control over it. The thing about acting is that you don’t. I mean, definitely not modeling! Because that sort of comes with the territory. People who become famous end up doing spreads in GQ. I was in the modeling industry pretty heavily for 15 years. It started off slow, then these big campaigns started. Now you see Jennifer Lopez doing Louis Vuitton.” 

Are you working at SUR this week? How often do you work there now?  “Well, after we get done filming the show, we all kind of take a little break from SUR. Now we’re starting to get back in there. I’ve been pretty busy this week trying to get ready for this music video. But I’ll probably be back in SUR next week.”

And you’ll be on WWHL Monday night?  “Yeah. And they’re gonna show a snippet of the video on Entertainment Tonight.”


How are you feeling about heading into the new season of Vanderpump Rules? How will this season be different than past seasons?  “I actually feel really good about it! I feel like it’s sort of been revamped a little bit. I feel like you’re gonna see a little bit different of a season than previous ones. This is our fourth season, so obviously we’ve evolved as people. Different things become priorities.”

“We have new people that are on the show, and they actually work better than previous times when they [producers] have tried to do that. This is the problem with a lot of reality shows out there that are failing after one season. It’s because they try to ‘cast’ the show with people who don’t know each other. And the conflict is just not real.” 

“And as I’m watching the show, I’m getting a kick out of James [Kennedy]. He’s pretty funny. I feel like I’m constantly trying to help keep him in line – he’s kind of like a puppy. He and Jax [Taylor] are so much alike. It’s funny because he and Jax butt heads a lot too.” 

I have to tell you that this is the only reality show my husband will watch with me, and I think it’s because it the conflict does feel more ‘real’ than some of the other shows out there.  “Thanks, I appreciate that. You know, I get that a lot! I’ll be going to the gym and this dude will be like, ‘I don’t watch reality shows, man, but I got hooked into your show. You’re cool.'”

Do you feel like you guys are growing up together on the show?  “Yeah, definitely. I think that is the case. When you know people for such a long time, the issues become so much bigger. And that is definitely one thing you’re gonna see this season. Obviously, at some point me and Jax will definitely butt heads, because that’s just what happens.”

“In bringing in new people this season too: A) they’re really working at SUR and B) they didn’t make the mistake of trying to come into our group of friends and put on some sort of ‘character’ or front, which we’ve had in the past. Like Vail [Bloom] was kind of like that. And it’s like, this is our real life! So, we don’t really give a sh*t what you’re trying to do, and you can’t really be in our crew if you’re trying to do that.”       

Can you tell us anything about the new faces this season on VPR? Lala [Kent] is new at SUR and Jesse [Montana] works at PUMP and at SUR. You’re also gonna see Jesse and Faith on this next episode coming up.” 


Are you ever shocked by the way you’re edited? Or are we seeing the real Tom?  “Sometimes it’s frustrating that some things don’t make it in, but we have no control over that. But, yeah, I feel like yes – you see the real Tom on the show. You see the real everybody. That’s one thing I really like. The show isn’t trying to make anyone out to be someone they’re not.” 

“Especially as you’ve seen us over seasons, and even on vacations we’ve taken. It’s like, we’ll shoot 14 hours a day for three days of day-drinking and night-drinking, and yeah. (laughs) That’s who we are. And now that you’ve gotten enough time to get to know everyone on the show over the seasons, you do get an accurate picture.” 

“I mean, I had some issues with last season. The way it was edited had me come across more guilty than I actually was, which made me frustrated. I had issues with the producers on that. But, for the most part, you know who we are as people, and if someone is coming across as really crazy or super b*tchy, that’s just what it is. I mean, if we’re saying full sentences, you can’t really edit that out.”

What does your family think of the show?  “They’re definitely happy. It’s a little uncomfortable if my grandma watches the show! But for the most part, they love it. They’re very happy for me, as long as I’m not saying stupid things or whatever. For the most part, I hold myself up as a respectable and decent human being. I haven’t dishonored my family or anything like that.” (laughs)  

“There are some other cast members who, if I were them, I would be really embarrassed. I’m sure they probably say ‘they [producers] wanted me to do that!’ and I’m like, they do not. They [producers] specifically do not do that on our show. In fact, they don’t do that to the point that they get really pissed when they miss something. They don’t instigate sh*t like that. All they encourage us to do is, if we have a feeling about something, don’t be a pu$$y about it. Just speak your mind.”

How have things changed at SUR – and on the show – since Kristen was fired?  “There’s definitely a lot of drama there, but the good thing about it is I feel like me and Ariana have definitely been able to steer clear of Kristen a lot better. But there will always be issues with Kristen. As much as we try to avoid it, it’s just impossible. So, yeah.” (laughs)

“I mean, even though she’s been fired from SUR, and she’s been banned from SUR – and PUMP at times – she still always finds a way to come around. It’s just something we have to deal with, and it sucks. I guess it’s good for viewers, but it sucks for us!”  

Ariana seemed to handle things so well last year with all of the Kristen drama. HOW?  “Yeah, there were times last season when I was like ‘I am soooo sorry my ex girlfriend is so crazy.’ Like, I felt horrible, and still do at times.”

Kristen has a way, too, of infiltrating anyone I’m friends with. She has a way of going so unbelievably far out of her way to be friends with that person. She went back to to St. Louis [Tom’s hometown] and hit up my best friend, Ali, relentlessly until the point where he pretty much felt forced to hang out with her. He just literally ran out of excuses and could not get away from her. And he’s like my brother – I’ve known him since I was a kid! We are really, really tight. And Kristen just hits him up relentlessly. I’m like: Dude!”


What’s the future look like for you and Ariana?  “We’re definitely in a long term commitment. As far as actual marriage? It’s not something that’s going to happen anytime soon. We just don’t feel like we need it. Neither one of us are ready to have kids. She might never want to have kids. You know, we’re just not in that mindset yet. Neither one of us are in a rush to get married and plan a wedding. It’s not that we wouldn’t consider it; it’s just something that’s far off.” 

“I don’t know, maybe it’s a reverse psychology trick though, because she says, ‘I don’t want to get married.’ And I’ll think, ‘Well, why not!?’ (laughs) She’s clever. We just really vibe well together. We’ve been together almost two years, and have lived together for about a year. It’s been a great experience for both of us, and I feel really good about it.”

We see that Stassi is filming again. Do you have any thoughts about that? (long sigh) “Uh, yeah. You know, my opinion on Stassi is that to me, I really value Katie [Maloney] as a friend, and Scheana [Marie] too. And what Katie went through, with Stassi just kind of X-ing her out for no reason except to be high and mighty – I can’t even believe that.”

“What Katie went through was like a breakup. Stassi didn’t start hitting up Katie or anyone right until the cameras started rolling [this season]. I can’t trust anything she says. Everything she does comes across as selfish and ‘all about me,’ and I feel like people are just going to sort of see that [this season]. I can’t trust any of her motives. I mean, she could’ve texted Katie so many times! But she only did it when she was having problems with her boyfriend, or knew there was a possibility to make money or get her name out there.”

“I’ve never really put up with Stassi’s sh*t – ever. If you look back at previous seasons, you don’t see a lot of scenes with me and Stassi together. Because I would never put up with her sh*t. And I’m not going to start doing that now.”

“But you’re not going to see Stassi for quite a while into the season. And I thought it would have been more interesting to keep her appearance on the show secret too. Like, the internet would have broken!” 

I wonder if Stassi could have stayed silent on social media long enough to pull that off though?  “Yeah, and that’s what’s always kind of annoyed me with Stassi too. When you do a show like this, you have to live your life six months in the past. But her and Jax on Watch What Happens Live after they broke up – she totally spoiled it! And me and Kristen did WWHL after we broke up, and we didn’t say a thing. No one knew me and Ariana were together at that point. We’d go out and I’d put on a fake hat. We wouldn’t post pictures together or anything.”

“But she [Stassi] has always had issues with that sort of thing in the press. She’s badmouthed the show, and Lisa [Vanderpump], and all of us. And I’m just like, dude: F*ck you!” (laughs)

“And I feel like in season 3 we were all giving 100 percent, but Stassi was giving 50 percent – if that. When she signed on for season 3, it was with the understanding that you were gonna meet Patrick, her boyfriend, and he was going to be around. But she completely kept him out of it. So, it would be like if I would just film really polite stuff and just talk about my statement necklace line and my blog – yeah, that would be pretty awesome.”

“And there were times when Stassi knew she was in the hot seat, and she just wouldn’t show up for filming. So to me, it’s just not fair. And I don’t like her on the cast anymore because she’s just not going to give what we’re giving.”  

How’s your relationship with Lisa Vanderpump?  “Our relationship is good. We have respect for each other. Me and Lisa have definitely butted heads because there are some times when people on the cast are thinking certain things, but I’m the only one who will mention it. But I try to do it in a constructive way.”

Kristen’s had those issues with management – and with Lisa – in the past as well, but she didn’t handle things constructively. I mean it was always a “f*ck you!” or “suck a d*ck!” with her. I definitely don’t start those kinds of forest fires.”

How would you describe Lisa in real life?  “She’s very sweet. She has that presence she has on the show in real life too. You’ll see this next episode that when she walks into SUR while Katie’s training Faith. When Lisa walks up, you’ll see a body adjustment in Katie. You’ll have to keep an eye out for it. It just kinda happens when Lisa’s around. I mean, obviously she’s our boss and the owner, but it’s also her presence. I don’t know if it’s the British accent or what, but she’s got that presence. I look up to Lisa and Ken a lot. They’re pretty cool people, most of the time.” 


What is one thing that you’ve always wanted?  Have you gotten it yet?  “I am really excited about the music project I’m working on right now. I’ve always wanted to do a duo-type of thing. This time I feel like I’ve found the right fit and I’m at the right time in my life to do it. And I’m really excited about it! I think you’re going to be very pleasantly surprised with it.”

“Obviously, I’d really love to be in a really big blockbuster movie at some point. And it’d be really cool to be on a scripted show. You know, those are definite goals. But, 2014 was one of the happiest years in my life. That had to do with doing the show, so I’m not living check-to-check anymore. You know, that really changes your life. It adds a lot of happiness to your life to not struggle financially anymore.”     

Did you splurge on anything when you started making money from the show?  “I went from a 1997 stick-shift Honda Civic to a Mercedes CLA. And, really, it’s not that expensive of a car, but I had never owned a car that was newer than 2000. So that was a big jump!”

“I mean, there were times even after season 1 when my bank account was negative. Just being freakin broke! I’m not rich by any means, but I’m not living check-to-check anymore, waiting for tips at SUR for rent. So, I had that jump in 2014, plus being with Ariana and falling in love with her made it great. And I do not take any of it for granted, not for a second. I love every day.”    


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