Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio Said ‘The Challenge’ Will Most Likely Return in 2021 Despite Coronavirus
Those who follow The Challenge know Total Madness has been a wild ride. While the MTV show has been on for over two decades, competition is fiercer than ever to get the $1 million prize. And now that Total Madness is over halfway finished, we’re also wondering what the show will look like now that coronavirus (COVID-19) is halting production of major reality TV shows.
It looks like Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio is hopeful that the show will continue no matter what is happening in the world. Here’s what he told the Challenge Mania podcast about the potential future of the show.
‘The Challenge: Total Madness’ is unlike any other season of the show so far
From freezing mountaintops to island getaways, we’ve seen The Challenge (and the show’s most difficult finales) take place in a multitude of locations. And Total Madness had the contestants living in an underground bunker. While competitors would leave their tight bomb shelter to participate in challenges and occasionally head to the bar, they didn’t have much contact with the outside world aside from that.
“For the first time ever, we are living in a nuclear bomb shelter,” Devenanzio explained to the cameras. “This place is terrifying.”
Aside from the unsavory living conditions, the gameplay this season is also completely different. Each competitor must earn a red skull to compete in the finale. In order to win a red skull, they have to get thrown into an elimination round and win.
“This season, you’re here to prove that you’re the best,” host T.J. Lavin told contestants. “I’m done with people skating by.”
Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio had trouble adapting this season
Devenanzio had a new strategy this season — and that was to work with his nemesis of past seasons, Wes Bergmann. Bergmann and Devenanzio worked surprisingly well together while they were both on the show, and they seem to have a long-lasting friendship now. But putting gameplay aside, it seems Devenanzio had a tough time mentally.
“I have never known in my life what true depression feels like until I lived in this bunker for eight weeks,” Devenanzio told the Challenge Mania podcast. “And I’ve seen it all. … The Island pales in comparison to the misery that was felt in this bunker.”
“Living underground, breathing artificial air, no natural light. Seasonal affect disorder, you not being able to see actual light, really does a number on the human body and on the mind,” the Challenge star added. “And I got to a point on this show where … I felt like I was depressed, dude. I have nothing to look forward to. It was miserable, dude.”
Will ‘The Challenge’ return? Devenanzio says most likely
Despite the tough living situation, there’s no doubt Devenanzio would do it all over again if he could. And fans anticipate seeing him on plenty of future Challenge seasons — that is, if future seasons will still happen.
A number of shows are on hiatus due to coronavirus. But Devenanzio told the Challenge Mania podcast he thinks The Challenge will definitely be back after Total Madness sooner than fans think.
“Things are definitely looking good for the fans out there that are hoping to get another Challenge in by 2021,” Devenanzio noted. “We are at the mercy of the same situations and issues that everyone else is. This pandemic definitely threw a wrench in the original plans, I believe … but, we’re able to adjust, we’re able to adapt, and yeah … we’re getting geared up just like every other television show, everyone else. I’d like to think not even a pandemic has the ability to hold The Challenge back.”
Sounds like fans won’t have to wait too long for another season of the show once Total Madness ends!
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