Russell Hantz - Runner Up - Samoa

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Russell Hantz is an oil company owner and former contestant of the reality show Survivor. He played 3 seasons, and never finished higher than 2nd.


Played the best strategic game ever. Gained the trust of Foa Foa premerge and was never in danger of going home. Controlled the vote by controlling how everyone else voted. Once the merge came, his tribe was down 4 members to 8, but he took out all 8 Galu members and made the finals. Unfortunately, the bitter jury did not recognize how great he played the game. Still, had it not been for him, Natalie and Mick would never have made the finals, and Brett would have won. No player can predict the future, they can only make their best move given their current situation, and Russell did that. He played the best game, but as game theory goes, the best players does not always win. - Dxvoppix

Russell Hantz is the greatest player ever in many different aspects. His strategy completely changed the way people play Survivor. His dominated two seasons in a row, and although he was the second person eliminated in Redemption Island, his tribe did the unthinkable and threw a challenge to get rid of someone they knew they could beat in the finals. I truly hope Russell gets the opportunity to return to Survivor one day and play with some all stars again - not a bunch of Survivor rookies.

People need to understand, that despite being one of the best players ever, Russell is not on the same level of players like Parvati, Cirie, Yul Kwon, Tom Westman, Sandra Diaz... we can say there's Survivor before and after Russell Hantz. Even people who hate his play style have to give the guy some credit by playing 2 back to back seasons with very little time to rest between them, and get to the final 3 in both. Just search for pics of Russell day 1 in Samoa x Russell day 39 in HvV. And let's not forget that a game like Survivor is not only physically exhausting, imagine how your mind would be after playing 78 days.

However, Russell's social game is abysmal. He's good at pretty much all aspects of this game, his social game is even good to make those small alliances, gaining the trust of others. The problem is after he gains control. He doesn't know how to work people, so they don't get too mad at him in the end, he fails to see other great strategies from other players ...more

Russell doesn't belong anywhere near the top ten on this list. First of all, he was forced into the spotlight in Samoa. 108 confessionals from him, but Natalie and Mick, who made the final 3 didn't even have half that combined. I admit, he is a villain through and through and did deserve to return for Heroes vs. Villains. However, Russell was far too arrogant to realize the actual threat status of both people he thought were goats. Remember, He had the option to vote out Natalie instead of Liz right before the merge. Why did he take Natalie? She was in good with some of the Galus. At that point he screwed his own game from there, alienating everyone who made the jury, excluding John and Shambo who ended up voting for him. He alienated everyone in HvV, he got no votes. The jury doesn't have to vote for the person who "played the best game" they vote for who they think is more deserving. It happened to Rob in All-Stars, he played aggressively and lost. Bitter juries don't really exist. ...more

Best player in the survivor history. best strategic player and both seasons he gets to the top three not by luck or helped by other rather by his own strategy and strength. in my opinion he is a soul survivor of all the time.
You can mention dozens of his qualities. some of them are
He can read each and every one's mind, strong in physical challenges, believing that he is the best, unpredictable, love and respect the game more than anyone else... these are few of his qualities and strength in-contradict the juries in both seasons are stupid and don't know the game well. their decision were more of personal revenge.

Easily the best strategist (and the best player) in survivor history. It's not his fault the juries he sat opposite were bitter, stupid, and stubborn. He was robbed by the jury the first two times, and was robbed in a different way the third time. His tribe was so lame they robbed him of the chance to play by throwing the challenge. They paid a hefty 1 million dollar price for doing that, when they lost all their momentum and were wiped out.

Ditto to some of the comments made, he is also one of my favorite players of all time - Best strategist in the game period! Like a top rated chess player maneuvers himself skilfully to the end with ruthless execution. He possess enormous charisma capable of winning almost anyone over, well temporally. Just like the great general from the past Napoleon Bonaparte I would certainly want him on my team in a battle. - But like Napoleon his biggest downfall is the long gameā€¦ Losing the will of the people which means he will virtually always lose the vote at the end where like in Napoleons case the people will turn against him. A massive flaw in his strategy which only puts him in to the top 3 not number 1.

Russell hantz is for sure the best player in survivor because of his style of play... If the last part of the show, which is very unfair because does not win the best player, disappears, russell will win every show unless there are 6 farm idiots like in 22 season who voted him off the show and then where eliminated one by one because they were individual very weak players... Russell is number 1 by far

In somoa he brought foa foa to the final 5 even though galu had an 8-4 advantage. In HvV he was down 6 3 in the villains camp and blindsided Tyson Boston rob coach and Courtney all the while making the heroes think he was in trouble. To top it all off he found idols with out clues and proved to be "The greatest player to ever play the game"

Russell changed the way the game is played. I watched every week just to see the ways he could out wit people. His downfall was that the people he played against were weak and didn't understand the game. It's about surviving not making friends. I never get why people are so upset that someone bested at a game. Sore losers suck.

I feel that Russel Hantz should have definitely been number 1 as the best survivor player to ever play the game. Survivor should allow America to vote for the best player and not the contestants. They're basing their vote off of their feelings not the most strategic player. Russel Hantz should have won Survivor.

Like him or hate him, you can't deny he is the single greatest player ever. He completely dominated the game TWICE. The only reason he didn't win is the juries he was sitting opposite were too stupid and stubborn to get over their bitterness and acknowledge the best player. He deserved to win Samoa and Heroes vs Villains.

Never been voted and never has a player had more impact on the game, always got his way which ends up costing him his title... but in terms of playing the game and taking over a game no one is better... if people didn't take things so personal he would easily have won both times because he has outplayed everyone.

Best Player in the history of the game, should have won Samoa, but of course the bitter jury. He would have won Redemption Island if his dumb ass tribe didn't throw the challenge. People say Rob is better than Russel... I Don't think so he would've beat his ass like how he did in Heroes vs. Villains.

Insane skilled player... Outwittied, outplayed, and outsmarted everyone. His agresive playstyle guaranteed top 3 in both seasons, and even though he lost due to frustration of the councils, he's by far the best Survivor.

He's an ANIMAL. He has the most amount of idles and I believe that if he played in newer seasons without any history he would win because in recent history the player who deserves it wins. Not like in the passed were flouter players like Sandra wins.

I love Russell. He played all out to win and changed the game of Survivor while doing so. I can't believe nobody had thought to search for an idol without clues before! Strategic and good in the challenges, Russell absolutely deserved to win Samoa.

He was the best player because he knew the rules and found his way around them. He was merciless against everyone, even his so-called allies. If he was more cloak and dagger with his strategy, putting more heat on his opponents, he would have probably walked away with the victory.

Found Idols without clues first to ever do that. Beat an alliance of 8 when he was only 4. He went back to back 2 seasons in a row also he chose the write people to be in an alliance with like paravati. Made one of the best moves ever by getting out laura.

People say Rob is better than him. If this is true than how come when rob and Russell went head to head STRATEGICALLY Russell kicked Robs ass. A lot of the game is luck. Rob was luckier than Russell in Redemption island. Don't make the mistake of confusing luck with strategy.

He may not have won but he rocked the game he was mean and that's the only reason why he didn't win but that's unfair he should have won because you don't be a good survivor but being nice right?

Russell has a very direct play style that is a joy to behold. While others "win" by staying under the radar and sucking in challenges, everyone knows what Russell is but once he gets going, it doesn't matter, they can't stop him.

The thing with him is, he has a really good gameplay to get him to the final tribal council, but not one that can give him a win. That's what keeps him away from being up there with Parvati, Rob, and Sandra.

Just opinion wise, but Russell dominated 2 of the most bonded alliances in survivor history, quote from Jeff Probst, and still took them down. No player has ever been able to go into a merge 8 to 4 and bring there whole alliance to the final three. Heores vs Villians was in my opinion, a lot better of a season than people think.

Best player of all time to me. - OfficalReality

russell never stoped playing the game and the arguement that he is the best player ever. he dominated the way everbody he was with to vote for I relly like the one at tribal where jerri voted for danelle