Survivor: The Australian Outbreak star Jerri Manthey went from being the series first villainess to someone who could have won Heroes vs. Villains if she made it to the Final Tribal Council. After HvV, Manthey has remained an active member of the Survivor community but hasn’t returned to the series yet.
In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, Jerri Manthey revealed she almost competed in Blood vs. Water and finally confirmed if Kel Gleason actually had beef jerky or not.
Jerri Manthey on ‘Survivor’
In 2001, Los Angeles-based aspiring actress Jerri Manthey competed in Survivor: The Australian Outbreak. Her rough personality rubbed some members of her tribe the wrong way, and she developed an attraction towards fellow tribe member Colby Donaldson, who did not reciprocate her romantic feelings.
They ended up making the merge in the majority and eliminated two of the other former tribe members. Then, Keith Famie, Donaldson, and eventual winner Tina Wesson decided they could cut one of their own, and blindsided Manthey, making her the second member of the Jury.
The Los Angeles-native returned six seasons later for All-Stars, where she got her revenge on Donaldson. However, Rob Mariano made a deal with her close ally, Lex van den Berghe, to save Amber Brkich during a tribe swap.
The deal fell through, and she was eliminated right after him in 10th place. In 2009, she returned for the 20th season, Heroes vs. Villains as part of the villains’ tribe due to her notoriety.
However, she played a more friendly and social game and developed a close bond with Coach Benjamin Wade. She and Wade initially joined Mariano’s alliance before Manthey jumped ship and voted him off the island.
The Los Angeles-native then lasted until the final four when ally Russell Hantz blindsided her right before the Final Tribal Council.
Jerri Manthey confirms Kel Gleason smuggled the beef jerky
During The Australian Outbreak, Manthey had an infamous confrontation with Army Intelligence Officer Kel Gleason, who she suspected smuggled beef jerky on the show.
She accused him of holding out on the snacks while they were all starving and searched his bag. He claimed he was chewing grass and not beef jerky. However, he offered his luxury item, a shaving kit, to the rest of his tribemates, which proved his guilt in Manthey’s eyes.
After the season aired, Gleason landed several beef jerky commercials while still denying he ever smuggled it into The Australian Outbreak. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, Manthey confirmed the intelligence officer did, in fact, have beef jerky that day.
She answered, “It was actually Colby who identified it as beef jerky” and explained that “Kel had gotten stopped in the airport in Australia with about 20 bags of the stuff in his suitcase.”
However, she didn’t know that at the time because “the women and men were taken in different groups off the plane.”
Jerri Manthey almost competed in ‘Blood vs. Water’
So far, Heroes vs. Villains in 2009 has been Manthey’s last Survivor appearance. However, she revealed she almost competed in the 27th season, Blood vs. Water (2013).
In the twist, returning players came back with their partners or family members to compete for the title of Sole Survivor. According to the Survivor legend, she received an invitation to appear on the series alongside her sister, but she became pregnant, so they “had to back out.”
Manthey added she “really wish we could’ve gone” because they “kicked a*s in that challenge in HvV.” Several fans agreed and noted it “would’ve been so good” if they competed. She also expressed an interest and desire to play Survivor again but said it’s up to the executive producer and showrunner Jeff Probst.
Watch Survivor 40: Winners at War Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.
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