“I have embraced my villain side.” – Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow is a three time Survivor player who, despite a 6th place finish on her first season, is considered by many (including Jeff Probst) as one of the greatest players of all time.
Parvati first appeared on season 13, Survivor: Cook Islands, a season where the tribes were divided according to ethnic race. Parvati was placed on the all Caucasian Rarotonga tribe, where she formed close bonds that lasted until the merge. In the end, the physically strong opposing Aitu alliance, aided by a super powerful idol, came out on top, and Parvati was voted out in 6th place.
She returned three seasons later to play as a Favorite in Survivor: Micronesia, Fans vs. Favorites. She quickly formed a close four person “Couple’s Alliance” with James Clement, Amanda Kimmel and Ozzy Lusth. Knowing that James and Ozzy would be difficult to beat at the end, Parvati pulled in Cirie Fields as their fifth alliance member and utilized a tribe swap to her benefit to recruit some more female fans to her side. She led this all female alliance known as the “Black Widow Brigade” to the end, where she defeated Amanda Kimmel in a 5-3 vote.
Parvati played for a third time in season 20: Heroes vs. Villains, where she was placed on the Villains tribe. Because of her clever and manipulative reputation, Parvati was targeted by the other players from the beginning, and she found herself in a minority alliance. She aligned with new comer Russell Hantz and avoided elimination through some clever idol play, immunity wins and lots of social maneuvering. Parvati made it all the way to the end, where she ultimately lost the jury vote to Sandra Diaz-Twine 6-3-0.
Podcasts Featuring Parvati Shallow
Parvati 1.0 Survivor: Cook Islands
“I’m a flirty girl and guys respond to that.” – Parvati Shallow
In Parvati’s first season, she was the flirt who used men to get further in the game.
Survivor: Cook Islands was a controversial season from the beginning, starting with four tribes of five people, each divided by race. The Caucasian players were placed together on the Rarotonga tribe. They included Parvati, Jonathan Penner, Candice Woodcock, Jessica “Flicka” Smith and Adam Gentry. The tribe was physically strong, and did not go to Tribal Council.
After only two vote offs, the “race twist” was abandoned, and the tribes merged into two. Parvati and Adam remained Raro members, while the rest of their tribe switched to Aitu. While on Raro, Parvati worked with the women to vote out JP Calderon, who was seen as bossy and condescending. At the same time, she was flirting with the men of the tribe, particularly Nate Gonzalez, which kept her options open. At the next tribal council, she voted with the men, and two women were voted out next.
With 12 contestants left, the castaways were offered the chance to “mutiny”, or switch tribes. Both Penner and Candice took up the offer, and re-joined Raro. All Caucasians were now back on the same tribe, with an 8-4 numbers advantage. Parvati, Penner, Candice and Adam formed a close alliance, and voted together to eliminate Brad, Rebecca and Jenny in rapid succession. This meant that Raro entered the merge with a 5-4 numbers advantage.
However, Parvati found herself on the wrong side of the numbers when Yul Kwon convinced Penner to switch sides and vote with Aitu. From this point, Parvati’s game could not recover, although she was able to prolong her life by telling Yul that he had her jury vote if Jonathan left the game before she did. While on a reward with Yul and Ozzy, she used all of her feminine charms to try to get further in the game, but eventually she was seen as too much of a threat and she was voted out in 6th place. On the jury, she did not honor her deal with Yul, and voted for Ozzy.
Parvati 2.0 Survivor: Micronesia
“Coming back, I’m playing pretty aggressively. Pretty much it’s no holds barred for me.” – Parvati Shallow
Parvati returned for season 16, Survivor: Micronesia, Fans vs. Favorites and immediately claimed that she was out to play the game differently. In Cook Islands she had been seen as a flirt, but in Micronesia she wanted to play a much more aggressive and strategic game. She was placed on the Favorites tribe, Malakal, with other Favorites from the game, including her Cook Islands castmate, Jonathan Penner.
Parvati immediately bonded with James Clement and it seemed that she hadn’t strayed too far from the flirty girl we knew so well in Cook Islands. She and James aligned with Amanda and Ozzy who had also formed a close connection. From the first vote, Penner realized that Parvati was the most dangerous player in the game, and his alliance targeted her. She was saved when Jon “Jonny Fairplay” Dalton, missing his pregnant girlfriend, asked to be voted out.
Parvati and Amanda knew their alliance needed a fifth person and started to court Cirie Fields. While Penner and his alliance offered Cirie merely the opportunity to be the fifth in a five person alliance, knowing they had no intention of keeping the boys around until the end, Parvati and Amanda made a final three deal with Cirie for her loyalty which Cirie accepted. Next, the new alliance voted out Cirie’s choice, Yau Man Chan, as he was a strategic threat and because Parvati wanted to keep their new alliance member happy.
The tribes were then switched up, and Parvati and James were separated from the rest of their alliance. Parvati’s new tribe did not visit tribal council until the merge but as she observed the Fans interacting with the remaining members of the Favourites tribe, she started to worry about post merge scenarios. Penner and Eliza were building bonds with the Fans and she knew that they would scoop up Amy and any other remaining Fans after the merge and have a majority alliance. Parvati took a big risk and made a final four deal on behalf of herself and Amanda with Natalie Bolton and Alexis Jones, thereby removing two of the Fan votes as a threat.
At the merge, Parvati was in an alliance with nearly every remaining player in the game, and they quickly voted out Eliza Orlins. When Eliza played a fake immunity idol on the way out, it made it clear that Ozzy had the true idol. This led to Cirie targeting Ozzy in the next tribal council, and Ozzy (with his idol) was blindsided. Amanda was kept in the dark about this vote and Parvati had to do some damage control as Amanda was feeling very insecure. The remaining women joined together as the “Black Widow Brigade” in a pact to vote out the men.
Once James and Jason were both out, Erik won immunity, and the women began to target each other. The top target was Parvati’s closest ally, Amanda. Parvati did not want to turn on Amanda but she did not have the numbers. Parvati told Amanda that she better find the idol that would be back in play after Ozzy’s vote out. Found it she did and together, Amanda and Parvati voted out Alexis.
When Erik Reichenbach won immunity once more, and the women were forced into targeting themselves yet again, they came up with another option. Led by Natalie and Cirie, the women convinced Erik to hand the necklace over to Natalie, in one of the most manipulative moves ever executed in Survivor history. Without the necklace to protect him, the women immediately voted Erik out of the game, leaving an all-female top four.
Parvati stuck to her original final three alliance of Cirie and Amanda, and Natalie was next voted out. However, in a twist that the final three did not see coming, this season would only have a final two. There was still another immunity challenge to come.
Amanda won the final immunity challenge, and chose to take Parvati with her to the final two. At the final tribal council, Parvati had a strong performance, where she was proud of her aggressive gameplay. She beat Amanda in a 5-3 vote.
Parvati 3.0 Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
“I’m the queen. And usually the king does what the queen says anyway. So I’m cool.” – Parvati Shallow
Parvati became a three time Survivor player in season 20, Heroes vs. Villains, where she was placed on the Villains tribe. She found herself targeted by her tribe for many reasons. She had a reputation as a flirty and aggressive player, thanks to her previous Survivor appearances. Parvati also had two of her previous close allies (Cirie and Amanda) on the opposing Heroes tribe, making it look like she had a number of alliance options available to her. Most of the Villains tribe wanted to vote Parvati off early, and so she aligned herself with the only people willing to work with her: Russell Hantz and Danielle DiLorenzo.
The Villains were a physically strong tribe, and they won the first two immunity challenges. When they lost the third challenge, it was tribe outsider Randy Bailey who was voted out, as he was physically the weakest link. They did not visit tribal council again until day 15, when there was a double elimination. At this point, Russell and Parvati were both targets. Russell had found a hidden immunity idol, and suspecting as much, the majority alliance agreed to split their votes between Russell and Parvati. But Russell took Tyson Apostol aside just before the vote and convinced him that he was going to play the idol for himself and vote Parvati out. At the vote, Tyson broke ranks with his alliance and voted for Parvati. Russell played his idol for Parvati, and Tyson was sent home in a 3-2 vote.
From here, the Villains began to lose challenges, and returned to tribal council three days later. Russell was able to convince Jerri Manthey to switch sides and vote against Boston Rob (who had previously ruined Jerri’s game in Survivor: All Stars). Jerri pulled in Coach and this new alliance voted together, sending Boston Rob home.
Knowing Parvati’s past gameplay, and seeing that only men had been sent home from the Villains tribe, the Heroes began to believe that Parvati was once again running an all-female alliance. When Coach, double-crossed by Russell, was the next Villain voted out, the Heroes’ suspicions seemed to be confirmed. In the past, Parvati had been well served by creating a very close bond with one woman, so when she and Danielle found a hidden immunity idol, they hid it from the rest of their tribe, including their alliance member Russell.
Just before the merge, when the Villains lost yet another immunity challenge, Hero JT made the bold (and some might say idiotic) move of giving his immunity idol to Russell, telling him to use it to vote out Parvati, and destroy the so called “all-female alliance”. The vote at this tribal council was between Sandra and Courtney Yates. Parvati preferred to vote out Sandra, saying that she thought Courtney could be trusted. However, she voted with her alliance and Courtney was sent to the jury.
At the merge, the Heroes and Villains were evenly matched at 5 to 5. The Heroes were convinced that Parvati was the biggest threat in the game. Despite Sandra’s attempts to tell the Heroes there was no female alliance and Russell should be targeted, the Heroes were convinced that Russell was their ally. They targeted Parvati as the assumed leader. Before tribal council, Russell gave Parvati JT’s idol so that she could protect herself. Danielle had won individual immunity so she, at least, was safe. Before tribal council, Amanda of the Heroes tribe had warned Parvati that she had “better play her idol”. In an unprecedented display of Survivor guts and intuition, Parvati played both of her immunity idols – one for Sandra, and one for Jerri – covering her entire alliance and leaving herself completely vulnerable. The dumbfounded Heroes had put all of their votes on Jerri which were voided by Parvati’s idol. JT was eliminated in a 5-0 vote. This single move had not only protected her alliance but also swung the numbers in her alliance’s favor going down in Survivor history as possibly the best strategic move of all time. When asked post game how she knew to play the idols on her alliance and not for herself she answered, “I just knew.”
Russell was then able to get Candice Woodcock to vote with the Villains, and Amanda was the next sent home. The Villains voted Candice out at the very next tribal. At this point, still angry that Parvati and Danielle had kept their idol hidden from him, Russell decided to split them up. He tried to turn them against each other, and when this failed, he aligned with the remaining Heroes to send Danielle to the jury. Parvati realized that she did not have complete control of Russell. However, she still felt it was safer to stick to her plan and bring three Villains to the end.
Still angry, Russell had turned against Parvati, and wanted her out of the game. However, Parvati played a strong physical game, and won the next two immunity challenges. The final four consisted of Parvati, Russell, Jerri and Sandra. Sensing that Sandra had friends on the jury, Parvati lobbied to vote her out but, Russell wanted Jerri out because he believed that Jerri would vote for him on the jury.
At the final tribal council, Parvati tried to separate herself from Russell, explaining that she had made her own moves and played her own game, but the jury saw them as a single unit and their bitterness toward Russell eroded Parvati’s chances of winning the game. Parvati did receive votes from Danielle, Jerri and Coach. But she was defeated by Sandra 6-3-0.
Since Heroes vs. Villains wrapped, Parvati has been able to turn her fame into a media career. She has been a writer and host, and is currently well known as the host of the CBS after show. A true “triple-threat”, Parvati has dominated in the physical, social and strategic aspects of Survivor. Since Parvati has played Survivor, many female players have tried to emulate her gameplay, with varying levels of success. It is fair to say that Parvati will continue to influence the game, whether she ever returns or not.