Parvati Shallow Breaks Down 'Survivor': Off His Rocker

The 'Survivor' champ analyzes season 29 for THR
Courtesy of CBS
John Rocker

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.

Rocker, the mighty baseball pitcher has fallen, and Josh, the show-stopping Broadway boyfriend, has emerged as a strategic mastermind. My my, things are getting interesting.

From gauging the attitude of fans out there, I’m sure many of you were fist pumping as Rocker sat on his stump, oblivious that his allies had turned on him. The giant former MLB pitcher turned Survivor got a taste of betrayal as he was voted out with an idol in his pocket.

Rocker may be out of the game, but his memory will live on. Because no matter what the man does, he simply cannot escape his sordid past.

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What I wouldn’t give to be interviewing Rocker on Survivor Live right now. I want to know, what was behind his decision to play Survivor? Did he want to show the world he’s a changed man, someone who could keep his cool under pressure?

We all saw how that worked out for him. At the show’s open, Rocker tries to explain to Jeremy that he worked hard to save his wife, Val.

“I did everything I could, brother. I swear to you,” Rocker pleas.

While Rocker looks sincere to me, Jeremy is having none of it. He doesn't buy anything Rocker is selling, and Jeremy is hell bent on vengeance. As soon as he gets back to camp with his tribe, he tells all of them about John Rocker and the infamous offensive comments he made in the past.

Natalie is deeply disturbed by this conversation and leads the charge to wreck Rocker’s character at the next immunity challenge. After a brutal battle that leaves every contestant bloodied, Rocker’s team loses, for the third time in a row. If that’s not demoralizing enough, Natalie (from the winning tribe) calls out Rocker’s past and urges his team to vote him out.

At first, Rocker uncharacteristically keeps his cool. He’s biting his tongue so hard blood should be dripping down his chin. But, a minute later, he can no longer contain himself.

He replies to Natalie, “If you were a man, I’d knock your teeth out.”

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Uh oh. That’s all it takes. Now, Baylor and Jaclyn have concerns about John Rocker and his fiery temper. Sweet little Baylor calls Rocker’s comments “harsh, mean, and scary.”

I completely agree. The man is a beast. If you have to sleep next to someone that enormous at night, you want to make sure they are emotionally stable. Rocker’s outburst shows how out of touch with the game he truly is.

Later, when Coyopa returns to camp, Rocker believes he may have a target on his back. Finally, a moment of lucidity! He scrambles about convinced he has a fool proof plan to keep the heat off of him tonight at tribal. His idea: tell the girls to vote out old Dale while working the guys to get rid of Baylor. Oh, and then Rocker ups he ante by telling Josh he has an idol that he’ll play to save himself if things go wrong. The plan is so straightforward, it will never work out.

Survivor is a complicated animal, and Rocker is a simple man. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. He’s just no good at this game. He’s demonstrated that he has a difficult time reading people, and his lack of self-awareness makes him an easy target for someone like Josh, who really gets it.

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Josh comes up like a shark out of the deep and gnaws through Rocker’s Survivor fantasy like it’s a Nicaraguan catfish. While Rocker thinks he’s got everything figured out, Josh rallies the troops to blindside the baseball player and flush the idol.

Josh is taking a big risk making this move so early on. Rocker is an asset in challenges, he’s feeding the tribe, and he’s an easy goat to take to the end. But Josh says he is playing with his heart, and his heart says to save Baylor.

And that’s that.