MTV may not have shown it, but PEOPLE was on the set in Thailand to hear Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio's traditional Challenge welcome toast

By Breanne L. Heldman
August 28, 2019 10:30 PM

WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the season premiere of The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2.

If you’re still picking up your jaw and wondering how in the heck CT Tamburello wound up on Team U.K. in Wednesday night’s premiere of The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2, we’re right there with you.

Well, actually, we’re not. Because PEOPLE saw it all go down in May when we visited the set. But here’s something else that went down at the beginning of filming the 34th season of the hit MTV competition series: Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio‘s welcome toast.

Every season, the six-time champion (and now 19-time competitor) takes it upon himself to raise a glass to the season. And while WOTW2‘s toast made an appearance in the season’s trailer, it was nowhere to be found in the premiere.

So what did he say?

Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio
Credit: MTV

“To all the lads, the lasses, all the Challenge badasses,” he began. “Here’s to getting stitches, here’s to making your faces swell. Welcome to this season in bloody f—ing hell!”

In truth, Devenanzio wound up giving two toasts at the beginning of this season.

“For the first toast, we’d gotten here after a 15-hour flight, we had barely any sleep and then we’re doing an extremely physical challenge,” he explains to PEOPLE. “I’m literally asleep in the bed and they come in like, ‘Bananas, you’ve got to do your toast!'”

It didn’t go well. “I had nothing written at that point,” he admits. “It was really lackluster.”

His second attempt, the one you’ve read above, was decidedly better.

“I like to incorporate whatever the theme of the show is,” Devenanzio explains. “This one I think means a lot — this season as a whole. There’s a lot more pride at stake for this one because it isn’t new versus old, it isn’t vets versus rookies or battle of the sexes. You’re representing for the U.S.A.”

“Reality television is huge in the U.K.,” he continues. “So for us to take the best of what they have to offer and being able to beat them in physical and mental competition, it’s going to say a lot. There are a lot of bragging rights at stake here.”

The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.