‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Pre-Game Interview: Brandon Hantz

Name: Brandon Hantz

Age: 19

Current Residence: Katy, Texas

Occupation: Oil Tanker Crewman

Tribe: Upolu

Gordon Holmes: What did your uncle (“Survivor” Hall of Famer Russell Hantz) tell you about the game?
Brandon Hantz:
He understands the mental part about it. He’s really good at that stuff. He told me that it’s going to be tough not to lose your temper. A lot of my family goes off pretty easy. He said that’s what I’m going to have to control, is my temper towards people.
Holmes: Russell has a bit of a bad reputation with his lying, backstabbing and whatnot. Are you hoping to clean up the Hantz name a little bit?
Hantz: Absolutely. I love my uncle and blood’s thicker than water. I don’t have anything negative to say about my uncle, but we’re two different people. I don’t want to be judged under his name. But I want people to see a different side of our family, and if that means I lose the game, then so be it. But it would be great to win, that’s for sure. (Laughs)
Holmes: Are you going to let anybody know that you’re Russell’s nephew?
Hantz: I’ve been thinking a lot about that. I really don’t want to, because I want people to know me for me. But that’s one of those things about playing the game. If I say something about it, that’s going to put a mark on my back. We’ll just have to wait and see, if I have a strong alliance I might let ‘em know, because he’s going to be coming for the family thing.
Holmes: Russell played three times and didn’t win. If you come out of this with the million-dollar check is that going to cause some friction between you two?
Hantz: I think it’s going to be some salt in the wound if I win. I mean, I’m sure he wants me to win. It’d be cool to win, but I don’t want my uncle to feel bad. This has nothing to do with Russell, it has to do with my family. I want this money so I can make a life for myself and my son…and a little daughter on the way.

Holmes: How has becoming a dad affected your life?
Hantz:
It definitely slowed me down a lot. I stopped acting foolish when I had my little boy…well at least for the most part. It changes the way I think. I have to be more responsible I have another person I have to look out for now.

Holmes: I’m told you have an outdoorsy background. Are these things you’ll be able to use to your advantage?
Hantz:
I think people are used to being in a house with a lot of cool air and I am too, to a point. But living in the country with animals and alligators and all kinds of wildlife really doesn’t bother me. My family’s just a little different than most. I’ve rode bulls before and horses. We like to have fun. We don’t like to stay in one spot, so when you’re out in the middle of nowhere you have to find something to do.

Holmes: It says here in your bio that “Jesus is your biggest inspiration in life.”
Hantz:
Absolutely.
Holmes: Will your beliefs make it difficult to lie to people in the game?
Hantz: I do have a standard and I won’t go beneath that standard. I want to keep myself from doing things that I shouldn’t do. I’m not a bad person and I don’t want to come off as a bad person. I know it’s a game, but there a point where there are some things that I just won’t do. When it comes to degrading someone or making them feel like they’re less of a person; I don’t want to do that.

Survivor: South Pacific” premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

More “Survivor” Fun: XFINITY TV sent Gordon Holmes into the heart of the South Pacific to get a first-hand look at the filming of the latest edition of “Survivor.” Be sure to check back for exclusive interviews with the returning All-Stars and host Jeff Probst, behind-the-scenes photos, and Gordon’s personal (and injury-filled) account of what it’s like to compete in an actual immunity challenge.

Any Questions about “Survivor: South Pacific”? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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