Gareth Gates has successfully completed the Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins training.
On Sunday, Channel 4 viewers finally found out which of the 16 celebrities who took part in the course seven weeks ago had made it through to the final.
Lead Instructor Billy Billingham MBE QCB and his team of Directing Staff (DS), Foxy (Jason Fox), Rudy Reyes and Chris Oliver decided that Gareth was the only celebrity who had the mental and physical strength and resilience to pass the course.
At the end of the episode, only three celebrity recruits remained: Matt Hancock (1), Gareth Gates (7) and Danielle Lloyd (11).
Foxy said, “Selection is the hardest thing these celebrities can do in their lives. It’s all about trust. I look at the people standing in front of us and wonder, in the darkest of dark places: Would I let that person stand next to me?’
Congratulations: Gareth Gates has successfully completed the Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins training
Triumphant: On Sunday, Channel 4 viewers finally found out which of the 16 celebrities who took part in the course seven weeks ago had made it through to the final
At the end of the course, the DS lines up the final three recruits and Billy tells them, “F**king good effort. You all. Now you have chosen to take the most brutal course in the world, without a doubt. So be proud.’
He then announces, “Congratulations, number 7 (Gareth). You have passed… this course.”
Gareth is shocked and responds: ‘Thanks, staff. Wow. Thank you.’
His fellow final recruit Matt and Danielle give him a hug and congratulate him on the win.
Gareth has now opened up about what it means to pass this very special, shortened version of the SAS selection: ‘It was a really crazy experience.
“I think winning or passing was great, but being the only one really meant a lot to me. Realizing that this is real for this DS was a real eye-opener.
‘We’re just making a TV show here, but this is what they had to do in real life. I just had a lot of respect for them, that they really had to go through this and protect our country at the same time.”
When asked what made him stronger than everyone else, he replied: ‘At the end of the day, I think I was also mentally strong. You can train as hard as you can for the physical element of it. But I think it’s the mental resilience that really gets people to the end.
The End: At the end of the episode, only three celebrity recruits remained: Matt Hancock (1), Gareth Gates (7) and Danielle Lloyd (11)
On where the mental resilience came from, he said: “I think I have become mentally strong and able to cope with the mental load, the difficulties I went through as a child and with my speech.”
On what surprised him about the series, he said, “It shocked me how completely immersive the series is. I expected them to shout ‘cut’, and I thought there would be some peace, a little time to catch my breath.
‘But from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, the DS treats you as if it were a real selection process. And it’s tough, they burden you in every possible way. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and they really push you to your limits.
‘I think that’s what they were aiming for: those who made it to the end proved that as people they are stronger on the inside than on the outside.
On where the mental resilience came from, he said: “I think I have become mentally strong and able to cope with the mental load, the difficulties I went through as a child and with my speech.
“Being at school was hard. I was severely bullied. And I think this helped me cope with the difficult circumstances I found myself in during the course. It was tough and my speech was at its worst there. I’m not very good at confrontation or being put on the spot, but I had to dig deep somehow and I managed to take advantage of that. And I think that’s what got me through.
‘I am also very competitive, but especially competitive against myself. I always try to become better and stronger. I train hard in the gym, but I am also very driven in life. I think it all comes from the urge to get myself out of the traumatic situations I faced as a child with bullies.”
When asked if the experience has changed him, Gareth said: “Yes, hugely. It has definitely made me a much stronger person.
“And the fact that I succeeded and won the whole thing so effectively proved to myself that I am strong and that I am not the same cowering young boy who used to hide in the corner. I have now really become a man and can handle anything.’
Gareth and 15 other celebrities faced one of the toughest experiences of their lives when they traveled to Thung Ui, Northern Vietnam, to be put through the most grueling stages of SAS selection
Gareth and fifteen other celebrities faced one of the toughest experiences of their lives when they traveled to Thung Ui, Northern Vietnam, to be put through the most grueling stages of SAS selection.
Seven one-hour episodes will see famous faces including Matt, Michelle Heaton, Danielle Lloyd and Matt Hancock try to survive in the unforgiving jungle.
Also appearing will be Siva Kaneswaran, Melinda Messenger, footballer Jermaine Pennant, Gareth Thomas and reality stars James ‘Arg’ Argent, Amber Turner and Montana Brown on the show, which will return to screens on September 26.
Other stars making up the group include Love Island’s Teddy Soares, Amber Turner, comedian Zoe Lyons, Kirsty-Leigh Porter, Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton and Paralympian Jon-Allan Butterworth.
Danielle said of her time on the show: ‘This experience was simply life-changing. It has made me positive and ready to take on the world.”
While TOWIE’s Amber said: ‘Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, the most physically and emotionally demanding experience I’ve ever had, but the best experience all in one.
‘I loved every moment of it (except having that bag over my head) and wouldn’t consider doing it again!’
And Teddy added: ‘The whole experience was overwhelming, but for me it was one of those experiences that I will never, ever be able to live up to.’
As for the celebrity recruits, head instructor Billy said there was no special treatment or compensation for the stars as they “went above and beyond anything they have ever experienced.”
‘Standards will never drop, but most recruits will!!! No concessions, no excuses!! Only results,” he added.
The demanding reality show returns to screens on September 26 and it remains to be seen which celebrities will make it to the end of the grueling training.