‘Russell Hantz on Australian Survivor’ rumors continue to ramp up

Survivor winner Natalie White (L) and runner up Russell Hantz - (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Survivor winner Natalie White (L) and runner up Russell Hantz - (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

One Survivor insider and a random fan in NYC have helped stoke fuels in the rumor fire that Russell Hantz will compete in Australian Survivor season 3.

I didn’t want to report on this at first, as the usual Survivor insiders had, at best, listed it as a rumor. However, the evidence is starting to mount that Russell Hantz of Samoa, Heroes vs. Villains and Redemption Island will be on the third season of the revamped version of Australian Survivor.

The first time this was rumored from a reputable source was from Martin Holmes on Inside Survivor. In addition to revealing the first reported castaway from season 37, former WWE superstar John Morrison, he later listed a rumor that Russell Hantz will be joining the third season of the new Australian Survivorlisting “multiple sources.”

Seeing how he posted the story as a rumor separately from his larger cast lists, I’m still holding out hope. The upcoming Australian Survivor has been billed as a “Champions vs. Contenders” season, so I guess that it will mean the two-time Final Tribal Council loser and pre-jury player will likely (somehow) be presented as a champion of the game.

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The second rumor comes from someone from the Survivor subreddit, which requires even larger grains of salt and should only be used as secondary backing. User mtnewcomb ran into Judd from Guatemala as a fan, getting to talk to him about his life after the game and the revelation over an annual trip to Florida with some of the former players.

Burying the lede, he also told the Redditor that Russell is involved in the filming and competition of Australian Survivor. Furthermore, because of his decision to compete internationally, he will not be allowed to return to the US.

My guess is that due to the international rights to host and produce the show being split up from country to country, CBS only has access to the US game and the US roster. Even though CBS owns part of the TEN network, Russell Hantz would officially become a competitor for the Australian version from here on out.

If this is the case, then it marks a disappointing end to the possibility he could ever return on the American version down the line. There are more than enough people who would love to never see Russell Hantz on their television screens ever again. Hell, I think he’s one of the most foolhardy players ever, especially because almost a decade later he can reconcile why he lost twice in a row.

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However, he still makes for a compelling reality competitor. The lack of self-awareness, the ability to command an alliance, having the game awareness to know when to make a move, captivating people in his confessionals; Russell would have been perfect for a “Legends” season of the US version. Instead, he gets to help squander the good name of Australian Survivor, which I hear is some of the best gameplay on modern television.