Gladiator’s Maximus once famously observed: “Brothers, what we do in life…echoes in eternity.” No mere mortal can say yet whether the adage is true, but where The Challenge is concerned — at least according to Jemmye — Johnny Bananas is seeing some karmic ripple effects.
On tonight’s episode, fresh from a defeat in The Presidio, Bananas was forced to lick his wounds and take up brand new tenancy in the game’s Redemption House. Cara Maria, Leroy and Jordan were all shocked to see the most decorated player out of the game, but Jemmye — the show’s resident soothsayer — basically saw it coming.
“My theory about Bananas is ever since he stole that money from Sarah on Rivals III, he’s had horrible Challenge luck,” she said. “This is gonna come back to haunt him. He has not won since he stole that money from Sarah, he hasn’t even made a final. And if he doesn’t make this final, I think that my theory is going to be proven.”
And it’s true. Since Bananas won Season 28 with partner Sarah, the conclusion of which saw him taking his teammate’s share of the grand prize instead of deferring to a typical 50/50 split, Bananas hasn’t come home with any dough. Invasion amounted to a beating by Darrell in The Fortress, while the special event Champs vs. Pros found JB bounced by Wes in The Arena.
But would the final Redemption House comeback challenge break the curse?
In the final second-chance mission, TJ told Redemption House occupants that one woman and two men (there was an extra space available after Nelson’s disqualification) would earn spots back in the house by decoding a combination, unlocking puzzle pieces and assembling an image with the fastest times. All the while, players who were still active in the game would have the opportunity to knock each Redemption House contestant in the head with mallets, Whack-a-mole style.
And while Johnny felt confident he was en route to a seventh Challenge win, each mallet strike shook his focus, and as CT and Jordan took early leads, he felt his chances at redemption waning. Finally, with two decisive whistle blows, Johnny Bananas’ chances at a Dirty Thirty final and win were officially dashed, and he was forced to accept that Jemmye’s premonitions may have been more than folklore.
“They say sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, in this challenge I wasn’t really either,” he said, and Jemmye piled on.
“Damn Bananas, that karma is still sticking around,” she said.
What do you think — has Johnny Bananas sincerely disrupted the karmic balance of The Challenge, and did his slighting of Sarah cost him any future success? Or, is it only a matter of time before he’s back on the winners’ podium, and is his next victory just around the corner? Share your thoughts, and see how the game proceeds next Tuesday at 10/9c!