All the World loves an entertainer, someone who can make us laugh, and occasionally make us mad, but it’s only the most popular celebrities who get honored with a nickname. Michael Jackson was the King of Pop and Elvis was simply the King, but Reality TV personality John Devenanzio gets a far more exciting and far more enjoyable nickname in my opinion, and he’s universally known as Johnny Bananas to his millions of fans.
But John Devenanzio isn’t yellow in the slightest despite his nickname, he’s the most successful competitor in MTV’s The Challenge by a long way, and he hasn’t been afraid to upset a few people along the way. Johnny Bananas has become the man that some people love to hate and he’s never batted an eyelid at occasionally pulling a dirty deed on one of his fellow challengers. Whether you love him, or hate to love him, Johnny Bananas is the biggest winning challenger in history, and he’s earned a small fortune in winnings along the way. But exactly how much money has Johnny Bananas earned during his Challenging reality TV career? And what’s the story behind his most controversial moment on the show? Limber up and put your best game face on as we find out.
Johnny Devenanzio Net Worth 2018 – $250,000
How Did Johnny Devenanzio Make His Money & Wealth?
John Devenanzio was born in Orange County, California on June 22nd 1982. He moved to New York at the age of eighteen and began studying at Pennsylvania State University. It was at PSU where he first picked up the handle ‘Bananas’ due to his constant pranks and energetic sense of humor. He eventually earned a batchelors degree in economics at PSU, but even before graduation he had applied to appear on MTV’s long-running reality show ‘The Real World’.
Johnny was picked to appear on the seventeenth season of the show ‘The Real World : Key West’, where he quickly became known to the public as Johnny Bananas due to his energetic and characteristic prank-loving personality. He and fellow cast member Tyler constantly played practical jokes on each other, and Johnny even took things a little too far with another co-star on one occasion, when he jokingly removed Janelle’s bikini top in the ocean. Johnny charmed his way out of that one, even though Janelle gave him a reprimand, and he still managed to emerge at the end of the season as a firm favorite with fans.
Johnny’s fun-loving character saw him join The Challenge in 2006, and he’s still one of the biggest stars of the show eleven years later. His tactical ploys have always left viewers divided over whether he’s the best or the worse thing to ever happen to the show, but over 160 episodes later no one can deny that hyper-competitive Johnny is the most successful contestant in the shows history with a record six titles to his name. Even long time host of the show, BMX star TJ Lavin admits that Johnny adapts better to the rules of the game than anyone else, and he plays to the very limit of those rules. He’s ruffled more than a few feathers amongst his Challenge rivals during the years, but Johnny has never let criticism of him get under his skin, as he frequently says, it’s all part of the game.
Johnny’s personality and appeal to fans has seen him appear in many spin off shows with a similar format to the Challenge, including the Battle of the Exes and earlier this year on ‘The Challenge : Champs Vs. Pros’, where the champion challengers came face to face with professional athletes in what was one of their hardest challenges to date. Johnny’s TV appearances have allowed him to travel around the World and enjoy some very non-traditional vacation activities, such as the time he visited Turkey for Battle of the Bloodlines in 2015, and found himself dangling on a rope 60 feet above the city of Bodrum in a typically dramatic Challenge moment.
Johnny may be the biggest winner ever on MTV’s The Challenge, but in 2012 he had a very public defeat in a legal case against ‘Entourage’ creator Doug Ellin. Johnny brought a lawsuit to the New York Superior Court alleging that HBO, Time Warner and Ellin had infringed on his nickname and caused him financial harm and emotional distress by their use of the name ‘Johnny’s Bananas’ as the title of a fictional cartoon in the drama series ‘Entourage’. The judge ruled that any case for defamation had passed the one year statute of limitations, and he also remarked that the case against HBO didn’t constitute defamation.
If the case had gone to trial HBO were confidently prepared to argue that nicknames were not protected under New York State Law, and several pundits pointed out that even Johnny Devenanzio wasn’t the original Johnny Bananas, the nickname had first been given to Chicago mobster Johnny DiFronzo, and the reputed head of the Chicago Outfit organized crime syndicate wasn’t bringing any lawsuits. Johnny Devenanzio was criticized by some who claimed his lawsuit was frivolous, but he responded in an interview that some people would always dislike and be ready to knock him as he was in the public eye, it was just an inevitable result of his TV fame. Fortunately Johnny had made a deal with his attorney to share any award made by the court, and he revealed that his failed lawsuit had cost him very little financially. Johnny still faced plenty of gloating from fans of The Challenge who were not fans of his, even if he was the biggest winner on TV, just once Johnny had lost something, and his detractors enjoyed every moment of it.
But attempting to win a point over a tactical genius like Johnny Bananas is something that should not be undertaken lightly, as at least one of his fellow Challenge champions knows only too well. In August 2016 in the ‘Challenge : Rivals III’ grand finale, Johnny and team mate Sarah Rice were the winning team, but Challenge host TJ Lavin dropped a sudden bombshell. The winner of the most points amongst Johnny and Sarah could choose to either share the $275,000 prize, or alternatively keep it all for themselves. Johnny had the most points, and he also decided to have all the money to himself as well, reducing Sarah to a speechless mess. Johnny received a lot of negative attention for the decision, but long term fans were less surprised, after all Johnny and Sara had a bit of a history on the show.
In March 2015 Sarah had completely blind-sided Johnny Bananas, the previously undisputed King of the blind-side, when she nominated him and his partner Nany into the last elimination round before the finals of Battle of the Exes II. Previously Johnny and Sarah had been fairly good friends, often training and discussing strategies together. Johnny couldn’t believe Sarah had betrayed him and called the decision ‘Cowardly and double-crossing’ in an interview shortly afterwards, it wasn’t his only angry comment during the interview, where he appeared to be at least partly ranting about the injustice, and there was no doubt that he was genuinely upset by Sarah’s choice. His anger at the decision certainly put on end to their friendly real-life relationship, as evidenced by Johnny’s absence from Sarah’s wedding later that year, but he also remarked in the interview that he would ‘Forgive, but not forget’, and the events of the ‘Challenge : Rivals III’ finale were the result.
Opinion on Johnny Bananas is fairly evenly split amongst fans of the show. One viewer of the show remarked online that Johnny was a ‘Traitor’ to his team mate, while another thought he was ‘A Legend’, but many who believed his decision to keep the $275,00 for himself was wrong were also quick to point out that Johnny was great entertainment, and many of them were happy to forgive his actions, after all the producers of the show had created the rule and it wasn’t Johnny fault for taking advantage of it. There’s no doubt that Johnny is one of the toughest challengers, and he’s possibly the most entertaining one too. His presence has helped the show to keep an edgy diet of drama, betrayal and excitement for countless seasons, and Johnny Bananas has been a major factor in that success. And as the most successful challenger in history, Johnny has netted a small fortune in winnings since he first appeared on our screens back in 2005.
Johnny’s total winnings on the Challenge alone total more than $685,000 since 2005, and those winnings, combined with the marketable value that his personal fame brings has allowed Johnny Bananas a build up a net worth of $250,000 now in 2018. And Johnny doesn’t seem to be contemplating retirement any time soon, as he said in an interview earlier this year, the Challenge is like a drug to him, and it’s one that he intends to keep on taking until he’s too old to compete anymore.
Johnny Devenanzio Personal Life & FAQ’s
Is Johnny Devenanzio married?
Johnny has been in a serious relationship with Olympic Gold Medal Snowboarder Hannah Teter since 2012. The two share not only an active and healthy lifestyle, but they also have worked a great deal for charitable causes. The exact state of their relationship right now in 2018 is the subject of some debate, as neither have mentioned or featured the other in any of their recent social media posts, and whether or not the formerly happy couple are still as happy together as they used to be is not known right now. Only time will tell if they are justing keeping their relationship low-key or whether they are no longer an item.
Johnny Devenanzio’s Salary & Annual Earnings in 2017
Johnny Banana’s winnings on The Challenge and other shows are just part of this reality TV stars income. He has a strong following online, with over 340,000 followers on Instagram and another 221,000 on Twitter, and Johnny always has Johnny Bananas merchandise available to fans on his website, RealJohnnyBananas.Com. He has a wide range of T-Shirts, hoodies, hats and accessories for sale on the site and sales from his online store are likely to boost his annual income for 2018 up to at least $100,000, and that’s without even considering any winnings he may get from his phenomenally successful reality TV career. But Johnny Bananas is far from selfish, despite what angry fans of his Rivals III team-mate Sarah might think, and these days he puts considerable time and effort into helping those less fortunate and healthy than himself.
Johnny Devenanzio’s Charitable work and Philanthropy
Danielle ‘Diem’ Brown was The Challenges most inspirational contestant. She battled ovarian cancer three times, and continued to compete on the show in 2013, even though doctors had told her she would be unlikely to live to the end of the year. Diem died in August 2014 two months after collapsing on the set of Battle of the Exes II in Panama and left a huge hole in the Challenge family. Since her death Johnny has tirelessly worked to promote the charitable non-profit Bright Pink, which aims to prevent cancer and encourages the early detection of the disease. Just days ago Johnny was auctioning off his signed Dirty 30 challenge Jersey to benefit the charity, and he frequently blogs about the importance of Bright Pinks work on his website.
Johnny is based in Southern California and at least as recently as February 2017 he was still traveling regularly to Tahoe to see Hannah. In the small percentage of his life when he isn’t appearing on, training for or promoting the show that he has helped make so successful, he concentrates on his successful online store and also has plans to diversify his clothing line in the future. Surprisingly enough, Johnny is looking to branch out into designing baby clothes in the future, and as the biggest Challenger of all often says, you don’t know that you can’t do something until you try it, and it’s a philosophy that has made him one of the biggest, and most successful reality TV stars of all time.