‘Survivor’ Alum on Colby Donaldson: ‘Biggest Chauvinist’ in Survivor History

Colby Donaldson

Getty Colby Donaldson at the "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" finale in 2010.

CBS’s “Survivor” has been known for undergoing a very visible and dynamic culture shift since its inception in 2000. Back in 2001, during the airing of its popular second season, “The Australian Outback,” 30-year-old aspiring actress Jerri Manthey was viewed as the series’ chief villain, as embodied by her well-known moniker, the “Black Widow.”

Jerri’s so-called villany was for little reason besides the fact that she was relatively unliked at camp, and seen as somewhat annoying by the audience. By “Heroes vs. Villains,” however, only ten years later, she became well-liked by the audience, and is now well-loved in the “Survivor” fanbase.

Recently, the “Dragon Slayer,” Benjamin “Coach” Wade, weighed in on Jerri’s original season, and the relationship between her and then-fan favorite Colby Donaldson on Twitter.

Here’s what you need to know:

Coach Slams Colby as ‘Chauvinist’ on Twitter

Benjamin Coach Wade

GettyBenjamin “Coach” Wade at the “Survivor: South Pacific” reunion show in 2011.

Although Colby Donaldson may have been America’s fan favorite in 2001 – with many new parents even naming their children after him – fans have undergone some reflection and many now see Colby in a new light due to some of the things he said and did to Jerri at the time. Coach is one of these fans, expressing his viewpoint quite frankly on Twitter.

Last Thursday, “Survivor Quotes X” – a popular Twitter account which reposts famous images and quotes of previous “Survivor” seasons – posted a collage of Jerri Manthey, highlighting how fan reaction to her has shifted over the years. The post said that in her first season:

[Jerri] was deemed the original villainess of the game and received universal negative feedback. However, she would return twice more and would end up eventually being voted out for being too like-able. We love Jerri and enjoyed her journey.

The following day, Benjamin “Coach” Wade, who competed alongside Jerri in season 20, “Heroes vs. Villains,” where they even began to develop somewhat of a romantic bond, retweeted the post, and added that “If you go back and rewatch [season 2] in today’s world Colby would be the biggest chauvinist in Survivor and Jerri would have been the hero.” He closed the tweet with a hashtag, #Facts. 

Such a blunt and forthright comment has many fans wondering about Coach and Jerri’s relationship today, and even commenting on Coach’s own evolution within the game.

When one fan, for instance, pointed out Coach’s poor treatment of 23-year-old Sierra Reed in his original season, “Tocantins,” Coach admitted that he acted poorly but says he has changed. “Exactly,” he replied. “I’m not the man I was 10 years ago.”

Fans Speculate on the Coach-Jerri-Colby ‘Love Triangle’

Survivor Heroes vs Villains finale Colby and Jerri

GettyColby Donaldson and Jerri Manthey at the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” finale in 2010.

“Survivor” fans responded enthusiastically to Coach’s comments – in part due to his public growth as a person, and in part due to the shipping many fans seem to be doing to Coach and Jerri, even over a decade after their appearance on “Survivor” together. “Good to see the Coach and Jerri love saga is still going strong,” one user on Reddit wrote.

“Jerri 👏 did 👏 nothing 👏 wrong 👏,” another user commented. “The 2000s just really hated women.” One Twitter user called the two “A legendary duo.”

Others pointed out the brief rivalry between Coach and Colby at the beginning of “Heroes vs. Villains” (the two were never on a tribe together, as Coach was voted out before the merge), as shown in the season’s very first episode. There, the two got rather physical during a challenge – a challenge which Coach won. “Colbys HvV season ended when coach dragged him to the mat,” one Reddit user wrote of the current drama. “Coach woke up in 2022 ready to choose violence 😍” another said.

Another user on Twitter said in a reply to Coach’s post, “You dragon slayed Colby too in the opening challenge of Heroes vs. Villains.”

Where Colby, Coach, and Jerri Are Today

Today, about a decade after their most recent appearances on “Survivor,” all three former contestants seem to have more or less distanced themselves from the show, though Jerri and Coach still seem to be close.

Since his many “Survivor” appearances, Colby, now 47, has taken on the role of host in many different reality competition shows. Currently, he is hosting “The Butcher,” a role he has held since 2019, as well as “Alone: Tales from the Arctic,” both of which are on the History Channel. Coach, 50, is now a family man living in California with his wife and three children – Lenna, Bekston, and Avvan, the latter of whom is a son from Coach’s wife’s previous marriage who Coach has adopted. He is still very musical, frequently showing off his skills at the trumpet on social media.

Jerri, now 51, is currently a wine enthusiast and tour guide in Napa Valley, California. She recently announced the unveiling of the Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience, which offers an “intimate weekend with farmers, winemakers, and chefs who appreciate the earth and work to preserve its beauty,” according to its website. General admission tickets are $200, and the event will take place in May 2022. In Jerri’s Instagram post announcing the event, Coach replied, “Outstanding. I’ll be there!! 💯”

“Survivor” airs Wednesdays 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. Be sure to catch season 42 when it premieres March 9, 2022.

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