After running through the Best Reality TV Character Bracket like it was a Hall Brawl elimination challenge, CT came face to face with his longtime Challenge foe, Johnny Bananas. And once again, CT put him on his back and sent him home.
“In the end CT and I were always destined to be together,” Johnny Bananas tweeted as the polls opened on Friday afternoon. About four minutes later he seemed to concede, @’ing The Challenge and tweeting, “Regardless of the outcome we’ve already won.” But CT truly did run away with the final, tallying 63 percent of the total vote. He’s the champion after defeating Nick Viall, Joe Budden, Omarosa, Kristin Cavallari, Snooki, and now Bananas; and none of the matchups were particularly close.
All credit to Johnny Bananas—the best campaigner reality TV has ever seen—but it was always gonna be CT. The mix of confidence, charm, danger, warmth, and sheer power on that head and with that accent—the guy may as well have been made in a reality TV lab. But beyond that, CT has done what all great characters do: He’s evolved. CT came to us in 2003 as a ball of chaos and muscle who delivered some of the wilder moments on The Real World: Paris (also, that hair). Then in his early days on The Challenge, aside from being one of the most feared in-game competitors, he was reckless and borderline dangerous. And, it’s worth noting, incredibly watchable.
But the layers of CT’s personality have been revealed as time has gone on. He’s gained control of his emotions, and instead of burning out like a hurtling ball of fire, he’s actually won The Challenge—three times. He’s become an elder statesman, and a person people revere (while still also fearing him). In his relationship with Diem Brown, we saw his softer side; his more vulnerable side; and as she battled cancer, his honor, and capacity for care. Now, he’s a father, devoted and proud.
It’s a full life CT has spent with us. Only a person like CT could conjure moments like the Bananas Backpack and Poop Soup, but it’s the growth—and the closeness we feel to him for having watched it—that makes CT the best reality TV character. (“Don’t make it weird, bro,” I can hear him saying right now.) Johnny Bananas may have more Challenge wins, but CT is the winner of the Best Reality TV Character Bracket.
What’s that? One more time? OK, fine: