Ahead of ‘The Challenge’ premiere, we caught up with the show’s most notorious player, Johnny Bananas, about why he was able to lay low (for once) this season.
Johnny Bananas is back for his 20th season of The Challenge on the show’s upcoming season, Total Madness. After being eliminated early on during his last two seasons, Johnny is ready to get back to that final, and he’s coming into this new season with hopes that he can use those eliminations to his advantage. “[Going home early] wasn’t necessarily great for my reputation, but I honestly think it really helped my game,” he told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “When I’m there, people don’t have to turn on each other or go against anyone else, because I’m sort of absorbing all the oxygen in the room. By me going home early, it almost forced other people who wouldn’t go against each other….to have to. It’s created new rivalries that didn’t exist before, and I’ve been the beneficiary of that.”
He explained that these new rivalries allowed him to “fly under the radar” when he first came on Total Madness. “[Everyone else is thinking], like…Bananas hasn’t won in a while, he’s been eliminated twice early. We don’t need to worry about him right now.” Johnny explained. “So It’s nice coming in and knowing that everyone’s not out to get me on day one.” However, he did also tease that that mentality might not be the case as the season plays on, so, of course, he came in with another strategy, as well.
“I tried to come into this season and keep my head down a little bit,” Johnny revealed. “I wasn’t going to try and start swinging for the fences right away. What I really wanted to do was get in with this new Big Brother contingency that came in this season. Swaggy C, Bayleigh [Dayton], Kaycee [Clark], and Fessy [Shafaat] were all on Big Brother together. And Josh [Martinez], was on Big Brother, as well. I just felt that that was a group that I needed to get in good with an infiltrate and work with because they were definitely going to be a dangerous group. They came in in an already-made alliance. So that was the direction I wanted to go in.”
We’ll have to see how it all works out for Johnny when The Challenge: Total Madness premieres on Wed. April 1 at 8:00 p.m. on MTV. “I think it’s going to be an escape from what people are going through and living through right now,” Johnny admitted. “Hopefully some of the madness that we had to go through allows people to escape what we’re temporarily going through [with the coronavirus outbreak].”