America’s Got Talent and Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel may be good at entertaining studio audiences, but he majorly face-planted this week at a task better left to a hard-hitting, qualified journalist: an in-depth sitdown with Tom Sandoval of Vanderpump Rules, aka the adulterer at the center of “Scandoval.” And now, the ensuing fallout has made way for a host of Mandel critics to voice their disproval, including Andy Cohen and Lala Kent.
In his conversation with Sandoval for his podcast, Mandel revealed that he knew close to nothing about the admittedly labyrinthian reality TV scandal involving Sandoval, his ex-partner Ariana Madix, and Raquel Leviss, the mistress Sandoval is currently taking a break from.
Mandel gave Sandoval ample airtime to flagrantly trash his ex, which he gladly did. The Bravo star claimed Madix was depressed, uncommunicative, and that she punched him when he attempted to break up with her. In response, Mandel was nauseatingly chummy.
“Howie Mandel apparently didn’t know what he was getting himself into with his interview of Tom Sandoval today, because it seems like maybe he didn’t do his homework?” Cohen said on Watch What Happens Live Tuesday evening.
“I don’t need to do homework,” Mandel responded in an interview with Extra on Wednesday. “I know who he is. I wasn’t gonna weaponize his information and kind of, you know, challenge him on each thing.”
Mandel added that he does not “condone cheating,” but is “worried” about Sandoval: “I was in the room with him. He was visibly shaken, visibly damaged at this point. He’s a human being and I have empathy for every human being, I really do. He’s going through a real tough time, maybe he deserves to go through a tough time, but I really do feel for him. I feel for Ariana, I feel for Raquel, I feel for anybody who is involved in this.”
To which we can only say: Sorry, Howie, but you’re a mark and Sandoval played you. Walk it off.
Meanwhile, VPR cast member Lala Kent was also confused by the Sandoval-Mandel pairing. “It’s not that I don’t dig Howie Mandel. Dope, cool, got it, whatever, but what a weird f–king first interview,” she said via Instagram Stories on Tuesday. “That is so f–king random. Like, the game show host? The one who fist-bumps you because he’s scared of germs?”
Mandel told Extra he’s “never felt this kind of vitriol” in response to his botched interview gig. Howie, welcome to Vanderpump Rules.