Parvati Shallow Breaks Down 'Survivor': How Did This Happen?

Val and Jeremy Survivor - P 2014
Courtesy of CBS

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.

This season is leaving much to be desired as far as major strategic moves go, but Jeremy’s blindside showed we’ve got some fireworks to look forward to yet. It’s kind of sad that someone’s fall from grace can be so compelling to witness. That’s the thing about this game though — as a viewer, I want to be surprised. I want to see people make bold, courageous moves that end in the fall of some strong, in charge competitor.

Jeremy was a likable player and an outspoken leader. He was the first person in the game to lose his loved one. He tried to set a Tony-tone from the start, playing the do-gooder fireman who loved his wife and would be loyal to his alliance to the end. In the last episode, it looked like Jeremy would be dominating the game until the bitter end, but this episode shook the very foundation of this season.

Say, whaaaat?! They voted Jeremy out?!? 

How did this happen?

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I’ll tell you what, that Jon may be a whole lot smarter than he looks...and acts. He and Jaclyn really are running the show over there. They have positioned themselves as a ‘power couple’ and continue to swing back and forth to whichever side suits them. I don’t believe this behavior will score them any votes in the end, but at this stage of the game they’ve got all the power. They even get wined and dined by would-be alliance mates. Natalie and Jeremy both gave up their reward feast on a yacht just to thank them for their votes in the previous tribal council.

After enjoying their time on the yacht on Natalie and Jeremy’s dime, Jon and Jaclyn decide to repay the favor with a blindside. Remind me never to take those two to dinner.

Jon’s reason for voting Jeremy is a good one. Jeremy’s caught Jon in a lie, and Jon feels threatened. Boom. Power play. Vote out.

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Of course, Jeremy could have been more tactful about calling out Jon’s lie. Jeremy didn’t have to show up and confront him with Natalie by his side. Building some brotherly love and trust by pulling Jon away from the rest of the tribe and whispering to him, ‘I know you’ve got the idol man, let’s play this thing to the end,’ could have been a better tactic. But, it looked like Jeremy’s two nights alone on Exile Island really tore him up. He met everyone at the challenge looking broken and defeated.

I’m sure he realized that he’s a huge threat to people, but his mind was cloudy and his feet were unsteady. His Immunity Challenge loss sealed his fate.

Now that Jeremy is gone, the lines are not clear. Alliances have been disrupted. Reed is a free agent and Natalie just lost her partner in crime. I’d like to see these two buck up and take out the king and queen, either Jaclyn or Jon.

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Natalie looks like she could hang on this island forever. The girl doesn’t need food. She keeps making displays of selflessness to thank people or to ingratiate herself deeper into alliances. She’s doing a very good job making friends and forming relationships out there. I am impressed that this Amazing Racer is going so hard on Survivor. I wonder if losing her twinnie so early in the game lit a competitive fire under her.

Or, sometimes people on Survivor get so sucked into the game that food and rewards become a distraction. It’s almost better to be starving and uncomfortable, because when you get comfortable your mind gets less sharp. 

We need that emptiness to stay hungry.

I’d say Natalie’s got the drive, she’s got the inspiration, and she’s got the hunger to make the rest of this game very interesting.