Survivor Micronesia Finale Interview: Amanda Kimmel – You Don’t Need To Win A Million Bucks To Come Out On Top!

May 17, 2008
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I was rooting for Amanda Kimmel. I thought for sure she’d be the final Survivor on Survivor: Micronesia Fans vs. Favorites. What’s the saying…”Always a bridesmaid…”? It was disappointing that Amanda didn’t win the top prize, but she did just fine. Amanda placed third in Survivor: China, and was the runner up for Survivor: Micronesia. She snagged her own hottie, Ozzy, out on the island, she won a good amount of cash, twice, and she’s going to be in a movie. I think she did alright!

When Amanda joined her fellow castaways for the Red Carpet Interviews after the Survivor: Micronesia finale in New York, I was immediately struck by her beauty. As pretty in person as she was on the island, it’s easy to see why Amanda has been a model. But I think Amanda’s true beauty is in who she is outside of the game.

Amanda Kimmel & Betsy Hijazi

I watched Amanda be interviewed by both Dennis Luciano (Average Joe fame) and Survivor: China million-dollar winner Todd Herzog. As Amanda spoke with Dennis, she was bubbly, sweet and full of smiles. And when Amanda moved over to Todd, she was like someone who had not seen her best friend for a year. I don’t know who squealed louder, Amanda or Todd! They hugged for what seemed like an eternity and Todd told her how disappointed he was that she didn’t win. She, too, expressed her own disappointment with a big pouty face!

I took photos of Amanda during Dennis and Todd’s interviews, and yet somehow never got the chance to interview Amanda myself. Being squished between these two guys out on the Red Carpet, with only my little Canon digital camera, I think that some of the castaways thought I was just a photographer and not someone they needed to talk to! I had hoped, however, that at the after party, I’d be able to speak with some of the castaways in a less formal environment, so I wasn’t too pushy when they didn’t come back to me.

Amanda Kimmel & Todd Herzog
Amanda Kimmel & Todd Herzog

I got to the after party around midnight and a few notable Survivor castaways were absent. And, yes, I was feeling a bit disappointed! But around 2:00 a.m. Ozzy, Amanda, and James did finally show and I was happy to have the opportunity to spend a few moments talking with them.

Amanda Kimmel & Todd Herzog

Amanda and I were standing at the bar and someone had given her a little goody bag with some candy in it. She just reached in, pulled out a piece of candy, and handed it to me. She didn’t’ ask me if I wanted it – just handed it to me.

I told her that I was sorry that I hadn’t had the opportunity to interview her on the Red Carpet, and she assured me I had! Ok, so I was feeling a bit perplexed and was really searching my memory to recall speaking with her. Amanda said I asked her how it felt to not win twice – and I stopped her and said, well that’s a question everyone probably asked you!!!

Amanda Kimmel & Dennis Luciano
Amanda Kimmel & Dennis Luciano

I asked Amanda if she had learned any Chinese while she was in China and she said she had. She thought for a moment and then said something to me and asked me to say it. I repeated it but have NOOO idea what it was that I said. We also talked about her camping in Montana, which she said she hasn’t been able to do since she joined Survivor: China.

I was completely taken by how sweet Amanda is. She is very friendly, soft spoken, considerate, and is entirely in the moment with you as you speak to her. I can understand now how she was emotional and vulnerable out on the island. It just seems to be part of who she is.

I really enjoyed meeting Amanda. She seems to be very sweet, kind, generous and friendly. Winning a million dollars isn’t everything, and I’m sure that Amanda’s future will be filled with great fortune, monetary and otherwise.