Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Challenge: Total Madness, including the season’s winner.
The Challenge has one of the most loyal fanbases in reality television. It’s a group of dedicated individuals, many of which have been tuning in to MTV to watch the franchise every year since 1998. This fanbase is then essentially broken down into two groups: casuals and everyone else. Casuals watch the show every week and don’t dig into what goes on behind the scenes. Everyone else gets in on crazy theories, what the cameras didn’t show, secret hookups, plotting, planning — you name it. Several of these fans have recently come up with the theory that Total Madness was rigged from the get-go.
According to this new fan theory, Season 35 was always rigged for Johnny Bananas to take home first place, which spoiler pages suggest is what happens. While the theory gained steam last month based on rumors surrounding Kyle Christie suggesting the same thing, it’s caught fire again thanks to Twitter account @BranTheRealityStan. You can read the thread that user posted starting here.
The user reminded viewers that Total Madness was Johnny’s 20th season with the franchise, and him taking home the victory on that milestone would make for good television. @BranTheRealityStan noted that the cast was made up of mostly allies of Johnny’s, to prevent another early departure from the show like his boot from War of the Worlds 1 and 2.
The thread also included screenshots, allegedly from Cara Maria Sorbello and an unknown party, where she said she knew the season was always going to be rigged for Johnny. Further, the theory also stated the Red Skull Twist was added in an effort to keep him safe, because now everyone wanted to be thrown into elimination, which made him much less of a target.
A major part of the theory revolves around the unlikely alliance between Johnny and longtime enemy Wes Bergmann. From a casting standpoint, Wes was the only true threat to Johnny in the group, so the duo had to work together so everything would go according to plan. The Twitter user suggested that Wes was in on all of this, since joining with Johnny would get him more screen time. They noted that Johnny and Wes had joint confessionals, something the show had never done before.
An interesting point was made, where the theorist reminded fans that the only challenge Wes won this season was trivia, which coincidentally was the only competition of the season that had a monetary prize attached to it. This was also where Wes decided to throw himself in against Johnny in Purgatory, a move he admitted was good for television.
The elimination between the two men was interesting as well. It was not a headbanger as many fans would have wanted, but one where the two had absolutely no contact. It was the elimination that production had the biggest hand in all season, as they hid the batteries in the wall.
@BranTheRealityStan has a plethora of indications that suggest the season could have been rigged for Johnny. The Inquisitr previously reported on a behind-the-scenes shakeup that is rumored to have happened at the final. Allegedly, Jenny West won the entire final, but things were changed after the fact and part of the final redone so Johnny could also take home first prize. The show was set to have one winner, but after Jenny apparently agreed, they switched it to two.
This theory and the alleged behind-the-scenes shakeup is all hearsay, and nothing has been confirmed.