Tom Schwartz Talks “Uncomfortable” Vanderpump Rules Reunion, Where He Stands With Ariana, and Jo Regrets, Plus If New Girlfriend Sophia Will Appear on Season 12 and Katie’s Hookup With Max

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Vanderpump Rules' Tom Schwartz on "Uncomfortable" Reunion, Where He Stands With Ariana, and Jo Regrets, Plus If New Girlfriend Sophia Will Appear on Season 12 and Katie's Hookup With Max

Credit: Nicole Weingart/Bravo, Instagram

Tom Schwartz claims the upcoming season 11 reunion of Vanderpump Rules was both “uncomfortable” and “raw.”

Weeks after filming the reunion, Schwartz, 40, reflected on the cast’s battles as he offered an update on his strained relationship with Ariana Madix, 38, shared the regrets he has about his whirlwind romance with Jo Wenberg, dished on new girlfriend Sophia Skoro, 23, and more.

“There was a lot of love but it was raw and people did not hold back. It was uncomfortable but just with heartfelt, just raw emotion flowing the entire time, [and] a lot of tears. Everybody cried at least once. I cried like three times,” he revealed during an April 10 interview with Access Hollywood, adding that he exited the taping “feeling sad about where [the] group” left things, citing Lala Kent‘s drama with both Ariana and Katie Maloney, 37.

As for where he stands with the cast, Schwartz said, “I’m on pretty good terms with everybody, except Ariana. That’s a work in progress.”

Looking back at season 11, Schwartz confirmed he had several regrets.

“I wish I would’ve maybe had a stronger voice,” he explained. “I did not thrive under pressure but I think I’m probably a better, stronger person because of it.”

As Pump Rules fans may know, Schwartz’s father and brother were in the hospital, and his other brother was dealt with a cancer diagnosis amid production, which made the season particularly challenging.

Schwartz also wishes he had communicated better with Jo when it came to the reason he pulled away.

“For a while there, it really felt right. I don’t know if it was a situationship but I think that I had my guard up a little bit coming out of a 13-year relationship and still reeling from the trauma of going back and forth across the country and all of the sudden being kind of like the patriarch of my family and just dealing with all these medical emergency, [and] the unrelenting financial pressure of [Schwartz & Sandy’s],” he shared.

“I just didn’t feel like I was in a good place to be in a relationship and I communicated that but at times, I will acknowledge that it got blurred because it felt right and we did have fun together,” he continued.

These days, Schwartz said he and Jo talk “here and there” and that he’s “always rooting for her,” although they are currently dating other people.

“I’m happy. It’s kind of new and exciting. I kind of feel at peace for the first time in a long time and it’s been really pleasant,” Schwartz gushed of his new romance. “She’s a marketing manager and strategist and she also has a vintage clothing store and she’s just really f-ing cool. She’s so charismatic and clever and like, kind of unconventionally funny. She’s way cooler than me … She’s just a bada** human being.”

According to Schwartz, he’s hopeful that Sophia will be featured on Pump Rules season 12 — if there is one.

“I would love if she filmed. Of course, I’ll give her all the disclaimers because it can be intense. If you’ve never done television before, having your life, your emotions put on display for others to judge can be terrifying and it’s not for everyone,” he noted. “When you’re in the trenches … It’s like, gut-wrenching and soul-sucking and it’s really hard to relive.”

While only time will tell whether Sophia joins the series, she has met the cast.

“She’s met a lot of em, she’s met [Jax Taylor], [Brittany Cartwright], she’s met [Tom Sandoval], [Scheana Shay], she’s met some of em, but she gets along great with everybody,” Schwartz revealed. “That’s like one of my favorite things about her, I introduce her to people, she’s just so genuine and instantly makes connections with people. She’s very gregarious.”

Although he and his ex-wife, Katie, suffered a falling out after their split due to his Mexico kiss with Rachel “Raquel” Leviss, 29, Schwartz said they are “far better” now.

“I think it’s a delightful, love-hate dynamic. But facetiously,” he shared. “It’s nice. I feel like we have a playful little banter and there’s no illusions of us getting back together. There are clearly defined boundaries so it makes it easy to navigate life after the divorce.”

It was even easy for Schwartz to get past Katie’s hookup with his best friend, Max Boyens, although he did admit it was quite the “plot twist.”

“It did strike me as weird but it felt very inconsequential and honestly, I was so happy to be on good terms with Katie again I didn’t want to bust her balls too much,” he reasoned.”Max apologized right away. We’re cool. Katie didn’t apologize. She was like, ‘I did it so deal with it, b*tch.’”

Years after Schwartz and Katie announced their split, Jax, 44, and Brittany, 35, confirmed their separation. And, while part of Schwartz hopes they reconcile, another part of him is a “divorce champion.”

“It’s not that sad to me. I think it’s much sadder when people stay together who are unhappy,” he explained, noting that Jax and Brittany’s split was “a long time coming.”

“Part of me thinks they’re at the point of no return,” he added.

As Jax and Brittany’s relationship issues continue to play out on The Valley, Schwartz said he’s happily tuning in.

“I love The Valley because I know all those people. I hang out with all those people. They’re my friends so it’s yummy to watch, it’s salacious,” he described. “I think it’s juicy and wonderful and I can’t wait to watch more.”

Also during the interview, Schwartz declared that he is over “Scandoval.”

“Just hearing that word, A, it’s slightly triggering, but B, it gives me brain rot. It’s like a bloom of brain fog. Everyone’s over it,” he stated. “I understand that. Luckily, I think the second half of the season is less that. There’s some fun, lighthearted stuff.

Vanderpump Rules season 11 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.