parvati shallow survivor finale 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' finale: Parvati Shallow should have wonHere we are, gang. The final episode of the 20th season of “Survivor.” The showdown between the Heroes and Villains comes down to a final five dominated by the evil side. Let’s jump right in, shall we?


After an extensive video montage of the whole season (seriously, that thing took like 7 minutes), the final five are back at camp. Russell has his panties in a twist about Sandra not telling him about her Idol. He’s so full of it sometimes. He and Sandra aren’t aligned by anything more than the title of “Villain.” Like she owes you anything, dude.

The problem with Russell is that he’s uber-clever and sneaky, but at the same time his anal-retentive, control-freak nature coupled with his Napoleon complex makes him kind of a lunatic when things don’t go his way. I bet as a child he laid down and pounded his fists on the ground a lot when he didn’t get his way.

No sooner have I typed that does Parvati compare him to a two-year-old who stomps his feet when his toy gets taken away. Hee!

Crab. Lizard. Dramatic music.

The next morning, they get puzzle pieces with tree mail that talks about steady hands and losing control and dishes. Parvati remembers it from “Survivor: China.” Russell talking-heads that if Colby wins, the best move is to get rid of Parvati. He’s convinced that he’ll win if it’s him, Sandra and Jerri at the top. That’s a sound argument because neither of them played as hard as Russell or Parvati, but it will prove to be false logic on Russell’s part.

Immunity Challenge
Stacking dishes on a wobbly arm. The first person to drop is Sandra, which actually surprises me. Man, she sucks at challenges. Like, really bad. At the 14-dish mark, Jerri is out. After 16 dishes, Russell is out. After the next dish, Colby drops and Parvati wins. Well, this next tribal ought not to have any suspense, no matter how hard the editors work at making it look like there is.

Colby to “Survivor”: I wish I could quit you
They come back from the challenge and Colby gives a nice speech about how he made his play, he didn’t win the challenge and he knows he’s going home. He then interviews that he can’t quit on “Survivor,” so he’s going to make one more attempt at staying.

So Colby talks to Russell, saying they should get rid of Sandra tonight so that he, Russell and Jerri have a best chance of beating Parvati in the last challenge. That’s actually a good argument to use on Russell, but he knows that taking Colby another day might let him win the final challenge and that if Colby is in the Top 3, he’ll win. So I don’t think Russell will go for it.

Tribal Council
Jeff talks to Colby about how tough it was. Colby actually seems more engaged this episode than he has been all season, which is weird. Colby tells Sandra he loves her to death, but that everybody wants to sit next to her in the finals. That will also turn out to be dramatically false. There’s some other jibber-jabber about trust, it’s really not that interesting.

The vote goes Colby, Sandra, Colby, and Colby. No surprises there. Love ya, Donaldson, but you weren’t that fun to watch this season. His exit speech is about how sad he is to be a crusty old veteran who can’t win challenges. Awww, that’s so sad!

Post-Tribal II
Jerri and Russell are convinced that if she wins the last Immunity, Parvati will win the money. That is good logic in my mind, she’s the biggest threat right now.

Stupid Idol walk

I hate this. It’s dumb. I understand about filler, but my lord is this silly. They aren’t DEAD! They aren’t “fallen comrades.” They’re either at home or hanging out at the Ponderosa. Geez louise.

Final Challenge
The Survivors are doing a maze while blindfolded. There are guideposts along the way to point you to the stations where you pick up your necklace. Man, these guideposts are interesting. I mean, this is like braille! What a cool challenge.

Parvati keeps banging into things and yelling out “OW!” in a very funny manner, I enjoy that. Russell and Parvati find their four necklaces first and are racing for the finish. Jerri quickly gets hers as well, so they are all trying to find their way out. It comes down to a very close race, with all of them so close to the pole. Russell nabs the final Immunity necklace just inches from Parvati and Jerri getting it.

They are all laughing and Jerri’s like, “That was fun!” I love to see that. Meanwhile, downer Sandra is like, “That was awful.” Sorry lady, but don’t get your negativity all over the rest of us just because you suck at challenges. Seriously, I think Sandra’s a smart lady, but I think she does ride coattails a bit and her track record in challenges is embarrassing.

Jerri is sure that Parvati is going home now that Russell won Immunity. Russell knows he’s taking Sandra for sure, because he thinks only Courtney will vote for her and he’ll win. Russell assures Jerri it’s Parvati going and that Parvati thinks it’s Jerri who is going.

So Russell and Parvati go on a walk and he says he wants Sandra with them in Final 3. Parvati says Sandra instantly gets Amanda, Candice and Courtney. Man, Parvati looks like a genius in hindsight. Russell is sure Parvati can’t beat either him or Sandra, which I think is very false logic. She’s been a beast in challenges, she’s strategic and she’s fairly likable too. In hindsight, I can’t believe Parvati didn’t win, honestly.

Tribal Council
There’s some talk about the important decision about who to take to the finals — who has friends, who doesn’t, who you can beat, who will potentially vote for you, who you know WON’T vote for you, etc.

Interestingly, in talking about making her case, Parvati says she protected Russell and if he was going to show any loyalty at all, he’d keep her. He balks at the “protecting” comment because he’s a control freak misogynist and God forbid Parvati did anything worthwhile for him. Geez.

During the vote, we see Parvati vote for Jerri and vice versa and that is it. The votes go Parvati, Jerri, Jerri and Jerri. That surprises me a bit, that Russell showed loyalty to Parvati. I wouldn’t have taken her. No way.

Post-Tribal III
There’s a feast and Russell is pretty excited about getting to the end twice. Well, so did the others. And they both won before. If I were him, that’d be one of my biggest arguments. He says that Parvati has a lot of enemies and Sandra didn’t do anything.

When Russell walks off, Sandra throws his hat in the fire. Well, that’s not very nice but he burned people’s socks, so whatevs.

Tribal Council
Sandra’s opening statement is all about how she played by herself. Russell’s is about playing hard and he apologizes for offending them. Parvati’s is about her need to align with Russell the dragon as a way to protect herself and how she played the ultimate strategic, social and physical game.

Colby asks about strategic plays from Parvati. She says her big one was when she played the two Idols. Just btw, the camera cuts to Amanda, who looks about 60 years old with her makeup troweled on like that. Coach doesn’t ask a question, he just pontificates about himself while masking it as his speech about the Final Three. He says Russell should’ve been penitent, Sandra is a coattail-rider and that Parvati is a warrior. He then takes his seat. God, he is so full of himself. Put him a room and le
t him talk to himself all day long, he’ll be perfectly happy.

Amanda asks Sandra about strategy and she says her strategy should’ve been better because then Russell wouldn’t have been sitting here. Courtney points out that Sandra is loyal 100% and Sandra jumps right on that.

J.T. points out that Russell is good at getting to the end, but maybe not getting their votes. Russell says that everybody on the jury will respect his game because they’ve played the game before. Parvati says the difference between herself and Sandra is that Sandra is a sleeper who doesn’t try that hard in challenges, so nobody thought about targeting her.

Danielle asks Russell if he’d change anything about his game and he says no because there’s no way he’d be here. She tries to get him to say it, but he won’t and she says, “That’s too bad.” Man, she’s a little snotty. He can be comfortable with the way he played the game.

Jerri wants to know why Russell flipped from voting out Parvati to voting out Jerri. He says he was worried that she’d get votes because the Jury loves her. Parvati then says the real reason is that he knew he’d have her vote from the Jury. Jerri then points out that Sandra isn’t that loyal because she (Jerri) still got blindsided.

Candice says that you can tell lies in the game, but that Russell told dirty lies and hurt people. She then says that Parvati was under Russell’s thumb like a spouse in an abusive relationship. So for her it comes down to how you treat people and you can tell she’s voting for Sandra.

And finally Rupert. He says to Russell that being honest in this game is hard and to be a manipulative, deceiving, lying person is the easy way out and that he shouldn’t be proud of himself. He then apologizes to Sandra for not going with her to get Russell out. He then tells Parvati that she’s a strong player but that he hates she aligned with Russell. He does give her credit for fighting and says that she and Sandra deserve the votes.

We see some of the votes — Jerri votes for Parvati, Candice for Sandra, Danielle for Parvati, Courtney for Sandra, Coach for Parvati, Rupert for Sandra. J.T., Colby and Amanda’s votes are hidden. What is weird is that I would’ve bet J.T. and Colby would’ve voted for Parvati because they value her game play AND strength in challenges, but Sandra ends up winning. I don’t get it.

Candice’s comments about Sandra as she votes are annoying because A) She’s bitter and B) that has nothing to do with “Survivor.” You voted for Sandra because you like her and don’t like the others. That is crap. The motto is “Outwit, outplay, outlast,” not “Make friends.” Coach says something about King Arthur’s journey ending and I’m like, “What is WRONG with him?” He is such a weirdo.

The votes go Parvati, Sandra, Parvati, Sandra, Parvati, Sandra, Sandra and then Sandra wins. That really surprises me, honestly. I mean, normally someone well-liked but someone who ALSO played a good game wins. I think Parvati combines the scheming of Russell with the niceness of Sandra and adds in the bonus of winning Immunity. I don’t get how she lost.

If you’d like to read my newsy recap of the live reunion, check it out here. Meanwhile, here are a few tidbits about the reunion:

  • Russell is a big baby. I’ll admit, I enjoy watching him on “Survivor” but there is no need to be such a poor sport when you lose.
  • I have to say — I feel like Russell must get a VERY charitable edit by this show. At the reunion, the hatred for him was thinly-veiled at best. Yet he has won the Sprint Player of the Season for both seasons he has played. Which says to me the viewers love (what they see of) him and the actual people who experience “Survivor” with him DO NOT like him.
  • How cute is Boston Rob and Amber’s baby Lucia Rose? Seriously.
  • Dumbest Move in Survivor — I’d still give it to Erik. And I don’t think Colby should’ve nominated. That wasn’t the smartest move, but it was a cool move and not as completely dumb as the others ones.

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Jerri: Russell ‘screwed himself out of a million bucks’


Colby: Dumbest Move award ‘classless move on CBS’ part’

runner-up Parvati: ‘Russell does have some redeeming qualities’

villain Russell: ‘Sandra’s not even in the Top 20 of all time’

winner Sandra: ‘Russell was nothing but a scumbag’

credit: CB

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."