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Exclusive: Interview With Survivor’s Amanda Kimmel!

May 15, 2008 09:58 AM by Ryan Haidet

survivor-finale-054.jpgWhen she arrived on location for Survivor: Micronesia – Fans Vs. Favorites, 23-year-old Amanda Kimmel had just got done battling it out for the full 39 days on Survivor: China and came in third place. By the end of her second attempt, Amanda made it the full 39 days yet again, which set a Survivor record.

With her second-place finish in the Micronesia season, Amanda has played Survivor more than any other player in history – a total of 78 days. “In a row,” Amanda said of her completed games. “Like these are 78 days in a row. I feel like I’m a professional Survivor by now, you know. I feel that’s been my life for so long that I’m just so excited that it’s over and I can just move on and do the things I love to do. I just need this to be over.”

This season CBS lined up 10 returning players against 10 ultimate fans of the show. “I thought it was crazy,” Amanda said of the concept. “I knew right off the bat that we (favorites) were definitely going to have an advantage because we’ve played this game. I knew we’d be able to manipulate better than the fans. Your first time on the show, you learn a lot and you learn a lot about yourself. And playing against veterans that have done this before I think is really hard, especially being a fan that has never done this before, (who) never has gone through the element part of it. And we were just stronger, you know, mentally, strategically and physically.”

She made a solid alliance early on with favorites Parvati, Ozzy Lusth and James Clement. At one point, Parvati put her in alliance with some of the women from the fans’ tribe. “I was upset she put me in an alliance because part of my strategy this time, especially after meeting Ozzy, was that I had to make a decision whether I was gonna be loyal to him or not and I decided I was. That was gonna be my game this time. I was exhausted from China and I just wanted to play a very loyal, strategic game and I really thought that I could be loyal and strategic and make it to the end. So for her putting me in another alliance, kind of contradicted what I was trying to do. So, it worked out for her OK. I made it to the end somehow and it just worked out.”

survivor-finale-055.jpgAmanda won the last immunity challenge and solely voted out Cirie Fields, which effectively decided Parvati was the other member of the final two. Parvati ended up winning by two votes. “Parv and myself, we’ve been friends since the beginning of the game and we’re really tight,” Amanda remarks on why she took her to the end instead of Cirie. “She’s my girl and we knew coming here, we’re the final two. One of us is gonna go home with a million dollars, one of us is gonna go home with a hundred thousand – a lot of money either way. We just kind of made peace with it and I’m happy for her. You never know what the jury’s gonna do, it’s a crazy game.”

A crazy game it is. This season sparked some of the biggest blindsides and blunders in the show’s 16-season history. First came Ozzy’s ouster. The guy she had been “dating” on the island (they are still together at the time of this report) was suddenly sent packing, which shocked Amanda. “I pretty much had to change my entire game,” Amanda said. “You know me and Ozzy were making a lot of decisions together (that) when he was gone, I had to make strategic, bold decisions by myself. I pretty much had to fight to the end at that point. So, it was something I was just ready to do – I was ready to fight for this.”

resized.jpgThen came her great strategic game play when she helped the other girls convince Erik Reichenbach to give up his immunity necklace. He did and got voted out. “You know, I honestly didn’t think he was going to buy it. I’m like, ‘Let’s try our best; I’ll say whatever I have to say.’ I didn’t say anything that I didn’t believe. I love Erik to death; I think he’s a sweetheart. I was playing a game and he fell for it. And in the end it was worth it, you know, because I knew I couldn’t beat Erik in the challenges, so you know, it was worth it.”

Which season was tougher for her? “Physically China was much rougher,” she said. “I lost 30 pounds in China. I lost five pounds in Micronesia. But strategically and mentally, this one was much harder just because of all the women wanting to make their moves and just placing yourself in the right position. Strategically it was definitely harder this time.”

Having been surrounded by the game for two full seasons, Amanda said it’s time to move on – but another shot at the competition would be hard for her to turn down. “Two times going to the end and I don’t win. Like, c’mon of course I’d do it again.”

Check back tomorrow for another exclusive red carpet interview where third-place finisher and fan-favorite, Cirie, talks about her game play.

Reality TV Magazine is your source for Survivor Micronesia news. For other great Survivor news, please feel free to check out SirLinksALot: Survivor Micronesia.

As an extra bonus, you can now read all of our Survivor Cast Bios!

Photo Credits: Picture 1 and 2 by Ryan Haidet of RealityTVMagazine. Picture 3 by CBS.

Topics: Survivor |

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