May 21, 2010 01:33 PM by Ryan Haidet
She has spent more days playing Survivor than any other contestant in the show’s 20-season history. During season 13 in the Cook Islands, Parvati Shallow finished in 6th place. Three seasons later she took home the $1 million prize in Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites. In Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains, the 27-year-old from Los Angeles came in second place after aligning with the always-evil Russell Hantz. On the red carpet immediately following the live reunion show at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, Parvati spoke with me about how she lost to Sandra, described life at camp with Russell and weighed in on being a record-setting contestant.
Read on to see an exclusive video from the red carpet with Parvati.
Check out Ryan Haidet’s interview with Parvati:
Ryan Haidet — RealityTVMagazine: First of all, congratulations on setting the record for the most days spent on Survivor. What is that like having spent nearly half a year on an island with crazy people?
Parvati Shallow: That makes me a crazy person. You just said it right there.
RTVMag: You’re equivalent to all the other crazies?
Parvati: I am. I just dress a little bit better.
RTVMag: Going into the finale, it looked like you had this completely sealed, but somehow Sandra overtook that. What made you lose this time?
Parvati: I think it came down to a couple of specific things. Amanda and Candice had played the game with me before. I think they didn’t want to see me win again. I think a lot of people didn’t even want to see me in that final Tribal, they were trying to get me out from the beginning. So there was a lot of bitterness and resentment toward me even being there. And then also, put on top of that, I played with Russell. He was my closest ally, and everyone hated Russell. So I think a lot of that animosity kind of bounced off him and got on me as well. It just compounded on top of that. Sandra had a lot of people campaigning for her at Ponderosa to win. I just had to fight for my votes. No one really just handed me a vote. People had to really respect how hard I worked to get there to vote for me.
RTVMag: Discuss your relationship with Amanda this season because it was different this time.
Parvati: The reason we did so well in Micronesia is because we both can read each others’ minds kind of when we’re out there. That’s why I went up to her and talked to her and tried to see what could maybe happen with us. The problem was that we didn’t trust each other. I know she plays — she plays a loyal game from day 1. She sticks true to her alliance that she makes from day 1 and she knows how I play. I stick true to my alliance. I play a loyal game, and that’s what I did with Russell. That’s what I did with Danielle. We know that about each other so going up to each other and being like, “Who would flip? Can we flip? Do I trust you? Are you going to betray your alliance and be with me?” It was like, probably not. So that’s what happened and we ended up kind of going after each other.
RTVMag: It seemed like when you first arrived at the beach that you wanted to be a Hero. You acted surprised that you were a Villain.
Parvati: Yeah, weren’t you?
RTVMag: Not really. Were you really surprised that you were labeled a Villain?
Parvati: Of course. I’m lovable.
RTVMag: Were you disappointed?
Parvati: No. I’m just so thankful that I played with the Villains because as soon as we merged, the Heroes’ camp was honestly the most depressing place I have ever been in my life. I never want to go back there. I was so happy to see them all go because they were just miserable. I thought at least the Villains had like some drama — as long as it wasn’t depression. … It was like craziness and insanity and that’s more my style, so I was happy to play with the Villains.
RTVMag: Describe Russell. What is it like living at camp with Russell.
Parvati: It’s like living with an entire colony of Tasmanian devils in a stampede of buffaloes fighting each other for one piece of cheese.
RTVMag: So why do fans love Russell? He can’t get a single jury vote, but he wins America’s vote. How is that possible?
Parvati: I think Russell kind of hogged every minute of air time of the show. That’s probably why because America saw Russell’s face every second that they were watching Survivor, and all Russell says is, “I’m Russell Hantz. I’m Russell Hantz.” So it kind of gets stuck in your mind like a broken record over and over and over. So I think he has brainwashed America, and America was like blindly typing in Russell’s name in their phones.
RTVMag: This was your third outing on Survivor. Would you do it again?
Parvati: I’m done with Survivor. Totally finished. Honestly, I’m retiring my crown. I am passing on my torch to whoever else thinks that they can pass my record. I say more power to them, and I hope that someone can challenge me with that. But I’m done.
RTVMag: When you look back on all of your experiences on Survivor, what are you going to think of first?
Parvati: I’ll remember the good times because I have a way of blocking out bad memories. I think the lessons that I learned from Survivor probably won’t show up in my life until later on. It tests your strength, it tests your resilience, your mental focus, your ability to control you mind when everything around you is going crazy. It’s a very intense game that teaches you a lot about yourself in a short amount of time, but I think the lessons will take a while to process.
Red carpet images by Leah Machek. All other images courtesy of CBS.
Stay tuned for other exclusive interviews from the Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains red carpet with Russell Hantz, Jerri Manthey and Colby Donaldson.
Previous Finale Coverage
Interview with winner Sandra Diaz-Twine:
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