‘Survivor’: Amanda Kimmel Will Never Play Again Because of Russell Hantz

Over Survivor‘s 43 seasons, fans have watched terrific players make it to the end and lose numerous times. Sadly, Amanda Kimmel, who many fans regard as one of the best Survivor castaways to never win, fell just short of the $1 million grand prize in her first two seasons. And she likely won’t ever get the chance to become a Sole Survivor again.

Amanda Kimmel, who played in three 'Survivor' seasons, wears a light green bra in 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' on CBS.
Amanda Kimmel | Photo by Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

Amanda Kimmel played ‘Survivor’ 3 times

Survivor: China introduced fans to Amanda Kimmel, who started on the Fei Long tribe alongside allies Todd Herzog and Courtney Yates. Fans praised her strategic game, especially when she became the first castaway to flush an idol successfully. Amanda orchestrated the blindside of James Clement, who was voted out with two idols in his pocket.

Amanda made it to the final three with Todd and Courtney, but she fumbled the bag during the Final Tribal Council. Her performance persuaded the jurors not to vote for her, and ultimately, Todd won in a 4-2-1 vote. Erik Huffman was the only one who voted for Amanda, making her the second runner-up.

Amanda returned in the following season, Survivor: Micronesia. Once again, her strategic game was off the charts. She formed a romantic connection with Ozzy Lusth, and Amanda and Ozzy aligned themselves with the other couple — Parvati Shallow and James Clement. Amanda was also a part of the famous Black Widow Brigade, and she earned herself a spot in the final two next to Parvati.

However, Amanda had another disappointing Final Tribal Council performance, and the jury crowned Parvati the Sole Survivor in a 5-3 vote.

A few seasons later, Amanda landed a spot on the Heroes tribe in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. While she was in a position of power in the tribe, the merge was her downfall. On Day 30, the Villains alliance took Amanda out, and she became the 12th person voted out of the game.

Amanda claimed she would never play ‘Survivor’ again after season 20

Following her exit from Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Amanda spoke with People about her future in the series.

“I will never play Survivor again,” the former castaway shared. “Russell [Hantz] has changed the game in a way I’m not interested in either. The show isn’t pure on any level anymore. When I left, I said, ‘Good riddance.’ I was glad to be done with him. I have other things going on in my life. I’m coming out with my own organic fragrance called Wild, and then I want to move into a skincare line. I’m excited to get that going.”

So because of Russell’s influence over the game, Amanda isn’t a fan of how Survivor changed after he started playing. As a result, fans will likely never see Amanda in a future returning players season. But her third-place finish and second-place finish cemented her spot in the Survivor history books.


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Will the next All-Stars season of ‘Survivor’ air anytime soon?

The most recent Survivor season that featured returning players was Winners at War in 2020. Since then, the CBS reality competition series has leaned into a “new era” theme.

From season 41 to the present day, the show has included only new contestants, who have endured 26-day games, fewer resources, and more advantages and twists.

Survivor 44 will continue the tradition of the “new era,” so the earliest fans could potentially see returning players is in season 45.

All seasons of Survivor starring Amanda Kimmel are available to stream on Paramount+.