‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame 2015 Inductee – Jerri Manthey

2015 "Survivor" Hall of Fame Inductee Jerri Manthey (CBS)

Quick Note: XFINITY is the place to be for “Survivor: Second Chance” finale coverage. We’ll have finale Power Rankings with “Worlds Apart” faves Jenn Brown and Max Dawson, a recap of the finale and the full episode on Thursday, and exit interviews with all six of the remaining contestants. Follow @gordonholmes on Twitter for full details.

Fifty percent of the voting for the ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame was based on the ballots of the Executive Voting Committee. This blue-ribbon panel consists of “Survivor” luminaries such as Host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer, Co-Executive Producers Jesse Jensen and Matt Van Wagenen, the current members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, the “Survivor” press corps, and XFINITY TV’s “Survivor” Guy Gordon Holmes. The other fifty percent came from “Survivor” fans like you.

Follow the “Survivor” Hall of Fame on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

The Class of 2010 included Parvati Shallow, Russell Hantz, Rob Mariano, Richard Hatch, and Sandra Diaz-Twine…

The Class of 2011 included Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, and Tom Westman…

The Class of 2012 included Amanda Kimmel, Rob Cesternino, and Ethan Zohn…

The Class of 2013 included Kim Spradlin, John Cochran, and Jonny Fairplay…

And now, the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is proud to induct Jerri Manthey as the first member of the Class of 2015. Jerri received the most fan votes out of any nominee and had the highest percentage of total votes.

We had a chance to speak with the newly crowned Hall of Famer to get her thoughts on this honor…

Gordon Holmes: Induction into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame is a cumulative vote that includes fans, production, the press, your peers…everyone came together to honor you. How does it feel to receive recognition from such a wide variety of people?
Jerri Manthey: I am honored and proud to be a part of “Survivor” history. I feel extra fortunate to have been a part of the beginnings of it. Lots has changed since I played in Australia…Including ME as a human being. I’ve grown, I’ve overcome a lot of challenges in life that would normally break a person. I’ve become more patient with people, I’ve become more gracious and appreciative. “Survivor” has without a doubt changed my life for the better. It’s taught me that I can handle some incredibly difficult situations with ease and a very clear perspective of the “bubble” each of us lives in and the necessity to step outside of it often.

Holmes: Your relationship with the fans was a strained one before “Heroes vs. Villains.” What does it mean to you that you were by far the top vote getter in this year’s fan ballot?
Manthey: Strained?? Hmmm…I’m not sure that’s the correct term.  I like to think that my relationship with the fans has been evolving… very… slowly…

Manthey: When I played the first time, I was thirty years old. I was ambitious and aggressive and paid very little attention to the reaction of the people around me. Much like today’s “millennial” generation, I didn’t think about whose toes I was stepping on to get ahead. I saw a goal and went for it without much thought. I admit it’s no way to win a million dollars, but I did get ahead in my life…much to the detriment of the relationships of those I cared deeply for.

Manthey: But now…I’ve learned that as a woman, I am automatically grouped into the category of “weaker sex” and I am NOT okay with it. But, I am much more diplomatic at dealing with stereotypes. I feel I have less to prove to others and more to prove to myself. I hope to be an example to other women and young girls that as women we can accomplish just as much – if not more – than a man.

Manthey: I don’t rely on popularity contests to stroke my ego and make me feel validated.  I look in the mirror… And if I’m making choices that make me feel good, make others feel good… And make my parents proud… That’s all I care about. However, I’m BEYOND grateful for the love of the fans of “Survivor.” And I am constantly amazed people still remember me and care what I’m up to. And all I can really say is “thank you” for all the love!  It means a lot to me.

Holmes: Have you been watching “Survivor: Second Chance”? If so, what are you hoping to see in Wednesday’s finale?  
Manthey: To be honest, I am a few episodes behind and have to catch up this week. Somehow I have been able to avoid hearing anything that has happened on the last couple episodes. And I can’t wait to have a mini marathon with my friends right before the finale. Life has become my own game of “Survivor” as I battle through a very difficult divorce and am learning every day how important the choices you make in life are. Much like the game of “Survivor,” divorce does NOT bring out the best in people. And right now I am fighting to keep all that I have worked (and starved and suffered) so hard for from slipping into the hands of someone I once loved who now is trying to take it all away.
Holmes: I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through that.
Manthey: I keep praying every day that he will wake up and realize that the outcome is never worth the battle. That people fall out of love for many different reasons. But if handled well, a friendship is possible and in the long term, isn’t that all that really matters?  And while I answer your question, I realize once again how life and “Survivor” are so similar. Crazy…right?
Holmes: I always hope there can be friendship after a relationship ends. Sometimes it just takes time.

Holmes: What are your thoughts on Kimmi and Jeff Varner’s time out there?
Manthey: I campaigned like I’ve never done before to get Kimmi and Jeff on “Second Chances.” Jeff played a little too aggressively for his own good… But because I know him so well…and know how badly he wanted to get another shot…I understood why. Kimmi has played a very “under the radar” game… and I know she has gone through some rough life lessons herself and has struggled to put food on the table and support her children…and (without knowing what is happening on the show right now with her) I hope she kicks some ass and wins the million! I am so proud to have had them both represent the Australian season!  Still the most watched season EVER!!!

Holmes: Finally, since they’re giving out Second Chances, any way you’d accept a fourth?
Manthey: Absolutely. There aren’t many of us in the “four-time players” club. I’d be honored. Truly!

What the fans said about Jerri…

“She’s a ‘Survivo’ legend and is hands down the most iconic female villain in the show’s history.” – Ramsey

“In ‘Heroes vs. Villains,’ had she made the Final Tribal she could have been joining her Australian castaways Amber and Tina as a Sole Survivor.” – John

“I loved watching Jerri in ‘Heroes vs. Villains.’ She played her own game and was an immunity win away from taking the whole thing.” – Tricia

What the Executive Voting Committee said about Jerri…

“What makes Jerri truly special is her three-season arc.  Who else in ‘Survivor’ history has gone from literally being booed offstage to, in her last season, emerging as America’s sweetheart?  Nobody, that’s who!” – John Cochran

“While tame by modern standards, Jerri’s ‘treachery’ made her a transcendent figure in the medium and changed the way all reality shows are cast. ” – Rob Cesternino

“She was “Survivor’s” first – and best – villainess. From the moment she accused Kel of smuggling beef jerky, Jerri became the most hated woman in America, a role that she parlayed into 15 years of television appearances.” – Steve Helling – People Magazine

Be sure to check back Tuesday to meet the second member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

Watch the ‘Survivor: Second Chance’ Finale this Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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