Johnny Bananas Says ‘The Challenge’ Newcomers Are Not Fit To Carry On The Franchise

“You guys really need to step your game up.”

The latest installment of The Challenge boasts a cast that extends far beyond the MTV family and the United States, and, according to Challenge vet and resident pot stirrer Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, these newbies are posing a threat to the show’s future. 

Bananas told E! News that he’s less than impressed with the group rounding out the Challenge lineups as of late, which most recently includes players from 11 franchises around the globe for The Challenge: War of the Worlds.

“Let’s be real… the stock isn’t all that high these days on a lot of the new kids coming out,” he said. “And quite frankly, I’m a little concerned that the future of the franchise is being left in the hands of these absolute boners that they’re casting these days.” 

Another gripe Bananas has about his new co-stars is their focus on social media popularity, namely the high-paying endorsements that come with it. Bananas said the money-making opportunities are an incentive for the newcomers, whereas the OGs did it “for the love of the game.”  

“People showed up to compete, to be on ‘The Challenge,’ to party, this, that,” he said. “Now, it’s about how many followers am I going to get out of this? Social media totally changed the game.” 

But according to Bananas, it’s not just the new challengers’ obsession with social media that makes them a poor choice for the show, it’s also their personalities. 

“These people don’t have the complex personalities, they don’t have emotions,” he continued. “They’re not complex, intelligent human beings anymore, it’s just like, ‘You want to get drunk and hookup? Cool, you’re cast.’ That’s kind of what we’re dealing with these days. 

That description certainly doesn’t fit any of the veterans… oh wait.

“That’s why, I think, a lot of cast members haven’t established the amount of foothold with the older MTV fanbase is because they’re just not buying it.” 

While Bananas may feel that the fanbase isn’t “buying it,” ‘The Challenge’ executive producer and Bunim/Murray’s executive vice president of International Scott Freeman said the show’s production team is thrilled at the pay-off of introducing international players to the game. 

“We took a chance casting people who had never been on American MTV and they showed up and it was a surprise for our regular cast,” he said. “It added new dynamics, it’s been fun to see them come on and really start getting into ‘The Challenge,’ like Kyle [Christie].”

Being replaced by someone in their early twenties.

As fans of the show may recall, Kyle made his debut on The Challenge: Vendettas after appearing on MTV’s Geordie Shore in the UK. Kyle went on to appear on The Challenge: Final Reckoning and is currently battling it out on ‘War of the Worlds.’ 

Whether or not Bananas or any of the other vets are fully on board with MTV’s latest strategy for filling ‘The Challenge’ rosters, viewers don’t seem to mind the direction the show is moving in…

The season premiere of ‘War of the Worlds’ brought in 839,000 viewers—just 1,000 less than both ‘Final Reckoning’ and Dirty 30. Though the premiere drew a smaller audience than its predecessor ‘Vendettas’ (890,000 viewers), the show managed to pull a higher viewership than Battle of the Exes II (780,000), Invasion (690,000), Rivals III (660,000) and Bloodlines (550,000). 

‘The Challenge: War of the Worlds’ airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on MTV. 

(Photos: MTV, IG) 


  1. I know all the foreign ‘stars’ and he is absolutely right. Most of them have had every show in the book so ofcourse did this too. Specially Bear.

  2. I just can’t with this show anymore. I used to watch it with my Mom and now it’s uncomfortable with all the drunk sex scenes. She always like “ I hope you don’t act like that when you’re in your 20s” I’ll be 20 in April and can’t imagine embarrassing myself on national television like these losers. Their gonna need some major therapy to make sense of these shenanigans in later life.

  3. He’s right, but also that’s the problem with all reality TV now. Big Brother players are all now competing for “America’s Favourite Player”, as opposed to the actual win. Which means they make dumb game moves in the name of being noticed. Are You The One now has people going on the show who already have significant others, so no one can really find love when they’re actually there to find fame.

  4. Nobody watches The Real World any more (if it is even in anymore), so if they pull from that pool of people they would also be unknown. Many years ago The Real World was one of a few reality shows around, and it was very popular. Now reality shows are a dime a dozen, and these people are just not memorable.

  5. Love Johnny! He is the smartest one out of the whole group. He has invested his money well over the years and is financially stable. The young people are so stupid. Just plain dumb.

  6. Honestly I don’t care what he says. He is all about fame too! Like stop saying you aren’t obsessed with your reality and social media personality too!

    If anyone else said it (I mean old veterans ala Mark, Derrick and those who aren’t Bananas basically), I would fully agree but he can’t be such a hypocrite about this. Dude, you need to get lost in oblivion.

  7. He’s right the MTV producer’s they do all of this to try to boost the ratings and all MTV is doing is failing as a stupid garbage channel all I can say to MTV president Chris McCarthy he is nothing more than a cash grabber yuppiedom object failure

  8. He’s definitely right. All the new younger generation of castings are wimpy, whiny, wussy social media obsessed babies. They’re not able to be a true badass and get shit done like the vets. Even the final challenges are way more easier than they used to be. I’ve been watching for as long as I can remember, but to be honest, when they completely phase out the old cast members, I will probably phase out of watching for good. Shame. I’m

  9. Bananas is just a douchbag. Everyone knows t.j. has rules for him. And rules for all the rest. He cannot win of he is in a physical elimination. He is too much of a wussy

  10. Bananas is the absolute last person i want to hear talking about someone’s personality. The way he degrades women. How vile his mouth gets. Oh and he’s complaining about them getting drunk and hooking up but he’s right there hooking up with them and getting drunk too. I agree I don’t personally like most of the new comers but they are annoying and so is bananas

  11. He’s right. I’ve watched every season and the last few have taken a real down turn. It’s no longer a competition show but a drama shit show. It got really annoying watching Camilla get drunk and act a fool every season. They got rid of her and brought in 10 more 10x more obnoxious. Adding the obvious fix of last season, the challenge’s days are sadly numbered. Mtv doesn’t realize, despite highly rated shit shows, not EVERYONE wants to watch that behavior ALL THE TIME.

  12. I have all of The Challenges recorded on VHS from The Gauntlet in 2003 to Free Agents in 2014 (yes I still own a VCR). Now I just DVR them, but I have been rewatching the older seasons, and its just a totally different show now. I can’t really pinpoint when it changed, but currently, its more like Fear Factor meets Are you the One. No one is likable, and I hope no one wins.

  13. I kinda have to agree with him, the show is literally only about hooking up and backstabbing now. I keep watching because I have been watching since the beginning when I was 13. I end up fast-forwarding through most of the drama and just watch the actual challenge part. It’s all shock TV now.

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