villainess Jerri Manthey
has taken lots of heat for her witchy behavior on TV. Most recently, the live audience booed her off the stage at the All-Stars
reunion. Tired of her self-styled bad-girl image, she's showing her softer side as co-host of Extreme Dodgeball
(Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET). The series airs on GSN (formerly known as Game Show Network), where many ex-reality contestants — including Evan Marriott
— have found gigs. Before Manthey gets too comfy watching from the sidelines, though, TV Guide Online tosses a few hardballs her way!
TVGO: Have you spoken to Jeff Probst since the All-Stars finale?
Jerri Manthey: No, I haven't. Since the whole fiasco, I haven't spoken to anybody from the production side of Survivor. Jeff came up and gave me a hug at the end of "The Let's Give Rupert $1 Million Show." He said, "Jerri, don't hate me. I'm just doing my job." I said, "So am I."
TVGO: Any regrets about walking out during the reunion?
Jerri: Hell no! It is the smartest thing I could have ever done. Over the last couple of weeks, people have been coming up to me on the street saying, "I'm so sorry about what happened to you. I just want you to know I'm a big fan of yours. What happened was completely unnecessary and disrespectful." I've also spawned quite a few debates among people who watch reality television. People were saying they never really thought about the fact that [we're real] people with feelings. So I've gotten people thinking more about being so judgmental.
TVGO: Your exit seemed so sudden. Why exactly did you leave?
Jerri: Some people couldn't tell that I was actually bawling my eyes out. They've said things like, "She stormed off the set all mad." No, I was really hurt. I couldn't stop sobbing. I needed to get out of there because I couldn't contain my emotions anymore.
TVGO: Think you'll ever change the public's perception of you?
Jerri: I've tried numerous times — by doing The Surreal Life 2 and playing the All-Stars a completely different way — to try and change people's perspectives. It is obvious, after being booed in Madison Square Garden, that no matter what I do, some people will never change their minds.
TVGO: Why do Extreme Dodgeball?
Jerri: After the show was described, I couldn't stop laughing for 10-15 minutes. That pretty much made up my mind for me. I was really excited about taking middle-school dodgeball and turning it into a sport.
TVGO: Would you ever compete on this show?
Jerri: No! There is no way. It is adults and not kids, and the rules have really been amped up. One of the guys throws like 65 miles an hour. It is intimidating when you are sitting there watching it. I was completely blown away. I'm perfectly content on the sidelines, and I don't have to break a sweat.
TVGO: Yes, your hair and makeup is done. That's a nice switch from your dirty days on Survivor.
Jerri: I know! I have a boyfriend now, but when I was dating, I always said, "I certainly have nothing to hide. They've seen me at my worst."