EXCLUSIVE: Johnny Bananas on Returning to ‘The Challenge’

Johnny Bananas

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A major personality was missing on this season of MTV’s The Challenge.

Johnny Bananas is the most winningest player in the show’s history, earning seven championships and the most money out of any contestant. And his absence was noticed on this season’s Double Agents.

In a recent interview, Heavy’s Stephen McCaugherty asked Bananas if he missed being on the show. Double Agents was the first season Bananas hadn’t been a part of since Battle of the Seasons in 2012.

Bananas said he misses parts of The Challenge, however the required isolation is a lot to handle.

“I do and I don’t,” Bananas said. “I mean, the thing about The Challenge is only the best parts of the most exciting, entertaining stuff actually makes it to air. There’s the other 90% of the time we’re in that house that is just utter and complete misery, especially since they had to do this season during COVID times when they were basically really locked down.”

Bananas pointed to the fact that the Double Agents cast partied in their own isolated dome, opposed to going to local spots like other seasons.

He continued, “While I do miss obviously the competitive aspect, interacting with a lot of people that I have grown really close to over the years, there’s certain elements, the isolation, the mind-numbing really incredibly difficult game that you’re playing, on top of that.”

Bananas Said He Needed a ‘Break’ After Winning ‘Total Madness’ Last Season

In his last outing, Bananas won his seventh Challenge championship. Beating out the likes of Kyle Christie, Cory Wharton and Fessy Shafaat, Bananas came in first place out of the men on Total Madness.

And after the monumental win, Bananas took a step back from the show. “After Total Madness, I just needed a break,” Bananas said, “Because that bunker we lived in truly drove me mad.”

Bananas has enjoyed his time watching others go through the trials of competing on The Challenge for once.

“It’s been fun for the first time in a long time to be able to sit back and watch from my couch, let everybody else indulge in the misery,” Bananas said.

“For me, it’s bittersweet. Parts of it, I miss it. But then other parts, I don’t.”

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Bananas Revealed It’s Time to “Maybe Take a Step Back’ for Now, ‘Let Somebody Else Win’

Bananas was then asked if he plans on filming another season of The Challenge. The reality TV star has kept busy outside of the show hosting LXTV’s 1st Look and Celebrity Sleepover and he plans on prioritizing his growth outside of the competition show.

The Challenge is always going to be something that’s near and dear to me,” Bananas said. “It’s always going to be a part of my life and it’s always going to be something that played a very monumental and pivotal role in my life. I essentially grew up on the network MTV and The Challenge and I’ll forever be grateful for that.

“But at the same time, there’s times when you kind of have to grow up and leave never-neverland. And for now, I’m just really focused on the projects I’m working on, Celebrity Sleepover, really spreading my wings, expanding my repertoire and showing people that I’m not in fact just a banana, I’m also an onion and there’s other layers to me. I’m really enjoying right now just kind of seeing what else is out there and what else I’m able to do.”

Bananas then said that for now, it’s time to “maybe take a step back.”

“I feel like with The Challenge, I accomplished everything that a person could ever ask to accomplish, won the most Challenges, the amount of seasons that I did,” Bananas said. “So for now, I think it’s time for me to maybe take a step back, explore my other avenues and spread the love a little bit, let somebody else win, you know?”

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