Survivor Review: Parvati, Undisputed Queen of Survivor
Jeff: If anybody has a hidden immunity idol and would want to play it, now would be the time to do so
Parvati: You know what Jeff? I think it would be downright depressing to sit and watch green bananas turn yellow without my debaucherous little villains. So, Sandra, that’s for you and Jeff, I would just like to increase our odds, so Jerri, that one’s for you too.
A few weeks ago when Boston Rob lost the Clash of the Titans to Russell, many wondered how the show could ever top their showdown. Oh ye of little faith (myself included). Not only have subsequent episodes been tremendous, they’ve made us quickly forget the Russell/Rob drama with a bevy of ill-fated decisions and bold moves.
On the heels of the dumbest move in Survivor history last week, Parvati treated us to the single greatest play in Survivor history this week. I have to hand it to Jeff because I don’t know how he kept his composure. I was on my couch screaming “Wow! WOW!!”
Incredible. Devious. Brilliant. Amazing. The list could go on and on. Probst always likes to say that, to win Survivor, you have to make big moves. Well, Parvati made the biggest move in Survivor history and continued the run of amazing Survivor episodes that has been the hallmark of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
At the start of the season it did not take long for everyone to remember why Parvati is one of the most polarizing figures Survivor has ever seen. A siren that would make the ones of Greek mythology look tame, Parvati plays the game in a style not often seen on Survivor. The dominating male figures that have controlled strategy and challenges (Colby, Boston Rob, Brian, Russell) tend to be the ones who are remembered. Parvati manipulates the tribe with cunning and sex appeal.
But, for all of her Survivor success (her and Amanda have spent more days on Survivor than anyone else), Parvati is rarely talked about as one of the best players ever. Perhaps that is because she is so reviled by those who find her unabashed flirting despicable. She was never given any credit for being intelligent because she was seemingly riding the coat tails of her good looks.
That is certainly going to change now.
Consider everything that Parvati was able to correctly evaluate and determine the right course of play. She knew the vote was going to be five against five and the only way to guarantee a numbers advantage was to give a hidden immunity idol to the right person. From talking with Amanda (more on her stupidity later) she knew that the Heroes suspected something and were trying to flush out the idols. She assumed that even if the Heroes did not fully trust Russell, they wanted to and were not going to vote him out. Amanda’s horrendous lying made it obvious they were not actually going to vote for her.
The only thing left to determine was whether the Heroes would vote for Jerri or Sandra. Rather than risk a 50/50 chance of guessing right, Parvati decided that sacrificing a hidden immunity idol for the 100% chance of having a numbers advantage was a worth while play. She was right. And she concocted this entire plan by herself! Sandra and Jerri had no idea. Neither did Russell (more on this later).
Whether the move results in her winning the season or not, has any other survivor ever pulled off a bigger move? Russell finding three hidden immunity idols without any clues was impressive last season, but lacks the risk/reward of Parvati’s move. I don’t think there is another survivor who has ever played that would have put their own neck on the line and given away two idols like Parvati did. For that, she is the best player in Survivor history.
The effect of her play doesn’t end with JT’s elimination, however. The fallout from the move will be monumental, both positively and negatively. Consider:
Positive: The Villains now have the numbers
Negative: Parvati is somehow a bigger threat now
Positive: Sandra and Jerri are indebted to Parvati now
Negative: Russell does NOT like surprises
The last one will be wildly interesting. Russell didn’t even wait for the votes to be read to tell Parvati “You have some explaining to do.” Oh really, Russell? Parvati has to explain anything to you? She just completely outwitted Russell by figuring out their entire plan while he was in his hook, line and sinker world thinking they were eating out of his hand. If anything, Russell should be sliding into the background, taking orders from Parvati and riding her coat tails.
But, that’s not really Russell’s style, is it? I’d be shocked to see him play second fiddle to Parvati and I’m sure everyone else would be too. He certainly didn’t do so with Boston Rob, it seems unlikely that he’ll do so with Parvati. Like with Boston Rob, however, Parvati is in control and the only way Russell is going to regain command is to find a weakness in her reign as he did with Boston Rob.
While the Villains now have the numbers, I do not think all is lost for the Heroes. The game is being set up for another, perhaps even bigger, Clash of the Titans between Russell and Parvati. There’s no way the two of them play nice for the next four immunity challenges and simply pick off the Heroes one by one.
And yet, the problem for the Heroes is that they are dumb (or at best, naïve). Amanda’s dumb. Candice is dumb. Rupert is slightly less dumb than the previous two (only because he sniffed out Russell’s treachery when the rest of his tribe was blind). Colby doesn’t care. JT even gave credit to Russell for getting him eliminated (kudos to JT for not being bitter, however). He didn’t even recognize that it was Parvati who made the entire thing happen. The remaining four Heroes are likely to do the same.
The possibilities for next week and the rest of the season are seemingly endless. There are many questions to consider.
- How do the Heroes rebound?
- Can Parvati and Russell work together?
- Will the Villains stay strong until the Heroes are gone?
- What role will Sandra play?
- Can Amanda leverage her friendship with Parvati to keep herself in the game?
Is Parvati the best to ever play Survivor?
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