Raise Your Glass To The Rotten Banana Podcast
I’ve been blogging about MTV’s the Challenge for officially five years now. Over this time, I’ve gotten to know so many different people within a passionate fan community who are simply looking for content to enjoy and act as supplementary material to their favorite show. Among all the Podcasts and Creators, two have been an integral part of the community. Those human beings are the wonderful Logan Hedrich and the lovely Ali Evans, also known as the Rotten Banana Podcast hosts. Their podcast has been a fun ride where they have been able to dissect the show while maintaining a fun vibe and bringing loads of personality and charisma to the table.
Over the last few years, Ali and Logan have done not only a superb job at covering the Challenge but have branched out into creating all types of excellent content ranging from Harry Potter to One Tree Hill to Television to Movies to Everyday Life. To be frank, I’m someone who is at my limit when it comes to Challenge content consumption after five years, yet, I love what Ali & Logan create, so whenever they do something that isn’t Challenge-related, my ears perk up. Back to the Challenge, though. They’ve done loads of cast interviews where they have gotten the best out of guests, made them feel welcome, and in part has led to some fantastic sound bytes and conversations. Here are some of the my Favorite Interviews they’ve had over the years:
While the podcasts are stellar, there is much more to the Rotten Banana Podcast. More than anything, Logan and Ali have fostered a community within itself where instead of being podcasters and listeners, it’s become friend to friend. They are genuinely good humans who consistently go above and beyond. During the Pandemic and everything going in the world the last two years especially, these two stepped up by hosting Zoom Trivia Nights for fans, bringing in cast members to make it a special experience, and donating money made to great causes. Seriously, these two people fucking rock.
Now, the main reason I am blogging about them is for a bit of a somber one. Logan & Ali recently announced that the Challenge All Stars Season 2 would be their Final Season doing Weekly Recaps about the show. They will still be a presence online and will continue to make exceptional content; however, hearing they’re hanging up the cleats was definitely a bummer. You can’t live in sadness, so instead, I want to celebrate these two incredible people — also, let’s all make sure to listen to their All Stars 2 finale podcast. For fans of their podcast and people at-large to get an insight into who Logan & Ali are and what they’ve meant to the community, I collected testimonials from some of their most supportive fans, and I’ll kick by writing my personal stories/relation to them.
When I first blogged about the Challenge, I would randomly google myself like a vain-asshole to see if my blogs were getting any traction outside of where I posted them. I happened upon Logan’s podcast, which referenced an article I wrote.
From there, we corresponded online, I appeared as a guest on his podcast a few times, and I made a genuine friend. Logan and I were cut from the same cloth when it came to interests — Basketball, Wrestling, Reality TV, Game of Thrones, and everything else in-between. He championed my work early on, and thus I’ve always done the same. Getting to watch him grow into a better podcaster and host was amazing because I know he was a genuinely good person, and I’m grateful I got to meet him in person before the Pandemic hit.
Every year before the NFL season begins, I write a blog comparing players on the Challenge to NFL teams. One year, the article was not doing so well in terms of traffic, got a decent amount of Downvotes on Reddit, and I was feeling very down on myself. Then Ali reposted it and messaged me that it was one of the funniest blogs she’s ever read. My day was instantly made better. From there, a friendship ensued. Ali and I had the same admiration for certain things like Harry Potter, Entourage, and the Office, as well as a mutual distaste for the same types of humans. On a human level, what I’ve admired about Ali is how quick she is to look out for someone when they’re in need. Whenever I signal online that I’m not in the best mental health shape, Ali is immediately there to either talk or listen. It’s not just me either; I know so many people who look to Ali as someone they feel safe with and can trust.
I would say the thing I dislike most about Ali is that she’s such a good person that she propels me to strive and be a better person with all my friends so I can be their Ali. Just like Logan, I’m glad to have met Ali in person before the Pandemic, and I know it’s not the last time I’ll meet them either.
It’s hard to put into words what Ali/Logan + this podcast mean to me, but I’ll give it a shot. I discovered Hedrich Files back in January 2020 before the pandemic began. Throughout the next couple of years, not only did I get to tune into a podcast about some of my favorite shows, but I got to hear from two people that became really special to me. Ali was really there for me and supported me during an incredibly difficult time in my life, and I’m immensely grateful to this weird little community for bringing us together. Also, the trivia zooms and girls’ nights brought me some of my closest friends. How special is that?! Cheers to you, Ali and Logan. Thank you for all that you do and have done. Hedrich Files Forever.”— Kelsi Alexander
Before meeting Ali, I never really publicly spoke about being a fan of The Challenge. She opened the floodgates for me. But more than that, even from our first interaction I could tell she was one of the most real and sincere people…ever. I followed her on Twitter and learned of Rotten Banana Podcast. I was excited to see what it was about. And from the very first episode, I was hooked. Not only was Ali this REAL person irl, but she was also that person on the pod. And her chemistry with Logan made each pod they would drop fun and exciting. From there we’d interact online and I started a friendship with and Ali and soon after Logan. An actual friendship. To the point where I don’t see them not being a part of my life in some capacity for the long term. To me, the way they speak about every and any topic is needed. They won’t shy away from things simply because it’s difficult to talk about. The Challenge fandom was and still is incredibly lucky to have them be a part of it. — Victor A Dias
Ali and Logan did more than just podcast about The Challenge. They created a safe and inclusive space in which yes, they did break down a “silly reality TV show” but they did so while also making us cry laugh & real life ugly cry all within the same few minutes. They managed to find a way to continuously educate their listeners on real life issues, and certainly taught me a few things along the way. There’s simply no replacing these two in the podcasting world of The Challenge and I am so grateful for what I’ve gained from them.— Ashley LaManna
“Authentic Publication” — These aren’t typically two words that go together these days. The derivative is mired in money, STAN-dom, or propaganda. But, Logan and Ali are a different story.
Logan, in his loose Californian demeanor, provides a homegrown approach that can’t be copied. You feel as if you’re sitting in your backyard around a fire pit and just having a conversation about the show you love. Sometimes, we can get lost in the format of a podcast when the simple idea is to just talk. Talking with Logan is easy, and it shows by the many outlets of shows he has accomplished.
Ali, is the heart and passion of the show. Ali is the go-getter and expressive mandate of the show. Ali draws everybody in, from the reality tv stars to the listeners. Her radio background gives the technical skill and expertise that’s necessary for a successful show.
As a gamer, I see them as Skate and Blaze from Streets of Rage 2 Skate — Street smart and a bit rebellious in his approach. Everyone’s favorite character from the series. This is Logan! Blaze — The only character to appear in all of the SoR games. Determined and willfully putting herself out there. That’s Ali with her thoughts and her penchant for tough trivia questions. All in all they make for a great game, team, and show. I’m sad to see them go, but excited for their comeback years later. — Tyrone Graham
Logan and Ali what can I say!!! What started as another challenge podcast that happened to have the name bananas in it (not knowing it was anti-bananas) turned into a family and set of friendships whom I will always cherish. Between the chemistry of each of you and your participation from your patrons, you have become something that I look forward to listening to and being a part of each week, even more than the actual challenge episodes. I love how real y’all are and how much fun you have each episode! You guys were the first pod I would listen to religiously.
I know the last two years have really had a lot of ups and downs for myself and both of you included and I don’t think I could have gotten through most of it without you both! Thank you all for what you have done for our challenge community and myself and for growing our friendship and love of topics even more than I could have ever imagined! — Dani Martin
The Rotten Banana Podcast is coming to an end, which will be a sad occasion but I want to take this opportunity to not talk about the show, but rather the people behind it.
I first met Logan at the first CML San Fran show a few years ago. I had seen him pop up on social and maybe listened to an episode or two. It was announced he was there so I walked over to introduce myself and we spoke for a moment. Later at the after party, I spoke to him some more and it just felt like we had been friends for a while. You can just tell when you come across good people and he was definitely one of them. Fast forward to January 2020 and I see him again at CML Nashville. This time we are both at the same bar the night before and this is where I meet Ali for the first time. I say hello and even though she has no idea who I am, she is gracious. The next day at the after party, I get a pic with her and talk just a little bit. Again, you can quickly get a sense of people by the first impression.
Now a few months later, I have some issues and I receive a nice video from them basically trying to lift my spirits and showing that they care. From that point forward I considered them actual fiends. They are nice, caring, hilarious, supporting and great people, simply put. It’s not like they are dying, they are just moving on to other things and I’ll be there to support them every step of the way. I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve made with them as well as many others through the community they have developed. Best of luck to you both. — Paul Butler