How The Challenge Winner Royally Screwed Over His Partner

Given how fleeting in nature a lot of competitive reality shows are, there isn't always the chance for longterm relationships to build up, either in a positive or negative direction. But MTV's The Challenge: Rivals is built directly upon such relatively rare circumstances, and the third season's finale ended last night with one of the most deviously cutthroat moves in unscripted TV history, as network familiar Johnny Bananas bilked his co-winning teammate and friend/enemy Sarah Rice out of $137,500. The bottoms of glaciers aren't that cold.

The simple set-up is that season favorites Bananas and Sarah won the final challenge, though it wasn't so certain for a while. But instead of splitting the $275,000 grand prize equally, MTV's twist had the top points-earner from each of the three teams decide whether or not they wished to split the money or keep it all. And while both 2nd place (Vince and Jenna) and 3rd place (Devin and Cheyenne) teams decided sharing was caring with their respective $50,000 and $25,000 prizes, you can probably already guess that Mr. Big Winner Bananas had other plans.

And it was one thing to hog all that moolah for himself, but the most awful (or hilarious, depending on your take on all this) was his little speech before he announced he wasn't splitting the money. He sounded at first like he was going to keep it, and then he talked about how he couldn't do it without Sarah, and that their bad blood from the past was finished. (That bad blood, for the record, occurred some seasons back when Sarah, given the chance to work an advantage, sent Bananas to an elimination round, after which his team was sent home.) But then he brought it right back around to the bare bones of the situation, which was that the money was all his.

Believe it or not, the Internet reacted wildly, with many calling Johnny Bananas out for being callous and cruel and whatnot, while others thought it was just desserts for the betrayal he felt in the past. And he was responding to a ton of them, after not so stealthily stoking the fire himself.

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At some point when a Twitter user called him out for being a horrible TV villain, Johnny Bananas even brought the notorious recent Bachelorette contestant Chad Johnson into things. He knows how the game is played. As well he should, since he's been a regular on MTV's reality shows (mostly The Challenge and its offshoots) since first appearing on Real World: Key West in 2006. Did he know back then that he would one day pull one of the most gloriously shady moves in the entirety of reality television? Ask him on Twitter and he might answer.

P.S. He totally rocked it during the reunion special wearing a T-shirt that said "Rotten Banana" on it.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.