Johnny Bananas Explains Why ‘The Real World’ Sucks Now & Reveals How He Would Fix It

“At this point it’s just sad, guys…”

Johnny Bananas is the most successful cast member of The Challenge, with 12 years of competitions and six wins to his name, but before he was stirring the pot on ‘The Challenge,’ he was one of seven strangers on The Real World: Key West in 2006.

Like most people that still watch ‘The Real World’, Bananas sees the differences in today’s ‘Real World’ seasons compared to when he was on the show… specifically the skeletons in the closet and the exes being thrown into the mix in an effort to add some drama. While adding these gimmicks has kept the long-running show afloat, it hasn’t done much to help its hemorrhaging ratings.

Bananas recently told Urban Daddy that if he ran the show, he’d kick it old school.

“I’d go back to the format that worked,” he said. “And that was a bunch of adolescents, early twenty-somethings, who had things in common; who were strong personalities, but not necessarily personalities that just did not mesh.”

Johnny said that the show’s producers are now putting people together who they suspect may not get along, in an effort to guarantee drama.

“They’re taking people from completely opposite ends of the world and putting them in a house,” he said. “What made ‘The Real World’ work back in the day was, you had attractive people in a house who wanted to party, wanted to hang out and wanted to hook up. There was drama, but the drama wasn’t like this crazy visceral hatred.

“There wasn’t this racism involved; there wasn’t all these other really toxic issues on the show. And while that’s something we obviously face in society, that doesn’t need to be the focal point on the show.”

Johnny said he started watching ‘The Real World’ during the Philadelphia season in 2004 and, after seeing the good times going down in that house, he knew the reality show was something he’d love to do.

‘Member this guy?

Those good times have been few and far between during recent seasons, though, according to Johnny.

“The past few seasons of ‘The Real World,’ I’m like, this looks miserable,” he said. “These people are beating the s**t out of each other, they’re arguing with each other, nobody wants to hang out with anyone else in the house, nobody gets along.”

Bananas said the show shouldn’t need the new gimmicks it’s adopted and those casting the show have thought too hard about the characters.

“You let me cast [The Real World], it’ll be the best season yet,” he said.

The ratings of the most-recent seasons of ‘The Real World’ have been very low compared to the ratings of earlier seasons. The season finale of ‘The Real World: Bad Blood’ (which aired in January) brought in 0.34 million viewers, whereas the season finale of ‘The Real World: San Diego, which aired in 2011, brought in 1.39 million viewers.

(Photos: MTV)


  1. I used to watch but of course you’ll lose viewers as they age out. Why would I as a 39 year old watch a bunch of 20 year olds sit around pontificating about things they know nothing about besides booze and hookups. I’m all set.

  2. Two Challenge related topics and both commented by Johnny?! Does this guy have a life outside of these shows…….at all?!

    Otherwise he is not wrong. I think it won’t be renewed anymore.

  3. Um, what? I agree that the gimmicks don’t work (not that I’ve watched; the commercials about the gimmick seasons were enough to turn me off!) but yes huh there was racism in the past! That was part of the point of the Real World–not to be racist but to put people from different walks of life in a house and expose both the castmates and the audience to people they may have never met organically in life. While the casting choices back then were totally for drama, yes it was a more earnest time and endearing friendships came out of the differences (Mike and Cora, anyone?). I think I get what he’s trying to say, but to act like they haven’t been using this formula all along is kind of naive. They’ve just amped it up to an 11 every few years and now it’s not even the same show.

  4. He’s not wrong. On the other hand, I’ve stopped watching challenges because of him and Key West was easily one of the worst seasons of Real World so he can take a seat.

  5. MTV does need to go to the Original format. There was something genuine about the early years. I come from the generation of watching Pedros story. Now all MTV shows are about drinking, sex and fighting.

  6. He kinda has a point….the real world is awful now, and I do think it’s because they’re casting people with personalities they know will clash.

  7. That’s funny, I would fix The Challenge by not having Johnny Bananas on it. Does he forget calling women dumb bitches? That’s pretty toxic. But as long as it fits HIS convenient description of “just having fun,” right?

  8. Toxic issues weren’t a problem before?? Huh? Real World Sydney comes to mind. Kellyane and a few others were gross and horrible to Parisa. On San Francisco, Puck was just…no words.

    Basically, Johnny, sit down and stop talking.

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