As the Super Bowl commercials arrived this past Sunday, viewers saw many celebrities pop up in the various ads including Jim Carrey, Zendaya, Mike Myers, Kevin Hart, Scarlett Johansson, and Pete Davidson.
The Challenge was also represented as many fans spotted a familiar face in one of the ads, believing it was a former star of The Real World and MTV’s competition series.
It’s since been confirmed that a Rakuten ad, which also featured one of the stars of Apple TV’s Ted Lasso, featured former Challenge winner Johanna Botta.
The Challenge winner appears in Super Bowl ad
Super Bowl 56 featured the Cincinnati Bengals against the Los Angeles Rams and a halftime performance with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige.
While many viewers enjoyed those aspects of the presentation, others enjoyed seeing the various commercials. This year’s ads include Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek as Greek Gods, Mike Myers as Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, and Jim Carrey reprising his Cable Guy role.
A commercial for Rakuten featured Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham as the main star. Waddingham is shown playing a high-stakes game at the casino, and seated across from her is former Real World and Challenge star Johanna Botta.
At the table, Waddingham’s character bets various items, including a pair of fancy shoes, a robot vacuum, and an HD television.
Johanna continues to match her item for item. Once they get to the TV, she raises her by all the cash she got back from buying the items using the Rakuten service. Check out the entire ad via Rakuten’s YouTube video below.
Fans reacted to seeing Real World and Challenge star
Once the advertisement aired during Sunday night’s Super Bowl, more than a few fans who recognized Johanna took to Twitter to share the sighting.
“Uhhh did I just see Johanna from Real World Austin in a super bowl commercial? That was random lol,” a fan commented in their tweet.
“WAIT. What was that Johanna Botta in a Super Bowl commercial? Queen of being booked and busy,” another individual tweeted.
In another tweet, a person said they reacted the same to seeing Johanna in a Super Bowl ad to seeing certain characters appear in a Marvel trailer during the game.
Another fan tweeted at Challenge OG Derrick Kosinski to see if Johanna was in the ad, and Derrick seemed to verify their finding.
Who is Johanna Botta from The Challenge?
Johanna Botta, 38, originally debuted on MTV’s The Real World: Austin in 2005. Her castmates included Wes Bergmann, Nehemiah Clark, Melinda Stolp, Danny Jamieson, Lacey Buehler, and Rachel Moyal.
After her RW season, Johanna would go on to join The Challenge. Her rookie season was Fresh Meat in 2006, where she teamed up with Jesse Stark. They were eliminated in Episode 6 by Johanna’s RW castmate Wes and his teammate Casey Cooper.
Johanna returned for The Gauntlet III, which was filmed in 2007 and aired in 2008. She was amongst the season winners with RW castmates Nehemiah and Rachel, as well as Tori Hall, Frank Roessler, Jillian Zoboroski.
After that, she appeared in two more seasons of the show with The Island and The Ruins but failed to reach the final in either season. Her Challenge career earnings are $50,000 after four seasons on the show.
She also appeared in an interview on Mike Lewis Podcast just over a year ago, where she gave updates about what she’s been up to since leaving The Challenge. She’s been living in London, where her commercial co-star Hannah Waddingham is from.
During her chat with Mike Lewis, Johanna also explained that she’s been working as a freelance TV host for various shows, including financial news or entertainment. In addition, she said she also does commercials, which she’s “always done.”
Who knew that just over a year later, she’d pop up on millions of television screens as part of a Super Bowl commercial?