May 14, 2008 09:51 AM by Ryan Haidet
Parvati Shallow played the game once before, but this time she was far more successful since she knocked out 19 other players on Survivor: Micronesia – Fans Vs. Favorites to take the title of sole Survivor and the $1 million prize.
Just moments after the 25-year-old boxer of Los Angeles was told she was the newest millionaire, she spoke about the differences from this game to the last, her relationships and what’s next.
She was very happy to be taking home $1 million. “I’m ecstatic with being able to play the game again and you know, having it turn out how it turned out,” Parvati began. “It was awesome how it worked out.”
She took sixth place the first time she played on Survivor: Cook Islands. What was the difference this time other than the fact that she won? “What wasn’t the difference? Oh my God. It was completely different game, it was different people,” she said. “It was a lot more strategy for me. A lot more thinking on my feet. A lot more making aggressive, offensive moves. Last time I laid back, I had a good time, I flirted a little.”
One of her biggest rivals also made a return from the Cook Islands season to compete as a favorite. “Jonathan Penner is a very strategic guy and I knew he is so good at manipulating people and getting them to believe what he says,” Parvati commented about her competition. “He like puts this mind trick on people. So, I knew that we didn’t have a good bond and I knew we probably wouldn’t be working together. So, he was my biggest competition I think.”
Another favorite, James Clement of Survivor: China had a better bond with her than Jonathan. He and Parvati became an island couple as they flirted for most of the game – until she turned on their alliance. “James was pretty mad at me about voting Ozzy out and about breaking our alliance,” Parvati said. “I think he was hurt, you know. I think he felt like what we had was real out there and I think he really kind of liked me.” Was she just flirting with him for strategy? “I love James, I think he’s awesome. We’re not dating or anything, but I think he’s an amazing guy.”
Although it cost her a vote from James, she said that turning on the alliance was the best move she made that helped her get to the end of the game. “I think forming the women’s alliance put me in a position of power in the game (but) I think my biggest move was winning immunity and voting Ozzy out.”
Having played with some of these people before and knowing them personally, Parvati said she had to distinguish the game from friendships. Did she feel remorse for voting some of them out? “Outside of the game, yes, because I do care about them,” she said. “However, inside the game, my head was in the game and it was strategy until the end. So I separated emotion and friendship from strategy and game play.”
This 16th season of the reality giant brought in 10 ultimate fans to compete against 10 of the most recent favorites. Each group was given their own camp, and Parvati said the fans’ location was no paradise since she had to spend some time there after a tribal switch. “The fans camp was miserable,” she said. “There was no sand, there was no food, there was no cave. So that’s pretty much everything you need when you’re out in the wilderness and we didn’t have any of that. It rained every day. We couldn’t make a fire. It was awful.”
But miserable or not, she still outlasted all the others throughout the full 39 days to take the prize. The final votes were actually cast on location sometime in December, leaving plenty of time for her to ponder if she had won or not, which she said she didn’t do. “I honestly have been keeping myself so busy that I haven’t really given a lot of thought to the ending,” she said. “Until recently, until like last week. I saw Amanda a few times before and we’re both like totally hyperventilating. But I tried not to spin my wheels too much and get preoccupied with the outcome because I knew it was out of my hands. I couldn’t do anything about it so what’s the point worrying about it?”
Having played the game twice and now conquering it, Parvati knows exactly what she wants to do – continue working on the charity she helped create to provide scholarships to underprivileged girls. “I’ve been working with the boxing charity a lot that my friends and I started up,” she said. “It’s called ‘Knockouts for Girls.’ We shot a swimsuit calendar. We’re going to have a big party to release it in Los Angeles in June. So just kind of getting the ball rolling with the charity, building it up and raising some more money to help these girls.”
She also said she would never take on the challenge of Survivor again. “I would never play this game again. I played it as hard as I could, I did as best as I could. And I couldn’t top this. I just couldn’t.”
Check back tomorrow for an exclusive red carpet interview with favorite Amanda Kimmel, the second-place finisher, as she addresses her record-setting game play.
As an extra bonus, you can now read all of our Survivor Cast Bios!
Photo Credits: Darrell Wolcott, Reality TV Magazine, CBS