Tyler Cameron’s time on The Bachelorette wasn’t exactly a walk in the park — but he’d rather look for love than find himself on another season of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test.
“Both [shows are] psychological warfare,” Cameron, 30, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, November 27, ahead of the season 2 finale. “But I would definitely say Special Forces is tougher. I get to go to nice exotic places on The Bachelor and do all that stuff. I go to exotic miserable places with Special Forces.”
Cameron joined season 2 of Special Forces, which premiered in September, alongside other reality stars like Bachelor’s Nick Viall, Vanderpump Rules’ Tom Sandoval and JoJo Siwa. The Fox reality show follows a group of celebrities to a remote location where they are forced to perform training exercises led by special forces operatives. While season 1 took place in Jordan, season 2 saw the recruits fighting the harsh winter months in New Zealand’s mountains where they faced rough terrain, freezing temperatures and more.
For season 2’s final course, Cameron — along with Siwa, 20, Sandoval, 41, Viall, 43, and Olympic gold medalist Erin Jackson— were “captured” and forced to run through the night before enduring a resistant interrogation process meant to push them to their mental limits. After a grueling eight days, Cameron learned he had passed the course.
“I was on the edge the whole time,” he told Us of the final challenge. “I was like, I don’t know how I can keep going further. I feel like they’re going to kill me in this sense. I’m beyond freezing. I feel like I’m experiencing hypothermia. I’ve never had it before, [but] I was jackhammering, shivering.”
Tyler had personal reasons for wanting to be successful throughout his time on Special Forces. His brother, Austin Cameron, is an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. Tyler told Us that his sibling was “super thrilled” to hear he had passed — and was extremely impressed with how “good” the Bachelorette alum fared.
“He’s like, ‘It scares me how good you are at this. Probably even better than I am,’” Tyler recalled. “And I’m like, ‘Austin, you got to understand, this is me knowing that there’s actually no gun at the end of this that’s going to be shooting me one day. Your mind and your mentality and bravery are so much more advanced than mine. I would never put myself in those positions, but you’re willing to and make that sacrifice.”
Tyler compared his time on Special Forces to that of being in a “video game,” noting that what his brother does is “real life.”
“But to hear him say that is like, ‘Damn, I did it in his eyes,’” he continued. “That’s one thing. I wanted to get: his respect. … So that’s one thing that kind of kept me pushing through.”
While Special Forces makes it clear that no gifts or rewards are given out for participating on the show, Cameron joked that he was hoping there was a “little something more” to passing the course. “Give me a trophy. You know what I mean?” he quipped. “I was like, ‘I really passed?’ I was so unsure. And I was so cold, my mind was just shot.”
Cameron added that it took him “a minute” to register the accompaniment, which is why viewers likely saw “no emotion” on his face during the season 2 finale.
“I’m not even in my own body anymore,” he said. “I’m just kind of checked out, just hoping to survive. It isn’t until they come up and give us a hug or whatever, that I’m like, ‘Oh wait, I actually passed and did this thing.’ And then I think the whole sense of joy and relief comes. I got so much more energy after that.”
While the recruits enter Special Forces as individuals, they’re often faced with group tasks and find themselves turning to each other for strength throughout the process. Tyler in particular was noticed by his fellow castmates as a leader and massive team player — something the reality star said he learned to be early on in life.
“It is almost like you’re just pulling for people to get past points that we’ve never been to before,” he explained to Us. “And I think when you go through something like we’ve gone through, it brings you together and builds a bond. That’s one thing I love about football. We’d be up at 5:30 in the morning doing crazy training, workouts, all that stuff. It created a bond because we were trying to do something that’s bigger than us.”
While Tyler was able to succeed in the arduous terrain of New Zealand, trying his hand at another round at finding love on TV seemingly still isn’t in the cards. The model, who was runner-up during Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette, revealed in August 2021 that he was asked to take up the mantle as the next Bachelor but ultimately declined.
“I wanted to see what the world has to offer me,” he said during an episode of BroBible’s “Endless Hustle” podcast. “I took a gamble on myself and took my own way. It’s worked out, I think.”