9:00pm PT by Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow Breaks Down 'Survivor: World Apart': What's Up With the Nudists?
Parvati Shallow is a Survivor champ and three-time competitor on the show. The OG Miss Survivor and Survivor Hall of Famer now covers health and wellness for CBS News in New York City. Find her on Twitter @parvatishallow.
It’s funny how many people believe they are self-aware, when in reality a lot of people are just as clueless as feather-headed Vince Sly.
Let’s start at the end this time and work our way back. At tribal council, Vince calls himself “the glue that holds the tribe together” just moments before he gets blindsided. Who didn’t see that coming?
During our roundtable discussion on CBS.com, Probst asked: “What’s the one quality that a Survivor winner must possess?” In a shocking turn of events, Cochran, Sandra, Rob and I all agreed; it’s self-awareness.
According to Google, self-awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation and emotions. Self-awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.
Now, this isn’t a time to kick a man when he’s down. Sure, old Vinny Sly didn’t see it coming. Sure he gave long, smelly hugs where his love and body odor emanated from his every pore. Sure his unrequited love for Jenn and inability to let go of his jealous grudge against Joe created a rift in the tribe and made him band with emotionally unstable Nina and physically struggling Will. But, it was ultimately Nina who unknowingly threw Vince under the bus, which directly lead to Will changing his vote and sending Vince packing.
I hate to say it, but I think Nina may need even more help developing self-awareness than Vince. She’s falling apart out there and allowing her emotions to get the best of her. Anyone watching the show can see that Nina simply does not fit in with the two young blondes on her tribe, hearing impairment aside.
When she lashes out at the girls and Joe for cliquing out and not inviting her on the skinny dip, she seals her fate as a true outcast.
Still, being an outcast on Survivor is not the kiss of death, as long as you have a few more outcasts to align with. As luck would have it, Nina has two other outcasts to join forces with: Vince and Will. With an even split between the cool kids and the rejects, it looks like the misfits just may be able to swing the power pendulum in their favor.
That is, until Nina blows it. Will comes to her and tells her they’ve got this vote on lock. Joe, Jenn and Haley are planning to split the vote. That means the three outcasts will have the numbers and can control the vote. Then, Nina says to Will—great but what’s up with your health? Vince is worried you won’t be able to hack it.
Ahhhh snap. This is the moment that everything turns. I don’t believe Nina did this on purpose. I just think she lacks the self-awareness to see the disastrous effect her comment had on her teammate. Nina, in effect, blindsided herself.
Now, let’s rewind a bit and check in with the other tribes.
Someone who completely shocked me with his possession of self-awareness was Dan. When he campaigned hard to be able to compete in the water challenge, I was seriously concerned this would be his watery demise. But, that was me being a stereotyping jerk-face. Just because he’s a big dude, doesn’t mean he can’t play.
Dan worked this challenge in a big way, securing an early lead for the blue-collar tribe. Well, color me impressed. I thought this guy was totally delusional, but maybe he’s playing it up to make people think he’s not as intelligent as he is. Or, maybe my pre-judgment was right and he just got a lucky break. Let’s be cynical and wait for next week to finalize our verdict.
Joaquin is the other guy that I pre-judged to be completely lacking in self-awareness. And, again, maybe I was mistaken. He nailed every basket like a pro and won the challenge for his tribe. I like that he can back up his cockiness with real athletic ability. He’s growing on me; I admit it.
Speaking of things growing—what’s up with the nudists community at white-collar beach? I played Survivor three times, and thank the Island Gods I never had to witness a bunch of crazies running around scrubbing pots in the buff.
And, since it’s Shirin and Max, two of the smartest contestants on the island, it begs the question: Is there a direct correlation to IQ and the desire to expose oneself?
So, I did a little digging. And, I found this little gem.
An excerpt from the article reads: "Health benefits of social nudity include stress reduction, satiation of curiosity about the human body, reduction of porn addiction, a sense of full-body integration and developing a wholesome attitude about the opposite gender. Research at the University of Northern Iowa discovered that nudists have significantly higher body self-acceptance. Another study concluded that teens at a New York nudist camp were “extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful.” It’s also excellent for children to grow up free of shame about the human body.
I’m going to go ahead and take the entire above paragraph with a healthy dose of journalistic cynicism.
But, the way I like to see it is that Shirin and Max are either so smart that they know being naked outside is good for you, or they are so intuitive that it just feels right. Either way, these two are acting freaky and they’re both highly intelligent; a potentially lethal combination.
My bet is we’ll be seeing some targets pop up on their bare butts sometime very soon.
Ok, that’s it for this week, kiddos. See you back here next week when the madness continues.
Tweet me @parvatishallow with questions or comments.