Survivor's Parvati: There is No Way I Could Have Played Without Russell
Parvati Shallow, Survivor
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains runner-up Parvati Shallow holds the record for most days of any Survivor castaway in history. But those 114 days of game play (in Cook Islands, Micronesia and current season) also made her a big target, forcing her to align with Russell Hantz. Parvati's close ties with Russell may have helped take her to the end, but being associated with one of the game's biggest Villains ultimately cost her the $1 million prize, which went to Sandra Diaz-Twine. Shallow talked with TVGuide.com about how she knew Sandra was a serious threat, how the Villains outlasted the Heroes and what she really thinks of Russell.
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TVGuide.com: How do you feel about so many jury members bringing up your alliance with Russell?
Parvati Shallow: People really, really, really despised him. He offended everyone on so many levels and he was my closest ally in the game. There was really nothing I could have done, because I couldn't have played without him. No one would play with me and Survivor is a numbers game. You need to have numbers to stay alive if you are a threat and I was considered a threat since the first day. My alliance with Russell ultimately lost me a few jury votes, I do believe that, but I don't think there's any way I could have played without him.
TVGuide.com: Was there ever a point in the game when you came close to breaking ties with him?
Parvati: I would have, yes. Had Danielle not been voted out, we wanted to stay together and vote Russell out. I think at that point, he was just so grating on my nerves; I would have voted him out just because of that. In the end, for me logic always trumps emotions when I play Survivor. That's why I think I last as long as I do, because I can maintain my cool even if I'm boiling underneath. With Russell, I was able to just take everything he said with a complete lack of really caring. He never really got to me the way he got to other people and I think that's the only reason I was able to work with him as long as I did. But I knew, in the end, taking him to the finals was the best way I would have a shot at winning.
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TVGuide.com: So even if you had won the immunity necklace instead of Russell, you would have kept him?
Parvati: I would have taken Russell and Jerri.
TVGuide.com: Why wouldn't you want to take Sandra?
Parvati: Because every time we went to Tribal Council and she would start speaking, everyone would start smiling and laughing and looking at her like they were in love with her and I knew that wasn't good. I didn't want to take her because I knew everyone on the jury loved her and would vote for her ... [Part of it was] was because of how much she hated Russell and how much she talked back to him. I talked back to him, but I was still aligned with him, so I got a lot of the backfire for that ... And she was constantly saying that she was trying to go against him, people really liked that.
TVGuide.com: Were you surprised the Villains won and outlasted the Heroes?
Parvati: I wasn't because, ultimately, my doing with those double idols [which Parvati surprisingly gave to Jerri and Sandra during Tribal Council] was keeping us together and my winning those immunity challenges was to keep the Villains together. I wanted to keep the Villains together the whole time because I knew if a Hero made it to the end, they would have won. So, for me, it was just based on tribe loyalty and thinking about the end game. I think that's why the Villains got to the end. Also, our strategy was just 10,000 times more advanced than the Heroes. They weren't really even in the game. They were just moping around and sulking and whining. It was really depressing. The merge was probably the most depressing day of my life.
TVGuide.com: How does it feel to have played the most days of Survivor? What do you think it is about your strategy that has helped you go far every time?
Parvati: For me, lasting that long is just a testament to my will power. I just will never ever quit. Even if you tell me that I'm going to be the first person voted out ... I don't care. I don't believe you ... I just will never say die.
TVGuide.com: What was the biggest difference in strategy this time compared to past seasons?
Parvati: Well, I think this time, since I was targeted so intensely from the beginning, I had to really step up my game ... I had to stick through immunity challenges and I had to align with the most hated person in the game just because that was the only way I could stay in the game. I wouldn't have chosen to align with someone that was so hard to live with and so pigheaded and so egotistical. I wouldn't choose that, but it was the only option that I saw for myself, since everyone else wanted me gone and he was the only one that would work with me.