‘The Challenge’: Producers Allegedly Cut the ‘Total Madness’ Final Short Because It Was ‘Too Dangerous’

The Challenge: Total Madness is over, and Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio as well as Jenny West both took home $500,000. Those who’ve watched the show over the years know the finals test competitors both mentally and physically. And several of the contestants on Total Madness quit halfway through the end. It seems the snow, the mountains, and the sleepless night made for a seriously difficult final run.

West was able to complete the final in first place. But she told the Challenge Mania podcast that producers actually had to cut it short because of how dangerous it was.

Jenny West and Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio won ‘The Challenge: Total Madness’

RELATED: ‘The Challenge’: Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio Said an Event From the ‘Total Madness’ Finale Haunts Him

Devenanzio is no stranger to winning The Challenge. With 20 seasons and seven wins under his belt, many fans had a feeling that once he got to the end, he’d take home the grand prize. And he claims it’s his ability to adapt that’s gotten him this far.

“I’ve said this in the past, and I maintain to this day: It’s not the strongest that wins. And it’s not the smartest that wins. It’s those who have the ability to adapt,” Devenanzio said during an Instagram conversation. “And I think above all, above all the things that I’ve managed to do and I’ve been good at over the years, my ability to adapt, I think, has been spot-on.”

As for West, this was her first final. And Devenanzio didn’t know how well she’d do despite her obvious physical strength. “A lot of the times what you see is people when they have more muscle mass, that affects them when it comes to their endurance levels,” he told the Challenge Mania podcast. “She’d never run a final before. So I was even a little bit kind of questioning her.”

It seems he shouldn’t have questioned her, though, as she smoked the competition.

‘The Challenge’ is known for having dangerous stunts

TV personalities Diem Brown, Paula Meronek, and Aneesa Ferreira appear on MTV's 'The Challenge: Rivals II' final episode and reunion party
TV personalities Diem Brown, Paula Meronek, and Aneesa Ferreira appear on MTV’s ‘The Challenge: Rivals II’ final episode and reunion party | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The Challenge producers do their best to keep competitors safe. But there have certainly been daily challenges, eliminations, and finals that have taken down competitors. Early on in Total Madness, Jay Starrett was in a physical competition against Rogan O’Connor — and it left Starrett with a possible concussion. When Nelson Thomas also competed in an elimination against O’Connor in “Hall Brawl,” he was left with plenty of battle wounds as well.

A reporter wrote an article for People regarding her experience being shot from a “cannon” to test a War of the Worlds 2 challenge.

“I was seated in the contraption, waiting for a countdown that seemed to take forever,” the reporter wrote. “[Wes] Bergmann’s warning about how ‘dangerous’ these things were because of lack of repetitions kept repeating in my head, especially when I spotted a random bolt sitting on the track in front of me. …  I flew, splashing into the water at a breakneck speed, a piece of the chair breaking off and landing in the water behind me.”

Jenny West said producers cut the final short due to the danger

It seems producers had more in mind for the Total Madness final that was actually presented to the competitors. West told the Challenge Mania podcast the environment made it too dangerous.

“It didn’t seem to be as long as people normally see, but I think due to the temperatures, they really couldn’t push it because we were, people were dropping like flies,” West said. “Bailey having to leave, Melissa ended up having to leave. And I think they just thought, alright if we don’t get this final done, we’re gonna have no finalists to finish and everyone’s just gonna have hypothermia on the side of a mountain.”

West also noted that on the last day of the final, they were supposed to film earlier — but a blizzard derailed filming. “It was dangerous. It was too dangerous for us to go because they wouldn’t be able to see us if something happened,” West added. “We just had to wait. It ended up being a bit shorter than it was supposed to be. But I don’t really know how anyone could’ve gone on much longer.”

Will future Challenge finals also be in the snow on a mountain, or will they switch it back to tropical locales? We’ll find out for season 36.

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