rob mariano russell hantz survivor redemption island 'Survivor: Redemption Island': Russell Hantz is sweeter, nicer this time around?On “The Early Show” Wednesday morning (Feb. 16), they previewed “Survivor: Redemption Island,” showing host Jeff Probst informing the new castaways about the new twist. They were understandably surprised. (Speaking of Probst, check out our profile with him, it’s a fun read.)

Boston Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz then sat down to talk about the show. Russell says he is in favor of the twist.

“I like the twist bcause I know I’m gonna have a target on my back from day one. So it gives me an opportunity to come back into the game,” says Hantz. “Plus it puts a new strategic way of thinking because that person that you vote out, that you just stabbed in the back, instead of getting rid of them, now they’re coming back into the game.”

He adds, “I think that I’m going to have to play the game differently. You might see a new sweeter, nicer version of Russell.”

“It’s not possible,” cracks Mariano.

“It adds another social layer to the game. Before, you could vote people off with wild abandon, any way you want, back-stab ’em, no consequences,” Mariano continues. “But now knowing these people have the opportunity to come back, you have to think about how you vote them off.”

Besides the new Redemption Island twist, viewers are undoubtedly tuning in to see Boston Rob and Russell compete against one another (or together in an alliance, as we are hoping!). Russell says that’s what drew him to the show again.

“I wouldn’t have come back if it would’ve just been regular people,” says Hantz.

“That’s why we’re back, we have to settle the score,” adds Mariano.

But as for them forming an alliance?

“I wouldn’t bet on it,” says Mariano.

Russell then gets a chance to address the recent rumors tha the’s been the source of the leaks regarding the last couple seasons of the show.

“The problem is with me I am that villain and people take shots at me, even though that’s not who I am in real life. All I can is, it’s 100% false. I don’t give it any credit,” Hantz says.

“Survivor: Redemption Island” premieres Wednesday night, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."