MTV’s The Challenge: Rivals III (Go on Take the Money and Run)


MTV’s The Challenge started in 1998 under the name Road Rules: All Stars, which had members from Real World and Road Rules in a competition show to win some money. In Season 2, the show’s name was changed to Real World / Road Rules, and is currently known as The Challenge with variations on the name such as: The Challenge: Fresh Meat I, II, The Challenge: Rival I, II, and recently, Rivals III, among other names it’s know for.

I started watching it in the early 2000’s and continue to do so til this day. I thoroughly enjoy this show along with The Real World, and Catfish.


Each season, MTV’s The Challenge tries to mix things up. First it was Fresh Meat and the Rivals. I, personally, find Rivals more enjoyable for two reasons: 1. they are bringing back people the viewers are familiar with, and 2. you know there’s going to be major drama because you have two people in the same house, that dislike each other, if not hate each other.

In Rivals they like to pair Rivals up with each other, which makes for better TV.


courtesy of MTV

courtesy of MTV

Instead of giving the whole set up for this season’s The Challenge on who was paired up with whom and their history, I’m going to cut straight to the point of this post.

Friends now Rivals:

Johnny Devenanzio aka Johnny Bananas and Sarah Rice (now Patterson)

Johnny and Sarah from Rivals III

Johnny and Sarah from Rivals III

Quick back story:

Johnny and Sarah had been friends for a long time. I believe they met on the show a while back and from there became good friends. In last season’s The Challenge: Skeletons, Sarah was paired with Jordon from The Real World Las Vegas, and Johnny was paired with Nany, also from RW Las Vegas.

Johnny and Nany

Johnny and Nany


Sarah and Jordan had won the last challenge in the game before the finale, and had to choose who would go into elimination. It It was discussed, and I believed, agreed between Sarah/Jordan and Johnny/Nany that Sarah would not put in Johnny. Well, Sarah ended up putting in Johnny and Nany to battle another couple in the elimination round, in which Johnny and Nany lost, sending Johnny home without a chance at the money.

This move by Sarah turned her and Johnny into Rivals and a perfect pair to bring back for Rivals III.

I’m So Happy To See You

During the entire challenge, Johnny and Sarah worked great together and won a lot of the challenges, which made them the team to beat. About mid way through the season, Sarah apologized to Johnny for what she did to him in the previous season. Johnny expressed himself, Sarah expressed herself and they seemed to have made up and left the bad blood behind them. They both expressed their like for each other, how much they missed being around each other. Johnny even told Sarah that when she walked into his room one night he was genuinely happy to see her. From that point on, their rivalry was gone and friendship was back on the menu. Or so we thought.


The teams that made it to the finale were:

L to R: Devin, Cheyenne, Johnny, Sarah, Jenna, Vince

L to R: Devin, Cheyenne, Johnny, Sarah, Jenna, Vince (this is at top of the mountain where Johnny and Sarah finished first)

How it normally works in team challenges is the winning team splits the money down the middle, but not this time. TJ Lavin (host of the show) tell the teams the person with the highest point at the finish line can decide to either keep all the money or split it with their teammate.

3rd place: $25,000

2nd place (which is first place loser): $50,000

1st place: $275,000

How the scoring worked: Everybody would complete the same task. The first person first each team that finished the task first got a point, if they choose, they could help their teammate, which all of them did for each challenge. In the end Johnny and Sarah won the whole thing and the $275,000.

Devin and Cheyenne came in third and Devin split the money with Cheyenne.

Vince and Jenna came in second and Vince split the money with Jenna

HOWEVER, when TJ asked Johnny what was he going to do, Johnny gave some BS story about how he may not have many challenges left and needs to look out for his future, thus deciding not to split the money with Sarah.

baby 1

As both Devin and Vince said, if it wasn’t for their partners they wouldn’t be in the finale, so they should split the money. Johnny felt his future was more important than thanking his partner, Sarah, for getting him to the finale. He didn’t get their by himself. Johnny didn’t win all those challenges by himself. He had Sarah with him all the way. As Sarah said in the reunion show, she would have never done that him. No descent human being would do that to someone was their partner an entire season and contributed to them being in the finale and then winning the finale. But Johnny proved to not be a descent person.


Somehow, Johnny Devenanzio got the name Bananas and it’s stuck for all these years. Well, after this season of The Challenge, he will be known as Johnny Rotten.

I normally watch these shows with a grain of salt. They are mindless entertainment while I’m doing something else (playing Candy Crush Soda, mostly). But what Johnny did in the finale really had me heated for I really liked Johnny. He had his moments in which the light didn’t shine favorably on him, but for the most part, I thought he had a good heart, and he showed it, especially to the newbies on the show. He’s said some harsh things, but if anyone knows, the older you get the less of a filter you have, and if you know the person well enough, you know they mean no harm. Yeah, there’s a lot of me in those last statements. I have no filter and I mean no harm.


Splitting the money would have given each $137,000, which would have been more than enough for Johnny to “protect his future”. I’m not sure what the cut off age for the show is, but if he’s still in shape as the years progress, why not keep doing them. Well, hold on…this is how I felt before he pulled a fast one on Sarah. Johnny doesn’t seem to have a real job outside of these shows. He apparently has his own clothing line, but I feel that came about after his popularity on the shows grew. He also is the first contestant to have a bobble-head made after him.


Yeah, I don’t get either.


I’m not sure if the decision Johnny made was last minute or seeking revenge on Sarah for what she did last season. However, like I said on Twitter:



I’m sure by next season, if Johnny and/or Sarah are on, we might find out something different has taken place. It might be a good something. I think I’m still hoping that Johnny Bananas isn’t Johnny Rotten after all.

I must add, I was glad not see Cara Marie in this season’s The Challenge. But hope to not see her next season or the season after that.

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