'The Challenge': Cara Maria Talks Paulie's Big Move on Johnny Bananas (Exclusive)

As Johnny Bananas put it during a confrontation in Wednesday’s episode of The Challenge, “I am the Challenge.” Knowing this, Bananas always finds himself with a target on his back. It turns out, the same can be said even when it’s Team USA vs. Team UK. In what was, arguably, the most intense episode of the young season, Bananas found himself facing an uphill battle — not because of Team UK — but from his own team.

After “throwing a competition” the previous week, which ended up backfiring as one of his allies, Laurel, ended up going home, and Bananas became Enemy No. 1 to some of his teammates. In an exclusive with PopCulture.com, Cara Maria Sorbello revealed exactly what it takes to stand out.

“If you’re willing to go to that extent to make your own team lose, then we need to cut out the cancer,” Cara Maria told PopCulture.com. “I don’t care what kind of a good player you are, but if you’re just as good of a player for the other team then you don’t belong on Team America.”

It just so happened that Paulie Calafiore, one of Bananas’ biggest opposers on the show, ended up finding himself in a position of power as Team USA pulled out a narrow margin of victory in a swimming endurance competition. The timed event was so close it ended up being separated by just over one minute when all of the individual times were added up.

Nonetheless, Bananas felt somewhat secure after the win even with Calafiore taking on the role of Speaker and picking Sorbello and Jordan Wiseley to round out the tribunal. The reason he felt like that was because earlier in the episode during the aforementioned confrontation, Bananas wound up shaking hands with Calafiore, who promised as long as he picks him to be the speaker he would not say his name to go into the Proving Ground and face elimination.

At the time of this, Cara Maria stood by in disbelief.

“I was freaking out,” Cara Maria said to PopCulture.com. “I actually thought that Paulie was serious and that he was going to trust Johnny and give him another chance… I’ve known Johnny for 10 years, I know what this man is capable of, I know what he’s done and I know what he would do. If you believe him, you’re going to get shot in the face next time.”

When it was all said and done, though, Calafiore did not stick to his word. It turns out he had never planned on honoring the handshake and instead, wanted to make the power move to better position himself and Cara Maria in the game.

“For Paulie to do that and orchestrate what he did, is huge,” Cara Maria said.

The move sent Bananas into a battle for his Challenge life alongside Theo Campbell, who was sent in by his UK peers. In a nail-biter, Theo edged out Bananas and along with it, took a huge weight off of Calafiore and Caria Maria's shoulders.

Watching someone who they knew was a traitor go home on their watch was a pleasant sight, to say the least.

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“I don’t believe in keeping someone on a team that sabotages other players and makes your team weak. The point of being on The Challenge is win the challenge and to have a strong team,” Cara Maria said. “You don’t have a strong team when you have people who have proven to lose on purpose.”

From here on out, Cara Maria said she feels that her and Calafiore are in a good spot in the house as Team USA looks to right the ship after losing three of its own despite winning two of the last three challenges.