In sports, they call it choking. You’re playing great, winning the game, everything is going your way, and then, all of a sudden, the pressure gets to you and you screw it all up and go home a loser. Hey, let’s talk about Amanda Kimmel, everyone! Twice (in China and Micronesia) Amanda played 39 days of near flawless Survivor, and twice she got to the end and completely, utterly, and totally flubbed it with awful final Tribal Council performances. I know it. You know it. She knows it. But she at least has an excuse…for one of them. “In my defense, I did not get to see my first tribal council before my second,” she told me in Samoa while getting ready to play for a third time in Heroes Vs. Villains, “so I did the same thing both times.” That was because Micronesia was shot before the China finale had aired. Should she make it to the finals again, however, she promises it will be a different story. “I’ve really changed. I’m more aggressive, and I’m gonna get in there and I’m gonna be a bulldog this time. Seriously. No apologies, bitches.” [A possible pre-game alliance, and exclusive on location video after the jump.]
Believe it or not, Amanda could very well make it to the finals again, and here’s why: She is one of the most complete players there is: She can strategize, she’s very social, she is athletic in the challenges, and she works hard around camp. Plus, she’s not too tough on the eyes, and don’t think that isn’t a factor in this game. While she may not be dominant in any one particular aspect of Survivor, she is solid in all of them. Plus, she may have a not-so-secret Micronesia alliance already in the works. Several other contestants told me before the game started that they were pretty sure Amanda, James, and Parvati all had a pre-game pact in place. (Although also a Micronesia cast member, Cirie would seem to not be a part of it, especially since Amanda told me Cirie was one of her number one targets. Boston Rob is the other person she’d like to see out.) The question becomes, would such a pact help her (especially since Parvati isn’t even on her tribe) or hurt her because people seem aware of it and therefore are more likely to want Amanda gone? We’ll have to see. While personally, I think bringing Amanda and James back for the third time in six seasons is overkill, there is no reason to think Amanda cannot have another long, successful run.
And what will Amanda do with her final speech should she make it to the end once again? Click on the video below to see me give her a few pointers. (You can watch interviews with the entire cast at our nifty keen Survivor video hub.) This is the fifth in a series of daily profiles. If you missed our first four, there are links to Cirie, Boston Rob, Sugar, and Randy below the video. Up next on Monday: Palau winner Tom Westman. And for all the Survivor scoop, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Okay, take it away, Amanda…
Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS