Warning: this post contains spoilers from the Tuesday, March 6, episode of The Challenge: Vendettas!
While the franchise has focused a ton on alliances and yes, the drama in the house, this week’s episode got a little intense – so much so that T.J. Lavin had to step in. After hearing a “rumor” that Kayleigh and Johnny Bananas had kissed once, the girls who roomed with Natalie – Britni, Jemmye and Kailah – decided to keep Natalie comfortable in their room, they’d kick Kaleigh out. To do so, they took her bed and all of her belongings and threw them over the railing, letting them shatter to the floor.
After the shocking events, Kayleigh was so anxious and upset, she spent the night in a hotel. At the elimination, TJ scolded the “mean girls” for “bullying,” and ultimately, a very upset Kaleigh decided she wanted go home. However, that was only part of the drama. Following the “rumor” — Johnny Bananas never admitted he actually kissed Kayleigh – he was sent in to the elimination round against Devin and was sent home.
Us Weekly spoke exclusively with Johnny Bananas following the shocking episode – read his full Q&A below:
Us Weekly: First thing’s first. Did you hook up with Kayleigh or not?
Johnny Bananas: Listen, what happens in the bathroom in Spain, usually stays there.
UW: OK then. Natalie wasn’t happy you didn’t come and talk to her after the rumor. You just thought it was ridiculous to do so?
JB: What was annoying about the whole situation was that obviously all of this hoopla comes out the night before eliminations. All of a sudden, people who haven’t said a word the entire season, now is so concerned about her well-being. People on this show get drunk, they kiss, it’s not a big deal. All of a sudden, something that may or may not have happened with Kayleigh a month prior to this, now is front-page news. It’s meant to create controversy and create drama. It was laughable. That’s why when everyone was like, “Go talk to Natalie,” I’m like, “Why? She’s not my girlfriend, I don’t owe her an explanation about anything.” It was such high school nonsense. We’re talking about someone who may have kissed someone in a bathroom!
UW: So no more showmances for you?
JB: I’m not saying that. I don’t know if I’d consider that a showmance! I don’t think anything I did this season, in regard to the showmance, impacted my game. I feel bad. I think the girls got affected worse by it. If anything, I always feel worse for them for being involved with me. They were like innocent bystanders while everyone came for me. Everyone in the house tried to drive a wedge between me and anyone.
UW: And everyone was coming from you day one, right? Which happens on every season.
JB: It’s just never been this crazy before. I knew people wanted to get rid of me but this is the first time, since day one, the entire house was against me. All the guys banded together and we’re collectively working together against me. They didn’t show that on the season which is really annoying, the extent these guys were going to try to get me out. A guy like Tony, who I’ve never had a problem with and has always been in my corner, as soon as he got the chance, he jumped on board. I was dodging grenades from every angle. But that’s the environment I’ve created for myself. You’re a byproduct if what you create. If I were these guys, I’d do the same.
UW: Was part of you proud of Tony? He said you kind of taught him how to play the game and would do the same?
JB: No, no, no. That’s not me, though. I’ve never screwed over someone who I consider a close personal friend, someone who I look out for. Paula is the only example anyone can come up with but that’s entirely different. Sarah used me as her explanation too. If you’re gonna make a move, if you’re gonna do something dirty and screw someone over, don’t say you learned it from me. Don’t say it’s what I would have done … because I wouldn’t have. Tony had other clear options that would have caused a lot less drama and made a lot less waves. What Tony’s now done is made a move that benefits him in the short term, without thinking about future consequences. The only sure things in life are death, taxes and Johnny Bananas will be doing Challenges. So now, Tony has replaced Cory on my s–t list. Every challenge, he’s gonna have a really tough road to climb. It’s never been like him before. I found out that it was something they had been planning for a while. It wasn’t like a spur of the moment thing. He’s been masterminding for a while. It’s unfortunate. I’ve considered Tony a really close friend for a long time. Here’s the other thing: I’m not saying he shouldn’t have done it or I’m untouchable, but I feel like after everything that I’ve done for that guy, he at least owed me a heads up that I was going in.
UW: We have to discuss the bullying that got out of hand. I feel like we’ve been seeing this for a long time on the show, back to Tonya’s days. Would you say it’s changed?
JB: I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve seen girls throwing personal belongings or getting in each other’s faces but there’s a one-on-one beef there [or] a reason why. This mean girl mob mentality was created this season. Kaleigh wasn’t the first, either. When you’re in a challenge, the worst feeling is being on your own and then when you’re ganged up on people. They were looking to make her the scapegoat. A lot of those girls felt very insecure about their physical performance at that part in the game and thought they could potentially be next up on the chopping block. So they used Natalie as a pawn to label Kaleigh as this evil person.
When we’re in a challenge, we’re already in prison. We have everything taken away. The only thing that we have is our personal belongings. To go as a group into someone’s room – which is like your zen place where you should feel safe – to take their personal belongings and destroy them, then to feel no remorse? That’s the craziest part. Not one of them feels an ounce of remorse. They all feel justified in doing that. All three of them still have excuses about why they did it and don’t feel bad. It was so f–ked up. Jemmye’s the first one to go and accuse people of being a bully and being mean to girls. She preaches women empowerment. How are you gonna preach women empowerment and be all about it and you’re the first one to tear a girl down and not apologize. It was horrible. She was on her own! It reminded me of watching mean kids on a playground. As an adult, you see kids gang up on one kid and you’re like, “That’s f–ked up. How can kids be so mean?’ These girls are supposed to be adults, and they still are acting like that.
UW: At one point in this week’s episode, you said you’ll be doing these shows a long time. So, no end in sight for Bananas, especially now with a new vendetta in Tony?
JB: Tony has nothing to do with it. I come back to do amazing TV. This season, once again, Bananas stole the show. That’s how it’s always been. I love competing, I love stirring the pot, I love making people squirm. I love making great television. I love creating controversy. That’s what drives me to come back. I could give a s–t about alliances, vendettas and all of that. I think I’ve been put on this Earth, I think God’s given me the ability to entertain and that’s what I love doing.
The Challenge: Vendettas airs on MTV Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.