Amber is 'so sweet, you hate to hate her'
By: Scott Tady - Times Staff 04/23/2004
By unanimous vote Thursday, Amber Brkich was named the "Survivor: All-Stars" contestant most likely to use *** appeal as a weapon.
"I fully own up to it," Brkich said with a devilish grin, after she and her opponents each agreed in a survey that the Brighton Township woman was using her cover-girl looks as a strategy to win the CBS show's $1 million reward.
Brkich move closer to that lucrative prize Thursday, as she dodged elimination.
She had to sweat out a vote, though, after faring poorly in the show's immunity challenge - a grueling contest to see who could keep one arm raised the longest. Brkich's right arm gave out after a mere four minutes. Ultimately, the tiniest of the seven remaining contestants, 30-year-old Shii Ann Huang, won the competition, keeping her left arm suspended for two hours. Huang's stamina certainly saved her from being voted off the show.
Unable to vote against Huang as planned, because she had won immunity, the six other aligned all-stars had to pick off one of their own, ultimately settling for buff fitness trainer Alicia Calaway.
It was the end of a humiliating episode for the New York City woman, who in the earlier survey, had discovered her tribemates had chosen her as the least deserving person to be on the show.
As her ceremonial torch was snuffed out, and she strode angrily off the set, Calaway vowed revenge against the tribemates who had betrayed her.
In a brief post-show interview, Calaway said she was especially angry with Rob Mariano, the Boston boyfriend of Brkich's, who earlier had pledged his allegiance to Calaway with a handshake.
Calaway now will become one of the seven jury members whose vote in the May 9 finals decides which of the two remaining players wins the $1 million. Calaway indicated she probably would vote against Mariano, which could bode well for Brkich, if she's the other finalist, as rumored.
Fresh off the pages of People, TV Guide and the National Enquirer, Brkich and Mariano snuggled up to each other briefly in Thursday's episode, with the Beaver High School graduate insisting she fully trusts him. Mariano said he trusted her, too, though left open the possibility, "maybe she's playing me. I could be the biggest fool."
Huang admitted Brkich will continue to be a tough competitor, because of her beauty and charm.
"She's so sweet, you hate to hate her," Huang said.
Scott Tady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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