Getting berated by military vets on Fox’s reality show Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test might seem humiliating, but the insults and demands are just a small sliver of what former Bachelorette Hannah Brown has heard during her time in pageants and competitive dance.
Brown was one of 16 celebrities partaking in training challenges at a military-style camp on Special Forces, where contestants only left if they self-eliminated after challenges became too difficult or an injury prevented them from further competing. Brown proved to be a major standout. In the season finale, which aired on Wednesday, Brown and Olympic soccer player Carli Lloyd were the only two players to make it to the end.
This is impressive as Brown doesn’t come from a traditional athletic background, but she does come from the pageant world. She competed as Miss Alabama in Miss USA 2018, and it’s this type of training that may have proven an unexpected asset on Special Forces — as it also was for her fellow contestant Kenya Moore, a cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Miss USA 1993.
Moore and Brown were the last two nonathletes standing in the series. Moore self-eliminated in Episode 6 after a previous knee injury prevented her from completing a challenge. Still, the 52-year-old outlasted nine fellow contestants, including Spice Girl Mel B, Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin, Jamie Lynn Spears, Anthony Scarmucci, chef Tyler Florence, and Dr. Drew Pinksy among others. Brown and Moore proved there’s more to being a beauty pageant queen than just swimsuit competitions.
“Hannah and I, even though we are many years apart, we had that mental toughness and that fortitude that it took to stay in the game and stay focused,” Moore told BuzzFeed News. She described her pageant experiences as “pretty much like war.”