Parvati Shallow is the prom queen of Survivor, and I mean that as a compliment. She's a social butterfly. When I met her at the Survivor 10th Anniversary Party she seemed to have her own center of gravity, with other contestants orbitting her like planets.
I couldn't stand her in the Cook Islands because her game seemed to rely exclusively on flirting. Not subtle stuff. Hot tub stuff. But much like Coach Wade, Parvati seems to have grown more over the years than almost any other contestant.
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Parvati now has one of life's more useful gifts. When she talks to someone, she has the ability to make them feel like the only person in the room. She has the directness and well-grounded confidence of a guy, but the social sensitivity of a woman. If you created an unstoppable Surivor player in a lab they'd come out a lot like Parvati.
The question is, will the other All Stars recognize her as a huge threat and vote her out first? Or will they orbit her like planets and trust her implicitly on the island?
Parvati, why are you a villain?
Because girls that win Survivor are bad. Everybody knows that!
Jerri told me that it was impossible for a female to play Survivor aggressively and not be labeled a villain. Do you agree?
Do contestants who have spent a lot of time building relationships with other past Survivors have a real advantage in All Star seasons?
It's tough when you start mixing friendship with game play. I think people have a false sense of security from the relationships they built - they don't believe their friends would ever betray them.
How did you plan to avoid getting voted as a previous winner?
I knew I had to watch my back from the first second the game started and that I would have to play extremely defensively from the get go.
How did you get into boxing?
I wanted to try out a new sport and met a girl who introduced me to her boxing trainer. I loved the challenging workout and leaving the gym completely exhausted and drenched in sweat.
In the clip shown during the People's Choice Awards, you look at the camera and say "Wow!" Wow?
The helicopter ride was truly epic. Samoa is a gorgeous place; it looked like Jurassic Park from up there. It felt like a T-Rex was about to jump out and eat our chopper.
-Interview conducted by Henry Jenkins