September 17, 2012 8:00am PT by Parvati Shallow
'Survivor: Philippines': Former Champ Parvati Shallow Offers Predictions, Advice for Season 25 Contestants
Hey all you Survivor lovers! Survivor champ Parvati Shallow here. I’m back like Brit Brit and amped up to give you the dirty, backstage pass inside my head for the duration of the ride that is Survivor 25.
It’s officially two days until the premiere of Survivor: Philippines. Is it getting hot in here, or is it this new cast of pageant girls, models, bartenders and Brazilians, oh my? These self-professed superfans are going to have their work cut out for them if they want to stand out among the returning wounded warriors. The old vets have a lot to prove, and I don’t see any of them going down without a fight. No matter how prepared these newbies think they are for the elements of surviving in the wild and playing the strategic, social game, they have no clue how hard it becomes when you’re actually out there on your own. I see returning contestants Mike Skupin, Jonathan Penner and Russell Swan running circles around these little pups.
The grumpy old men are looking very fit, and I like their chances to become leaders of their tribes and go far in the game.
My picks for "power couples":
Mike has clearly been hitting the lumberyard hard. I doubt this guy has stopped playing Survivor in his mind since the day he was airlifted out of the game. His best play would be to take the fun-loving dad approach and earn the loyalty of a few youngsters he can trust. I would pair him up with Roxy, the Army Chaplain from N.Y. She’s likeable, a hard worker and a morale booster, a triple threat.
Jonathan is a major gamer. This silver fox also sports a silver tongue and has a way of working himself into a position of power quickly. I see him teaming up with RC, the fast-talking investment banker from N.Y. She is a HUGE fan and already mentioned that she would like to see a few players return. He will have her eating the coconut out of the palm of his hand in no time.
Russell has everything it takes to slip into the role of caretaker and under-the-radar player. If he can step up his strategic game, I can see him pulling a Sandra and taking it all the way. I want him to team up with sweet Lisa from The Facts of Life; these two would make the most adorable power parents.
As for the rest of you, I have a few pieces of winning wisdom to pass along:
Abi-Maria: Keep your pants on. It’s not fun catching crabs on the island.
Zane: Try not to talk. Ever.
Jeff: Swing for the fences. If you miss you could at least end up shooting guns on Top Shot with Colby.
Artis: Smile. You look like a serial killer with that machete.
Dana: I like you. Please don’t linger under the palm trees. Death by coconut is a real thing.
Angie: If you’re gonna flirt, do it with Pete.
Pete: There’s no chance you’re winning the million, but America loves a showmance. Take a tip from Survivor: China hubby and wife, Jamie and Eric.
Malcolm: I know you’re cute and all, but don’t get too comfortable. Got it, smartypants?
Katie: Use the machete as a razor if things get too hairy.
Denise: Make yourself useful and play up the sex therapist bit. The kids will love you for it.
Dawson: Girl, you best be putting your money where your mouth is. We all want to see you, "trouble"!
I cannot wait for what promises to be yet another glorious season of Survivor gameplay! What do you guys think of the returning players' chances vs. the new kids? Who’s your favorite to win?
Parvati Shallow, three-time Survivor veteran, winner of Survivor: Micronesia and the official reigning Miss Survivor, will share her insight into Survivor: Philippines every Wednesday on THR.com. When she's not living on a deserted island, she can be found continent-hopping in search of the hottest spas and vacation destinations around the globe. She sometimes teaches yoga and meditation to an elite, in-the-know group of clients at ESP Wellness Center in Santa Monica. Follow her on Twitter at @parvatishallow. To catch her in Santa Monica, check out www.espwellnesscenter.com.