Challenge War of the Worlds: Is Bananas ruining his legacy?

Art by Janine Carpena.

When Bananas won Rivals 3, his win was shrouded with controversy after he stole half the winnings from Sarah in one of the most cutthroat and surprising moves in Challenge history. Once the dust settle, Johnny secured himself the title of “greatest Challenger ever” by pulling out 6 wins in 13 attempts, along with 2 other finals appearances. As much as people hate Bananas, he solidified his status as the greatest that season. To this day, I probably still recognize him as the best player (not competitor) to ever play the game because it is damn hard to win this game 6 times.

However, his recent loss on War of the Worlds has a big impact on his legacy, despite the anti-climatic ending. This loss is the most recent, amongst a string of losses that have mostly damaged Bananas’ legacy. Following Rivals 3, fans who previously threw Darrell’s 4/8 (formerly 4/4) and Landon’s 3/4 wins in the greatest player debate had less room o talk because keeping a near 50% win rate while having the most wins displayed both dominance and consistency on Bananas’ part. Not to mention, Johnny ripped off 5 of his wins in 7 seasons, a streak of success nobody else has ever achieved. Bananas is now 6 out of 18 and has only seen one final (Rivals 3) since his big win on Free Agents. In his most recent win on Rivals 3, he was paired against one of the greatest females to ever play the game whilst also being stacked against, arguably, the weakest cast in Challenge history.

If Bananas was making the finals or playing the game in a more impactful way, his losses would not mean as much. He was squashed pretty early by Darrell on Invasion, was beaten by Derrick K after a mostly quiet Dirty 30, was called out by and lost to Devin on Vendettas, who was known as a lay-up up to that point, was beaten by Sylvia and Joss in a elimination where they picked who they believed was the weakest team, and has lost his two most recent eliminations to elimination floppers Natalie and Zach. Bananas had played both by himself and with strong partners and has yet to return to a final. It’s reached a point, where I wish he actually made one so I can see if he maintains his impeccable 75% win rate.

These losses hurt Bananas even more because of the way he conducts himself after losing. Rather than taking his losses with pride and crediting his rivals, Bananas comes up with non-stop excuses . When Darrell to lost to Cory and Tony, he gave them props for beating him 1 on 1. Bananas would rather mention what the people who have beat him haven’t done compared to him, rather than acknowledge what they have accomplished.

When looking at his wins, we could make the same types of excuses regarding how Bananas accomplished his 6 wins. He won the Island due to Kenny Santucci’s social dominance and the Ruins as the JEKD dynasty ran the table with a stacked team against a weak challengers team. Wes/Kenny had their Rivals 1 lead reduced from under an hour to only two minutes on Day 2 for no reason, and he had eliminations wins gifted to him by Adam King and Mark Long on Rivals 1 and Exes 1, respectively. These are all BS excuses from Bananas haters, but Bananas makes the same excuses and it hurts his own legacy.

All he cares about is being known as the greatest challenge ever and he tries do so as a dictator. He constantly reminds us of his wins, diminishes the accomplishments of his rivals, and creates smear campaigns for any potential rivals. Bananas has previously said that former champions like Veronica won carnival game seasons and modern champions like Hunter have accomplished nothing. Bananas will shit on his enemies and even his compliments are backhanded. Seriously, here are a couple more of his views of strong competitors in the past and present:

CT: Has mocked his inability to win, and during the Kenny Challenge Mania episode, Kenny revealed that Bananas informed him that CT is “fat and married a stripper”. Kenny relaying Bananas’ words is more reflective of Bananas’ thoughts.

Wes: Named a ponzi scheme artist who has accomplished very little.

Jordan: Made jokes about Jordan’s hand, ego, and I don’t really remember him ever complimenting Jordan.

Tony: Refers to him as a dog or a horse because he is an animal not smart enough to be referred to as a strong player.

Nelson: A retard according to Bananas.

Even his relationship with friends Evan and Derrick are a bit strained as Kenny revealed he was the one often bridging them all together and being the mediator.

When Bananas pulled out a win on Rivals 3, he mentioned that MTV casting from dating shows like AYTO was ruining the competitive balance of the show. This season, MTV casting former pro-athletes has gotten him complaining again.

On a show that has evolved so much, the franchise’s biggest star refuses to adapt. Ultimately, if Johnny Bananas chooses to continue down the same path, he will be placing several more bumper sticks on his Lamborghini career.



26 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.

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Allan Aguirre

26 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.