The Challenge

Johnny Reilly: What’s His Challenge Legacy?

Johnny Reilly hasn't done a Challenge in a few years. After a few years away, what is his legacy?

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of people fade out of the spotlight when it comes to The Challenge. Some lost interest in the show, but others have watched their storylines fall into the background. Perhaps Johnny Reilly might fall into the later category.

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He appeared on three seasons over the span of two years: Free Agents, Exes 2, and Rivals 3. Most of his time on the show was spent during an era focused on themes, but he seemed to offer a good amount of background stories that would have made him relevant for future seasons. Somehow, he never got future opportunities to compete.

On his first season, Johnny made it to the final. Usually rookies who make it to the end of their first seasons get a lot of credit. Take a look at people like Wes, Svetlana, Jordan, or Kam. In Johnny’s case, there isn’t a big emphasis on his strong rookie performance. Perhaps this is because his time on Free Agents was overshadowed by other drama. There also may be a lack of respect for his performance because there was a lot of luck involved. He never saw an elimination, and The Draw played a big role in that.

Anyone familiar with Real World: Portland will know Johnny’s biggest storyline would come in the form of relationship drama. On Free Agents he hooked up with Nany, and this would be the nail in the coffin of the Johnny/ Averey relationship that began on Real World. This storyline got some attention, but it seems it should have been much bigger. Johnny was kinda-dating someone, Nany was involved with Cohutta, and they threw it all away for a single night.

Johnny’s second season would pair him with Averey, and they were a highly dysfunctional exes team. Averey even seemed to take the approach of disliking Nany, but didn’t have a major blow-out with her. Rather, we saw a few clashes between Johnny and Averey on more personal levels. Johnny Reilly was working with Bananas and Averey had found new friends on Wes’s side of the house. Combine this with a lack of communication, and the two would only address each other in tense situations.

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On Exes 2, Johnny successfully won a couple of eliminations. However, he barely made it past the halfway mark. Not the best performance, but some potential was displayed.

On Johnny’s final season, Rivals 3, it seemed like Johnny was edited to be a bitter rival to Jessica. Admittedly, she had some blunders and wasn’t the best performer. Johnny needed to deal with this, and it made his time on the season limited. It seemed like he had lost faith by the end of the third daily challenge and he was booted from the season early.

We never saw Johnny again, and now he’s fallen into a level of Challenge obscurity.

What’s Johnny Reilly’s Legacy

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It kind of sucks to say, but Johnny is fairly forgotten on the show. Real World: Portland had major potential on The Challenge, but Jordan seemed to be the person with the most longevity. Now, people will mostly overlook his Free Agents performance. The emphasis is placed on his relationship with Averey and alliances on the show.

To be honest, we can place a lot of the blame (indirectly) on Bananas. It seemed like the Johnny R./ Nany/ Cohutta/ Averey love triangles could have been a major storyline. Instead, Nany became Bananas’s partner on Exes 2. This regulated her into Wes, Theresa, and Nia drama. Any relationship with Johnny R. was secondary to Bananas.

Johnny R.’s other major role on the show would be as Bananas’s ally. On Exes 2 he would be a member of the “Bananas Boat,” though he was probably fourth in line. Behind Bananas, Leroy and Zach would have been the bigger priorities. On Rivals 3, Johnny R. was shoved further down the list. Bananas would work with Leroy and Tony. Plus, he had the forced ally Vince to protect.

To give Bananas some credit, he seems to be pretty good at identifying the next generation of The Challenge and working with them early into their tenures. This is why he worked worked Leroy for so many years and valued Tony early into his Challenge career. It seems like he saw Reilly getting replaced, and soon enough Reilly wasn’t getting cast on the show.

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