‘Challenge’ Star Sarah Rice Says Blindside Ruined Her Friendship with Johnny Bananas

Looks like Sarah just got crossed off Johnny's Christmas card list...
Looks like Sarah just got crossed off Johnny’s Christmas card list…

Sarah Rice made one of the biggest moves in the history of The Challenge last week when she blindsided her constant ally and good friend Johnny Bananas by sending him and his partner, Nany Gonzalez into the last elimination before the final. (The Ashley won’t reveal what happened on last night’s episode during the elimination since many of you probably still haven’t watched it).

Anyway, Sarah’s big move may have given her a much better chance of (finally!) winning a ‘Challenge,’ but it came with a price. Throwing Johnny into the elimination cost Sarah her “real life” friendship with him.

“He hasn’t spoken a word to me since,” Sarah told a fan on Twitter last night. “I hope [we can make amends.] I hope one day he can see my side. Until then…”

Johnny talked to MTV News about the incident, and certainly didn’t hold back when revealing what he thought after Sarah’s big move.

“It was utter disbelief,” Johnny said of the blindside. “How could a friend who I’ve known on and off the show for eight years, and with whom I’d trained and strategized with before this season, pull such a deceptive move? I couldn’t believe it then, and I have trouble believing it now.”

Right before Sarah revealed that she was sending Johnny in, he had been patting himself on the back, congratulating himself for “picking the right pony” to align with. Johnny said he was shocked that Sarah ended up betraying him, and that he doesn’t want to hear her reasoning for doing so.

“The bottom line: Sarah knows what she did was cowardly and double-crossing, and instead of just owning up to her actions, she continues to come up with ridiculous ways to justify them,” he told MTV News.

When fans of the show started to attack Sarah on Twitter for “betraying” her friend, she defended herself.

“Any1 would be scared, or at least nervous, to go up against the guy who has won 5 times!” she wrote last night.


Last week, she explained that there is a big difference between “real life” and ‘Challenge’ life.”

“With a little maturity, people will realize that reality TV isn’t ‘real life,'” Sarah tweeted on March 11. “Trying to win money on a GAMESHOW does not make me a bad friend.”

Still, it looks like her blindside has permanently severed her real-life friendship with Johnny.

“Sarah showed her true colors, and it’s unlikely I’ll be able to trust her again,” Johnny told MTV News, stating that he has never betrayed a friend to get ahead in a ‘Challenge.’ “And who wants to be friends with someone you don’t trust? In the end, it only does me harm to hold on to a hostility to her. So I would say sure, I can forgive — but I won’t forget.”

(Photos: MTV)


38 Responses

  1. I don’t understand how Johnny could be that upset about losing The Challenge:Battle of the Exes. He just won first place on last season’s Challenge: Free Agents that aired over the summer. And Nany won second place. I normally love Johnny but seeing how he treated Sarah made me like him less.

  2. Here’s the thing. He did the exact same thing to Paula years ago. He took Evelyn to the finals because he made a last minute deal with her. What’s the difference? He’s always said that all is fair in love, war, and challenges. I guess that only applies when he’s the one doing the shady dealings.

    Good job Sarah. It’s what any smart player would have done.

    1. It was different what he did to Paula. Bananas did not stop Paula from being in the game. He did not send her into an elimination round, and stop her from being able to compete in the final. He simply traded Paula out of his boat. She still was in the final with a chance to win money.

      Sarah on the other hand, DID stop Bananas from being able to compete in the final. She sent him in with the intent to get Bananas sent home. Different circumstances there in my opinion.

      1. Strongly disagree, Sarah did not stop Bananas from competing in the finals. He just had to go to the Dome and deserve it. What’s really annoying that the new meat always have to prove over and over again that they are worthy of the finals. And such couple like Johnny and Nany are “automatically qualified” just because they are veterans. No, go and prove yourself. It was such a relief two seasons ago when the rookies took over and won. Besides, Johnny has made shady moves every single season. Sarah, on the other hand, FINALLY showed some character and her gameplay was brilliant this season, she outwitted them all. All in all, what are the lyrics to that song “we are the winners, don’t care for losers”. Sarah won. POINT.

        1. Exactly. Sarah didn’t stop him, he simply had “earn it,” which is what they constantly say to the rookies. They have to earn it, they have to earn it. Well all he had to do was earn it. She didn’t send him home, him losing, sent him home. He did they exact same thing to Paula, who helped him vote out all those people, then in the final dumped her, because he what… wanted to win. The fact that he is still talking about it, is really weird, and he is such a crybaby.

  3. After watching the show online this morning I was really sad for Sarah and the way she was treated. The way Nia talked to her was disgusting and someone should have said enough is enough. I like Johnny and Leroy and can understand why they were pissed at Sarah but they should have stopped her instead of egging her on. Jay and Jenna looked like 2 little kids who were terrified of getting involved but the other guys there could have said something.If I were Sarah or Jordan I would have lost my cool so kudos to them for being able to take that abuse.

    1. No one deserves to be harassed and bullied like that. I don’t care how pissed off you are. Sarah is a good person and it killed me to see her being treated that way.

  4. Phil: “I thought Blind Side was the black kid who played right end”
    Alex: “Offensive Line”
    Phil “Sorry, African American Kid”

    Sorry, OT, but the title of this post reminded me of that exchange on Modern Family. Other than that I only have 2 things to ask:
    1. At what point do you say I’m too old for this ish and you stop doing these challenges?
    2. The only Real Worlder/Million Time Challenge Show Participant I care about is Coral….does anyone know what shes up to these days? Off to google…

  5. Boo-hoo, Johnny. I’m sorry someone else had the balls to send you home before a final and take the money you think you are entitled to. Sarah did what she had to do to win. She sent home the strongest team. End of story. Now quit whining about it and put on your big boy panties. I think it’s time you get a real job and quit sitting on your ass waiting for Mtv producers to ask you to be on a tv show that hardly anyone wants to see you on anymore.

    1. Tori—You totally NAILED IT when you refer to Johnny’s sense of entitlement. It seems like he truly expects a free pass to the finals every season. In reality, he was eliminated from this season, twice. So, he only has himself (well, his team) to blame for not making it to the end. He showed his true colors when egging on the a-NIA-lator and then lashing out at Jay, who was basically minding his own business. Total tool.

  6. By the way, let’s not forget that Bananas was lucky as hell to be in that position in the first place. If this challenge was set up like any of the past challenges, his ass would have went home long before that point. He got lucky that he was given a second chance to get back into the game.

    That point aside, if I were Sarah, I would have asked him to explain exactly how it would have benefitted her in any way to bring him into the finals with her? He would have had no answer for her because there was no upside for Sarah.

    It’s possible that if the situation was reversed, Bananas might have brought Sarah into the finals, but that’s because he is more than confident that he can beat her. You heard him after he was eliminated, he said there was no way she was even going to finish the final challenge because she wasn’t in good enough shape.
    Obviously Sarah believed Bananas could beat her too, which is why she kicked his ass to the curb when it came down to the end. Good for her, it was a smart move. Bananas should get over it and maybe try getting a real career if you need the money that bad.

  7. Johnny needs to stop acting like a whiny baby and put his big boy panties on. He thinks this challenge is made for him and he is the only one that deserves to win. Yeah, he’s a good competitor but c’mon dude! You’ve won 5 challenges! You’ve won more than enough money to act like that. Sarah was completely 100% right. She is there to win money and taking the strongest competitors to the final is just plain stupid. You go, Sarah!

  8. Omgosh! I couldn’t believe it! I really like Sarah. Not so much Jordan, but I think he handled himself very well this season. Not “as” cocky as usually, just more calmed down. He’s been very good for Sarah. I love how he handled himself against Nia. I can’t stand Nia! I felt horrible for Leroy, he seems like a legit nice guy. Anyways.. I’m usually a fan of Bananas, but the way he handled him self was disgusting. Why attack Jay & Jenna because they played the game right? I’m glad Jay stuck up for himself. Bananas was being so rude, because he got voted in. I think Sarah made the right move. I really hope she wins.

  9. Johnny always seems like he’s cool with anyone who he believes cannot beat him in the competition. Anyone else, like CT, he seems to constantly clash with. I always thought he left Sarah alone because she was a veteran and he didn’t see her as competition, not because they were actually friends. Sarah even said on the aftershow that they were more of casual friends on the show, but he wasn’t someone she’d call a friend in her real life. Johnny has always seemed like he takes it SO personally if anyone votes him in. I get that this show is his job, but that doesn’t mean that he’s immune from eliminations, and that he should take it as a massive betrayal. It’s a game show. These people have different “best friends” every season it seems like, and fall outs ALL the time, so I don’t get the whole, oh my gosh, we’ve been friends for SO long, how could you betray me, blah, blah. It’s really reminiscent of high school drama to me, which does make it entertaining sometimes, but mostly it gets tiring. Sometimes I want to just fast forward to the challenges, but then I wouldn’t understand the whole who got voted in and why part lol.

  10. What Sarah does not understand is the lie she continually said to Johnny. Yes, we are together to the end, then you blindsided him and put him into the last elimination with one of his friends.

    Johnny would have been fine, if Sarah would have said, “hey, once we get to the Final Four then all bets are off.” But, Sarah didn’t do that, it was we are in this alliance until the end. Now, that’s why Johnny was upset and felt betrayed.

    1. Boohoo! Who cares? This is a game. It’s just like survivor. You make alliances to get you as far as you can. But when it comes down to the end, you are in the game to win money for yourself, not to help you “friend” win it all instead.

      I will say, I am really enjoying hearing Bananas cry like a little girl about all this. Makes me laugh every time I hear him bitch and whine about it.
      (In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not his biggest fan.)

    2. I get what you’re saying, but it’s a strategy of war to never show your full hand. You win battles and wars but blindsiding people, and that’s exactly what she did. If they truly were good friends in real life, then I’d be way more on board with the ‘Sarah is Shady Train.’ But if they were really just friendly then-by his own words-what she did was fair as, “All is fair in love, war, and challenges.” As a viewer I was stoked to see someone finally not play by the seemingly more powerful people’s rules and pull a ballsy fast one like that-especially to someone who frankly has screwed over people before.

  11. I actually like Bananas, but I like Sarah as well. I think he’s hurt because they are friends in real life and how do you forgive someone for making you lose out on thousands of dollars? I guess I can understand both point of views. I just wish I could see Wes’s reaction to the whole ordeal.

    1. On the After Show she said they weren’t really ever in touch outside the challenges and he didn’t dispute that. Regardless, I am 100% with you on the West part! I hope they bring him back for the reunion so I can see his takes on it!

  12. What an arrogant ass Bananas is. Any intelligent individual would do the same thing Sarah did. Like she said, it’s a game. I really hope she wins, I wouldn’t say Jordan deserves it but she certainly does. Maybe then she can end her Challenge run and move on with her life because unlike people like Johnny Bananas, she is perfectly normal person capable of thriving outside of reality TV. Also, I’m sure resident douche Bananas will try to make her life hell with his douche army. I was appalled that he egged on Nia, who behaved like a rabid animal and bully. She got what she deserved as well:)

    1. Yes! Nia was an embarrassing POS last night. I don’t even like Jordan, although I tried this season with him being partnered with Sarah. The way Nia acted was foul.

      1. Ditto! I’m so not shocked she behaved that way though, she did the exact same thing on her RW season. I absolutely HATED that season because of her! What a message MTV sent their viewers by letting her abuse her roommates and not be evicted. Maybe they’ll learn their lesson after that last stunt because clearly that tiger won’t change it’s stripes!

        1. While I agree whole-heartedly that Nia got what she deserved for being truly vile, this opens up a whole can of worms for me. What is the deal with MTV sending Nia home but allowing virtually the entire physicially abusive cast of Real World: Skeletons to continue to live in the house and have their lives taped?? I mean, back in the day, David from the Real World was kicked off for pulling a blanket off another cast member and then that guy from Seattle went home for his weak little slap. Meanwhile, Sylvia is putting girls in chokeholds, Bruno is throwing furniture at other cast members, Jason is getting physical with Nicole in such a way that shakes her to the very core and life rolls on… I just don’t get it.

  13. 1. What did she expect? It was a dirty move
    2. Although dirty, very smart. I applaud her for having the balls to do it.
    3. Bananas needs to get over himself. Its literally a game that he’s one more than enough times. Its someone else’s turn! Go get a real job.
    It’s all childish. I love this show and I liked this season but everyone seemed to be more whiney than usual.

    1. If not more whiney than it was at least trashier! Nany seems pissed off at everyone and feels entitled to let everyone know it. Nia lost it-obvi. Avery and Johnny’s dynamic was like a Maury episode at time. Zach saying super belittling comments about and to Jonna. I feel like there were other conflicts but I’ve already blocked them out because the past few episodes have been SO explosive.

  14. He betrayed Paula Meronek (now Beckert) once in the Challenge series. He is an extreme competitor.
    I read online that a lot of people are actually happy about the elimination of Johnny Bananas and Nany Gonzales. Sarah is one of the nicest people in the Challenge history. So I find this whole thing just ridiculous…. Bananas is not the one who owns this show. So get he should get over it and not pouting. Sarah wouldn’t have gotten so far when Bananas would’ve stayed in the game. So probably it would have been another win of Bananas/Nany, so Sarah did a smart move, so she had a real chance to win the Challenge. Simply an overreaction. Or all of it is just staged? Who knows :)….

  15. Bananas never betrayed a friend to get ahead in a challenge? Oh really? Maybe we should call up Paula and see what she has to say about that?
    I can’t recall a specific moment in which bananas screwed over Sarah but I know for a fact he did Paula on the island so his whole argument is void because he did the exact same thing!

    1. And Paula was none too pleased with the way he’s trying to brush off what he previously did to her. She said she wasn’t going to say anything but then Bananas talked about how what he did to her wasn’t nearly as bad and she felt like she had to say something.

      As an aside, apparently Bananas tweeted out a picture of an x-ray that he claimed was taken of his rib fractures. The word on the street is that it’s not even his x-ray…

      He’s terrible.

      1. Paula’s tweets are priceless after this incident. If he’d let his ego subside he’d finally get how it felt when he did it to her!

        And yeah…why no follow up with the alleged rib fracture on the show? They’ve shown hospitalizations that take place just prior to them going to the airport before when it’s a real injury-or at least address it in the exit interview!

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