The Challenge has become synonymous with Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio and a season without its biggest star would be like cereal with no milk: doable, but dry. Johnny was just eliminated from War of the Worlds which marked his 18th season with the popular MTV franchise. The competitor has expanded from his work with MTV to a hosting gig on NBC’s 1st Look. Expanding in the world of media is something Johnny is working hard for, and something he divulged on in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
Johnny compared himself to the late Anthony Bourdain in terms of career goals and explained what was next for him.
“I found myself watching all of his old episodes,” he said. “I want to see what made that guy so successful and that’s who I’m trying to emulate. That’s really what I want to do, whether it’s traveling or hosting something in a studio. I want to take that next step.”
Johnny only has one season of 1st Look under his belt but it is definitely the stepping stone to bigger and better opportunities. The athlete has an undeniable charisma on camera and should continue to excel in his media journey.
As far as his commentary on War of the Worlds, Johnny noted that this season is all about the physicality of the challenges and is tougher than anything viewers saw on Final Reckoning. Many fans had issues with the last season of The Challenge as the show was more focused on the drama between the stars and not the challenges themselves. The final challenge was one of the easiest to date and fans began commenting online that the show wasn’t what it used to be.
“You can throw [Final Reckoning] into the dust. This one is beyond brutal. Most seasons we’re in these sexy, tropical, glamorous destinations. This one is straight apocalyptic, Mad Max, middle-of-nowhere desert landscape [in Namibia]. The house felt like Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.”
Just after three episodes, viewers began praising War of the Worlds for finally getting The Challenge back on track. MTV producers brought in a whole new crew known as prospects who are each paired with a veteran. This is the first batch of newcomers that fans have praised and welcomed with open arms in a long time because most genuinely seem there to compete and not for cameras.
Don’t expect Johnny to retire anytime soon, as the host has no plans to step away from The Challenge at this time. The reality star might be looking to take home one more title before throwing in the towel since The Challenge curse has become a topic of conversation between fellow cast mates and viewers. Johnny has not won a Challenge since Rivals III when he stole money from his partner, Sarah Rice.
Ashley Mitchell also stole money from her partner, Hunter Barfield, last season on Final Reckoning and was sent home packing first in War of the Worlds. Some are speculating Ashley will never hold a title again due to the curse as well.
The Challenge: War of the Worlds airs every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EST on MTV.