Flipper Comes to Town: The Man Who’s Going to Save Houston Real Estate

Oily 3-time Survivor loser Russell Hantz (pictured above in the shark-wrestling competition from Survivor: Samoa) tells Entertainment Weekly he’s come to town “to bring Houston’s economy back on its feet.” How’s he gonna get the market back from its tippy-toes? By flipping houses — then bragging about it on-camera. Apparently, a gig like that pays pretty well.

Hantz’s reputation as a tell-’em-straight kinda guy was sealed in January when the Daily Beast revealed him as the mysterious source of persistent leaks about the reality show’s top-secret storylines. In his contracts, Hantz had agreed to pay “liquidated damages” of $5 million if he revealed which contestants had been eliminated before episode air dates. CBS responded to the breach by suing the message-board commenter who posted the tips — and featuring Hantz in Survivor: Redemption Island, which began airing in February. (The suit against Survivor Sucks website poster Jim Early was dismissed.)


Hantz, who hails from a few yards east of here in Dayton, hopes to bring his winning ways to the time-honored practice of buying “Houston-area” houses for cheap and selling them at a profit. “I expect to be one of the biggest house flippers in Houston,” he tells teevee reporter James Hibberd. You can expect cost discipline and straightforward dealings with buyers, sellers, and contractors to be hallmarks of Hantz’s approach. “Me, I control every aspect of my life: I control my family, I control my job, even my friends, and I feel I can bring that to this game,” Hantz told reporter Andy Dehnart before his first Survivor appearance in 2009. “I’m going to control every and each individual out here. Matter of fact, you can call me the puppetmaster.” What’s in it for him? “I like the strategies, all the blindsides, the wittiness, the backstabbing,” he told Dehnart. “It wouldn’t be a show unless that was going on.” A vase of fresh flowers on the dining room table can also help move properties. Seven episodes of the show, called Flipped, will air later this year on A&E.

Photo: SeaWorldParks

11 Comment

  • Sheesh! Where was he last week? Before the 100+ properties got demolition permits?

  • I think Survivor’s “Entrepreneur” has the guns to literally flip some Houston houses.
    Imagine if his show starts an actual real estate boom?
    Way to ‘PUMP YOU[ston’s home prices]UP!

  • Would you really trust this guy to fix a house correctly or to tell you the truth about anything he was trying to sell you. He was featured because he is or was Survivor’s greatest villain. Maybe he figures that Houston has a hidden immunity idol hidden somewhere.

  • So let me get this straight, he’s coming here to “save Houston real estate”? Isn’t this market doing better than most in the country right now? If he’s really trying to prove something maybe he should go do his thing somewhere like Detroit. Thanks dude but we don’t need ya here!

  • This guy needs to aim higher. Detroit, MI should be right up his alley. After he saves their economy, he can then do it in Houston.

  • That appears to be a dolphin-wrestling competition, not a shark-wrestling one.

    This guy sounds like a moron.

  • Wait, so they threw out the lawsuit against the message board for some idiot’s postings… good to know,

  • Like people are going to trust this greaseball with their largest purchase.

    Agreed its not like Houston real estate is in dire staits…maybe try Vegas, Cleveland or Detroit as mentioned above.

  • I miss flipping houses. It’s fun, not all *that* hard, and can be quite profitable. Only downside is it ties up too much cash for too long.
    I finally stopped and am strictly multifamily now, but from time I’ll see a single family that would be a great flip and I have to force myself not to get it

  • He’s been in the flipping process near Meyerland for the last month or so. Just drive around and look for the TV cameras…

  • Another “reality” show douche monger!!!