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Right as Tom Sandoval, 37, and Ariana Madix, 35, hopped on for an EXCLUSIVE interview on HollywoodLife TVTalk, the news broke: their co-stars Jax Taylor, 41, and Brittany Cartwright, 31, were leaving Vanderpump Rules. Jax made the “difficult” announcement via Instagram on Friday evening, Dec. 4, and Tom and Ariana were not given a heads up about their longtime friends’ departures.
“We saw [the news] literally right as I was about to click on [HollywoodLife’s] page. But we don’t — We know as much as you,” Ariana confessed during the live interview, while she and Tom were in the middle of demonstrating how to make the perfect holiday cocktail as they celebrated the one-year anniversary of their Fancy AF Cocktails book. Tom looked just as surprised, adding that they had “no idea.” Jax has been starring on Vanderpump Ruleswith Tom and Ariana since 2013, so this was sudden news to take in (Brittany started appearing on the Bravo show in Season 4).
Ariana stressed that they really had no clue Jax was going to drop such a big announcement. “Literally, as I was about to click on your page I was like, ‘Oh, [Jax and Brittany are] going live,’ saw it, and that’s it. So we’re here. We don’t know. We have no inside. We’re out of the loop…but yeah, crazy,” she continued.
“We had no idea!,” Tom said again, reiterating his surprise. Ariana aded, “You know more than we do.” To lighten the mood, Tom then grabbed one of the ingredients in the middle of their kitchen demonstration and exclaimed, “At least we’re making a cocktail!”
With such candid reactions, Tom and Ariana agreed that they were just as shocked as fans over the news of Jax and Brittany’s exits. “I’m one of those people where it takes a long time to process things,” Ariana admitted. With that said, she added, “Get back to me next week!”
Jax, who had starred on the show for eight seasons, did not reveal why he and Brittany were leaving. A Bravo spokesperson did, however, confirm with HollywoodLife that “Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright will not be returning to Vanderpump Rules.” The news arrived half a year after Ariana and Tom’s other co-stars, Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, were fired from the show after various controversies.
Besides chatting about this latest shake-up in the Vanderpump Rules cast, Tom and Ariana were also excited to promote their new partnership with Gardenuity while making cocktails with HollywoodLife. Gardenuity allows you to send and receive customizable garden kits, which led to the creation of the $89 Fancy AF Cocktail Garden kit that includes Tom and Ariana’s cocktail recipe book, a complete Cocktail Garden, and a new original cocktail recipe from Ariana and Tom. You’ll be drinking for a good cause, too: Gardenuity is donating $5 to Open for Good, a campaign from the James Beard Foundation that’s aiding restaurants affected in the global pandemic, for every purchase made.