‘The Challenge’ Champ CT Tamburello Would Love to Settle the GOAT Debate Between Him and Johnny Bananas ‘Once and For All’

The Challenge GOAT debate always features an argument over two legends — Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio and Chris “CT” Tamburello. Fans on one side argue that Bananas is The Challenge GOAT, as he has appeared in 20 seasons and won the show seven times. 

On the other side of the debate is CT. In recent years, he’s been inching closer to Bananas’ impressive numbers. He’s made 22 appearances, and he just won back-to-back seasons to bring his overall win total to five. So, who is The Challenge GOAT? CT says he would love to settle that debate “once and for all.”

The Challenge star CT Tamburello poses for the cameras in a tuxedo as ge attends the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards: UNSCRIPTED at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California and broadcast on June 5, 2022
CT Tamburello | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

CT and Bananas will always be famously linked thanks to season 20 ‘The Challenge: Cutthroat’

The most famous moment between Bananas and CT happened back in 2010 during the Cutthroat season when Bananas appeared to be well on his way to a third Challenge victory. But everything changed in just 19 seconds thanks to the famous Bananas Backpack moment.

With just one elimination left to go before the final, TJ Lavin threw Bananas a curveball and brought in CT as a ringer. CT and Bananas were attached back-to-back by a harness, with the goal of pulling their opponent to their designated end of the court by any means necessary.

CT dominated with his power and strength, and was immediately able to get Bananas off the ground and on his back. CT literally stood up and walked to the finish line with a grown man on his back like a backpack and then threw Bananas into a metal barrel. The shocking display of strength left everyone speechless.

More than a decade later, Bananas says that the Backpack moment is still the one fans ask about most. He told The Chicago Sun Times that fan reaction hasn’t changed at all over the years. It’s always been “Oh my God.”

CT Tamburello would love to settle the GOAT debate ‘once and for all’

CT and Bananas have starred in a few of the same seasons of The Challenge, but they’ve never really gone after each other. They have gone head-to-head against each other in two different finals. Bananas bested CT on The Battle of the Exes, but CT beat Bananas on Rivals II.

“Look, I love Johnny. I do think that me and him were, in my mind, hands down, the Cold War of rivalries. And I don’t think it’s ever gotten enough attention,” CT admitted.

“Me and him are one and one against each other in a final. And who knows, maybe the stars will align one day where me and him are in a final together. Maybe that’s another reason to come back, just to settle it once and for all. And the whole time I just try to protect him and make sure no one tries to send him home so that way I can compete against him in the final.”

‘The Challenge’ host TJ Lavin weighs in

One person who has had a front-row seat to The Challenge GOAT debate is host TJ Lavin. After hosting more than two dozen seasons, he knows more than anyone what it takes to win The Challenge, much less be the best at it. And Lavin believes that Bananas is the greatest player of all time.

However, Lavin told Heavy’s Stephen McCaughterty that even though Bananas was the best during his heyday in the early days of The Challenge, he believes that if CT and Bananas were on a season together now that CT would win.

The Challenge is available to stream on Paramount+.

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