You Need to Hear Johnny Bananas' Pitch for a Reality Dating Show With CT Tamburello

The Challenge's Johnny Bananas Talks Helping Ukraine

This pitch is B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

While fans of The Challenge have been waiting four years (and counting) to see Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio and Chris "C.T." Tamburello face off against each other again on the MTV reality series, the duo are in talks to reunite on TV—but it doesn't involve recreating their iconic "Bananas backpack" elimination faceoff. In fact, it would have has nothing to do with the show they've arguably carried on their backs for almost 40 seasons.

"Are you ready for this: Double Shot at Love with me and C.T. Alright, print that!" Bananas told E! News in an exclusive interview. "The two of us, looking for love in all the wrong places."

From his lips to the reality TV gods' ears, if longtime fans had their way. And before you think Bananas—who is currently battling it out for his eighth win on the second season of Paramount Plus' The Challenge: USA—is pulling one of his infamous pranks, the 41-year-old was more than ready to show the receipts.

photos21 Reality Stars We Want to See on The Challenge

"You want me to show you the text messages between him and I?" Bananas, who would helm the show under his new Bad Banana production company, teased. "Spill some tea right there."

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

That wasn't the only gossip Bananas was ready to share as he confirmed that he was in "very serious" talks to join the cast of ABC's Bachelor in Paradise last summer before scheduling conflicts with season 38 of The Challenge ultimately took those chances out to sea. For now. 

"There's a very strong push to get Bananas on the beach, to be the next Banachelor," he explained. "I think me going onto Bachelor in Paradise is exactly what they need because I would definitely shake thing up a bit. Yes, discussions are still going on and you may be seeing a Banana on Paradise hopefully sooner rather than later."

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readWhy The Challenge's Johnny Bananas Says He Has Nothing Left to Prove

Not that he doesn't already have history with a Bachelor Nation member: Genevieve Parisi, who was a contestant on Clayton Echard's season of The Bachelor before entering a shortlived (and arguably toxic) romance wth Aaron Clancy on BIP last summer.

"She and I have had a relationship the past and that may or may not be something that is still bearing fruit," Bananas shared coyly. "So I guess only time will tell."

Given his status as a reality TV legend, one could argue that Bananas should just be anointed the next Bachelor sans a trip to Mexico. But the First Look host acknowledged BIP would serve as his "audition" for the lead role. 

E! Illustration; ABC; MTV

"I would obviously steal the show, I'd swoon all the ladies, and that would be my entrance because the network would take note and they would be like, 'How could we not have this guy as the next Bachelor?'" Bananas explained. "I do it all, one stop shop. I'm chivalrous, and a little bit charismatic, I've kind of got a good sense of humor, I've got a 720 credit score, expert parallel parker and a trophy deer hunter. What more could you ask for?"

And though Bananas has tried to avoid romantic relationships during the latter part of his Challenge career, he promised if he joined Bachelor Nation or fronted his own reality dating show it would be, say it with us, for the right reasons. 

"They say the definition of insanity is trying same the thing over and over and expecting a different result," he said, "and I've tried it on The Challenge, more times than one, and it hasn't worked, so why not give it a shot somewhere else?" 

Besides, love is the objective, not a distraction, which it becomes on The Challenge, Bananas argued.

"It doesn't necessarily bode well for your game usually and it makes things messier than they need to be," he explained. "I've tried to avoid it in the past, I've had some luck and some not so good luck. But if I did the whole Bachelor thing, I would fully embrace it."

While it remains to be seen if Bananas will be seeing the world through rose-colored glasses in the future, he's fully leaning into the new era of The Challenge. After taking a break following his historic win on Total Madness in 2020, he's returned with a vengeance, filming three seasons—Ride or Dies, The Challenge: Global Championship and now The Challenge: USA—in one calendar year.

Given his track record and reputation, he's always a target—"the burden of being Bananas," as he calls it—but the CBS talent on The Challenge: USA are especially ready to send him and other franchise OGs like Tori Deal and Wes Bergmann home ASAP.

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"This season of The Challenge is different than anything I've ever participated in," he admitted. "I felt like a fish out of water and it felt like my rookie season all over again because we were so heavily outnumbered. The learning curve was very steep and it was like learning how to play over again."

But if there's one thing Bananas thrives on it's a, well, challenge.

"My drive for this season was going on a new network in front of a new fanbase, competing against brand new competition and just seeing how I would fare," he said. "I've always just been curious to see if my persona and brand that I've built on MTV would crossover into the CBS world."

MTV; E! Illustration

Still, with a cast of legends from The Challenge, Big Brother, Survivor and The Amazing Race, most of whom he'd never met before filming began, Bananas is still "public enemy No. 1. from day one."

"This was definitely a tough season in that regard," he admitted," but that's the bed that I've made for myself and I sleep very well in it."

You could say it's the burden of being Bananas.

The Challenge: USA season two is streaming on Paramount Plus, with new episodes dropping every Thursday.

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