Usually, it is customary before playing a game with relatively high stakes (like, say, a million dollars, for example) to scout out the competition a little bit. You know, do a little film study, find out exactly what you’re up against. What their strengths are that need to be neutralized. What their weaknesses are that can be exploited. So, how much of that did Jerri Manthey do leading up to her appearance on Heroes vs. Villains? How about…none! Heck, she doesn’t even know whom she was playing against! “I do not know who everyone is that’s here,” she admitted to me in Samoa just before the game began. “The people I played in All-Stars with — I know them. Some of them I’ve met before, some of them I’ve met very briefly, and some of them I have no idea who they are. Honestly, I don’t even know their names.” [Jerri claims she’s back in Black Widow mode, plus exclusive video after the jump.]
Ooooooookay, then! Yet contrary to that quote, Jerri insists that she has come to play this time around, unlike her experience on All-Stars, when her mission was to show people she wasn’t the villain she was portrayed to be on The Australian Outback. (That didn’t work out so well, as she was literally booed off the stage at the All-Stars reunion show.) “Honestly I just feel like All-Stars, I went into it in such a vulnerable place trying to make the public like me as a person,” she told me. “And I realized very quickly that regardless of what you do, people have an idea of who you are. So this time my strategy is to come back to the Jerri I was in Australia — the fearless Jerri.”
I believe that. But I also believe that Jerri might have more difficulty then she thinks in building social relationships. When I visited the Villains camp on day two, the whole tribe was hanging out down by the water, except for Jerri and Randy. The fact that she has so few relationships with the people she is playing with and against could cost her here. And I don’t believe that the people she does know and has played with (Colby, Rupert, Boston Rob) are exactly scrambling to align with her. As Jerri herself said, “I think Colby would be a great ally. Whether he’s down for that or not is a whole other story.” (Answer: no.)
The one thing in Jerri’s favor is that no one seems particularly concerned about her, which is surprising in that Jerri is not someone to just sit back. She will make moves. (Remember: It was Jerri that vocally spearheaded the ouster of Tina and was very vocal about getting rid of all the previous winners in All-Stars.) If the big targets on her tribe like Parvati and Boston Rob come after each other, Jerri could possibly lay low for a while, but if it comes down simply to familiarity and popularity, then she’s in a lot of trouble. Hopefully, she’ll at least know everyone’s names by the time they’re voting her out.
To hear Jerri embrace the dark side, and get Jeff Probst’s take on Jerri getting booed of the stage at the All-Stars reunion, check out the video below. This is the 19th in a series of daily profiles on the contestants of Survivor: Heroes Vs Villains. If you missed our first 18 (including Russell, Boston Rob, Cirie, and Parvati), there are links to all those players below the video. And to enjoy interviews with all the Heroes and Villains, head over to our super special Survivor video hub. Last up tomorrow: Rupert Boneham. Oh, and for Survivor scoop delivered right to you, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Okay, take it away, Jerri…
Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS