While it’s no secret that Russell Hantz makes my face burn, I recognize that he’s done some pretty smart things. I’m still baffled, though, by those people who constantly argue what an amazing player he is and why he deserves to win because of his strategy alone, even though he never had a chance of winning in Samoa because his game play ignored a huge component of the game, a fact Russell and his fans are blind to.
Russell won’t win this season, either–or ever, according to people who’ve played the game with him. “You could put a coconut husk next to him and it’d get more votes,” Courtney Yates told People.
When he was voted out, Tyson said the same thing, telling People, “I’m willing to bet my life that Russell, no matter who he’s playing against, could never win the game because he rubs people the wrong way. I have nothing against him, but there isn’t a single person more disliked by contestants. The name of the game is slitting people’s throats with finesse and he doesn’t have that. He can get to the end but there’s big difference between first and second.”
Courtney elaborates on this in an interview with TV Guide: “We didn’t talk that much because he just was not social with a lot of people. He clung to Parvati and Danielle was also attached to him and then he aggressively wooed Jerri. Besides that, if he didn’t need to talk to you, he didn’t talk to you and that’s fine. … Its not that I didn’t get along with him, its just that I feel like he found out pretty early that I wasn’t going to be useful to him in any way.”
And there’s Russell’s fatal flaw: He doesn’t see relationships as an integral part of the game, and since there are no rules guiding the jury’s vote, it comes down to relationships.
By the way, Courtney also indirectly confirms that Parvati and Russell had pre-season information about each other: Courtney told Zap2it, “He ran right on up to Parvati and she started cuddling up with this 5’1 creepy dude and that made a few heads scratch, but whatever.”