Russell Hantz

Russell Hantz Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Russell Hantz (born October 10, 1972) is best known as a contestant on the reality TV show Survivor. He was the runner-up in Survivor: Samoa, and second runner-up in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. He was also a fan favorite among Survivor viewers, winning the "Sprint Player of the Season" award and the $100,000 prize that went with it both seasons he was on. His protege is named Bryan Mincher.


Survivor: Samoa

After applying to compete on the show Pirate Master, Hantz was called by casting two years later to appear on Survivor: Samoa, the nineteenth season of the show. After being assigned to the Foa Foa tribe, he quickly demonstrated his preference to play through lies and deceit. After making alliances with every person in his tribe, he also attempted to sow discontent by causing havoc whenever possible. However this approach is believed to have contributed to Foa Foa's constant losses in challenges. In an early interview, he stated his belief that if he could control how his fellow survivors felt, he'd be able to control how they thought.

Key Moves

In episode 2, Hantz had a feeling that the Hidden Immunity Idol was already hidden within the Foa Foa camp, even before any clues were given. After looking in the roots of a large tree, Hantz found the Hidden Immunity Idol. Hantz then used this Immunity Idol as a way to build trust by showing it to the people he allied himself with.

In episode 8, Hantz was concerned he was the next to be voted off, despite fellow Foa Foa Natalie White telling him of her plan to blindside Galu leader Erik Cardona. He played the Hidden Immunity Idol at Tribal Council but no votes were cast against him and the Immunity Idol went to waste. However, another Hidden Immunity Idol was put back into the game. In the next episode, Hantz found the new Hidden Immunity Idol under a bridge, also with no clues. He played it again at the next Tribal Council, where he received 7 votes against him. Since all those votes were negated, Kelly, with the next highest vote count (4), was sent home.

In episode 10, Hantz along with 4 other tribe members won a reward in which they got to fly to Savai"i, a nearby island, and have a picnic at a waterfall. They were also given a Palm Pre to take pictures with; however this cell phone also contained clues to the location of another Hidden Immunity Idol. Hantz figured out the Immunity Idol was behind a mossy rock of a wall and found it upon returning to camp.

In the final Immunity Challenge, Hantz, Natalie, and Mick, who were all original members of the Foa Foa tribe, had to compete against Brett, who won the last 3 Immunity Challenges prior. Brett was a member of the original Galu tribe and since most of the jury was made up of Galu members, it was almost certain Brett would win the Survivor title if he won this challenge. Mick and Natalie lost the challenge, leaving just Hantz and Brett. Hantz ended up outlasting Brett to win his first Individual Immunity. Brett was eliminated at the next Tribal Council.

Final Tribal Council & Reunion

Although Hantz"s tactics were successful enough to get him to the final three, there was a lot of animosity towards him on the jury. He believed that the jury would automatically vote based on who played the best game.Natalie ended up winning Survivor: Samoa, receiving 7 votes, while Hantz only received 2 votes based on Hantz's belief as the Jury had the final say as to who played the best game.

On the Survivor: Samoa Reunion, Hantz offered Natalie $10,000 for the title of Sole Survivor, but she declined. He then offered her $100,000, but she declined again, stating that the title of Sole Survivor was priceless.

Although he didn't win the one million dollar prize, Hantz did take home the Sprint "Player of the Season" award, and a cash prize of $100,000. The day after the winner was revealed Hantz and White appeared together on the CBS Early Show, where he stated he didn't believe her to be a worthy winner.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

Hantz was invited back for season 20 of Survivor, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Since Survivor: Samoa didn"t even air yet, no other player had an opportunity to watch Hantz"s gameplay nor was he allowed to tell them about it without breaching his contract. Named a "Villain", Hantz immediately allied with Parvati Shallow and Danielle DiLorenzo.

Key Moves

In episode 6, Rob Mariano (aka Boston Rob) organized his alliance to split the vote 3-3 between Hantz and Parvati. Hantz then approached Tyson Apostol and told him he was going to vote out Parvati, which may have influenced Tyson to change his vote from Hantz to Parvati. At Tribal Council, Hantz pulled out a Hidden Immunity Idol but gave it to Parvati. The result ended up being 4 votes for Parvati, 2 votes for Hantz, and 3 votes for Tyson. Since Parvati"s votes were negated, Tyson was the one eliminated.

Impressed with how he risked his Survivor life to keep Parvati in the game, Jerri Manthey joined Hantz and his alliance with Parvati and Danielle in the next episode. Benjamin Wade (aka Coach) instead targeted Courtney Yates, leaving 4 players in Hantz"s alliance and 3 players in Boston Rob"s alliance, culminating in Rob"s elimination by a vote of 4-3-1.

In the next episode, Villains Sandra Diaz-Twine and Courtney were on the outs on the Villains. In order to save them, Sandra tricked Russell into thinking that Coach was trying to eliminate him. As a result, Coach was eliminated, convincing the Heroes tribe that there was an all-girl alliance on the Villains tribe. Hero James Thomas (aka J.T.), who had found a Hidden Immunity Idol earlier, gave Hantz the idol with instructions to eliminate Parvati.

Hantz chose to save his idol and vote off Courtney instead at the next Tribal Council. After her elimination, the 5 Villains and 5 Heroes merged into the Yin Yang tribe. In fear of her going home, Hantz gave Parvati the Hidden Immunity Idol that J.T. had given him, not knowing she already had a Hidden Immunity Idol. Parvati, who felt she was safe, gave her idols to Jerri and Sandra at Tribal Council. Jerri and J.T. both received 5 votes each, but since Jerri"s votes were negated, J.T. was eliminated.

In episode 11, Danielle found a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol on a reward and shared it with Hantz, Parvati, and Jerri. Hantz ended up finding the Hidden Immunity Idol. He later showed it to Candice Woodcock, a Hero, to try to strengthen his alliance with her, fearing Sandra may jump to the Hero"s alliance. That same fear caused him to play the Hidden Immunity Idol at Tribal Council; however, it was of no use, as the Heroes were rather targeting Parvati, though Candice and Sandra voted with the other Villains to eliminate Amanda anyway.

Episode 12 brought 2 Immunity Challenges and 2 Tribal Councils. At the first Tribal Council, the new Villains alliance split their vote between Candice and Rupert Boneham 3-3. Knowing that the Villains were going to split their vote between Rupert and either Colby Donaldson or Candice, Rupert and Colby agreed to write Candice"s name down and ultimately send her to the jury.

Later in that episode, Hantz won his first Individual Immunity of the season. Upset that the women made the decision to split the vote between Rupert and Candice instead of Rupert and Colby, Hantz decided to break up the strong alliance Danielle and Parvati had. When Hantz got Danielle to break down at Tribal Council and admit her alliance with Parvati was stronger than he thought, Jerri was convinced she should vote with Hantz. Hantz, Jerri, Rupert, and Colby all wrote Danielle"s name down and eliminated her from the game.

At the final Immunity Challenge, Hantz edged out Parvati and Jerri by a few inches, winning his second Individual Immunity that season, and his second consecutive Final Immunity of all time. While Hantz was guaranteed a spot in the Final Three, he had to decide which two other castaways to take with him. He chose to eliminate Jerri, assuming he would get her vote at the Final Tribal Council, and thinking he would easily beat Sandra and Parvati.

Final Tribal Council & Reunion

In front of the Jury, Hantz argued that as veteran Survivor players, the jury must recognize his superior skills at playing the game. However, he again misread how the jury would feel about the way he lied to push ahead in the game. During the Jury Q&A, Danielle confronted Hantz and told him, "You're not gonna get any votes. Nobody respects the way that you played the game, Russell." Candice told him that, "You have to tell lies in this game, but you can go too far. You told... lies you didn't need to tell, and you hurt people doing that." However, the most daring comment likely came for Rupert Boneham who said, "Russell... to be honest in this game is a very hard thing. To be a manipulative, deceiving, lying person is very easy. You took the easy way out, and if you think you should be proud of how you got here, you're sadly mistaken." His arrogant belief that the jury would vote on how he wanted them to proved untrue and ultimately, Sandra triumphed over Parvati and Hantz in a 6-3-0 vote to win her second Sole Survivor title.

Fortunately for Hantz, his Reunion experience was similar in that he won the "Sprint Player of the Season" award and $100,000 for the second time.

Future Seasons of Survivor

According to Jeff Probst, future seasons of Survivor will have to consider the "Russell factor" when hiding Immunity Idols.

Personal life

Russell Hantz was born October 10, 1972. He used to live in Dayton, Texas with his wife and four kids. He ran an oil outfit called Hantz Tankering Service in Dayton with his dad and brother and a bar in Lafayette, Louisiana called Bootleggers. In Survivor: Samoa, he claimed to have made $1.7 million the year prior.


On April 23, 2010, Hantz was arrested for committing an assault while partying near the bar he owns in Lafayette, Louisiana. A woman confronted Hantz, so he allegedly shoved her to the ground. Hantz was released later that day without bail but was given a misdemeanor summons and a scheduled court date.

This biography article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Russell Hantz". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

Page generated in 0.029788017272949 seconds