Villains Are The Kindest People

In the world of reality TV, there's a particular series that's the most successful of all time. Survivor. It premiered in 2000, 22 years ago. Season 43 will premier in September. It has 622 episodes under its belt. They run 2 seasons per year.

I didn't catch on until episode 7 of season 1. I became a fan, as did my wife. We recall watching the finale in the departure lounge in Maui, headed back to USA. The most unlikely guy, and villain, Richard Hatch, won—a gay-guy asshole who trapsed around naked...there's something to this!

Years later, when I caught onto The Paleo Diet, lost a bunch of fat, and became an influencer in the space via this blog, I always thought it strange that there wasn't even scant mention of the show anywhere in the sphere...ever...not even a whisper. After all, here's like 20 people getting dropped off on an island for 39 days; no food, water, or shelter. And there's a social game too.

The biggest example of Paleo right in your face, nobody seemed to give a fuck.


Because of the social game, there are those heroes and those villains. Whatever anyone thinks about who's the most villainous villain, it goes hands down to Russell Hantz, for me. In fact, after his 3rd and last appearance on the show about 10 years ago, I lost interest. There would never be any equalling of his performance.

He broke the system.

...They came up with this thing to hide immunity idols and if you find one and play it, any tribal votes against you don't count. They issue clues as to where it might be found. This is where Russell Hantz villainously fucked with the whole production. He found them before clues were issued. He didn't just do it once, but 3 times in his first season appearance. The production was so gobsmacked that after 39 days and losing 60 pounds, they invited him back to do it again, filming to start in 2 weeks. They inserted him into an already planned production.

And he duplicated his previous performance. He once again found all three hidden immunity idols without clues.

They brought him back a couple of seasons later for a third go-round but had fucked with the rules so much he was easy to dispense with early on. Nobody wanted to compete with Russell, so they got him out. Disgusting and disappointing for me.

I lost interest in the series.

...Advance 10 years or so and a couple of weeks ago, a guy approaches me in a bar here in south Phuket, Rawai, and introduces himself. In under 24 hours, we were on video.

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More