Survivor's Russell Hantz Accused of Spoiling Results: Which Reality Leaks Make You Crazy?

Survivor bad boy Russell Hantz may be badder than you think, according to a new report by The Daily Beast. Jim Early, who was sued by Mark Burnett Productions and CBS for leaking elimination spoilers about Survivor‘s 19th and 20th seasons on the Survivor Sucks message boards, said his mole was none other than Hantz, and that he’s cooperating with the network and producers in their ongoing investigation. (A spokesperson for CBS provided a statement about the scandal, which I’ve shared in its entirety at the end of this story.)

We’ll see how the story continues to play out, but either way, it got me thinking about a couple of recent high-profile spoilers I stumbled across and how they affected me in totally different ways. After reading a recap of Survivor: Nicaragua last year, I hit the comments section where some d-bag had posted the entire elimination order for the final nine contestants. I tried to look away without processing anything, but the Na’Onka-level rage building in my chest told me it was too late: The season had been spoiled.

I had a similar experience mid-way through Ali Fedotowsky’s turn as The Bachelorette — in which I accidentally discovered her choice would come down to Roberto vs. Chris — but it didn’t bother me in the least. The difference, I think, is that half the fun of The Bachelorette is the “journey”– watching crazy, desperate, deluded fameosexuals fight for love, or the closest thing to love they can comprehend (which, of course, is fame).

Conversely, on Survivor, the real joy is in the white-knuckle psychological ride of seeing which castaway will ultimately ouwit, outlast, and outplay his or her competitors. A spoiler on The Bachelorette is just an ant at the picnic, but it turns into a rabies-infested Grizzly bear when translated to Survivor. At least that’s how I see it.

How do you feel about reality-TV spoilers? Does your tolerance level vary from show to show? Which spoilers make you feel downright homicidal, and which ones result in nothing more than a shoulder shrug? Check out CBS’ response to the Hantz accusations below, then head to the comments section and share your thoughts. Oh, and for all my reality-TV coverage, follow me on Twitter @MichaeSlezakTV.

CBS’ Statement on Behalf of Survivor
From the beginning, Survivor has been blessed with a rabid fan base, including a fanatical group online which, from the show’s early days, initiated one of television’s first organized campaigns to predict and speculate results in advance of a reality show broadcast. As the show has progressed in years and the Internet has grown in scope, the number of these sites has increased with periodic claims of unauthorized leaks from people connected to the show.

We’ve investigated some of these claims. Each time, we’ve peeled back the curtain to find a subculture of the show with fans/bloggers simultaneously networking and competing with each other for spoiler information while hurling accusations of unfair practices against each other.

The fervent activity of these sites often generates a confusing web of backstabbing, claims of misinformation and Internet alliances. It’s almost like an underground game-within-a-game of Survivor that plays out with the melodrama of a daytime soap and the complexity of Dungeons and Dragons.

Outwit, outplay, outlast. It happens more than just on the air.

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23 Comments
  1. Alison says:

    CBS’ statement conveniently skates around the fact that their precious “star” was the source of the leaks. I’m praying to the reality gods that he gets sued by CBS for breach of contract/confidentiality agreement/whatever binding legal document he obviously disregarded in favor of his giant ego.

    (I’m not a member of the Russell fan club, if you couldn’t tell…)

  2. tma6469 says:

    I love the spoilers but respect peoples right to not be spoiled. I first stumbled upon the bootlist of Survivor Heroes vs Villians before it even began airing. I was shocked at how much more I enjoyed watching when I already knew who was going to go every episode. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since I always read a books last chapter first before I start reading it. Anyway, what spoils the spoilers , are the idiots who want to ruin it for everyone who has no desire to be spoiled.

    • majamababe says:

      Finally – someone else who reads the last chapter first! I thought I was the only one! Thank you!

      • rinacres says:

        I read the first few chapters to get to know all the players…but then read the last to find out how it all turns out. I like knowing who the villain is in advance!

        As for Reality TV, even knowing who is going to win or be ousted in what order doesn’t ruin it for me.

  3. Joslyn says:

    I don’t watch Survivor, and generally stay away from Twitter, etc, if I don’t want to be spoiled for Top Chef, Project Runway, etc. But I absolutely had the experience of getting spoiled, in the comments on a blog post, for Jake’s season of the Bachelor and it mostly ruined the season for me. Knowing that the horrid Vienna wasn’t going anywhere made me really disheartened…or maybe just grossed out. I acknowledge this is ALL at a certain level of ridiculata, because, hello The Bachelor but at the same time, there can be no Most! Dramatic! Rose! Ceremony! Ever! when the conclusion is foregone. I avoid Bachelor/Bachelorette blog comments like the plague now, because every thread has at least one person who has to prove they’ve discovered Reality Steve and his usually infallible leaks, and wants to ruin it for the rest of us.

    • MysticajPippin says:

      I don’t like spoilers. I happen to love the thrill of not knowing and finding out as its played out week to week on tv. It’s about enjoying my entertainment and I couldn’t enjoy it if I knew what the ending was going to be. I will leave that to watching reruns on Hulu and YouTube or watching old classic movies like “Suspicion” or “Its a Wonderful Life”……

      I could never read the last chapter of a book – what would be the point after that? Especially a mystery novel….I cant believe 3 people here have done it. It just doesn’t make sense to me why someone would want to. However, that being said I don’t have a problem with people posting them just as long as they put it in its proper designated place or lable it in bold AT THE TOP “SPOILER ALERT”
      Unfortunately, most of them don’t give us that choice. And what’s even worse you then get these dummies who take the info and start talking about it in a thread that doesn’t want to hear about it. This is what happened on the Bachelor in the Jake season. And yeah it was very disheartening knowing who Jake chose before the end and probably for the same reasons as Joslyn’s but also because we all want people to fall in love with the right person for them. It’s about our own hopes and dreams for love itself. Its about “alls well that ends well” like in Jakes case. ha ha turns out Jake wanted an acting career more than anything and so he got a lot of drama…..he got what he deserved.

  4. Sam says:

    I was actually relieved when I saw that B—- ——— was in the Top 20 for American Idol this season. Not all spoilers are bad.

  5. Joslyn says:

    Balls. Apologies for the horrid formatting above. HTML tags = not my forte, clearly.

  6. Joslyn says:

    Ack! Apologies for the horrid formatting above. HTML tags = not my strong suite, clearly.

  7. Jon edward says:

    Jim early/Missyae, is a proven liar. Russell could not have been his source. Missyae has spoiled more then just Russell’s seasons. Just so you all know, CBS WILL NEVER SUE RUSSELL. They are going to go after Jim again, however. Especially when he is proven to be a liar on this issue. Missyae has spoiled these seasons, while including editing info…. something Russell had no access to until the episodes air. His source is from the production team. Dont be gullible folks.

    • Matthew says:

      If the article is correct, he actually had evidence, emails from Russell disclosing information. If so, I don’t see how there can be any doubt about Russell’s involvement. Now, he may also have other sources, but if he has emails from Russell, then that’s fairly conclusive that Russell did feed him information.

  8. Topher says:

    I don’t have an issue with Spoilers as a concept, I have issues when they are thrown in your face. Like logging on to CNN, this site, Facebook, Twitter, or EW and the cover being a casting notice, spoiler, recap, or major event being covered immediately or in the headline. For me, you give a week for taped shows because people have lives. Just because I had to go to someone’s Birthday party on Monday doesn’t mean I deserve to have my favorite show (Chuck) spoiled because I checked this site in the morning or because I read my Twitter feed. In the end it makes me not want to watch shows and the show loses ratings. Other shows that are mindless (Hi Glee) I can write in my sleep so spoilers don’t bother me at all. God forbid anyone f%^#* with LOST.

  9. Charlotte says:

    Agreed, I had a season of Survivor spoiled for me (one of the early ones) and it completely ruined that season for me. I had actually gone searching out the spoilers, because I LIKE spoilers for a lot of shows, but I definitely discovered that for something like Survivor, I need to not know how it will go down. Now I avoid the spoilers as much as I can. Same for RW/RR challenge and Amazing Race. Maybe it’s ‘athletic’ competition shows?

  10. Christina says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with spoilers. For shows like American Idol I love them because it lets me know who I should and shouldn’t be getting invested in, and in the end they can’t spoil the outcome of the show. However for Survivor I hate them. The spoilers directly layout the outcome of the game which is something I don’t want to know. I like to visit places like Survivor Sucks but I stay out of the spoiler fourms. However you will get an idiot who spoils the boot order in the thread title of the main fourm. That happened to me for Heroes vs. Villians and totally ruined the suspense of the season.

  11. cattibrie says:

    I am also one of the ones that reads the last chapter of a book after reading the first few. For me it isn’t about getting to the end but how we got there. Knowing who is going on Survivor allows me to understand how they got there. That is the thrill for me. My husband sometimes asked me for the spoiler of the night but not always.

    And to the person who thinks you should wait a week before posting something on this site, Twitter, CNN or other sites get a grip. Sites like this survive by giving us casting news, spoilers and a place to discuss what happened. If you can’t watch the show then don’t come here until you get a chance to.

  12. Avalon says:

    I hate spoilers too! The last two seasons of Survivor were ruined for me by accidentally seeing a list on the message boards. I tried to look away too, but it’s funny how the mind hones in on the one thing that you don’t want to remember. Knowing that Fabio would win last season took away any fun/shock/surprise there could have been since before I saw the spoiler, I would have said there was no way he could possibly win. I don’t understand why people feel the need to throw spoilers in your face when you don’t want them. Just post them on boards that are spoiler boards for those who want to see them. It’s like those annoying jerks in school who would always blurt out the end of the book you were going to spend the next month reading. No, we don’t think you’re extra cool just because you know the ending.

  13. Matthew says:

    For me, the worst spoilers I ever heard was for season 9 of The Amazing Race. We didn’t get the season until several months after it aired in the States, and by then I had heard that the hippies won. Within 10 minutes of the season, I realised I hated them, and knew I was stuck with them for the rest of the season. What made it worse was the fact that TWICE they finished last, and I couldn’t be excited because I knew it had to be a non-elimination leg.

  14. Christina says:

    I like spoliers if there is someone I can’t stand so I can see how much longer I have to put up with them, but I think everyone has the right to not be spoiled! If it was Russell he would have had to have sent them from the Heroes Vs Villians camp, because as you remember he went right from his first season to his second season with no break inbetween…sounds fishy to me!

  15. Soap On A Rope says:

    Just to inform those that do not know, Russell Hantz has been trying to win public opinion and influence others by visiting several web sites using phoney names. I guess that it’s only natural for a person who has been caught red handed violating his contract with Mark Burnett Productions to do this. For those who thought that he was only playing the part of a villan on the show can now see that he was not acting, he was only being himself.

  16. Jon edward says:

    Soap on a rope is obviously Jim Early. So who is really the one using fake names. NOBODY BELIEVES YOU JIM. Nobody cares on sucks anymore either, you are finished.

  17. Gillian says:

    Please, please tell me that someone will be recapping Survivor and that if it is not you, Michael, at least the recapper’s name will not rhyme with Falton Smoss.

  18. Ray Mills says:

    Russell is a total ass**** even without survivor, if I saw him on the street, I would have the same opinon. What a moron. Hey Russell, you are not the best ever to play, because if you were, you would have won IDIOT!!!I hope you have not reproduced or spawned any more like you which will further lower the standards of the human gene pool. Why dont you crawl back into whatver slime pit you came from,and give the world a break ?

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