Type keyword(s) to search

Quick Hits

What ‘Scandoval’ Clues Might Be Hidden in Plain Sight in Vanderpump Rules Season 10?

We’re putting on our detective hats to get to the bottom of Raquel Leviss and Tom Sandoval’s affair.
  • Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss as the best of friends in Vanderpump Rules Season 10. (Photo: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)
    Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss as the best of friends in Vanderpump Rules Season 10. (Photo: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)

    Bombshell details about Raquel Leviss and Tom Sandoval’s monthslong affair have left Vanderpump Rules fans questioning everything they know. Even those directly involved in the show are having trouble coping — Andy Cohen is already encouraging Lisa Vanderpump to get a pacemaker for the Season 10 reunion episodes. And there’s still a long way to go before the show itself is able to address the incident head-on.

    Even though Bravo won’t be providing answers for months (production is still underway), we can still look for clues in upcoming episodes of Season 10. It’s already upsetting to look back on the March 1 episode, which aired before all hell broke loose. Ariana Madix coolly saying to Leviss “I didn’t know you had it in you” after Leviss tried to make out with Tom Schwartz now reeks of dramatic irony.

    There’s been no shortage of Instagram posts, TikToks, and Reddit threads devoted to detailing the torrid affair, now being called the “Scandoval.” With those tidbits in mind, we’re going to look at the rest of the season with the eyes of a detective. What clues were the producers, who may have known all along, trying to send us? What evidence was hidden in plain sight? Just how sloppy were these two in keeping things a secret? Here are some clues — and red flags — we’ll be looking for as Season 10 unfolds.

    Lightning bolt necklaces

    One theory is that Leviss and Sandoval wear matching lightning bolt necklaces as a way to signal their love to each other in public. At the very least, they’ve frequently been spotted wearing them. But when exactly did the alleged signaling start?

    We know that Vanderpump Rules typically films in the summer, and Season 10 in particular features Scheana Shay’s wedding, which was held in late August 2022. Reports indicate that Leviss and Sandoval have been together for at least six months, putting the start of their relationship around that late August/early September date. If we spot the matching necklaces on camera, that could confirm the exact start of the relationship, which could easily have been earlier than we thought.

    The makings of elaborate costumes

    One of the most detailed Reddit posts making the rounds notes that Leviss and Sandoval would wear full disguises to go on dates. These looks would have to be pretty elaborate to not only pull one over on fans and paparazzi who might recognize them, but the many coworkers, friends, and other industry folks who they interact with every day. Of course they could always leave West Hollywood or the Valley if they really wanted to be discreet, but who has the time in Los Angeles traffic?

    We already know that Sandoval loves a costume — one of the biggest clues dug up on social media giving away his affair was his Raquel Leviss costume that he wore for Halloween 2022. But based on the number of times we’ve seen him in drag, as an old man, or made up as a vampire Maleficent, it would almost be more strange to see him out and about with no flair at all. His “elaborate costume” material may just be the most norm-core, boring clothes.

    Leviss, on the other hand, rarely changes her look. If there are signs that she’s starting to get more into wigs, masks, intricate costumes, or face-altering makeup styles, we’ll know why.

    The beginning (and end) of Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss’ friendship

    Before the news of the affair broke, this season was being teed up to be about these women all being single together, forging a friendship without the men in their lives creating drama. Katie Maloney is getting over her divorce from Schwartz, Lala Kent is dealing with her ex-fiancé (and the father of her child) cheating on her, and Leviss is recovering from her broken engagement to James Kennedy.

    In past years, there’s no way that Leviss would be brought into this group. For multiple seasons, Madix was her only ally, sticking up for her against Kent and Maloney, encouraging them to include Leviss in their “girls only” activities. Already this season, Madix has made sure to bring Leviss into the fold for a girls trip being planned by Maloney, even after Leviss admitted to having a crush on Maloney’s ex.

    Was it easier for Sandoval and Leviss to spend time together because of Leviss and Madix’s friendship? Will Leviss ever show any remorse about betraying this person who always tried to make her feel welcome? What sort of on-camera kindness might we see Leviss offering Madix in return? We’ll be picking apart every scene between these two, watching as Leviss twists the knife further and further into Madix’s back.

    Raquel Leviss and Tom Schwartz’s budding romance

    Another big storyline that was teased before the season premiered was a possible relationship between Leviss and Schwartz. In fact, details about that connection first flared up in July 2022 when Schwartz went on Shay’s podcast Scheananigans to discuss his divorce from Maloney and hooking up with Leviss. We were so young and naive back then, thinking this would be the biggest bomb Season 10 of Vanderpump Rules would drop.

    So far, this season has focused heavily on a connection between the two and the drama that’s caused with Maloney. But now, there’s speculation that the entire storyline was concocted to keep Sandoval and Leviss’ real relationship under wraps. If Leviss was alone at Schwartz & Sandy’s, it was because she was there to flirt with Tom Schwartz. If the three of them were ever out alone together, it was because Schwartz had her eye on her. Knowing what we know now, we’ll be looking for the cracks in those interactions; the knowing glances between the Toms; the way that Schwartz talks about Leviss in his talking head interviews.

    Leviss has already shown she’s not the best at hiding her feelings — in Season 10, Episode 1 she broke down crying while on a date with Peter Madrigal. If she’s not really into Schwartz and just putting on an act, it shouldn’t be too hard to tell.

    Tom Sandoval’s obsession with Raquel Leviss’ happiness

    Hindsight really is 20/20. In Season 9, Sandoval spent $12,500 on Kennedy’s proposal to Leviss, a Coachella-inspired event called “R-chella.” At the time it seemed like he was just being a good friend to Kennedy, but was it really because of feelings he had for Leviss?

    From now on, every kindness Sandoval shows to Leviss will be taken with a grain of salt. Every free drink at Schwartz & Sandy’s, every time he says “Raquel is a sweet girl,” even every word of encouragement for Schwartz and Leviss to get together will look like an admission of guilt.

    We can look even more closely at the times Sandoval might think he’s not on camera, or at least not the focus, especially once the drinks start flowing. In the background of a group hang, does he put his hand on Leviss’ back? Is he leaning in to whisper, either to Leviss or Schwartz, reveling in how he’s getting away with it? In fact, how might the new episodes be re-edited to show glimpses of things that the camera crew and producers thought inconsequential before now? Vanderpump Rules Season 10 just became a completely different show.

    Vanderpump Rules airs Wednesdays at 9:00 PM ET on Bravo and streams on Peacock the next day. Join the conversation about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Vanderpump Rules, Bravo, Andy Cohen, Ariana Madix, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Lala Kent, Lisa Vanderpump, Raquel Leviss, Scheana Shay, Tom Sandoval, Tom Schwartz