An Ex ‘Challenge’ Star Said the Producers of the Show Always Protect Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio

The Challenge is back with Total Madness, and some fan-favorite veteran players are back to try their hand at winning the $1 million prize. Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio is playing once again, of course. And this time, he’s teaming up with Wes Bergmann, his sworn Challenge enemy, in an attempt to get to the end.

Devenanzio has plenty of fans who love him and even more who hate him. And there are plenty of fellow competitors who have a major bone to pick with him, too. Here’s what one Challenge player claimed about the producers of the show trying to protect Devenanzio at all costs.

Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio is one of the strongest personalities on ‘The Challenge’

RELATED: ‘The Challenge’: Wes Bergmann Said Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio’s ‘Total Madness’ Strategy Proves He’s an Awful Player

Devenanzio has been competing on The Challenge for over a decade. Thanks to his impactful social gameplay and physical prowess, he often finds himself in the finals of the seasons he’s in. But he certainly rubs many other competitors the wrong way due to his strong personality and tendency to stir the pot when trouble’s already brewing.

Devenanzio has talked about his real-life personality versus his Challenge personality, too. “I always say, what people envision me to be like, in reality, is not who I really am,” he told the New York Post. “This guy who you are talking to — Johnny Bananas — in real life, would never survive on The Challenge. When I go on the show, it’s like a coat of armor and changing who I am.”

Infamous veteran player Laurel Stucky also spoke on Devenanzio’s personality. “Something that I didn’t use to like about him is that he will call anything out, even if it’s hurtful,” she told PeopleTV about her co-star. “I like that he’s really honest. … He takes a light mode to the reality television world, if you will.”

The producers admitted to having favorites on the show

Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio and Cara Maria Sorbello appear on MTV's 'The Challenge: Rivals II' final episode and reunion
Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio and Cara Maria Sorbello appear on MTV’s ‘The Challenge: Rivals II’ final episode and reunion | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

RELATED: Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio Hinted He’s Leaving ‘The Challenge’ For Good

It’s clear fans have their favorites from the series, and there are clear-cut alliances between competitors. But what about the producers? Dan Caster, the vice president of series development and producer for MTV, told E! News the producers absolutely have their own picks of who they want to appear on the show.

“Everyone has their favorites for different reasons,” Caster explained. “So it’s a lot of behind-the-scenes of everyone that works on it having to kind of advocate for people to be there for certain reasons.”

Even with the bias, the producers know when some players are more fitted to certain seasons than others. “There were so many people that I think we would love to put on, but they weren’t dirty players,” he noted when choosing the cast for Dirty 30. “So you couldn’t cast them even though they’re a fan favorite.”

An ex ‘Challenge’ star said producers protect Devenanzio

Devenanzio has been on more seasons than the average player. And it’s safe to say he may be a producer favorite. Ex-Challenge star Susie Meister wrote a blog post about Devenanzio and the show — and she claimed that producers protect Devenanzio at all costs, too.

Meister recalls when Devenanzio took all the money from Sarah Rice at the end of Rivals III. And she also talked about how MTV covered up Devenanzio’s usage of Adderall during the final that he won. “After his win was announced, production confronted him and he admitted that it was his,” Meister wrote. “He was fined $5,000. It was edited out and MTV has denied it.”

As for why this scandal never came to the surface, Meister claims it’s because MTV adores Devenanzio too much. “MTV probably will never admit that this happened because Johnny is their mascot, their hero, and a caricature of their brand,” she continued. “They don’t care that he cheated. They only care that they got their show, and he provided them with the epitome of what these shows are designed to create: drama.”

Whether Devenanzio is the darling of The Challenge or not, it’s true he makes good TV. We’re anxious to see how well he does on Total Madness.

Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!