My Chance Meeting in Thailand With Russell Hantz Of Survivor Fame

Pretty much everything is covered in the roughly 50-minute uncensored, unedited, and uncut video Russell and I did over lunch today on Nai Harn beach on the very southern tip of Phuket island in Thailand, only 7 degrees north latitude.

Texan Russell is no stranger to heat and humidity and this particular hot and humid place doesn’t faze him anymore than did his four tropical experiences on Survivor, the crazy popular TV show.

…What happened is that last night I was in a girl-bar I frequent and this guy comes up to me and frankly introduces himself.

“Hi, I’m Russell Hantz.”

That would typically get an equally frank rejoinder “nice to meet you, I’m Richard Nikoley.” But once I’d sized him up a bit and integrated the out-of-context aspect of this being south Phuket and not Texas…

“NO WAY!!!???”

Yep, it was THE Russell Hantz, for those of you who are the early fans of Survivor. He’s the guy who could find hidden immunity idols before clues were even issued—six of them in back-to-back seasons where he had only a 2-week respite after already losing 60 pounds in 39 days and immediately reenlisted for another and put in an identical performance. In our discussion, he reveals what his chief tell was, which I’d not considered.

Beyond that, we have a lot of discussion about very taboo things. Not safe for work or children. We both wish for love, hate, or both. I’m not speaking for Russell here, but I sense that we’re a bit alike in this aspect:

  1. “I love you.” (I love you too)
  2. “I hate you.” (I love you anyway)
  3. “I don’t care.” (where have I gone wrong?)

Love and hate are really the same. Two sides of the coin of passion. It’s indifference that kills and what’s stellar about Russell both on the TV screen and right in front of my eyes is there is nothing to be indifferent about.

…For example, you can’t miss the part of the discussion where this crazy hot 25-yo Thai girl both loved and hated 49-yo Russell at the same time—punches and kisses. I watched it with my own eyes.

The mastery in that context echos his performance on Survivor.

I ought not make this intro too long. Watch it. I think it’s fun, real, and good. Oh, Russell has a YouTube channel with 41K subscribers and I’m watching them. But watch this first:

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  1. Todd Lambert on July 3, 2022 at 05:01

    Never heard of him.

  2. JavaScript Raj on July 5, 2022 at 09:33

    Richard – you should do more video interviews/conversations like this with other folks you meet in Thailand. my favorite part is the beginning when you give the intro and ordering drinks from the waitress.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2022 at 09:54

      Funny you say that because as I watch it back myself, I think it’s cool, especially how you can hear us interacting with the wait staff.

      • JavaScript Raj on July 5, 2022 at 11:38

        when I watched that video, I keep thinking its a great source of dialogue and setting for a screenplay. little scenes like make a good screenplay/movie to a great screenplay/movie

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