‘The Challenge: Season 38’: Johnny Bananas Compares Living in the House to a ‘White Collar Prison’

The Challenge Season 38 officially has a theme, a cast, and a premiere date. MTV recently announced that the upcoming season would have the theme Ride or Dies. And it will be the first time in the show’s long history that players will be allowed to choose their partners. 

But according to GOAT Johnny Bananas — who is competing on the show for the 23rd time — living in the Challenge house during season 38 was like living in a “white collar prison.”

The Challenge Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio attends the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 15, 2019 in Santa Monica, California
Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for MTV

Fan favorites of ‘The Challenge’ will be competing with their closest allies in season 38

In The Challenge: Ride or Dies, fan-favorite contestants choose their partner for the first time ever, and that means they will be paired with their closest allies. That could be a best friend, family member, a spouse, a partner, or even an ex. One of the 17 teams competing for the $1 million prize is Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio and Nany González.

The caption in the Challenge trailer says, “These bonds CANNOT be broken…or can they?” But according to a recent episode of the Death, Taxes, and Bananas podcast, the GOAT was more worried about his freedom in the Challenge house than he was about his bond with Nany.

Johnny Bananas compared living in the house to a ‘white collar prison’

In a podcast episode that featured The Challenge: All Stars creator Mark Long, Bananas reminisced about when he began his run on the MTV reality competition series back in his early 20s. 

He said that back then the contestants could do what they wanted in the Challenge house, and they would get away with anything and everything. But now, things are so strict that Bananas felt like he was behind bars.

“It went from having no rules and being able to do whatever we wanted to do, whenever we wanted to do it, to now…we’re in a form of like a white collar prison, for lack of a better comparison,” Bananas said.

Things have changed in ‘The Challenge’  house since Johnny Bananas started competing

When the cast is taken to the filming location and put in The Challenge house, they are required to give up phones, TVs, and radios. Bananas says that phone calls are “strictly monitored to prevent leaks.” He also told Us Weekly that since players were hiding contraband in protein containers, all workout supplements must be factory-sealed.

But according to Bananas, the biggest difference for him since he started competing nearly two decades ago is the limited movement outside of the house. And — since he is now 40 — he doesn’t enjoy a 25-year-old producer telling him when he can go to the bathroom, where he can walk, and when he can smoke a cigarette.

“It’s so demeaning. But I feel like that is part of the whole environment that they create. If we treat you like you’re a child and an animal, you’re going to act like a wild animal. And that’s exactly what they get,” Bananas said.

The Challenge Season 38 premieres Wednesday, October 12 on MTV.

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