‘Survivor’ Castaway Brandon Hantz: ‘I Am Perfectly Mentally Stable’


Jefff Probst and Brandon Hantz (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Well, if Brandon Hantz wanted to go home, ruining his tribe’s food supply and threatening Phillip was certainly an effective way of doing it.

Remember when the worst thing you could do on “Survivor” was practicing your yoga in someone else’s rock garden?

I spoke to Lil’ Hantz the morning after his explosive elimination and asked him about his historic meltdown, his relationship with Phillip, and why it’s important to be the author of your own fate…

Brandon Hantz: Hey Gordon, how are you, sir?
Gordon Holmes:
I’m alright, the question is; how are you?
I’m doing good. Let’s start this sucker off by saying I’m perfectly fine. Don’t feel bad for me. I’m happy. I enjoyed my edit. And no, I don’t need to go to a hospital. I am perfectly mentally stable. I have three beautiful babies, a beautiful wife. I’ve put it in perspective that “Survivor” is “Survivor” and life is life. Now we can continue with the interview.
Thank you. Last night was rough to watch, but it’s good to hear that you’ve come out of it with a positive attitude.
Oh yeah. I appreciate it, man.

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Holmes: How close was it to getting physical with Phillip? Did that cross your mind?
Hantz: Of course it crossed my mind, did you see my face and my body language?
Holmes: You were not a happy camper. But was there any point where you thought, “I’m going to punch this guy”?
Hantz: No, not really. When he started talking about my family and all that stuff, that’s when my body went that way and Jeff was like, “No no no no no.” (Laughs) “You can’t do that buddy, you promised.” But anyways, that was the closest point because it was unnecessary to bring up my family and my kids. It had nothing to do with “Survivor.” All is forgiven as far as Phillip is concerned. Thirty minutes afterward I could’ve talked to him. That’s just my character personality. I forgive and forget.

Holmes: Something that seems to get glossed over is how your tribemates feel about you. In “South Pacific” several players said you could’ve won if you got to the end. Here you clearly had a good relationship with several of your tribemates. What aren’t we seeing here?
Hantz: It’s awesome, dude. But you know what I see when people started talking bad about me? I see a bunch of followers. People jumping on the bandwagon cause it’s “Survivor.” I loved my tribe. I had an issue with Phillip, that’s it. The way he talked to people.  I feel like I was standing up for people like Brenda and Erik who were getting treated like garbage. As you see in the previews for the next episode, Corinne wants to vote him out. It’s agitating to see how things changed so quickly when I’m involved in the equation.

Holmes: You were only mad at Phillip, but when you toss the rice and the beans, that affects people you care about like Dawn and Erik. Was it worth it?
Hantz: Yeah. Did you enjoy watching it? (Laughs)
Holmes: Honestly, I didn’t.
Hantz: Well, it happened and it was amazing. It was really liberating. You ever get to the point where you were like, I’m pissed off and you just want to say something to hurt somebody else and you finally have enough courage and you say, “You suck”? And a weight has been lifted off of your chest? I was tired of being taken advantage of. And I proved my point. I don’t regret one second throwing the rice and beans out. I love Dawn and I love Erik, but you’ve got to realize that nobody stepped up for me. It’s “Survivor.” Nobody said, “That sucks.” When you see someone getting pummeled and you don’t say anything, that’s where I have a problem.

Holmes: You wanted to be the author of your own fate. It was important to go out on your own terms.
Hantz: Yes.
Holmes: Why is that better than playing the game and winning or losing?
Hantz: Because I was always going to lose, believe me. You either die the way they want you to or you go out on your own. Either I go to Tribal Council and they vote me out and I take it in the rear, or I do something drastic. Something that nobody will ever forget. Why wouldn’t you?
Holmes: It looks like there’s going to be a tribe swap next week. There will be a tribe merge in a few weeks. Why not hold out and see how things go?
Hantz: Because, man…have you ever played “Survivor”?
Holmes: I haven’t.
Hantz: There was a guaranteed spot for me in Ponderosa already laid out. So, I was going home. They were going to throw the challenge. We’d get to Tribal Council and we’d get to Jeff, my name was voted for, then it’s over. They cost me a million dollars, you don’t think that’s worse than going without rice for a couple of days? I think it was pretty even. They got it and I got it.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Andrea.
Hantz: Sneaky.
Holmes: Corinne?
Hantz: Terrible.
Holmes: Erik?
Hantz: Awesome.
Holmes: Malcolm?
Hantz: Wish-washy.
Holmes: Brenda?
Hantz: Awesome.
Holmes: Dawn?
Hantz: Awesomer!
Holmes: Phillip?
Hantz: Oh God…that’s pretty much it, “Oh God.”
Holmes: Cochran?
Hantz: Very, very disloyal.

Holmes: Sometimes grudges last past the season. Is there a chance that you and Phillip can mend fences?
Hantz: The game doesn’t need to come into real life. I Facebook messaged Phillip after the season. I tried to get in contact with him. I want to make it clear to Phillip that anything I say about him is game related. I will never take shots about Phillip and his personal life. As a human being, I respect Phillip. I don’t know him in his personal life, but I’m sure he’s a great guy. But as a Survivor, I would never want to play with him again, if I ever play again.
Holmes: If invited, would you play again?
Hantz: Of course. My thing about playing again is I wouldn’t play unless Russell was there. This season, I didn’t know who was going to be out there and I wanted Russell to be out there. Number one, I could beat him. I think as far as challenges, he’s an old man. He can’t hang with me. I can beat him as far as going farther, because even after what I did, he’s still going to be a bigger threat than I am. Which is good for me.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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