Longtime ‘Challenge’ vet, Johnny Bananas, has been on plenty of seasons of the show, but he told us EXCLUSIVELY that ‘War Of The Worlds’ was one of the toughest yet! Plus, scoop on how he tried to team up with the rookies and more!
The last few seasons of The Challenge have been criticized by fans and players alike for not pushing contestants to the limit like the show used to — but that’s all about to change on The Challenge: War of the Worlds! We have that information from a very credible source, too: The one and only Johnny Bananas. War of the Worlds will be Johnny’s 18th season on the show, so he knows what he’s talking about, too. “Final Reckoning was the easiest final that’s ever been given out on a Challenge,” Johnny told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I had to do things ten times as hard as the Final Reckoning final challenge for a fraction of the money given out. If Ashley [Mitchell] is going to beat you in a final…that should probably tell you how difficult it was. The Challenge is different than it’s been. It’s not as physical. It hasn’t been testing us the way it used to. But War of the Worlds set that all straight.”
Johnny didn’t delve any further into just how ‘tested’ the players were on War of the Worlds, but Wes Bergmann also confirmed to us that this season is definitely physical. “We would show up and things legitimately tested us,” he admitted. “There was maybe only one ‘carnival game,’ where it was a crapshoot and anyone can win. Everything else truly tested who the best one was on that day. You’re not going to think, like….it was stupid and anyone can win that. It was who was the best, and that’s what I want it to be.”
Of course, Bananas will have to go up against a lot more than just the physical pressures of the game this season. Ever since he took the winning prize money from his partner, Sarah Rice, on Rivals III, rather than opting to split it, he’s consistently been a massive target on the show — and that will be no different during season 33.
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“They need to change the name of the season from War of the Worlds to Bananas vs. Everyone,” he joked. “Because that’s just the nature of the game these days. It is what it is. I’m not going to say I didn’t cause it and I didn’t create it, I did. But I just have a hard time with the way the landscape of the Challenge has changed and trying to accept all these new people as equals on the show. You used to have to prove yourself and earn your stripes. I think I was on my 7th or 8th Challenge before people started calling me a vet and I started being comfortable with being called that. Now, you do one Challenge, and you’re a vet. I think there’s just a lot of people who don’t want to see me succeed anymore, and they’ll do anything and everything they can, including jeopardizing their own future on the show, to prevent that from happening.”
The cast of War of the Worlds is half ‘veteran’ players — or those who’ve competed on at least one Challenge before — and half ‘rookie’ players — stars from other reality shows making their debut. With so many fresh faces, Bananas had the opportunity to get some new allies on his side, but apparently it doesn’t work out as he planned. “I had no issues with these people and most aren’t going to know a lot about me,” he explained. “So, going in, that as obviously something I thought I’d be able to take advantage of. But…you what they say — the best laid plans fall flat!”
We’ll have to see just what he means by that when The Challenge: War of the Worlds premieres on MTV at 9:00 p.m on Feb. 6!