Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio has been much more involved in “The Challenge” world during this season of “Spies, Lies and Allies” compared to last season, mostly due to his new podcast breaking down each episode, “Death, Taxes and Bananas.” The seven-time champ has been taking an extended break from the show after winning “Total Madness” over a year ago.
In addition to his own podcast on The Ringer network, Bananas recently appeared on Scott Yager and Derrick Kosinski’s “Challenge Mania” podcast and spoke about the latest season. They discussed that the ratings for the current season have dropped and Bananas interjected, “That’s putting it nicely” and joked that they’re in the toilet.
The “Real World” star then explored why he believes the ratings have been poor and what he thinks are the issues with the season.
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Bananas Said He Thinks the Current ‘Challenge’ Has Moved Away From Its Simple Roots & Has Too Many Rookies
Bananas joked that he would probably get in trouble for saying it but told Scott and Derrick, “‘The Challenge’ is going the way of the buffalo, my friend. It’s making a rapid descent towards extinction and it’s somewhat painful to watch.” He said one of the main reasons the show has been so successful in the past is because it’s a “simple concept.”
“It’s so easy,” he explained. He said in the past, the cast would show up and received the rules of the game. “You’re paired up with a rival, you’re with an ex, you’re a good guy or a bad a** or whatever, easy to understand. The format was easy even if you never watched the show before… I feel like what they’ve done is now they’ve gotten away from that and now everything’s a twist. Every five seconds, here’s a twist,” and said they have less of a shock value now.
He said on top of the twists, there’s now an “influx of rookies” that fans don’t know at all. “I get what they’re trying to do, they’re trying to expand the brand globally,” he added, “but I think the mistake they’re making is like, ‘The Challenge’ fans, the fandom… who have followed us and watched us grow up through the years they don’t want to meet new people.”
He said he understands the show needs to get new people on the show to thrive long-term but that he thinks it’s “too much too quick.” Bananas added that he doesn’t want to just speak negatively about the show: “I don’t want it to go away,” he explained. “I look at ‘The Challenge’ like a family and like my kids. I spent a decade and a half of my life putting sweat toil and tears into this and I wanna see it be successful.”
Bananas Also Spoke With Wes About the Veteran Alliance & Wes Called Them ‘F****** Idiots’
After the third episode of the season, Bananas welcomed his former rival, Wes Bergmann, to the “Death, Taxes and Bananas” podcast and the two discussed the ongoing season, with both calling out the veteran players competing. Bananas asked Wes what he thought about the vet strategy of going after only rookies and forming the infamous “veteran alliance.”
Wes told his co-star that the strategy is a “brilliant” one but then slammed the vets. “I think that they’re all idiots. They’re running around with facial expressions as if they had invented something that had never been done or used before.” He added, “You f****** idiots. We have been trying to explain this to you for the last five years that this is how the game is supposed to be played. But you narcissistic ego, attention-seeking people just have to deviate from that plan to get clout.”
Wes said the veterans shouldn’t have taken so long to figure out that strategy, which is what the OG stars of the show have been doing for many seasons before the current veterans joined the game. Bananas agreed and said they shouldn’t be bragging so much about their strategy. “Act like you’ve been here before,” he said. “I’ve always said this. When you execute the perfect move or the perfect strategy, you kind of keep it to yourself.”
“The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” airs on MTV on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times.