Two-time runner up Amanda Kimmel was the last of Survivor: Micronesia's players to fall by the wayside last night. In back-to-back seasons, Amanda spent a total of 78 days in the jungle playing this game. After winning the last two immunity challenges she was poised to take it all against her buddy Parvati Shallow, but the jury ruled against her. TV Guide.com spoke with Amanda about that elusive Ultimate Survivor title and why she's still a winner.
TV Guide.com: Congratulations on making it to the finals for a second time in a row. Why do you think the jury voted the way they did?
Amanda Kimmel: Honestly, you just never know the way the jury's going to vote. I guess I'm just too nice of a person, and people think it's fake or at least that's how it came over. That's what people have been telling me. I'm too nice to play this game.
TV Guide.com: Final tribal council was a little brutal to you at times. How do you handle the game when it gets so personal?
Amanda: You ignore what people think. I know from pageants that you can't listen to people. And there were a lot of catty girls on Survivor this time that really did not like me.
TV Guide.com: Do you think it was fair for Survivor to return to a two-person final when all along you'd been strategizing based on a three-person end?
Amanda: Survivor's not fair in general, so the fact that they had a final two this time doesn't surprise me. It did at the time, but it's just a part of the game.
TV Guide.com: You made a pact to the end with Cirie and Parvati early in the game. Was there any point when you thought of breaking it up and taking someone else to the end?
Amanda: I needed the numbers, and I knew Parvati would be loyal to me. So I wasn't thinking about aligning with anybody else because if you make the game too messy, sometimes it can slap you in the face. I was just trying to get to the end.
TV Guide.com: Now that you've watched the show, do you still feel that Parvati made bolder moves than Cirie?
Amanda: Cirie played middle ground the whole time. I don't know why everyone thinks she made really bold moves. She treaded in the middle of whoever's alliance was more in power at the time. I think Parvati definitely made bolder moves than Cirie. I said that in tribal, and I still think that.
TV Guide.com: Was busting out the immunity idol the best moment ever?
Amanda: Oh yeah! It felt so good, especially because Natalie was such a two-faced girl to me. I didn't really click with those girls out there, so it was just nice to get one of them out.
TV Guide.com: Natalie was portrayed with a hard edge. Did you see that when you were playing?
Amanda: They can edit things until they're blue in the face, but how people act on the edit is how people are out there. [The producers] don't change things to make someone look a certain way. Natalie did say those things, and she was like that out there.
TV Guide.com: What did you think when they asked you to come back this season?
Amanda: I was hesitant, but I kind of have an ego and I really wanted to win this game. I came really close last time, and I was mad about how I played the last final tribal council. I wanted to do it over.
TV Guide.com: Would you ever play this game again?
Amanda: No, I'm over Survivor. I'm done.
TV Guide.com: One of the most romantic moments in Survivor history was when Ozzy declared his feelings for you. At that point, did the game go out of your head or were you still able to focus on what needed to be done?
Amanda: On the tape, you'll see me pausing for like 20 seconds. I didn't know what to say, and I was totally in shock.
TV Guide.com: Even though you didn't win the million do you feel that you've gained some other sort of reward from the experience?
Amanda: Definitely. Ozzy and I have a relationship now. Money is not everything. I think people are so focused on what they have, but it's not about that. It's about being happy and living and enjoying life.
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