Kimmi Kappenberg had an interesting story on “Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance.” She was not a huge character in the first couple of episodes, but emerged in a big way in the vote to get out Monica Padilla. From there she wasn’t a big part of the story for a while, but then came on strong and took part with what may be one of the boldest and most surprising tribal councils of all time.
So how does Kimmi look back at her game, and the way in which she went out? We had a chance to talk about all of this on Thursday morning. This call also had Keith on it, which is why you get a small interjection from him.
CarterMatt – So what was the experience like for you having this journey this time? We saw you more as a player, and back when you were first on in ‘Australia’ the show focused on very different things.
Kimmi Kappenberg – It was great. I think that I’ve evolved as a player and people got to see that. It was a great game for me this season.
Let’s start by talking about that crazy tribal council. Would things have been different had you been able to target someone like Spencer rather than Jeremy? Obviously Jeremy had the immunity idol.
And Spencer had immunity and it left Tasha and Jeremy open. At that tribal council Jeremy was telling me to vote for Keith, and with all of the craziness that was starting to go on I was like ‘ugh.’ I was feeling guilty about writing Jeremy’s name down and I wanted to write down Tasha’s name, but I didn’t know there were two immunity idols. I thought that was going to screw things up. That night was such an epic…
Keith Nale – A blur!
Kimmi – It was a huge blur. It was so confusing for everybody. Keith and I went there with nobody wanting to write our names down, even with Spencer being suspicious of me. They still voted for Wentworth, Jeremy, Tasha, and Spencer. They didn’t write my name down. It’s just so frustrating, and I think on day 36 it just goes to show how mentally exhausted we were. I think we would’ve been better off to vote off Tasha, Jeremy’s right-hand man and pawn, instead of him himself at that time.
By the time final tribal council was over, you seemed fine with Jeremy over some of his behavior before you were voted out. Did you ever hold that against him?
No! I love Jeremy. The thing is that out there we were Bayon strong, and he and I never left each [other] for 36 days. The problem is that it comes a time when it is no longer Team Bayon. Team Bayon has carried me as far as it can, and it’s time for Team Kappenberg. I was there to win money for myself and there were going to be casualties. Even though my personal feelings for Jeremy were there, hey, I need to play this game and he’s not going to let me play my game.
Is there a point earlier in the game where you wish you had become Team Kappenberg rather than Team Bayon and made a move?
I mean it got me where I needed to be to be in a good position, with the voting blocks and everything else. The problem was with the fluidity of these voting blocks is that there were always trust issues; who can I talk to about voting off someone like Jeremy or Spencer when Jeremy was very close to Spencer because he wanted to use him as a shield? You can’t say these things to Tasha or someone who was unpredictable like Abi because they would go and tell. I would run the risk of them telling Jeremy that I wanted to vote him out. You have to let other people do some of the work sometimes, and then come in and try to make a big move later on.
I’m going to go back to an earlier part of the game. What was your feeling when Jeff Varner was voted out? I don’t know if you would have wanted to be on the same tribe as him, but it would’ve made for great TV.
I would’ve loved to play with Varner; I’m just super-excited that I beat him in this game! (Laughs.) The thing of it is, is that there were very few of us who hadn’t played with somebody. Kelly [Wiglesworth] was by herself; Varner and I had played together, but hadn’t seen each other in fourteen years and we were kept apart. There were people who didn’t have these support groups. It would’ve been great to be with Varner because if nothing else, I could have been comfortable and would have trusted him, crazy as that sounds. Look at the final six. You had three from ‘San Juan del Sur’ and two people from ‘Cagayan.’ Those relationships were preexisting and they clearly make a difference.
We didn’t see a lot of you in between when Monica left and then some of the final episodes. What were some of the things you were up to and the people you were working with in that time?
Jeremy and Stephen and I, we had been very close when Tasha wasn’t around because we had never left Bayon beach. When Wigles came into it after I voted out Monica, Wigles and I got very close. We had a lot of stuff in common. They didn’t show my relationships, how they evolved. Wentworth and I got really close when we lost the challenge with Fishbach and Keith and Jeremy. That basketball challenge. We were just sitting in our shelter in the rain. They’re not showing the evolution of the social game.
I don’t know why they didn’t show a lot of [what I was up to]. Joe got a lot of attention, Jeremy got a ton of attention, and Spencer was on the TV more than anybody.
How did you feel about what Keith was saying at the last tribal council, with him discussing maybe going ‘to the house’ and letting you stay?
The reality was dead man walking. If he had gotten up, for one I couldn’t let him walk away paying the price for my decision. I have to be accountable for my actions. If it wasn’t me going home that night, I would’ve been going home the next night. Keith, I felt like, had a chance to win immunity. I already sealed that nail in the coffin by writing Jeremy’s name down.
So after going through all of this, do you have any interest in playing again, or do you have it out of your system?
Well I definitely got a lot of it out of my system, but I’m so mad at how it ended that I want to go back out there, make a difference, and do it again. I think this was my warm-up. It was such a different game than the one I first played with alliances, immunity idols, and tribe swaps. I had my test run; now I’m ready to go.
Keith – Go get ’em, Kimmi!
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