From former rivals to friends? A recent photo showing The Challenge castmates Johnny Bananas and Paulie Calafiore has surfaced, creating a frenzy amongst fans.
The two were together on several seasons of MTV’s reality competition series and appeared to be at odds after their final season together.
However, photo evidence has now arrived that may show these two have set aside their differences for the greater good of reality TV.
The Challenge OGs have big celebration
Sometimes a big event will bring rival cast members together, and not just those Challenge reunion specials.
Just recently, several Challenge stars from the past, and even the present, attended the 50th birthday celebration for All Star OGs Ruthie Alcaide and Syrus Yarbrough.
Not only were they there along with their Challenge: All Stars castmates KellyAnne Judd and Beth Stolarczyk, but Spies, Lies & Allies stars Amber Borzotra and Corey Lay also stopped by.
“Last night was a whole vibe!! I’m so happy I got to connect with more of my challenge family,” the Double Agents champion shared in her Instagram photo caption.
Not only were these newer cast members at the gig but so were a few other stars who appeared ahead of Amber and Corey’s rookie seasons.
The Challenge’s Paulie and Bananas on good terms?
None other than seven-time champion himself, Johnny Bananas, and one of his newer rivals on the show, two-time finalist Paulie Calafiore, were also at the big birthday bash.
While Paulie wasn’t in the photo above with the other cast members, he appeared in a separate photo of him and Bananas smiling side-by-side.
“Gonna tell my kids this was the day Hell froze over,” Paulie wrote as he retweeted the photo.
Paulie appeared on three seasons of the show, all of which featured Johnny Bananas, and none of which Bananas won.
In his first season, Final Reckoning, Paulie and his Big Brother castmate Natalie Negrotti scored a major upset as rookies when they defeated Bananas and his teammate Tony Raines in an elimination.
Paulie and Bananas returned for the next two seasons, War of the Worlds and War of the Worlds 2. Bananas and his teammate Morgan Willett, who is now his girlfriend, made early exits that season.
In WOTW 2, Paulie was part of a big power move on Team USA as he and girlfriend Cara Maria Sorbello became part of the Tribunal with the power to vote someone into elimination. Despite Paulie giving Bananas his word that he wouldn’t say his name, Paulie and Cara voted for Bananas. Theo Campbell ultimately eliminated him.
That surprised many of Paulie and Cara’s teammates, including Jordan Wiseley, who was part of the Tribunal with them and voted differently.
It set the tone for the season, with Paulie and Cara continuing to orchestrate a major alliance to win the final. They didn’t, as Team UK’s CT Tamburello, Jordan, Dee Nguyen, and Rogan O’Connor got the win.
That was the last time Paulie and Cara appeared on a season, while Bananas returned for Total Madness, where he captured his seventh Challenge win.
Fans react to surprising photo of Challenge rivals
As one would expect, the above photo drew a variety of reactions from fans of The Challenge. Some fans couldn’t believe what they saw, almost as if there might be a Challenge multiverse in existence where variants of rival castmates can coexist.
Other fans joked that the photo wasn’t too far-fetched, as it appeared a random fan of Johnny Bananas had requested a selfie.
Other fans commented on the entertainment value of the two castmates, who some viewers may want to see return for another season of MTV’s competition series.
Speaking of them returning for another season, wouldn’t it make sense to have a season of The Challenge: Rivals III? Many fans would love to see it. Based on recent history, plenty of cast members could team up as rivals, including Paulie and Bananas.
The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.