Russell Hantz (born October 10, 1972) is an American oil company owner and television personality, best known for his appearances on the U.S. reality show, Survivor. He was the runner-up on Survivor: Samoa, and the second runner-up on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. He also competed on Survivor: Redemption Island, where he was eliminated second.
Hantz' performance on Survivor was initially met with a mixed reception.Many consider him to be one of the show's greatest and most influential contestants, while others have strongly criticized his strategy, naming him one of the biggest villains in Survivor history. Nevertheless, Hantz was voted "Sprint Player of the Season" by which he was awarded a $100,000 cash prize on both Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.He was also one of the first five contestants inducted into the "Survivor Hall of Fame" in 2010, alongside Richard Hatch, Rob Mariano, Parvati Shallow, and Sandra Diaz-Twine. Additionally, he is one of only five contestants to ever make it to the finals in more than one season, in addition to Mariano, Amanda Kimmel, Shallow, and Diaz-Twine. Hantz was nominated in the 2010 Teen Choice Awards for his performance on Heroes vs. Villains.
In the years since Hantz last competed on Survivor, the general reception to his performance has gradually become more positive. In the official issue of CBS Watch magazine commemorating the 15th anniversary of Survivor, Hantz was voted by viewers as the 2nd-greatest player in the history of the series (only behind Mariano), and Hantz is consistently voted in other polls as one of the greatest, and most influential, players in Survivor history (particularly in the non-winning category). A number of prominent Survivor critics and former contestants have since voiced their belief that Hantz, at the very least, should've won Samoa, which to this day has continued fueling a debate among Survivor fans over the concept of a "bitter jury."
After Survivor, Hantz starred alongside his older brother, Shawn, on the A&E reality documentary, Flipped Off.