Gareth Gates was the sole celebrity to pass the course on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins (Picture: Pete Dadds/Channel 4/PA)
The 39-year-old, who found fame on TV talent show Pop Idol, made it to the final of the military-style series alongside former health secretary Matt Hancock, TV personality Danielle Lloyd, Olympic track and field athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton and Love Island star Teddy Soares.
However, Hancock fell at the final hurdle when the directing staff decided he ultimately was not the person they would want standing next to them in the real-life situation they had manufactured on the show.
In Sunday’s finale of the Channel 4 programme, the last five competitors took part in a resistance to interrogation challenge, a key stage of SAS selection.
They were subjected to punishing interrogation techniques by a specialist team, including being held in extreme stress positions, while using a cover story that they were working for an animal welfare project, named the Asian Saola Survey, to hide their true mission.
This was when the disgraced MP had the chance to shine, dealing with the high pressure of the situation and being praised for his ability to lie.
Singer Gareth Gates, former health secretary Matt Hancock, Olympic track and field athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton, TV personality Danielle Lloyd and Love Island star Teddy Soares made the final five on the show (Picture: Pete Dadds/Channel 4/PA)
He created an elaborate backstory which prompted the umpire to say: ‘The reality of it is he’s really good at lying.’
Discussing the interrogation, the West Suffolk MP said in a piece to camera: ‘Interrogation is something that is just part and parcel of my day job.
‘And maybe I will come completely unstuck but I’ve been interrogated in the most aggressive way by people being totally unreasonable. Have you met Piers Morgan?’
However, the MP was later restrained in an extreme stress position for his ‘arrogance’ to the interrogator.
Gates maintained his story during his grilling, with the onlooking interrogation umpire saying: ‘He buys time well, he’s very considered, he’s genuinely an individual that’s quite difficult to get upset with.’
Hancock’s ability to lie was noted during the interrogation challenge, but her was also punished for his ‘arrogance’ (Picture: Pete Dadds/Channel 4/PA)
In a piece to camera, the singer revealed: ‘Whenever I’m feeling in a dark place, I just always think of my beautiful daughter’s face, smiling at me saying “You can do this daddy”. And I think that’s going to be my main source of inspiration.’
Soares broke his cover story early though, and told them he was with the British Special Forces, which resulted in him failing the challenge.
Hancock and Shakes-Drayton were further tested with the MP made to pour a buck of ice cold water over the former Olympic athlete’s head.
The treatment broke Shakes-Drayton who confessed what their true mission was, prompting Hancock to also agree, and she was later removed from the course.
Interrogator Dilksy also told Hancock that he had wound him up with his lies as a bucket of ice water was poured over him, adding: ‘You f***ing look down your nose at people like me with contempt. You’ve got no f***ing power here, my pedigree chum.’
Gates, Hancock and Lloyd made the final three (Picture: Pete Dadds/Channel 4/PA)
Lloyd and Gates also had to experience the ice bucket treatment, which caused the TV star to break, but their performances were praised by the interrogators.
The remaining trio of contestants – Gates, Lloyd and Hancock – then faced one final test of endurance, which was designed to replicate combat under fire.
While wearing their full kits, they had to drag tyres and carry logs through swampy waters before carrying jerry cans up a barren road.
For the final part of the task, each recruit had to hang from a bar suspended in the air for as long as they could.
The disgraced MP hung on to a bar in midair for just over a minute in the final challenge (Picture: Channel 4)
Lloyd immediately dropped while Hancock held on for one minute and 10 seconds and Gates managed one minute and 20 seconds.
While he was suspended, Gates, who was runner-up to Will Young on Pop Idol in 2002, could be heard saying in a piece to camera: ‘When I was a 17-year-old boy, I entered a TV talent show. I made the final but didn’t win.
‘It was hard at the time. But 20 years on I wanted to prove to myself that I am strong and I can make it right down to the end and hopefully even win.’
As the directing staff consulted on who they would pass, they said Gates had ‘pretty much passed virtually everything’ on the course and had remained a ‘frontrunner’ and ‘stoic’ from the beginning.
The singer was congratulated by his competitors as he was passed selection (Picture: Channel 4)
Gates thought of his daughter to spur him on during the course, he revealed (Picture: Pete Dadds/Channel 4)
They also praised Lloyd’s ‘great character’ and ‘determination’ but noted that she was not ‘physically strong enough’ while they thought Hancock had ‘succeeded at most tasks’ and ‘outworked many of the people on the course’.
After they announced Gates had successfully passed, he appeared overwhelmed with emotion and thanked the directing staff before his fellow contestants rushed to congratulate him.
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins is available to stream now on Channel 4’s catch-up service.
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Hancock’s ability to lie was praised, but Gates impressed the DS the most overall.