Exclusive: 'Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance' castoff Kimmi Kappenberg talks
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/18/2015
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance castoff Kimmi Kappenberg finished the game in sixth place during Wednesday night's finale on CBS.
Kimmi got voted out after she got caught trying to flip on Jeremy Collins and get rid of him when they had been close allies since the start of the game. Kimmi, Keith Nale and Kelley Wentworth all fell short of making the Final 3.
Jeremy ended up winning the game and the $1 million through a unanimous vote, while both Spencer Bledsoe and Tasha Fox tied for the runner-up spot with zero votes. Kimmi previously competed on Survivor: The Australian Outback.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Kimmi talked about her Survivor experience. Below is what she had to say. Be sure to check our Survivor page for more interviews with Season 31's Final 6 castaways.
Reality TV World: Why did you vote for Jeremy?
Kimmi Kappenberg: Jeremy and I had been very close the whole game. I mean, for 36 days, we never left Bayon beach. So, Jeremy and I had been very close, and when I wrote his name down to vote him out, it was extremely hard for me.
I struggled with writing his name down. Otherwise, I was supposed to write down Keith's name that night. So when Jeremy was like, "Stick to the plan! You're okay," it was going to be me voting for Keith and then Tasha and the other ones were going to vote for Wentworth -- split the votes just in case. Giving him the money was just easy. We were close.
Reality TV World: Since you did betray Jeremy and write his name down, fans were a little confused why you were so angry at him. In the jury questioning, I recall you calling him arrogant and stuff. Could you explain that to me?
Kimmi Kappenberg: There was a lot of stuff that you guys obviously don't see, and when we had our alliance, Jeremy would sit there and it would be funny because most of the time, Jeremy would go and talk to Tasha by herself, and then he'd go and talk to Spencer by himself. Even when Fishbach was there, he would go and talk to Fish himself, and then he'd talk to me.
But then he would get mad if, let's say, me and Spencer would talk together, or me and Tasha would talk together. And I was like, "Why are you being like the Godfather? Why can't we all just sit down like a family and talk?"
Because he was giving little bits of information to Spencer or only letting me see a little bit of what Tasha said, you know? So that was the arrogance of, okay, like, he had to be the one to talk to all of us instead of all of us coming together and talking together.
Reality TV World: Along those same lines, you called Spencer a bully and said he wasn't setting a good example for your kids. Did you really mean that or were you just very frustrated? And what exactly were you referring to? Did additional things happen viewers didn't get to see?
Kimmi Kappenberg: Oh no, I meant it! When he was sitting there at Tribal Council that night, like, "You better vote with the group! You better go ahead and do this! This is what we're going to do. You better go here!"
I mean, he did that, and then two days later at Tribal Council, when he was going after Wentworth. If you're verbally attacking people two times at Tribal Council, like, "Look, Jeremy! I'm going to sit here and tell everybody not to vote for you! It's going to be my mission. This is what I'm going to do."
He's trying to be a bully. There's a way to be tactful about it, but he was being verbally assaultive. I mean, that's exactly NOT what you do. You don't sit there and back somebody up into a corner, like, "You better do this," or, "You better do that, because I want it done my way."
Reality TV World: If Spencer didn't behave in that manner at the last couple of Tribals, do you think he would've gotten votes? Do you think people would've viewed him differently?
Kimmi Kappenberg: Right. Too much damage done. You know, Spencer is a nice guy. He's got to learn. He's got silver-spoon syndrome, you know? Poor little rich boy sometimes. And I think a lot of people saw that.
Reality TV World: At the Tribal Council when you did vote for Jeremy, how close were you to changing your mind and sticking with him, Spencer and Tasha instead? With Spencer yelling in your ear that the vote was going to be three strong, it was pretty surprising in a way you still stuck to your guns and decided to vote against them.
Kimmi Kappenberg: Well, this is my whole reason. I had to go and vote against them because I was always going to be No. 4. Jeremy, he would never say to me -- Jeremy and I had been out there from Day 1, and I saw him let there be no ramifications after [Stephen Fishbach] got voted out.
Me, Jeremy and Fish had been very tight -- with Tasha. And now, you're letting Spencer, this new kid from the alliance, all of a sudden start taking things [over] and moving and taking control, and him not being penalized for voting [Fish] out.
So, if it wasn't for me making a move, I wouldn't have been anything unless I won an Immunity Challenge at Final 4. I had to do something, and you know, I had good relationships with people on the jury.
Jeremy would sit there and talk, "You have good people out there that would vote for you, so people aren't going to want to take you to the end." Because I had a relationship with Wentworth, [Kelly Wiglesworth], and other people. Fish, it could've been a toss-up with who he voted for. [Kass McQuillen], you know, she liked me.
So if you're sitting there at the end, you're sitting there looking at who was on the jury, and if there's a chance people would vote for you -- you know, everybody knew no one was going to vote for Tasha. She was safe.
Reality TV World: I want to get your thoughts on Keith being so willing to quit for you at one moment. There was a lot of back and forth talk when he brought up the suggestion. Would you have actually let him walk out or do you think you would've felt way too guilty?
Kimmi Kappenberg: No, no. I couldn't let Keith go out. I mean, I wanted to be there, but the kick of the whole thing is, is that Keith and I showed up for that Tribal Council with nobody wanting to write our name down. Even with Spencer and Tasha and Jeremy still sitting there and thinking that I might be taking the reigns into my own hands, they still didn't vote for me. They still wrote down Wentworth's name.
And the killer of it is, Keith and I went in there with nobody writing our name down, and yet, one of us was going to go home. But ultimately, it was my decision to try to do something to save myself and go to the end, and it backfired. It didn't work, but I had to try something, because I knew I was going to be No. 4 on that alliance with Tasha, Jeremy and Spencer.
Reality TV World: How about that all-female alliance that was brewing but fell in the cracks? You orchestrated the plan, so what happened? Was one person just being difficult or you couldn't get someone onboard? Tasha, perhaps?
Kimmi Kappenberg: Tasha was being difficult. She was so far up Jeremy and Spencer's butt that she couldn't see to get out of her own way. She should've stayed with the all-girls alliance thing, because you know, she was too stubborn. She was too stubborn and she wouldn't do it because she was so far with them.
Reality TV World: Fishbach tweeted last night Wentworth would've won had Jeremy voted out Spencer. Would you have voted for Wentworth if she was in the end with Jeremy and Tasha?
Reality TV World: So why did you think Wentworth's game was better than Jeremy's?
Kimmi Kappenberg: Well, she and I talked, and we actually got closer at the end of the season when we spent time together. There was a turning point for us when we lost a Reward Challenge with the basketball. It was me, Keith, Jeremy, Fishbach and Wentworth, and we were sitting in the rain forever. But we got to talk a lot, and we had a lot more in common.
Both of us were voted out fifth in our games. Prior to this season, our combined gameplay together was, like, 27 days. Most of these people that we had played with had been there into the 20 to 30-day mark. So her and I were complete underdogs coming into this.
She won Immunity Challenges, she fought her way from being on the bottom, and I genuinely like the girl. Jeremy wasn't winning challenges on his own until the very last one. I mean, Damn skippy [it's the one that counts], but for me, sitting there at that Final Tribal when there's six people, look what you had there.
You had three people from San Juan, two people from Cagayan, and me from 15 years ago in The Outback. I had no relationships with anybody coming into this. Wiglesworth, she was out early, so she was like the next closest person of being the underdog out there.
Check Reality TV World's Survivor page for more interviews with Season 31's Final 6 castaways.