Vanderpump Rules: How Ariana Madix's Post-Scandoval Fame Ruined Bravo's Best Show

These ventures and side projects were all fine and great, and all of the cast were, in general, about equally famous. For a group of wannabe “mactors” who hadn’t exactly reached their Hollywood goals but still found fame and notoriety, things could have been worse. And although the show has faced several crisis points—half the cast being fired for racism in 2020, the entirety of the middling season 8—the show has thus far been able to grow with its SUR-vers and adjust to their new realities.

That is, until Scandoval, when the cast found out that Sandoval had been cheating on his longtime girlfriend, Madix, with another cast member Rachel “Raquel” Leviss. The bombshell revelation and the fallout propelled the show to previously unimaginable heights. The ratings for the end of season 10, when the scandal was discussed, were series highs for the network and the show entered the cultural zeitgeist in a way it never had before.

Although all cast members got a boost in visibility for being involved in the drama, it changed one person’s life dramatically: Madix’s. Madix, who had always been a more low-key member of the show, was suddenly its star. Huge brands came calling, and Madix did commercials for Bic, Duracell, and Glad, among others. Her cool grace under pressure combined with her righteous anger over how she had been treated impressed viewers, and she grabbed all her opportunities and ran with them (as she told Glamour when she appeared on our cover last year, she had realized she could “work as much as possible” to create security for herself and her family with her new opportunities).

And it wasn’t just a flash in the pan. Madix’s star continued to rise as the months passed since the scandal. She appeared on Dancing With the Stars where she came in third and then on Broadway in Chicago as Roxie Hart—a run that was so successful, it broke records, meaning she is the only VPR star to actually achieve a goal they set out to in the beginning of the show. She and Maloney finally opened their sandwich shop, Something About Her, in May, just a few weeks after Madix was announced as the new host of the popular dating show Love Island.

In many ways, Madix has built in a year what the rest of the cast has spent the past decade trying to build: a long-lasting sustainable career in the entertainment industry (it didn’t come cheap though, Madix had to go through a huge trauma to be so widely embraced). Currently, many of the other castmates’ fame is heavily tied to their roles on the show. Sandoval and Schwartz have their restaurants, sure, but those are heavily promoted on VPR and it’s unclear how broad their appeal would be otherwise. Shay and Kent have built their empires on the backs of being Bravo stars, and Kennedy, to a lesser extent (he could still DJ post-show, I guess). Basically, Madix is the only person on the show who has reached the goal all of them sought, and it’s driving them all insane.

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