Note: The following story contains spoilers from “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test” Season 2, Episode 6.
Jack Osbourne said he was disappointed when he was told to prematurely exit “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test,” after waking up with an elevated heart rate for the second day in a row, six days into production of the Fox series.
“I just wish I could have stayed — I really do,” said Osbourne, whose medical withdrawal happened just days before the conclusion of the experience. “I wish I’d have made it to the end.”
The reality television personality recalled knowing he had to alert the Fox show’s directing staff (D.S.) of his medical concern, given a pre-existing multiple sclerosis diagnosis and an abnormal heart condition.
“Two days before I went to the doctor, everyone was just rocking out and dozing and just trying to rest up, and I’m laying there and my heart rate was in the hundreds … [it was] off the rail,” Osbourne told TheWrap. “This [was] odd for me because usually my resting heart rate is in the 60s, and when I’m asleep, it’s in the high 40s, low 50s.”
After telling D.S. Mark “Billy” Billingham of his concern, Osbourne said Billingham broke character for the first time while sending Osbourne to the show’s medical center.
“He was like, ‘don’t f–k around — go see the doctor and I’m expecting you back out here because today’s going to be a good day,’” Osbourne said.
Despite sitting out of the day’s activities — during which the remaining recruits were tested in a helicopter crash simulation — to undergo medical supervision, the doctor ultimately advised Osbourne to be medically withdrawn from the show out of concern for his health.
“It’s a kiss of death on that show to go to the doctor because they always want to err on the side of caution,” Osbourne said. “I was just so bummed … they take safety measures beyond seriously on that show — you absolutely can’t take risks with this kind of production, and I was ultimately grateful and my wife was very grateful.”
During his time on the Fox reality show, Osbourne said he had to adopt the mindset that his experience was a marathon not a sprint, leading him to break up each of the jam-packed days into distinct, achievable segments.
“In the morning when I got up it was like, ‘just get to lunch’ and then [after] lunch, it would be ‘just get to dinner,’ and then after dinner, it was just ‘get to bed and get to breakfast,’ ” Osbourne said. “A day at a time was was too long, because the days were so brutal.”
In watching the season as it aired, Osbourne noted that the show — which he calls an “amazing production” — does a “god awful” of depicting the “psychological component” of the intense experience.
“It’s funny if you watch the show without knowing [the psychological impact], you just see us crying all the time,” Osbourne said, adding that the emotional reaction is in response to the show as a whole and not a specific training challenge. “The show does not let up. You don’t ever have a break. You can never relax. You’re always on edge, and it takes a toll.”
With uncertainty constantly plaguing the recruits — which dwindled from 14 people to seven ahead of Osbourne’s departure in Monday’s episode — Osbourne noted the participants are tightly wound for the entire experience, saying “you never know what’s around the corner.”
After being diagnosed with MS at age 26, Osbourne hopes his participation in “Special Forces” can help dispel misconceptions about living with the autoimmune condition.
“MS is as unique to the individual that has it as their own fingerprint, so to lump everyone with MS into one bucket of, ‘Oh, you are no longer an able-bodied person because you have this disease,’ it’s kind of bulls–t, and I like to dispel that myth,” Osbourne said. “I live in an incredibly normal highly active life — it does not interfere with me on a day-to-day basis — that’s not the case for everyone with MS.”
“Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox and streams the next day on Hulu.