This is just what the name implies: On Fridays, I ask someone interesting a question and request that she/he respond in 50 words or less.
Or somewhere in the ballpark of 50 words. That’s why there’s an “-ish.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this site isn’t exactly a bastion of rigidity.
Today’s guest is the super cool Lanford Beard, an editor, writer, recapper, and general lolligagger who currently heads up photo galleries for Entertainment Weekly’s EW.com. Iconic film critic Judith Crist once described Lanford as “a mistress of a strong and attractive personal style” and “a writer with “justified authority on matters of popular culture,” both of which Lanford intends to put on a T-shirt someday (or perhaps the derriere of a pair of sweatpants if that ever becomes a thing again).
Lanford says she has never met a Bravo show she didn’t like (and is still hoping against hope for a second season of Gallery Girls). She might be the only person in all of time who self-identifies as both a Miranda and a Hufflepuff. If that’s the kind of thing you’re into, you can find her on Twitter as @lanfordbeard.
I found Lanford on Twitter thanks to our shared love of the MTV reality show The Challenge, so I didn’t so much ask her a question as I did invite her to take a walk with me down memory lane.
Please (re)watch this NSFW version of CT beasting Johnny Bananas on The Challenge: Cutthroat and describe your feelings:
Now before you read Lanford’s answer, I’d like to make sure you know the full context of what you just watched. CT, the Incredible Hulk-ish figure who carried the other dude on his back into a barrel, was not on this season of the show (which sends players home via a weekly elimination challenge).
No, they just brought him in for this one event as a surprise to unleash ever-loving hell on whatever unlucky contestant happened to be up for elimination that week. That was Johnny Bananas, who, as you can see, was not the only one who realized just how screwed he was.
And with that, one of the most impressive feats of athleticism I’ve ever seen—period, not just reality TV-wise—was born. I’m sorry, I gotta watch it again:
And now, Lanford:
You know when you’re hangry? Well, is there an equivalent portmanteau for jubilant and terrified? Terrifant? Jubilified? Because that’s how this clip makes me feel.
It’s unquestionably the ultimate Challenge moment, starting with Johnny Bananas’ silent prayer to The Challenge gods that he’ll only have to face Kenny. It’s pure ecstasy, then, to see Bananas—easily the cockiest player in the show’s history—completely unaware that CT will be wearing him like a backpack in about two minutes.
Oh, and CT, my CT! Kid is jacked up like a Mack truck barreling toward 50 concrete walls and knowing those walls might as well crumble now before he shows the meaning of real pain. From the crazy-eyed pep talk to when he starts Sumo stomping toward the barrel, just beasting it, the whole … scene plays out with operatic-level dramatic stakes.
Bananas may be the winningest Challenger of all time, but CT is The Challenge’s legend and its legacy. Float like a butterfly, punch a cactus.
Two closing thoughts:
- It’s not like Johnny Bananas is a small dude.
- How great was it that CT turned him into the barrel before dropping him?
Ahhhh I can’t resist its power:
Consider me terrifant and jubilified, as well.
Huge thanks to Lanford for stopping by this week and sharing my obsession with this quintessential moment in Challenge, nay human, history.