After establishing Dan Gheesling and Phaedra Parks as traitors on episode 1, they made their first move on episode 2: murdering Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio.
While the Challenge star told Us Weekly that he wasn’t surprised to be the first one taken out, he had no idea the former Big Brother winner and Real Housewives of Atlanta star were behind the kill.
“Part of me was thinking it could have been Marcus [Jordan] and Larsa [Pippen],” Bananas said in a joint interview with the couple, who were shocked by his admission. “Because I proposed that idea to you guys in the car, I was like, ‘What if it’s one of you and then you murdered the other one?’ So I was thinking, ‘Oh, maybe I was onto something and they killed me.’ I was questioning everyone, [even host] Alan Cummings. I was like, Alan probably f–king murdered me for stealing his gold bar.’ So I didn’t know at the time. They murdered me right away and they were asking me in my exit interviews, ‘Do you have any idea who did this?’ And I’m like, ‘I have not a clue.’”
Bananas added that the traitors “gave me more credit than I deserve.”
“Yes, I’m good at competition shows, but this is a whole different style of show,” he explained. “I think the traitors weren’t necessarily threatened by me as a competition in the show. I think they were more threatened by me as a competition to the camera time and the entertainment value. And because they brought none of that to the screen, anyone that did, they wanted to get rid of.”
“I wouldn’t change what I did at all,” Bananas continued. “People are like, ‘Oh, do you wish you would’ve went in and not done so much?’ I’m like, ‘I was still going home regardless.’ I could have went into that castle, sat in the corner and read the Bible the entire time, and I still would’ve been the first one gone,” Bananas told Us Weekly. “So no, I wanted to go in and I’m like, ‘If I’m going to go down, I want to go down in flames.”
So how did his fellow MTV stars feel about seeing him go first? “I mean, I wasn’t mad about it,” Trishelle Cannatella told Us. “We don’t have the best past, CT and Bananas and I.”
Chris “CT” Tamburello called it “a shame for the show in general” to lose Bananas so early.
“I thought he was going to be a lot of fun. He would’ve brought a different dynamic to the show,” he said. “Because typically in our own universe, when it comes to The Challenge, we’re in this bubble where it’s always [against each other]. But on the outside world, I was looking forward to him and Trishelle [and I] actually going to work together for once. …. I can only imagine the amount of money that we could have won after he was there [longer].”
Peppermint vs. Trishelle
A quick tiff about clothes and the RuPaul’s Drag Race star misspeaking and calling herself a traitor, lead to tension with the Real World alum as Trishelle informed the group that Peppermint (incorrectly) admitted to being a traitor.
“The word slip up was a word slip up. I mean, obviously I wasn’t a traitor if you watched the episode. And I definitely wasn’t like, ‘Let me tell these people I’m a traitor.’ So it was just a word slip up. I was feeling my back against the wall,” Peppermint told Us. “I was voted in the superlatives, most popular player in the game and that day, no one talked to me. It was, like, cold shoulder from everybody, which kind of clued me off. But that made it really difficult to try to have a conversation with people. And so I was feeling really sort of just abandoned and, people were like, ‘You’re done. Because of what Trishelle said, you’re done. We don’t want to hear what you have to say. We don’t want to have to connect with you.’ And that was really tough in the very first few moments of the game.”
Peppermint added, “I do feel like she botched me a little bit and sort of sabotaged me, but that’s the name of the game. I was hoping she was the traitor.”
Trishelle insisted to Us that she “tried to get to know Peppermint,” explaining: “And I feel like she was very close to the chest, which is fine. And I guess in this game it’s a little bit different, but I’ve played competition games before and so for me, if you try to get to know someone and they don’t want to get to know you, then they’re hiding something. So I felt like a little bit of a weird vibe.”
When Dan and Phaedra were given the chance to add another traitor to their team, they tapped the former Survivor winner.
When asked why he opted to recruit Parvati over fellow Big Brother winner Janelle, Dan teased, “You don’t know that it doesn’t happen [down the line].”
“[But] I wanted to recruit Parvati early because she had a little bit of heat on her,” he explained. “And also because I want to make a show the fans want to see. When am I ever going to get a chance to work with the Black Widow? And in a weird way, it was exciting and scary because I know how dangerous she is. I felt like she’s kind of like the female version of me, like, you trust her, but then also you’re bringing her into the den and you can get stabbed in any second. So I wanted to bring her in to see if we could somehow find a way to work together, but it was scary at times, for sure.”
The first three episodes of The Traitors are streaming on Peacock now. Keep coming back to Us Weekly for more from the cast, including recaps for episodes 1 and 3.