Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor': Idols, Letters From Home and the 'Spy Shack'

The three-time competitor and winner of "Survivor: Micronesia" shares her insights into the CBS show every week on
Michael Yarish/CBS
Wednesday night's episode of "Survivor"

This is it, people! This is the episode where Jefra shows us that a former Miss Teen Kentucky can still kick some ass. I just knew that once she lost her beautiful BFF, LJ, Jefra would get crazy. Didn’t I tell you? This is her time to shine! Right?? 

Trish, though she was not in on the plan to blindside LJ, still trusts Tony. Woo trusts Tony. Kass trusts and needs Tony. Jefra is the odd man out. She doesn’t trust Tony, but she also doesn’t trust herself to have the courage and the strength needed to get farther in the game without him. She’s in a tight spot now, but I still think she’s tiny enough to wriggle out. 

Speaking of distrust, Tony knows he’s lost some cred with his allies. Building a new spy shack is just the ticket he needs to hear exactly what’s going on at all times. Love him or hate him, this guy is playing his guts out. The amount of energy he expends scrambling around the island is mind blowing. While it looks like every other contestant is lounging about, Tony’s doing full sprints around the island, building spy shacks and searching for super powered immunity idols. From the coverage of his spy shack, he hears just enough to know that Jefra is wavering. This gives Tony the motivation he needs to perform a full-tilt idol hunt. And, if we know anything, it’s that when Tony feels threatened, he performs -- and he performs well.

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Tony’s the only person proactively playing the game. While the rest of the contestants are doing their best within the parameters of what they know, Tony is making his own rules. What I admire about his style is that he is playing full tilt without being mean. He’s not vindictive. He’s not trying to crush anyone’s spirit or reason for living. He is simply playing to win. And, after this episode, I think he may have that victory nearly locked up.

Fast-forward to the reward party. Coincidentally, the winners circle includes the three people on the bottom (Spencer, Jeremiah, and Tasha) and the one person who they need to talk into flipping (Jefra). Even more thrilling than this potentially game-changing new alliance is the fact that Tasha is finally on a winning team! I’m so happy for her I could cry. And I would, but Jefra is already bawling. The winners receive their letters from home. Jefra reads a message from her mother about not being too sweet. “Don’t be afraid to lie,” her mom says. Jefra takes this as a sign to jump ship and make a final-four pact with Jeremiah, Spencer and Tasha. Here she goes! She’s taking control of her destiny!

Now that we have a new final-four deal, let’s see how well it stands the test of time. In Survivor, one day can feel like 20; there’s plenty of time to change your mind. 

This immunity challenge tests our competitors' patience and focus. Tasha goes into a full trance and crushes it. I love her. She’s got strength, social intelligence and puzzle skills. I want Tasha to stick around and I want her to start working with Tony. That’s her only chance. 

Back on the beach, Tony feels threatened. He knows Jefra’s on the cusp and he can’t just let her ruin everything he’s working for. Tony is the Francis Underwood of Survivor. He destroys his competition in such a way that everyone else still stays loyal to him. It’s so sick and so impressive. Even more impressive, he finds the super-secret power idol that allows him to play it after the votes are read. This is Tony’s game to lose.

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The only person that can take Tony down right now is Jefra. She holds all the power. She just doesn’t know it. Before tribal, she informs Jeremiah that she didn’t really mean to make that final-four pact. It’s no longer happening. WHAT?? The freshly ousted male model accepts this news with zero reaction and no argument. Dullsville. 

As tribal council gets underway, we know what’s going down: absolutely nothing. 

Spencer, concerned for his life in the game, chooses to play his idol for himself. He chooses incorrectly. The numbers swing against his buddy, Jeremiah. 

Now, it’s Tasha and Spencer against the world. These two have proven themselves lucky, smart and tenacious. Let’s hope they can bring some A game next week!

Tune in to Survivor Live on to watch my interview with Jeremiah at 1 p.m. PT.