Arguably the biggest rivalry in the history of The Challenge is between longtime competitors Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio and Wes Bergmann, and they’re part of the cast for this season’s Total Madness. Collectively, Bananas and Wes have participated in 33 seasons of the show, with Bananas at 20 and Wes at 13.
Both men have been staples of the show for over a decade, and in virtually every season they’ve been on together, they have tried to take each other out of the game.
The first time that they were on The Challenge together was during The Duel, which aired from October 2006 until January 2007. This was Bananas’ first show, fresh off of The Real World: Key West, and it was Wes’ second season of The Challenge — he took part in the season before, Fresh Meat, and came in third place.
The two had a completely different season as Bananas was the first male eliminated from The Duel and Wes won the entire show. Even though they were on that season together, their rivalry did not blossom until their second season with each other, The Ruins.
Their Feud Began During 2009’s The Ruins
2009’s The Ruins was the true birth of the feud between Wes and Bananas. Taking place a couple of years after The Duel, this was Wes and Johnny’s second season together, but it went entirely different than their first show.
Bananas came into the house with two of his best friends, Evan Starkman and Kenny Santucci, and they were placed on the “Champions” team with Wes.
In the first challenge of the season, Wes tried to make the “Champions” team lose by trying to throw it. He wasn’t successful, and Wes cemented himself as public enemy number one on his team, especially with Bananas, Kenny and Evan.
The feud between Bananas and Wes got so intense that Wes got in Bananas’ face multiple times, calling him a “b**ch” and saying, “I can’t wait to beat the s**t out of you.” Wes was thrown into The Ruins three times by the Johnny, Kenny and Evan alliance, and he ultimately lost in his third elimination against Cohutta Grindstaff. Bananas went on to win the show and his third Challenge championship.
The disdain between Bananas and Wes was mostly fueled by Kenny. Kenny and Bananas were good friends on The Challenge, and remain close to this day. The season before The Ruins, on The Island, Kenny hooked up with Wes’ ex-fiance Johanna Botta, which created a rift between the two men.
Johanna was on The Ruins and she was a part of the Champions team with both Wes and Kenny, which furthered the divide between Wes and the group. Because Johnny and Kenny are such good friends, Bananas was on Kenny’s side of the feud.
Here is a video by MTV that shows off the timeline behind the Wes and Bananas feud:
Wes & Bananas Have Gunned for Each Other Almost Every Season Since
Since their second season together on The Ruins, Wes and Bananas have done eight seasons together, including Total Madness. They did Rivals, Battle of the Exes, Rivals II, Battle of the Exes II, Rivals III, War of the Worlds and War of the Worlds 2 together.
They also filmed two Challenge spinoff shows together, Champs vs. Pros and Champs vs. Stars 2017.
The two went on to Rivals, but they weren’t paired up. At this point in The Challenge, Wes’ rivalry with Kenny surpassed his with Bananas, so Wes was teamed up with Kenny and Bananas was teamed up with his Real World: Key West castmate Tyler Duckworth.
Bananas and Wes were forced to work together in an alliance because of Kenny and Johnny’s relationship, but before the final elimination of the show, Wes was able to get Johnny and Tyler sent into the elimination instead of him and Kenny. It was a move that really upset Bananas and added even more tension to their relationship.
Johnny would end up with the last laugh on Rivals, however, as he and Tyler won the elimination round against CT Tamburello and Adam King. They then went on to win the season, and Wes and Kenny took second place.
That was the last time Wes and Bananas ever worked with each other on The Challenge.
They have each gotten the upper hand on different seasons. Wes was eliminated early in Battle of the Exes, and Bananas won the season. Wes came back and beat Bananas in their next season together, Rivals 2. Wes won the entire show, along with CT, and Bananas came in second place with his partner Frank Sweeney.
Bananas and Wes then saw each other again in Battle of the Exes II, and Wes orchestrated a move that got Bananas sent into elimination and ultimately sent him packing. However, unknown to the Challengers, there was a redemption house and Johnny won himself back into the game near the end of the season. Wes almost made it to the finals with his partner Theresa Gonzalez but they were eliminated after Bananas came back into the house.
Rivals III had Wes and Bananas going at it again with Johnny throwing him and Wes’ partner Nany Gonzalez into elimination multiple times until they were eventually eliminated by Dario Medrano and Nicole Ramos. Bananas went on to win the season with his partner Sarah Rice Patterson — this was the season that Johnny took the entire grand prize and left Sarah with nothing.
In the last two seasons before Total Madness, Wes and Johnny went toe-to-toe politically during War of the Worlds and War of the Worlds 2. Wes got the best of Bananas in War of the Worlds, throwing him into elimination. Bananas lost that elimination and Wes went on to win third place that season.
In last season’s War of the Worlds 2, both men were eliminated early, but Bananas was on the winning end between the two. Along with Laurel Stucky and Josh Martinez, Bananas got Wes thrown into elimination during the third episode, and he was taken out by Stephen Bear. Then, two episodes later, Bananas was put into elimination against Theo Campbell and he was sent home as well.
If history repeats itself, when Wes and Bananas walk into The Challenge: Total Madness house on April 1, their rivalry will pick up where it left off.