Russell Hantz reacts to Survivor spoiler story; Shannon Elkins says Hantz implicated him

Survivor cast member Russell Hantz has responded to my report about the lawsuit against Jim Early, aka “missyae,” although he did not respond to my request for a comment for the piece itself. Russell wrote on his Facebook wall, “All I’m gonna say is this, everybody wants their 15 min of fame and never believe what you read because when it’s false and you believe it you’re just as bad as the jackass that wrote it.”

He is clearly denying the charges leveled against him by Early in my Daily Beast story: that he leaked information about seasons 19 and 20, which would be a clear violation of his contract. Beyond that, I’m not sure if he means Early wants 15 minutes of fame and I’m a jackass; most amusing and/or instructive is the chorus of sycophants who comment on Russell’s status update.

By the way, Entertainment Weekly’s Dalton Ross, who still has access to Survivor cast, crew, and locations, wrote on Twitter that CBS “always kinda knew it was Russell anyway.”

Meanwhile, in a video recorded tonight, Early talked to Survivor Nicaragua cast member Shannon Elkins about some of the issues brought up by and his subsequent outing of Russell Hantz as his source for spoilers about the show. Specifically, Shannon identifies himself as the person Russell Hantz claimed was leaking information to Early, which is one of the reasons why Early said he outed Russell: because Russell was trying to implicate someone innocent.

“It was me,” Shannon says in the YouTube video, which starts with him calling himself “the best second boot ever from Survivor Nicaragua,” which is hilarious if he meant it to mean what it says. (You might remember him from his shocking exit and post-eviction interviews, or his fun Facebook post.)

Shannon explains that he initially didn’t believe Russell was pointing the finger at him: “I was wrong, I didn’t that he would do that. You clarified it all right.” Most interestingly, Shannon says someone at CBS told him, “you know you posted at Sucks, Shannon.” In other words, that would suggest CBS monitors Survivor Sucks and other message boards, which isn’t surprising considering their amusing statement about spoilers and spoiler culture suggests they’re quite familiar with it.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.