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Survivor: China — Amanda Guides Through Her Experience

December 23, 2007 06:43 PM by Ryan Haidet

Amanda KimmelPhoto by Ryan Haidet

She had been to China twice before, but neversaw it as she did last summer. 23-year-oldLos Angeles resident Amanda Kimmel (a hiking guide originally from Montana) placed third in “Survivor: China” receiving only one vote from the jury. Although she seemed like such a promising person in the finals, the jury hammered her harder than a lost tour guide looking for the right path. “Yeah, the jury was really harsh on me,” she said on the red carpet following the live reunion show. “I think they were looking for a strong player and at the end of the game I just became emotionally done. You know, I wasemotionally tired and I was pretty much done. And I didn’t perform at the last Tribal Council the way I wish I would have, I didn’t stand up for the decisions I made, I was more apologetic approach and I think they respected Todd’s answers more.”

In the final episode viewers saw Amanda tell lunch lady Denise that she had her back. At the first Tribal Council of the episode, Denise was sent packing with Amanda looking extremely upset. This event also went against her at the final vote. “I grew up in Montana in a small town and I’ve always put other people’s feelings before mine,” she continued. “I’m a very giving person and I think people took my apathy, I think they just took it for playing the game. I think they thought me crying at Tribal was a strategic move and it was definitely not, you know. I really felt bad about voting friends out because this becomes a social game. You’re hurting people’s feelings that you have a relationship with. And it’s not fun, it’s not easy and that was one of the hardest parts of this game for me and it definitely showed – I don’t think people believed it. I thought they thought it was part of my game. Some of them might have thought it was kind of a cheap move. But it was definitely authentic.”

But instead of voting out Denise, why not throw a vote to Courtney at that Tribal Council who would be in the final three and not able to have a vote on the jury? Maybe Denise would have felt Amanda was true to her word? “It got to the point where when I won the last challenge, Denise knew that it was up to me who was going home and I honestly think that Denise knew that if me and Denise voted together it would be a tie and I think if I would’ve thrown a vote Courtney’s way she would’ve thought it was a cop out. I didn’t want to vote for Denise so I’m not going to tell her I’m voting for Courtney and then just throw Courtney a vote. I wanted to do everything straight up, I know that cost me her vote, but I’m glad I did that.”

In order to make it all the way through the twisted game of “Survivor” Amanda aligned with flight attendant Todd – who happened to win the game. “I definitely wanted to align with Todd because I knew he was a devious player that came here to play this game,” she said. “I knew he was the number one fan of ‘Survivor’ ever and he was here to win no matter what. He would lie, cheat and steal to get to the end. With that kind of a player, you don’t want to be an enemy; you want to be in an alliance with. So I thought he was the perfect person to align myself with. Befriend the enemy.”

The other member of her main alliance was Courtney – a waitress from New York City. “Courtney actually came across in the beginning as a player (who) didn’t care about the game and she came across as someone who really didn’t know anything about ‘Survivor.’ I thought she was the perfect person to align with because a lot of people noticed that. Everyone wanted to take her to the end for a reason. She was the goat, obviously.” Courtney has earned a special appreciation in Amanda’s life. “I think she’s a really strong girl. She surprised me on how much she actually had gotten into the game and at the end how well she conducted herself at Tribal really surprised me.”

Then there was Peih-Gee, the jeweler of Marina Del Rey, California. “Honestly, one thing I do regret about this game is I didn’t make as many personal relationships as I wish I would have. I was there to play and I hadn’t really formed any kind of relationship with Peih-Gee up until the point where we were on the island together by ourselves. And it was a great experience. I have nothing but respect for her. I really respect her game; I think she’s a fighter. It was really nice to have that time with her.”

Also in her alliance was fan favorite, James. She claims his ouster was her best move. “I think the best strategic move I made to get me to the end of this game was the move to vote out James. It was something that had to happen that no one wanted to do. Todd was scared to do it, he had mentioned it before and he was scared. No one wanted to take the burden of being the one that decided to get James out. So, I took the burden. I was like, ‘If you guys aren’t going to do it, someone has to do it or else he’s gonna be in the end and he’s gonna win.’ I would vote for James in a heartbeat. That was my best move. I love James to death, he’s like a brother to me now and I adore him, but as far as the game is concerned it was my best move.”

Looking back it the whole game now, she wishes she would have changed a few aspects of the way she played. “There’s a couple things that I would’ve done differently. I wish I would have been stronger emotionally in the end, or prepared for Tribal. I didn’t really consider Tribal being a part of the game of ‘Survivor’ and it’s definitely a huge part of the game. That’s one thing that I regret. You can only live and learn and I’m definitely taking a lot more away from this experience that’s positive. I’m proud of the game I played.”

One thing she wants fans to know about “Survivor” – it’s extremely difficult. “I really don’t think viewers realized how hard this game really is on you. Not only physically and not having food, but emotionally and mentally. This game changes you in ways that no experience can change you. I don’t think that there was a way to show exactly how mentally and emotionally draining this game is because it’s a social experiment. You have to balance social experiment and the game of ‘Survivor’ hand in hand and that’s a hard thing to do.”

Tomorrow brings the last of our exclusive red carpet interviews. This guy made it too easy to say that he dug his own grave. Fan favorite, thegrave digger James Clement, talked with Reality TV Magazine’s Ryan Haidet about his ultimate blunder, personal life and where he got his work ethic.

Topics: Survivor |

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