'Survivor' villain Jerri Manthey: Russell Hantz 'screwed himself out of a million bucks'

jerri-manthey-survivor-fina.jpgJerri Manthey just missed going to the Final 3 on "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains."

She tells Zap2it about how she has changed since her first season of "Survivor," that Russell Hantz talked his way out of her vote and that he is even worse in person than he seems on TV.

What made you want to do "Survivor" again?
It definitely was not an easy decision. I'm a very competitive person. I knew if I said no to such a rare and unique opportunity then I would spend the rest of my life freaked out that I had said no, wondering what could have been. I'm so glad I did it.

You've changed so much. Last time you were the girl everybody loved to hate, but this time around you were downright sweet. Is this more of who you really are?
Absolutely. This is definitely a great example of who I am and who I've always been. I've always been a very fun person who is very loyal and kind to my friends. The first time out I really didn't understand how the whole game worked. I was such a competitive person and I don't think until you see yourself on television do you truly see yourself in a way you would never see yourself in life. I learned that I can be competitive but still be vulnerable and be myself. I'm competitive but without the abrasive side.

Why did your decision in voting come down to only Parvati or Sandra? Why not Russell?
When I first got voted off, I was definitely leaning towards voting for Russell for the million bucks. I really did appreciate the way he was playing the game. Besides voting me off, which hello, it's "Survivor," that's what happens, but besides that he never really rubbed me the wrong way. I saw how he was screwing himself with everybody else, but I had to give him props.

But at the final Tribal Council, what I was looking for was some sense of humility. Some sense of gratitude. Maybe some apologies. Just something that would show me that who he is in the game maybe isn't who he is in person and he was grateful that we had all played this amazing game with him. Just some sense of him being humble and I could not have been more disappointed. He came at all of us, including me, and basically said "I didn't need any of you, I was in control of all of you, luck had nothing to do with my game," he went on and on and on, just shooting himself in the foot. I was floored and extremely disappointed. He just screwed himself out of a million bucks. The sad thing is that he has learned nothing from the experience and I think last night at the reunion show he really showed us all that. The fact that America still awarded him Fan Favorite is beyond me. I wish he had just been a human being.

Was he even more obnoxious to live with than was shown on TV or is he not such a bad guy?
You guys have no idea. I did say that last night but no one heard me because Russell wouldn't shut up. He's like, "America should choose who wins."  But you guys don't have to live with him 24 hours a day. He's a very difficult person to be around because his whole strategy involves chaos and disillusionment and disorder. He's really, really hard to be around. So until America has to witness what he's like 24 hours a day, I don't think it would even be fair to put the power in America's hands. All he had to do is be a little more humble. He had a great opportunity to get quite a few votes ... He could've even gotten J.T.'s vote if he just wasn't so full of himself.

Were you surprised Parvati didn't win?
You know, I voted for Parvati because she was my biggest competition physically, mentally, socially, I had to give her mad props for that. On the other side of that, I'm actually very happy that Sandra won if for no other reason than for the fact that Russell absolutely despises her. That's what you get for taking Sandra in to the Final 3 and not me. Had I made it to the final 3, I know I would've won. I managed to get through the entire game without making a single person mad at me.

Would you do "Survivor" again?
People have been asking me that all day and I gotta say if I was in a situation where I could get away for that period of time, I absolutely would go back for more. It's one of those things , there's a lot of perspective for me in being able to witness these huge casting calls that are done. Sitting in line and talking to them, some people have applied to every single season and it's their life dream to get on the show. How could I say no? It's a unique experience that challenges you in every way possible. I've gained so much from it. If you'd like to keep up on what I'm doing post-"Survivor," I keep www.jerrimanthey.com updated pretty regularly.

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Photo credit: CBS
 

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