15 years ago, Kimmi Kappenberg came onto Survivor for the first time as one of the more noteable early boots in the show’s history – spending her first night screaming about masturbation, sex and toilet humour while her tribemates cringed, getting into a fight with fellow castaways about chickens, and both losing and winning a gross food challenge in the span of 10 minutes due to her vegetarianism, she made a name for herself as someone with only five episodes of content.
While everyone was of the mind that fellow Australian Outback contestant Jeff Varner would come back, control the game and win for the old school seasons, it was actually Kimmi who was much closer to making this a reality – while she was mostly invisible for a good portion of the season, only appearing every so often to squash plans against the majority of the Bayon alliance or relate to certain moments due to her being a mother and wife now, she stepped into the spotlight in the finale in one of the greatest single episode displays of all time, where she declared that she was completely done with her original alliance and made a ballsy move to switch over to the minority side of Keith and Kelley. Everything was perfectly played, from her confessionals about how she was playing the game, to her attempts to convince the now majority alliance of Jeremy, Tasha and Spencer she was still with them. While she played the episode spectacularly, it all came crashing down at Tribal Council for Kimmi, where Kelley played her idol, followed by Jeremy playing his idol, which lead to a tied vote involving Kimmi, Tasha and Keith, upon which she was voted out in one of the most confusing and shocking Tribal Council results of all time.
Kimmi makes the list not only for her finale performance, but for her jury speech – within approximately 30 seconds, she squashed any idea of Spencer being a “changed person” who “understood the social game” now by pointing out that everyone who was voting that night saw him as a holier-than-thou bully, such as when he tried to force his tribemates into voting Kelley off by saying he could get the jury to vote for her. While not one of the biggest or even more visible characters of the season, she shone where it counted most in some of the more memorable moments of the season, and that’s why she makes the list.