Exit Interview: Russell Hantz Talks SURVIVOR REDEMPTION ISLAND

While many will argue that the introduction of “Redemption Island” is SURVIVOR’s biggest twist this season, some… okay we like to think that the far bigger surprise has a little something to do with the fact that for the first time in the history of the series, ousted contestants will have to face off against… us! Yes, you’re reading that correctly, theTVaddict.com is honored to have been asked to take part in the traditional one-on-ones with each week’s eliminated contestant, the second of which is the man, the myth, the legend… Russell Hantz.

With your reputation for villainy so well known over the course of the past two years, did you really think you had a chance going in?
Russell Hantz: That was my problem, you know they had my playbook. It’s like going to the Super Bowl with one team having the other team’s playbook and knowing exactly what they’re going to run. It’s not fair, it’s not fair for me, it’s not fair for the tribe I was on, it’s not fair for Rob’s tribe or for Rob either. Because my tribe, their whole goal was to get rid of me. They didn’t think once about the game. You’re going to throw a challenge to get rid of your strongest player? I’m the one — that first challenge we did — we would have lost if it wasn’t for me. I’m the one who kept pushing, I’m the one that called the puzzle together. The second challenge I was by far the fastest in the water/gravity challenge, cheering everybody on, and then they won the fourth one, we would have been four up. You don’t want to go down in numbers on Rob’s side, but they’re just idiots.

Looking back on things, would you have done anything differently?
No way, no way. Because that alliance I had might have been the best alliance I ever had. They were so ignorant that team, the didn’t know how to play the game, they didn’t know what to do, they were confused. Even when they would talk to me they would stutter because they couldn’t even talk to me. I knew exactly they were all lying to me, they didn’t want to work with me.

Much has been made about how emotional you got after finally getting voted off of Redemption Island. Were you serious about never going back to play the game?
I was serious at that point and I am serious now. Why would I go back and get voted off first, you know what I mean? I don’t want to give them what they want and vote me off first.

Of course, Boston Rob seems to be doing okay.
Boston Rob is a reality whore and that’s what I don’t want to be. Rob never got his own show, he never got primetime television. I can’t say what it is, but they told me I’m going to be in a primetime, number one slot. [Note: Throughout the interview Russell kept referencing his own reality project that he promises will be announced a couple of weeks after SURVIVOR is over.]

Looking back on your three seasons on SURVIVOR, do you have a highlight?
My best moment was when everybody voted for my name and I walked up and gave them the immunity idol on season one episode 19. I had eight votes, Russell, Russell, Russell, does not count, Russell, does not count. That might have been the most votes ever for somebody that didn’t get voted off.

Was getting voted off the low point for you?
No, my low point was swearing on my kids [HEROES VS. VILLAINS]. I should have never brought my family into the game but you get into fantasy world that runs into reality. And when I did that I made a huge mistake as a father and I should have never done that because if anybody knows me, the way I want to die is I want to step in front of a bullet for my babies, that’s the perfect way to die. I know it’s just a game, I know it didn’t mean nothing, but it meant something to me that it actually came our of my mouth and I’m not that guy. My little girl is 10 and she was going to be my family visit out there.

Francesca surprised me last week by admitting that she didn’t watch the show until she got voted off. Did you watch the show?
I watched the one where I got voted off because I talked about my kids and I apologized right there to them on national television and I thought CBS was going to give me the respect enough, since I’m the one that brought back SURVIVOR and made them billions myself, I thought at least they would give me the respect of apologizing to my kids and saying it on national television which they didn’t. So there’s a lot of reasons why I wouldn’t play again. They know what I wanted, they know what I wanted and they didn’t give it to me. That’s the whole point, the whole point of me coming back was going back to redeem myself and my kids and my family and they didn’t give that to me. So now I have a problem with that. I love the cast and we’re great friends and family but I’m disappointed that they didn’t put that in there. I guess it just wasn’t good enough TV. Or it makes me too really you know, they want to keep me as a villain.

Will you watch the rest of the show? Are you rooting for anyone?
Ah no Krista and Stephanie are my girls. Hell yeah! Watch Krista talk about me after I get voted off and you can see her holding back her tears. This isn’t Rob’s girls, this is real. Rob’s girls will do the same thing, but it’s fake. She’s doing it because she knows how real I am. She’s knows I’m a good person, and that’s hard to believe for a lot of people. I’m not a good person if you’re going to try and stab me in the back, but I’ll be your best friend if we’re in an alliance.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t ask you about the assertion by webmaster Jim Early that you are in fact the man behind a whole slew of SURVIVOR spoilers.
That’s all bull crap made up by some stupid kid in his whitey-tighties, spitting in his basement eating cheese-puffs hollering to his Mamma where’s my Papa! That’s all that is, somebody that wants their name on television. This person, whose name I don’t even want to say, also tried to sell fake emails and photos (Me and Snookie!) to TMZ. This is the character we’re talking about here. Leave us alone, stop making up stories to try to get your 15 minutes of fame, it’s bullshit. And if you know me and you know my passion for the show does it look like I’m the kind of person that would do that? It doesn’t make sense. So I don’t even like to talk about it anymore, I don’t want to give the douchebag credit.

SURVIVOR airs Wednesday at 8PM on CBS (Global TV in Canada)

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  • Nova

    Many people quit watching the show because of this guy. Don’t know where he gets all this false sense of being ‘king’ of everything. Wake up, buddy! It’s all in your own little head! Also about the ‘swearing on my kids’ life’ comment, on the contrary, slips like those show a person’s true color.