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.)
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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.
- ‘Survivor’ Russell Hantz lands A&E reality show [EW]
- Survivor Spy Exposed [Daily Beast]
- Russell Hantz: “I control every aspect of my life: … my family, … my job, even my friends” [Reality Blurred]