May 24, 2010 08:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
Having played twice before, Jerri Manthey was a seasoned Survivor contestant when she set foot on Samoa to compete once again. This season on Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains, Jerri was able to crack the final four after facing off against some of the best players in the show’s history. Immediately after the live finale in New York City, Jerri talked with me about her strategy, what it’s like living with Russell at camp and why she is so proud of her game this time around.
Read on to see an exclusive video from the red carpet with Jerri.
Check out Ryan Haidet’s interview with Jerri:
Ryan Haidet — RealityTVMagazine: Congratulations on such an awesome game.
Jerri Manthey: Thank you. I’m very proud of myself, too.
RTVMag: You summed it up well — you said the first time you played that people wanted you gone. But this time, everybody in the audience at the finale had been cheering for you and they were upset when you were gone. How does that make you feel?
Jerri: I am so happy that people finally love me. (Laughs) I’m not gonna lie. I’m an actress, I like positive affirmation. I think most human beings do, but I feel like this time I earned it. I played a completely different game on purpose. I went into it with one goal, and that was to win a million bucks. I didn’t need to be the one that got the most attention or the most air time or any of that. I went into it to get a million bucks. I somehow managed to get all the way through the game and not make a single person angry at me, and that’s unfortunately also not a good place to be either when people go to the final three. That was the irony of my situation.
RTVMag: The thing we heard over and over this season from Russell is how he was in control of every move you made. How do you respond to that today?
Jerri: The way I’ve been responding to it is something I can’t really go on record and say because I want you to be able to use this interview. At the end when I did get voted out, I was going to give Russell my vote because I appreciated the way he played the game strategically, as well as aggressively. But he lost my vote for one reason — he does not know how to be a humble, gracious player. … He’ll never win. And Russell was never in control of anyone. Every choice I made, I made on my own. And there was a couple of times, though he will never admit it, that I saved his ass. If I had gone on Rob’s side instead of Russell’s in that one vote, he would’ve been gone. There was a couple of other times people were gunning after him and I thought, “I could do this.” But I watched the effect he had on everyone and nobody liked him. So who better to sit at the end with?
But it’s insulting, quite frankly, to have someone say things like he controls me better than anyone else. I think he said that. That I never had any game play. Russell’s a newbie. I’ve played this three times now. I knew exactly what I was doing and every choice I made was my own.
RTVMag: You have played this game three times now, and every time you have played with Colby Donaldson. What was your relationship like with him this time because we really didn’t see a whole lot between the two of you.
Jerri: I was so bummed. All the really cool stuff between me and Colby hit the editing room floor. I blame Russell for that. A lot of this became the Russell show and it bugged a lot of us because some of the best moments on Survivor are the moments where you’re not necessarily talking about the game. You’re just being friendly and human with another person. Colby and I had an amazing time together. We spent many hours on the beach laying in the sun just talking about life. We went fishing together all the time. And it was just bizarre to me that none of that came out because I know everyone was curious how we were going to get along. We got along great. We almost found comfort in the fact that we had played together so many times and we knew each other so well. It was a comfort. I’m really sad that didn’t come out in the show.
RTVMag: Was there any hesitation for you to come back for a third season?
Jerri: Oh yeah, I hesitated for sure. I didn’t know if I wanted to put myself through another bout of Survivor based on what happened in the All-Stars and me walking off the finale. That was the toughest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. Honestly. So I had to think about it. But I know myself and I know that if I said no, I would literally spend the rest of my life wondering what could have been. I’m a competitive person, and give me the opportunity to compete against other people physically and mentally, I thrive on that.
RTVMag: Would you do it again?
Jerri: Damn it! Yes! I would totally go back for me because I’m totally insane (laughs). And I got a little taste of what it’s like to go as far as I did — and it felt good. It felt really good, and I want some more of that.
RTVMag: The very first episode right when Jeff Probst talks about Russell and how he cracked the top-five Villains of all time, we saw a reaction from you. Is that all you were told about Russell?
Jerri: That was it.
RTVMag: Was there talk about that at camp? Did you guys ask him?
Jerri: He wasn’t allowed to talk about his season. We knew he was on the Villains for a reason for sure. And when Jeff called him the top villain of all time, yeah I definitely reacted to that. I was like, “Uh oh, who is this guy?”
RTVMag: Advice to a future player?
Jerri: I would say learn to stock a big pile of patience and accept the fact that the best way to play the game is to let other people make the strategic, aggressive moves. Even if it’s your idea make someone else do it, it’s always better to be the one that looks innocent.
Red carpet images by Leah Machek. All other images courtesy of CBS.
Stay tuned for another exclusive interviews from the Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains red carpet with Colby Donaldson.
Previous Finale Coverage
Interview with winner Sandra Diaz-Twine:
Interview with second-place finisher Parvati Shallow:
Interview with third-place finisher Russell Hantz:
Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor, Survivor Videos |
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