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‘Vanderpump Rules’ Loses 2023 Creative Arts Emmys Award to Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Welcome to Wrexham’

Vanderpump Rules received a top honor at the second night of the 2023 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, but the show lost the Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program category to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s Welcome to Wrexham at the Sunday, January 7, ceremony.

The Bravo series was not only pitted against the FX show, but was up against Selling Sunset, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked and Indian Matchmaking in the category.

Welcome to Wrexham came out victorious for its second season, winning in this particular category and taking home the Outstanding Directing for a Reality Program and Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program awards as well.

Reyonds and McElhenney are the cochairmen of the Wrexham AFC team in Wales, and since 2022, they’ve been documenting the trials and tribulations of the soccer team as they attempt (and eventually succeed) to get promoted out of their low-level league.

Vanderpump Rules, on the other hand, was nominated following its most explosive season ever where fans saw Scandoval play out. Filming for season 10 had already concluded when Ariana Madix discovered in March 2023 that her longtime boyfriend, Tom Sandoval, was cheating on her with their friend Raquel Leviss. Cameras returned to capture the fallout of Madix, 38, and Sandoval’s breakup and his affair with Leviss, 29.

Leviss ultimately decided to exit Vanderpump Rules ahead of season 11. She later explained her reasoning for pursuing a relationship with Sandoval, 40.

‘Vanderpump Rules’ Wins Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program at 2023 Creative Arts Emmys
Katie Maloney, Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval, Lisa Vanderpump, James Kennedy, Lala Kent, Tom Schwartz, Scheana Shay. Gizelle Hernandez/Bravo

Related: Everything to Know About 'Pump Rules' Season 11

“I felt seen and heard by him. I haven’t really had that connection with other people in the cast, nor people in my real life,” Leviss said during an August 2023 episode of Bethenny Frankel’s “Just B” podcast. “I was filming in a tumultuous environment. I was needing some validation and somebody to hear what I was going through. Here comes along Tom who really gave me that time of day to share my side of the story in a non-judgment zone. That’s exactly what I needed in that moment.”

‘Vanderpump Rules’ Wins Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program at 2023 Creative Arts Emmys
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Sandoval, for his part, claimed in December 2023 that he “fought so hard” for Leviss, giving up drinking and smoking once she checked into a mental health facility. Still, their romance fizzled soon after the scandal broke.

Vanderpump Rules Loses 2023 Emmy to Ryan Reynolds Welcome to Wrexham

“We were best friends. It’s heartbreaking to go through,” he said of their split on the “Two Ts in a Pod” podcast. “I was fully in love with her.”

Upon reflection, Sandoval acknowledged that he “doesn’t know” whether Leviss truly loved him or just wanted fame. “I hope she did [love me],” he noted, adding that he was hurt when she “just shooed me away” amid the ordeal.

Vanderpump Rules Where Are They Now

Related: ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Cast: Then and Now

Sandoval admitted that his feelings got the better of him. “You get caught up. You get lost in your emotions,” he continued. “Love makes you do really stupid things. Throw logic out the window and that’s exactly what happened.”

As for Madix, she weathered her breakup from Sandoval and embraced the new chapter in her life. “This situation made me realize that I can do hard things,” she told Us Weekly in October 2023. “The worst-case scenario literally did happen, and I was OK. Like, look — you can handle what’s thrown at you.”

Of the series’ renewed success following Scandoval, she said, “I know it’s a show, and it’s very entertaining, and I’m happy about that, but it’s also my real life. Sometimes that line is blurred, but of course, I want the show to do well.”

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