Jerri Manthey is a three-time “Survivor” player with arguably one of the best arcs on the show — she went from the “Black Widow” of the Australian Outback to a complete redemption arc on “Heroes vs. Villains.” One might think she’s done playing after that, but she recently revealed that she would “probably” play again if asked. She also has a terrific idea for a “Legends” season, and she revealed some behind-the-scenes info about the original all-stars season.
Here’s what she had to say.
Manthey Said The First All-Stars Was Really Hard
Without getting into too many specifics, Manthey said that the first all-stars season, season eight, “fractured some really tight relationships.”
She also said that she felt “very alone” during that season until the merge.
“When we merged and I ended up with Lex, that’s when I was like, ‘Oh my god, finally, somebody that I love to pieces.’ We instantly bonded. The fact that he felt like he had to vote me off — we still talk about that. [laughs] We’re in touch a lot. He lives pretty close to me. I just love him to pieces. I stay in touch with Ethan [Zohn] even though Ethan talked a lot of s*** about me on the all-stars.”
Manthey also revealed that she only agreed to do all-stars because she felt like she got a harsh edit on “The Australian Outback,” but she quickly discovered during all-stars that this was not the time or the place to be a nice person.
“The reason I did all-stars is ’cause I felt like I needed to redeem myself, show people the softer, gentler side of Jerri. And I learned while out there that that is not the time or the place to be the gentler, softer, more vulnerable person that I am. That is not the appropriate place,” she said.
The castaway also revealed that there was a storm that was so dangerous they don’t even have footage of it — it’s the infamous storm that flooded the Saboga Tribe’s shelter.
“There was the worst storm we’ve ever seen, the worst storm ever in ‘Survivor’ history,” said Manthey. “I literally thought we were going to die that night. The camera guy ran away. There is no footage whatsoever of us huddled while lightning is striking feet away from us. My hair was wet and floating, there was electricity in the air, the whole beach got washed out into the ocean. It was the night that Rupert’s horrible shelter got flooded.”
She added, “Things were very different back then, there was not a constant medical check-in. Like if you have some kind of infection, they’ll give you antibiotics. They’ll give you band-aids and ointments and stuff. Back then, they were like ‘too bad.'”
Manthey Says Offer a $5 Million Prize For a Legends Season
As we’ve seen over the years, it gets harder and harder to get the game’s best and/or favorite players back to play again — because “Survivor” is no joke. It’s incredibly hard on its castaways. For “Winners at War,” for instance, the show had to up the prize to $2 million and also ensure everyone would have a chance to re-enter the game by using the Redemption Island feature again. Host Jeff Probst has said that some winners wouldn’t have agreed to do it without a chance to return.
So, if the show were to a “Legends” season, which Manthey sees as kind of an “updated version” of all-stars, how would they get back true “legends”? Offer them $5 million.
“Toss $5 million out there as a prize for a legends season,” said Manthey on a recent episode of the “Hot Takes Deep Dives” podcast. “It would be like the updated version of [all-stars], probably with a greater scope of people from all — there’s now 40 seasons. I think it would be a pretty epic season. But they’d have to up the final money, for sure. I think it needs to be $5 million. You wanna see some good gameplay? You throw $5 million out in front of everybody, that’d be out of control.”
She’s absolutely right — that would be epic and completely bonkers (in the best way).
She also tried to act like she wouldn’t play again — “I think now I’d have to think about it a little bit. It hurts. It’s uncomfortable.” — but then she said, “Aww, what am I saying? Yeah, I’d probably do it again.”
“Survivor” is back in production now. If the pattern holds, it should be premiering its 41st season the third or fourth week of September 2021.