The third time was not the charm for Survivor villain Russell Hantz. After making the finals in his first two seasons (Survivor: Samoa, Survivor: Heroes vs Villains) he was voted first out of his tribe on Survivor: Redemption Island, and then officially booted from the game after losing a duel to Matt. In this exit Q&A, Russell talks about the tears he shed, his threat to sue his tribemates, why Boston Rob is a “Survivor whore”, and reports that he leaked information on previous seasons. Duck for cover. Here comes Russell!
You know I’m going to start right off with the crying thing. Tell me what that was all about, how emotional that moment was for you, and where it all came from.
You know when you watch the Super Bowl and you see these big ol’ boys on the sideline that just lost crying? Why do you think they cry? They cry like that because they gave their heart and soul all season to win and they thought that they could, and then they don’t — that’s one aspect of it. The second aspect of it is, they didn’t show the part of me talking about my little girl. My little girl was going to be my family visit. And I’ve apologized to my family for swearing on them, something I said I’d never do, but I wanted to see her here so I could apologize where it happened, on national television. So it goes a lot deeper. And then what got it all started was when I looked at Jeff and Jeff put his hand up, looked down, and said “Give me a second.” When he did that, it broke my heart because I felt like I let the whole crew down, even you, because I talked to you before. And I wanted to do it. I knew I had a huge target. Everybody knew it was going to take a miracle. I just wanted to do it. My fans are upset. I wanted to do it for everybody — not just for me this time. I wanted to get to the end again for everybody that believes in me. And it just broke my heart.
What did you mean when you said, “You respect the game too much” to go out by crying? Were you worried that would be interpreted as weakness?
No. I just didn’t want to go out on a challenge. Usually I’m good at the challenges. I didn’t want to go out like that. There were a bunch of things rolling around in my mind. I felt sorry for Krista and Stephanie because I always took care of my alliance and I knew that they were in big trouble. I knew that they were playing with a bunch of dummies. They’re on their own. But if Julie had made that one move, she could have eventually won the game. Because I eventually would have voted out my own alliance, because you have to. Not everybody can win. Stephanie’s a great player. I would have probably gotten rid of her because she’s a strategic, good, charming little girl. And then it would have been me, Krista and Julie in the final three. Guess who would have won? Julie.
Julie was actually, along with Stephanie, one of the few people who told me before they game that she liked you.
Time will tell if she made a mistake or not, but trust me, I’m praying to God that she doesn’t go too far, because I want all my predictions to come true. I told my tribe, “If you get rid of me, Rob will eat you up and spit you out.” They’re weak out there. I would have never thrown a challenge. Never. I should sue every single one of them because in the contract it says you can’t throw challenges!
How satisfying was it for you to get Ralph to out himself as having a Hidden Immunity Idol?
Dude, you might get rid of me, but you ain’t getting rid of me. I’m gonna be there forever! That’s how it is with me. Yes, okay, vote me out. Guess what? You’re going to be hearing my name now and for the rest of your life. Ralph is really a cuckoohead, man. He is really off the rocker. And he ain’t even fun to watch. Who wants to see him jump on there and crow like a rooster? At least Shambo had a little sense.
Ralph clearly thinks he outsmarted you by coming across the Idol. What do you have to say to that?
If Julie would have made that move, Ralph would have gone home with that Idol in his pocket. And he stumbled across the Idol. You know how he stumbled upon it? Because I told to go look for rocks to put in the fire to make the fire hotter, and he did, and if it was a snake it would have bit him. So please don’t give that guy credit for finding an Idol without a clue.
How do you think you would have fared if you had pulled the orange buff at the start of the game and ended up on Ometepe?
Oh, dude. You tell me! Because you knew. You told me before the game that I was going to have a tough time. But seeing their tribe! First of all, The three girls — you better believe I would have had the girls on my side. They would have trusted me because they always do, And then they had Matt. I would have kept Matt. I see how Rob got scared because he saw them as Russell and Parvati. He didn’t think Rob and Amber. He thought Russell and Parvati — that ate him up. That’s what scared him. But Matt’s no Russell and Andrea’s no Parvati. He could have controlled that alliance.
You said right after you were eliminated that you’ll never play Survivor again. Just for the record: I don’t believe you.
You think I would actually go out there and ruin my legacy?
I think you would. I believe you meant it when you said it. But I also think you’ll be back.
Believe me, I’m getting calls from a lot of people. I’ve got some interesting things about to happen. So I’m not a Survivor whore. I don’t want to be considered a Survivor whore like Rob. I’m surprised he ain’t been on Big Brother yet. Those three: Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother. That’s a Survivor whore. I want my own show! That’s what I want. And trust me, I got bigger and better things coming.
And what kind of show do you want?
I want a show about me and you, man. We can do this!
And what are we going to do on our show?
You’re gonna follow me around.
And then what, you talk crap about me to the camera?
Okay, let’s get into the other news involving you lately. You were accused of being the source of leaks on seasons 19 and 20. You have denied it, yet emails from “Hantztankering” providing spoilers surfaced on TMZ. Are you still claiming that you did not provide any spoilers at all on those seasons?
I did not do anything like that. That’s what pisses me off about all this stuff. I don’t like to give it any kind of credit whatsover, because every time we talk about it, it gives this guy credit, like “Oh, my name has been said.” We’re talking about some fat ass sitting in tighty-whities eating Cheese Puffs and hollering, “Momma, where’s my pot pie?” That’s who we’re talking about here.
Do you expect me to believe that? Dude, you’re the ultimate Survivor villain — this is right up your alley. Why don’t you just own it?
There’s nobody that has passion for Survivor like I do. Nobody. Nobody that’s ever played this game has the passion that I have for that game. I am the ultimate villain, but I’m also the one that loves it the most. So why would I do that?
You realize right now you sound a lot like Ralph claiming he doesn’t have the Hidden Immunity Idol! No one believes you!
That’s fine. People believe me. The people that know me, believe me.
To check out a deleted scene from last night’s episode, as well as lots of other exclusive video, click on the player below. Also, don’t forget to read Dalton’s latest Survivor recap, as well as Jeff Probst weighing in on the episode. And for more Survivor news and views delivered right to you, follow Dalton on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.