Adventure Reality

Why Parvati will forever remain the best Survivor contestant

Being one of Survivor’s winners is certainly a difficult task, but being one of the franchise’s most memorable players is even more challenging.

With the arrival of its 46th season, Survivor has now officially cemented its place as one of the longest-running shows in American television history.

And, while many things about the show have changed over the years – the show has always been about the contestants.

Over the years, more than 690 people have put their hats in the ring to compete for the chance to be crowned the Lone Survivor and to walk away with one of the franchise’s alluring cash prizes.

But there is one contestant who stands out as possibly the show’s best (and brightest).

Parvati’s Survivor Story

Parvati Shallow is not only one of the Survivor franchise’s most successful players; but she is also one of its best.

Parvati has duked it out against 19 other contestants (so far) over three different seasons of the show and has almost always come out on top.

This should go without saying, but there are some major Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains spoilers to follow as we dig into why Parvati remains such a firm favorite contestant from the franchise.

A recap of Parvati’s placements

The hallmark for being a Survivor fan-favorite (or in some cases, one of the franchise’s most hated villains) is being asked by the production team to return season after season.

Parvati has not only been asked back on two different occasions, but she also holds one of the best Survivor track-records of all time.

Parvati made the top seven on all three seasons in which she competed, and her impressive run can be summarized as follows:

Season Year Final placement
Survivor: Cook Islands 2006 6th
Survivor: Micronesia 2008 Winner
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains 2010 2nd

She is a well-rounded player

To go far in the Survivor game, contestants need to keep their wits about them, while also ensuring that they perform at their peak physical and mental abilities in the challenges.

But to be a fan-favorite competitor, you also need to possess a certain charismatic flair – and being good looking also helps.

Parvati is certainly beautiful, and she has managed to charm more than one of her Survivor co-stars into submission.

But as a boxer, Parvati has more than enough physical strength to hold her own in most of Survivor’s grueling challenges.

And all of this paired with her always-strategic form of gameplay means that she is truly one of Survivor’s few triple-threat players.

Her social skills are unmatched

The days where winning Survivor was all about figuring out the challenges are well past us by now. These days the game is about how well players can protect themselves against unexpected twists and turns.

And while Parvati is strong enough to stand on her own in the challenges, it is often her very well-selected alliances who help her to advance so far in the game.

In Survivor: Cook Islands her “alliance” with Jessica carried her through one or two difficult tribal meetings and so did her alliances in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

Furthermore, fans are still talking about the now-infamous Black Widow Brigade to this day.

Parvati’s real power: Playing the dumb party girl

We all know that the cast of each season’s Survivor game can be split into various stereotypical personalities: the brainiac, the survival guru, the hippie, the fighter, the villain, etc.

In Parvati’s case, she was branded a frivolous and flirty party girl, from the very first moment that she stepped foot on the beach in Survivor: Cook Island.

But while her actual real-life party habits have no real bearing on her Survivor storyline, what really counted in her favor was the fact that she did little to change this perception during her first season.

In fact, she ultimately used that stereotype to her advantage even later on in the game.

In Survivor: Cook Island, Parvati got away with flirting and staying out of most of the drama whilst also skirting most of the work and mostly saving her strength for the challenges.

Erik Reichenbach admitted that he underestimated her strategic skills when they first entered Survivor: Micronesia, telling Inside Survivor “I judged her as some flirty girl that somehow managed to make it that far and was trying her best to stick around.”

He also confirmed that he only learned of her great alliance plan once he watched the show back. In the end, Parvati is a great Survivor player because she knows exactly what her competitors expect from her – and she knows how to use that expectation to her advantage.