Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio is a familiar face among The Challenge viewers. But the MTV star has been facing new challenges as he transitions into a hosting position on Celebrity Sleepover. During an exclusive chat with Screen Rant, Johnny dished on how “arduous” the change was for him.
As a six-time winner on The Challenge, Johnny is well-deserving of a G.O.A.T. title. He has competed on numerous seasons of the show following his MTV inception on The Real World: Key West. He made his Challenge debut on The Duel in 2006 and went on to win The Island, The Ruins, Rivals, Battle of the Exes, and Free Agents. After years of winning as part of a team, Johnny took home his first solo win on Total Madness. However, he skipped out of competing on Double Agents to prepare for his television transition into hosting.
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In recent months, Johnny started serving as a host on his new late-night talk show on NBC’s Celebrity Sleepover. The new TV gig is something new for the MTV star as many recognize him from his numerous appearances on The Challenge. However, while speaking exclusively with Screen Rant, Johnny dished on how challenging it was for him to get comfortable with interviewing celebrities. “It’s been a somewhat arduous process, I’d say, transitioning from reality television to hosting,” he admitted. “While I thought I had everything figured out, as far as TV went and my quote-unquote persona, or the person I am on television – which I like to say is the same Johnny Bananas, just a little louder and a little more colorful. But what I realized very quickly when it comes to hosting, is while you obviously want to be entertaining and let your personality shine through, you’re not necessarily the story.”
For years Johnny Bananas has positioned himself as the star on The Challenge through in-house feuds and shady alliances that led to messy showdowns. But this time around, Johnny is having to tone down his in-your-face MTV persona and get comfortable letting his guests get all the shine. “You’re basically highlighting the guest that you have on, and you almost have to take a backseat and play second fiddle,” Johnny added. While the reality star admits that he’s “never been a great listener,” the move into hosting has “been a process of finding that rhythm, finding my voice, and finding my place.”
His premiere season of Celebrity Sleepover includes sitdowns with The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey, 90210 star Tiffany Thiessen, the cast of The Real World: Homecoming, and more. For fans of Johnny Bananas, you might not see him on the current season of The Challenge, but he’s setting a new stage for die-hard viewers.
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