Tina Barta, currently competing on The Challenge: All Stars, threatened to expose legendary champion Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio in a since deleted tweet over the real story of how he received his infamous nickname. Road Rules: South Pacific alum Tina is known for her wit and rarely backing down from a fight. She gained an early reputation on the franchise for being a mean girl who often came under fire for being an instigator. Tina’s last main cast appearance before joining the All-Stars circuit was The Duel, where she was removed from the competition for punching castmate Beth Stolarczyk. The competitor is back for redemption on The Challenge: All-Stars 3 after deciding to uncharacteristically quit during an elimination in the previous season.
Johnny entered The Challenge franchise via Real World: Key West, when he was still known as John in the title credits. The formidable competitor’s Challenge debut began on The Duel, but his branding as a legend was stunted when he was eliminated in the first episode. The 7-time champion has competed in 20 seasons of the flagship show making it to the final 9 times. The champ’s most memorable performance was in Rivals III, when Johnny decided to steal the entire $275,000 prize from his partner Sarah Rice. Johnny’s last season of The Challenge was on Total Madness, which marked the end of his career in the franchise, at least for now.
Recently, Tina came after Johnny on Twitter, though what prompted her to call him out is unknown. The now-deleted tweets stated, “SLIMEBALL JOHN, I warned you. Why don’t you explain how you really got the name ‘Bananas’ and explain to that woman why you have built your entire persona around it.” The current All Stars 3 competitor continued in the next tweet, “I am not going to keep your secret anymore,” before going onto to say she receives “many messages about the foul” things Johnny has done to women but stated she wouldn’t post them because “they would be very embarrassed.” In a follow-up Twitter post, Tina thanked Bunim/Murray Productions, creators of the franchise, for helping her and Johnny come to a resolution on “respecting each other’s boundaries,” claiming not to be perfect or ask others to be either.
Previously, Tina sent a warning to Johnny via Twitter to keep her name out of his mouth after he prompted All-Stars alum Brad Fiorenza to speak about Tina in a December 2021 episode of his Death, Taxes, and Bananas podcast. Johnny has recently commented on his nickname’s origin, which may be what set Tina off. Per his story, Johnny received the moniker while working at Banana Republic in a mall with his best friend John Healy who was located in another store and to differentiate the two, others started calling him Johnny Bananas.
Given the production company’s swift mediation, there’s likely more to the story than fans realize. Johnny is an incredibly popular cast member, and there have been rumors about him returning to the show. MTV probably doesn’t want The Challenge cast members like Tina to tarnish Johnny’s reputation, as he’s been a huge draw for viewers. There’s no way to know what BMP said or did to cool Tina down, but whatever it was seems to have remedied the situation.
The Challenge: All-Stars 3 is currently streaming new episodes every Wednesday on Paramount+.
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