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The Challenge: Johnny Bananas on Sarah Rivals III decision, why most Big Brother stars don’t do well

johnny bananas on the challenge rivals iii
Johnny Bananas was part of an infamous moment on The Challenge: Rivals III. Pic credit: MTV

Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio is synonymous with The Challenge, as he’s appeared on a total of 20 seasons and two spinoffs.

He’s considered the G.O.A.T., having won seven times and accumulating the most prize money of all contestants. Bananas is also famous for taking advantage of a major twist in a final to rob his partner of any prize money.

During a recent podcast interview, Bananas talked about that iconic moment in reality TV history involving his partner Sarah and Rivals III.

He also discussed how the show has changed since its early days and why he thinks Big Brother stars don’t do so well on The Challenge.

Bananas recalls the iconic moment with Sarah

Johnny Bananas discussed many topics during a recent appearance on the Off Brand with Nema Vand podcast. During the episode, his iconic moment in Challenge history was brought up.

On Rivals III, male-female partners competed together all the way into the final. Each of the final three pairs was going to win some amount of prize money. Each pairing’s competitor with a better overall time or score could split the money with their partner or keep it all to themself.

The other two male competitors opted to split their winnings with their female partners. Johnny Bananas famously revealed he was keeping the entire first-place jackpot for himself, leaving his partner Sarah with zilch.

As far as deciding to take all the money and leave Sarah penniless, Bananas was quite clear that he knew he’d seize that opportunity for revenge once it arrived.

“It wasn’t even push comes to shove. It was when I had the ability to shove, she’s going off the mountain,” Bananas told Nema Vand.

Johnny brought up how he was part of an alliance with Sarah all season on a previous Challenge, and she betrayed him by nominating him for elimination.

He then recalled how they had that first-time-ever twist on Rivals III.

“I think to this day the only reason they threw that twist in there was because we were partners,” Bananas mentioned.

He said it appeared that he and Sarah had patched things up. However, with the twist, no matter which way it went, the producers and viewers won.

“Either he gets his revenge, or she f**ks him over again, it’s a win-win,” Johnny said of the iconic twist, realizing production set it up to make entertaining reality TV.

Johnny on why most Big Brother stars aren’t great at The Challenge

During the podcast, Johnny also talked about how The Challenge has changed since his early days when it was just Real World and Road Rules stars. Now it has evolved into a hodgepodge of contestants from a variety of shows.

That includes stars from other reality TV shows such as Love Island, Survivor, and Big Brother. Johnny talked about why the newer stars may not fare so well as Challenge competitors.

He called contestants from dating shows “one-trick ponies,” mentioning they come from a show that’s all about partying and hooking up.

“Then you have Big Brother who I think are better as far as the gameplay is concerned,” Johnny said.

“The thing about Big Brother, and this is why a lot of Big Brother players who come and do The Challenge aren’t great at it…Big Brother is about keeping secrets, about never talking, and listening. The Challenge isn’t like that. The Challenge is about being manipulative, and it’s about discussing your ideas and your politics out there,” he added.

Johnny went on to bring up the fact that Big Brother also has live feeds, and players on that show are worried about what they say 24-7.

Bananas joked, “If they had live feeds on The Challenge, talk about cancel culture.”

Check out spoilers for Season 36 cast to see which shows will have competitors on The Challenge.

The Challenge is currently on hiatus on MTV.

Matt Couden is a freelance writer for over 10 years. Matt enjoys publishing mostly about the things he loves — entertainment, sports news, and video... read more
Matt Couden


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