A commentary on last week's Survivor

Friday, February 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Dippy Kimmi Kappenberg at long last is outta here. The Kucha tribe's magpie vegetarian became dead meat Thursday night, absorbing a 6-1 eviction vote on the fifth episode of Survivor: The Australian Outback.

Four of the six managed to spell her name right. Rodger Bingham and Kimmi's archnemesis, Alicia Calaway, wrote "Kimmy" on their ballots. Al Gore isn't asking for a recount because even he's glad she's gone.

"I knew for a long time that my head was on the chopping block," the 28-year-old barkeep from Ronkonkoma, N.Y., said in closing. "It doesn't surprise me at all. I'm glad that I stayed true to myself and my morals. I know that Alicia and I have not gotten along since Day One. If that's what they felt that they had to do, then, ya know, power to the team."

Kimmi, who voted for Jeff Varner's eviction, supposedly was getting pretty ripe anyway. She didn't eat fish, meat or fowl, and also developed an aversion to bathing in the murky body of water bordering the Kucha camp. Tribemate Michael Skupin observed that, "Dirt's starting to stick to her."

Kimmi's eviction ended a three-week winning streak by the Kuchas, who had outnumbered the rival Ogakor tribe 7-5 going into the weekly immunity competition. But the Ogakors, stirred to action by Dallasite Colby Donaldson, completed a complex maze far ahead of the Kuchas. Picturesque Amber Brkich, in tears after her Ogakors lost an earlier stretcher race for shampoo, blankets and other creature comforts, is a smiley, happy camper again.

"Do you see any tears right now?" she asked host Jeff Probst, who helpfully noted she'd been bawling earlier.

Ogakor now has a fighting chance to reach parity next week before the two tribes become a 10-member cluster. At least it's assumed that's the way the game's still going to be played. A preview of coming attractions indicates, however, that one of the Kuchas could be incapacitated next Thursday. Or as host Probst teased, "When the unthinkable happens at Kucha, the tribe realizes survival in the outback is not just a game."

He said this just after a crocodile was shown slinking into the drink. Comely sweetie Elisabeth Filarski wept in Rodger's arms after a helicopter touched down. Even sniping Jeff Varner had his head in his hands. That would leave Alicia, Michael or Nick Brown on the receiving end of something, unless it's all just a ruse. But CBS vice president of communications Chris Ender advised via e-mail Thursday: "Whatever you do, don't miss next week's episode. It will have a lot of folks talking."