A new season of The Challenge is about to begin but this season it will be without one very familiar face: that of Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, who is fresh off his seventh victory on last season’s Total Madness. It appears the champ has decided to take a season off after appearing on a total of 20 seasons, including the last 12 seasons in a row, since his debut on The Duel in 2006.
Many are wondering, however, if Devenanzio is simply taking a season off or if he’s retired from his Challenge career. Luckily for his fans, Bananas has not made an official retirement announcement and said he’s “just getting warmed up” after his Total Madness win on the Us Weekly podcast.
Devenanzio is currently in Hawaii with his girlfriend Morgan Willett and has been posting photos of his adventures on the road to his 779,000 Instagram followers:
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Devenanzio Said He Thought About Retiring Immediately After His Last Win But After Reflecting on His Season Decided to Continue Competing
Devenanzio, 38, appeared on Us Weekly’s Watch With Us podcast after his Total Madness win and said as soon as the season was over, he considered retiring from the long-running MTV show. “I did out of the gate [think about retiring], just as trying as this one was emotionally, physically and mentally,” he said. “I think I did have that in my mind that I’d seen my last one.”
However, he said he changed his mind after thinking about his season and watching it:
If anything, I’ve just proven to myself and everyone else out there that I still have exactly what it takes to compete at an incredibly high level. I still have a lot to offer to the show to the franchise, to the viewers and to myself. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon, just getting warmed up.
He said after the infamous moment on Rivals III when he took all of the money from his teammate Sarah Rice, he started to believe those who said he was cursed and wouldn’t win again. Winning on Total Madness, Bananas said, felt like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders and it confirmed that there was no curse or it had been broken. “For anyone out there that was hoping, praying and wishing that this would be my last dance and my swan song, you might want to pack a lunch,” he stated.
This Season’s Cast Will Feature Neither of Last Season’s Champions, Devenanzio & Jenny West
Not only will this season’s competitors not have to face the male winner Devenanzio, but the reigning female champ Jenny West will also not be competing on Double Agents. In her case, however, it appeared to be a production decision as West explained on her Instagram stories that she was picked as an alternate.
West answered a fan’s question about why she wasn’t competing on the new season of The Challenge on her Instagram stories. She said she went through a week of isolation in London in preparation for the show and was flown to Iceland where she completed the second week of isolation. However, she shared that she was only an alternate and eventually headed back to the U.K. after enjoying some of Iceland’s sights.
MTV’s The Challenge: Double Agents premieres on Wednesday, December 9, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.