Watching administrative assistant Amber Brkich, 22, on ”Survivor: The Australian Outback,” we had to wonder if this fresh faced Pennsylvanian was as guileless as she came across or a completely shrewd manipulator who would take home the $1 million prize. On April 12, we found out: not shrewd. EW.com asked the latest kicked off Survivor to reveal her failed strategy and her plans for the future.
Explain what happend during that last challenge. How did you let Colby get ahead?
It was really close. I was ahead, and I was so excited that I’d chosen all the right ropes. It was like this maze. Colby and I met up at one point, and I had my right hand hooked on but I couldn’t get my left hand hooked on fast enough. He just worked faster than I did. At that point he was able to jump ahead.
On your last night at camp, did you at least get to bed down between two good people?
Well, I was behind Tina and Elisabeth was behind me. We were trying to squeeze in as tight as possible because we were laying on wet sand. We were trying to think of different ways to be comfortable. At one point we all sat in a circle back to back and tried to put the blankets over our heads but that didn’t work too well.
Did you, Keith, Colby, and Tina form an alliance to vote Rodger off — but then Tina and Keith bailed on you?
We hadn’t actually come to an actual decision, but we had talked about it. I wanted to stick to my guns. Nobody was solid with their answer. I guess they just changed their minds. You’d think they’d want to keep their own tribe together, but they were also trying to play the game in a different way.
I don’t really think so. Yeah, it would have been nice to win, but coming out of the game I still feel really good about my reputation. I didn’t betray anyone. I represented myself well.
How do you feel about being portrayed as Jerri’s mindless minion?
I had a lot of fun with Jerri when I was out there. Jerri wasn’t the only person I made friends with, though. A lot of people think I became friends with her and nobody else. That doesn’t bother me. She’s a great girl. The only part that bothered me was when people said I was her shadow.
Who cares? You got that great meal out of it.
Yeah, was it such a bad thing? She picked ME for that reward.
So after you got kicked off, what happened?
Well, walking down to the confessional, somebody handed me a protein bar — which wasn’t the best thing to eat first. I drank a lot of water, because we hadn’t had water in a while since we couldn’t boil anything. On the way home I had chips, chocolate, sandwiches, pop. When I got home to Pennsylvania I went to the grocery store and I had no idea how overwhelmed I was going to be. I just stopped in my tracks. I was like, Oh my God. There’s so much food around me. I was going insane. I ate an entire bag of glazed donut holes.
When you joined Jerri, Nick, and the other booted players, did you trash those who were still in the game?
We didn’t really talk about the show too much. When you’re on the jury you want to keep your own opinion. We tried to avoid the whole ”Survivor” subject. If you don’t want to talk about it, you get up and leave the room. I wanted to not be swayed by anything that anyone said.
When you went back for the remaining tribal councils, were you thinking, ”Ha ha. I’ve eaten and showered and slept under a roof”?
Kind of, yeah. But then you look at them and you see how pathetic everyone looks, and you feel really bad. I couldn’t believe I had been there when I saw what they all looked like.
You brought a journal and pen with you. What did you write about?
I wrote about every three days because I was afraid of my pen running out. I tried to write down important things but I was also careful about what I wrote. I was afraid someone else would read it. I haven’t read the whole thing since I’ve been back, but I’ve paged through it. I think I’ll be really glad I kept it a year or two down the road.
Why did we see no Outback hookups — you and Colby perhaps?
Colby is definitely a cute guy. But to tell you the truth, that was the last thing on my mind. You’re not shaving your legs, you’re not shaving your armpits. Before the show started, I thought, ”Gosh, I wonder if that will come into play.” But your opinion changes once you start playing the game. Besides, I’m dating somebody.
What about this week’s tabloid rumors about Jerri and Jeff Probst [allegedly having an affair]?
Oh God. They make me laugh. I’m just reading about it like you guys. It’s kind of funny.
So there were no sparks Down Under? No, no sparks I saw.
Let’s talk Playboy. Yes or no?
I’m considering it. I’m not going to say yes or no. I don’t want to be the kind of person who says they were never going to do it and then jumps at it. I’ve gotten a lot of letters and calls with a lot of different offers. And it’s just been since last Thursday. It’s been pretty crazy.
If you could do anything, what’s your dream job?
There’s one thing I would love to do that I’m sure all girls say. I would love to be in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. I would love to do something like that. Or maybe be a spokesperson for something. Or follow in Colleen’s footsteps and be as successful as she is, starring in movies, that would be great. Or maybe MTV. I don’t know. I’m only 22 so I’m really open to anything.
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