Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sole Survivor

Once upon a time my sister won a million dollars on a reality tv show (actually 1.1 million to be exact)...

But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's start at the beginning.  We arrived in NYC Friday afternoon...

There were reunions around every corner...

And fans who were eager to meet the "Boss Lady"...

That night we headed to a rooftop bar that felt like a scene from a movie not to mention everywhere you looked there were Survivors to be seen...

I was doing my best to keep cool and not freak someone out (inside I was yelling things like, "Oh MY gosh!  There's STEPHEN FISHBACH!)

It was a great way to kick off our weekend...


The next morning we had breakfast with the whole crew...

And then we bumped into 2 Dawg in the lobby oh happy day...

Later that afternoon the stars aligned and it worked out perfectly for everyone to head out to Yankee Stadium...

Our buddy Jayson had gotten called up and just so happened to be starting for the first time.  Oh, and did I mention he hit a two run homer his very first at bat?  Yeah, he's a total stud.  (His beautiful mom Leslie)...

Normally that would have been enough fun for one day but we weren't finished yet!  We headed to dinner with Chelsea and her bad ass family...

They're awesome...

We wrapped things up with a stroll through Times Square...

I snuck out bright and early the next morning to grab breakfast and catch up with some of the funnest people I have ever met (aka the other peeps who were along for the ride on my crazy family trip)...

Then we all did our best to kill some time (and nerves) before we got ready to head to the finale.  The guy's took off for the ground zero memorial...

And the girls took a little Central Park stroll.  We grabbed lunch at the Ballfields Cafe and sat under a tree.  It was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon...

And then, just like that, it was FINALLY time to get ready and head to the finale (we were just a little excited)...

We tried to kill a little time by walking through the city streets to grab a bite to eat...

I was so nervous I only managed to get down three bites of salad...

And then it was time for the surreal moments to begin.  I had imagined for months what it might be like to walk up to the Ed Sullivan theater to attend the live finale.  Finally the moment was upon us...

We interrupt this blog for a little freak out...

We were pumped...

After what seemed like FOREVER we finally made our way into the theater...

After all the anxious anticipation the moment finally arrived and that famous "aa-o-e-o-e-o-e-ii-a-e-o-e-o-e-ii" filled the theater.  I was shocked to find myself teary within the first five minutes.  Guess it was hard to contain all the emotion that was hanging around just beneath the surface.  I thought those two hours would take forever but they flew by and the next thing I knew there were we sitting on the front row squeezing each others hands and holding our breaths as Jeff read those final votes...

I was half way out of my seat as soon as I heard him say "And the...." I knew "WINNER" was coming and I couldn't wait to scream at the top of my lungs!  Best. Moment. Ever.

It's hard to describe what it feels like to be right in the middle of something that you have secretly played out in your mind a thousand times...  

A moment that you've hoped for but been afraid to talk about...

It was, in a word, AWESOME!

And then came the cherry on favorite!

The mental relief walking out of that place was tangible.  I think we were all really ready to just relax and have a good time, and that's just what we did...

Pops was getting sleepy and having a hard time hanging...

We wrapped things up at The Carnegie Deli.  It was an epic night...

There's no rest for the winner and bright and early the next morning my sister hopped on the phone (I'm pretty sure she didn't get off until about 6 hours later)...

Later that afternoon we headed over to "The Talk" where Kim was scheduled to appear and receive her million dollar check (that's not a sentence you write every day)...

We got to hang backstage during the show which was really cool (and we got to see Martha Stewart to boot)...

 So there you have it.  Once upon a time my sister won a million dollars on a reality tv show...

And then I stole her check and headed for Mexico...

Kidding, Kidding!  She lived happily ever after of course!  Now the only question is what the heck are we gonna' watch on Wednesday nights?!  I'll leave you with this...Carter's face as they showed the segment where Kim won in her class on Monday (priceless)...

The End.

P.S. Feel free to keep checking in on "Surviving Kim" to see what she's up to in the next few months.  I will also try to do a question and answer at some point so ask Kim anything you've been dying to know in the comments section and I'll work on making that happen!  


  1. Congratulations Kim, and thank you so much for writing this blog, Beth! I've been following it closely for the whole season and I absolutely loved how you were able to share some of Kim's personality through your writing and photos. It's a shame they didn't portray that side of Kim on the show almost at all!

    If you do end up doing that Q&A post, here are some questions that come to my mind:

    - Kim, what animal are YOU?
    - Besides watching previous seasons of Survivor, how did you prepare for the non-physical part of the game? Did you have a pre-planned strategy and did you have to change that when the men vs. women twist was revealed?
    - Are you planning to post on Survivor Sucks? :D

  2. Congrats Kim and Beth! I love that Beth looks more excited than Kim herself in some of those pictures. Thank you to Beth as well for keeping up with this Blog throughout the season and for all the pics.

    My Q's

    - What are some of the funny and quirky things Kim did with her castmates while they were out there? I know she played "sound orchestra" for example.

    -Growing up, what are some of the practical jokes Kim pulled? She talked about doing that in an interview.

    And def. post on Survivor Sucks! Kim could use her own thread in Lions, Tigers and Survivors like Eliza and Dr. Jill -
    You can even log in with your Facebook username.

    Team Kim WON! Victory WAS Kimminent!

  3. Thank you Beth for this blog! Kim's win was extremely satisfying to watch. She deserved it all!

    My questions:
    - Kim, are you surprised at the amount of feedback you've been getting about your animal skills? Have you been getting a lot of requests from people wanting to know what animal they are?
    - What are some of your favorite memories from the show that didn't make the edit?
    - We know that you're usually a laid back gal, but did you honestly ever lose your cool in those 39 days?
    - What are some of the things your friends and family tease/teased you about from seeing you on TV?
    - A lot of people have been wondering why no one stood up for Bill or Christina when they were being bullied. Thoughts? Was it just something that some of you guys didn't personally witness or was it strategy not to get in the middle of other people's business?
    - Any neat fan encounters so far?

    Sorry for the many questions. Answer whichever you like :)
    Thank you Beth and Kim for keeping in touch with the fans through this blog.

    P.S. A lot of people would love to see you and Chelsea on The Amazing Race! Crossing my fingers for you to return to the small screen :)

  4. Congratulations, Kim! I am so happy for you! I can't wait to see what else God has in store for you. You are one truly amazing woman!! I will have to think of my questions and get back to you. Good Luck in whatever you end up doing.

  5. I'm agreeing with HL... Kim & Chelsea on Amazing Race!! Congratulations to Kim :)

  6. Thanks so much for the updates throughout the season Beth, all us Kim fans have been anxiously awaiting not just every new episode, but also every update on your blog as well. I don't think I've ever rooted for someone on Survivor as much as I did for Kim this season, and her winning was the perfect ending to a season of Survivor that helped earn back some of the magic that has been lost the last few years. She truly is one of the elite players to ever be on the show and has a strong argument for best player ever for that matter.

    Hope to see you or Kim herself on Survivor Sucks someday! Kim's got many fans there who would love to see her make an appearance!

    Thanks again to you and Kim for an amazing season!

  7. No questions, just want to tell you guys that I'm a HUGE fan from INDONESIA. Yep, that country.

    Kim is awesome, and to be honest, she makes great TV. Thanks to Beth for keeping up this blog and somehow showing us that Kim is a real person (you can be caught up in that fantasy reality tv world/characters).

    My favourite post here has got to be the snapshot of the messages between you girls "My face looks old and brown?"

    Any time any of you plan to visit Indonesia, let me know!

    Btw, I DO have a question:
    Of all the girls, the most upset in Ponderosa was Kat. Did it take a long time for Kim and Kat to made up and be great friends after the taping?

  8. Here's a random request - can we get a list of Kim's favorites? They used to ask the Survivors this but stopped after Survivor: China and I've always missed it.

    Board Games:
    Video Games:
    Sports to Play:
    Sports Teams:
    Outdoor Activities:
    TV Shows:
    Snack Foods:
    Candy Bars:
    Alcoholic Drinks:

  9. Wait, is that Kim's boyfriend? She is dating someone? More like Survivor: My World is Over.

  10. Congrats:O) What an awesome Blog on the journey:O)

  11. I totally stole the big novelty check's routing number and am going Frank Abignale Jr. up in here.

  12. I've watched every season of Survivor and Kim is by far my favourite! She played the most brilliant game. I honestly look up to Kim, and think she's a fantastic person and role model. I'm such a big fan, and look forward to hearing about all of Kim's post Survivor adventures! She's taught me to become more sociable, and I'm going to miss seeing her on TV!

    Yours and hers relationship is beautiful too, Beth! It inspires me to get closer to my brother. You've really shown me the power of a sibling relationship.

    May I add - I adore your photography!

    I couldn't be happier for you both. I don't have a particular question to ask... were there any unseen moments which you want to share? :)

    Lots of love all the way from Hong Kong! (Even though I'm British!)

    Tina Beacroft x

  13. Hi, I'm a huge Kim fan from none other than next season's location, the Philippines!! I am a bit pumped that my country's going to be featured in the greatest reality show on the planet!

    Anyway, thank you so much Beth for putting up this blog. It's so much interesting to have updates from an insider in Kim's life. I always look forward to visiting this page every week as much as I look forward to every new episode. It's just too bad this season is done, but I'm so glad you're still gonna keep on giving us the inside dish on what Kim's up to next (I do hope it includes joining The Amazing Race).

    Kim is definitely one of my favorite Survivor players ever right up there with Boston Rob and Parvati. I mean, winning the million bucks and making lasting friendships at the same time is not an easy feat! It is a well-deserved win. I really admire how deftly she played the game - she did it like a Lady Boss! I'm pretty sure she already knows this but please tell Kim she's one hell of a kick-ass chick!

    You should come and visit our country. Not to brag but we have a few of the world's most beautiful beaches here.

    Keep up the good work, girls!


    P.S. I'm just curious, what is Kim's college degree if I may ask? :)

  14. I really like RJ’s post about Kim’s Faves, but I am wondering if I can guess any of them. Please keep in mind that I am only basing this on what I have seen on Survivor or read in Beth’s blog or post win interviews with Kim.

    Colors: Going with Yellow on this one. She wore it the first episode of Survivor and it looked great on her.
    Scents: Probably a scent from a specific flower. Don’t really know for sure but I will say honeysuckle. She down to earth too so I would say that she likes the smell of rain and fresh cut grass (how cliché right).
    Flowers: Fave flower is probably the hibiscus for no other reason that it’s fun to say.
    Board Games: Balderdash…you know it’s true.
    Video Games: I can totally see Kim getting into any competitive Wii game like Wii Sports or something similar.
    Sports to Play: Volleyball
    Sports Teams: Being from San Antonio I will say that she is a big Spur’s fan.
    Outdoor Activities: Too easy to say white water rafting? The better question would be what outdoor activity does she not like.
    TV Shows: …duh Survivor, but let’s try guessing another. How about Lost? Lots of action on a deserted island.
    Movies: I know her and Beth went to see The Hunger Games but favorite movie(s)… hmmm, Die Hard, Crash and The Notebook (cause every gal likes The Notebook).
    Music: This is a tough one. I would say she likes a variety of music but leans towards modern pop rock (Maroon 5, Adele or JLo) with just a little bit of country thrown in.
    Magazines: I would imagine Kim being more into books than magazines but if I had to pick a favorite for her it would be… People (she’s gotta keep up with what past Survivor people have been up too).
    Books/Authors: So many to choose from… I’d like to say she reads well read in the classics like Shakespeare or Mark Twain or maybe even something fun like J.K. Rowlings, but after watching her performance on Survivor I will have to say it’s The Art of War by Sunzi.
    Cereals: Honey Nut Cheerios
    Fruits: Plain and simple, she likes Strawberries.
    Snack Foods: Chips and salsa
    Cookies: She’s probably more of a pastry girl but for cookies I would have to say homemade chocolate chip or snicker doodle (fresh out of the oven).
    Candy Bars: M&Ms (plain)
    Alcoholic Drinks: Probably more of a mixed drink kind of person. Maybe Amaretto Sour or a good Margarita.
    Non-Alcoholic: Ice Tea or water.

    My only question for Kim is what kind of vehicle do you drive? Aside from any issue with your hair I can totally see you driving a Jeep.

  15. Congratulations Kim on the incredible win!!! Great accomplishment, you kicked some serious ass out there! Thanks to Beth as well for the awesome blog, thought it was so cool how you kept us all updated on Kim's everyday life. Really enjoyed reading it!
    Also, thanks Kim for winning, you ended up winning me $20 myself...we had a Survivor One World pool in my socials class. I was the only one who picked Kim, everyone else had Troyzan, Jay, Monica or Tarzan. So thanks for that!
    I also have a few questions for the Boss Lady herself....

    What was your hardest day out there on the island-Was there ever a moment when you wanted to come home?
    If you were ever to participate in an All-Stars season, would you try and use the same strategy or
    would you try something new?
    Was there ever a moment when you thought you had to play the idol at tribal?
    Are you a big San Antonio Spurs fan? I'm hoping they go all the way this year!!
    Lastly, I'm a huge Kim fan from Canada. Have you ever visited Canada? If so have you been to Vancouver?

    Again, congrats Kim on a dominating performance. I'm gonna miss watching you kick everyone's butts on Wednesday nights!
    Hope to see you on the small screen again :)

  16. A little more fanspam from INDONESIA, yes, that Indonesia.

    Anyway, was tweeting to Chelsea last nite, and nearly passed out when she retweeted! So, what I was asking Chelsea, and please do pass on this question to Kim:

    What about teaming up with Chelsea to do Amazing Race???

    Isn't that an idea... I (along with thousands of your -and Chelse's- adoring fans around the world) would love to see you together with Chelsea on that one, we really think you girls will have a real chance on the show, given all the qualities that you have (in lethal combination with Chelsea's), that's a dream team right there.

    Greetings again from INDONESIA :)

  17. I am another fan from Indonesia. That's just show Indonesians have good taste in picking Survivor favorite. :)

    Anyway, just want to let Kim knows that she's great and she's awesome, beautiful inside and out but she knows that already. ;)

    I started watching from S5 and Survivor slowly dies down for me after Heroes v Villains, but Kim made it exciting to watch again. Some says it's boring but I loved watching how kick-ass Kim was every week. Kim showed it is possible to play the game to the fullest (including lying, manipulating, plotting, which I think are all essential parts of the game), be a great Survivor player and still a wonderful person at the same time. Now I got nothing to look forward to watch every Thursday. I'll miss watching Kim greatly and I second what fellow Indonesian said, please go and do Amazing Race!

    Kim has a huge fanbase in SurvivorSucks, it'd made our day if Kim posts there. :D
    The question I have for Kim is, do you still remember what Jay (another fav of mine) said to you and Chelsea in the final tribal council? I saw Chelsea crying and you seemed to have a teary eyes before Mike came up.

    And thanks Beth for putting this up. You are an awesome sister.

  18. First of all I sooo want to thank Beth on this amazing blog!You are a beautiful woman and seem very intelligent.Bet you are a wonderful sister to Kim.
    Please pass on my congratulations to Kim for her simply spectacular winning season of Survivor!!!I am sure going to miss the pleasure to getting to see a bit of her each week on TV.She is truly one of a kind and has to be the most beautiful creature I have ever seen!..and I`m serious.
    Tarzan nailed it when he claimed Kim`s face and eyes are angelic....because they sure are.Gosh how I`d love to look into those eyes!
    I`m hoping that the TV networks realize what a winner Kim is and hope we either see her on another reality show or even give her her own show!I would certainly watch it.
    Thanks again Beth and make sure Kim reads my comments...please keep this blog going as Kim has many fans who appreciate her.All the best to you both.Take care...Ben

  19. Congrats to Kim on one of the best and most satisfying wins ever!
    Huge fan from New Zealand here wanting to thank Beth as well for keeping us all updated.

    I have a couple questions for Kim- what was your experience of Samoa?
    You mentioned that you wanted to take some trips, which place would be at the top of your list?

    Thanks again for the updates and congrats.

  20. I love hearing your story and seeing the pictures. Random question but where does kim primarily shop for her clothes? She has the best style.

  21. Hi Beth,

    Thanks so much for this blog - I've had a blast reading through all the entries! I'm so sad the season's over, as Kim is definitely one of my very favorite Survivors ever, and it's nice to have your blog updates as a consolation prize. :) Still, I miss seeing her dominate every week!! Kim, huge kudos on your gameplay. It's so rare to see a player who owns the social game as well as the physical and strategic ones. Your win was inspiring and so well-deserved!!

    If you're still taking questions: Were you surprised about the way any of the show was edited? And which challenge was the toughest physically?

    Congratulations to both of you, and I'm with all the other commenters who would love to see a Kim/Chelsea team-up on the Amazing Race!! Great idea. :D


  22. Hope it's not too late to ask another question: How does Kim feel about this whole "KimSea" thing? haha.

  23. Hi again!

    I just wanna high five Kim on being so cool about the "moustache thing".

    I have a few more questions for Kim:

    Can you name some of your guilty pleasures?
    Do you have a celebrity crush? Who?
    How about a Survivor crush? Who?