When it comes to The Challenge, no competitor has enjoyed more appearances, screen time, wins, or earnings than Johnny Devenanzio.
Better known as Johnny Bananas, or simply Bananas, he’s been a mainstay over the many seasons of MTV’s competition show.
With the recent conclusion of Total Madness, many fans are wondering: Is Johnny Bananas quitting The Challenge?
Keep in mind that this article contains spoilers for MTV’s The Challenge: Total Madness.
Bananas’ impressive run on The Challenge
Bananas originally got his MTV start on The Real World: Key West back in February of 2006. Since then, he’s appeared on 20 seasons of MTV’s The Challenge.
Ahead of Total Madness, he had six wins on the competition show. They included The Island, The Ruins, Rivals, Battle of the Exes, Free Agents, and Rivals III.
He’d go on six shows without a win heading into Season 35, aka Total Madness.
On the recent finale of The Challenge: Total Madness, Johnny Bananas finally captured yet another win in his legendary career. Some would say that gives him G.O.A.T. status.
He was able to outlast male competitors Cory, Kyle, and Fessy, after ousting Rogan from the final in an elimination.
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Curses were made to be broken ??????? • #KingOfTheRings ? E-Studios #IamTheChallenge #thechallenge35
The finalists split one million dollars between two winners as Jenny won for the females and Johnny Bananas won for the men.
So that brought Johnny Bananas a sweet $500,000 in prize money, which reportedly pushed his total past the all-time Challenge earnings leader, Ashley. The Challenge Wiki estimates Bananas has won a total of $1,184,720.
His latest win also seemingly broke a curse, since Bananas had been winless for some time. Now it’s raising questions about whether he’s ready to ride off into the sunset as the best ever.
Is Johnny Bananas done with The Challenge?
In terms of Johnny Bananas being cursed, some feel he put that bad karma in motion with his Rivals III win based on the twist it involved.
At the final, TJ told the winning team of Bananas and Sarah that the partner with the better time could decide to split the prize money or keep it all themselves. That decisionmaker was Johnny.
Bananas kept it all, which devastated Sarah and made him a reality TV villain in the minds of many fans. Some also believe it set a curse in motion, which had him winless until Total Madness.
During his recent interview for Chicks in the Office podcast, Johnny said that walking away now could make plenty of sense.
“I’m not gonna sit here and say like, you know, I’m 100 percent hanging it up cause I’m not the type of person to do that, but if there ever was a time for me to kind of like walk away from The Challenge, there wouldn’t be a better and brighter note to do it on,” Bananas said.
I'm not crying… You're crying ??? @BarstoolRia @BarstoolFran @ChicksInTheOff @ChallengeMTV
(FULL INTERVIEW)? https://t.co/K4FVVXMfrH pic.twitter.com/1GIGYiDsNh
— Johnny Bananas (@johnnybananas) July 16, 2020
According to Variety’s report, Devenanzio said that the latest season of The Challenge involved “miserable” conditions and “really did a number” on all of the competitors in that underground bunker.
“The mental and physical anguish that I went through this season, to make it this far and to not pull it through, I just don’t know if I would have ever been able to shake that — to get past that and to be able to do it again,” Bananas told Variety.
Bananas also admitted that he was able to play the game a certain way for a while, but now he’s become the guy to get rid of. He also noted that age is a factor in his competing, and he trains differently, but also uses strategy more in how he plays.
In addition to all that, he’s been involved with other projects, including hosting shows like Ex On The Beach or appearing on shows like Ridiculousness or American Dad.
That said, Johnny Bananas has made no official retirement announcement, and he’s become one of the most iconic figures on MTV’s The Challenge. It’s possible the upcoming reunion show could give further insight.
However, until the man himself says he’s hanging up his jersey, don’t count Bananas out of coming back to the show that has built his legend.
MTV’s The Challenge airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.