Parvati wins Survivor Micronesia, one last surprise after a season of surprises

Parvati Shallow won Survivor Micronesia, and that was just one of many surprises the final three hours of the show offered. What started slowly turned into perhaps the best season of Survivor ever, as even Jeff Probst mentioned during the live reunion.

A favorite was destined to win after Natalie was voted out in fourth place, and ultimately, Parvati faced only Amanda at the final Tribal Council. That’s because the final three women–an alliance of favorites formed on the very first day–were broken up by one final, unexpected immunity challenge. It was the first time since Survivor Cook Islands that there was a final two instead of final three. While the jury seemed incredibly hostile toward Parvati, they gave her the majority of their votes, so she beat Amanda 5 to 3. (I was desperate for a tie if only to see what would happen.)

We never really learned why Parvati was chosen over Amanda, but it seemed like the jury didn’t really buy Amanda’s 11th-hour breakdown, which came after she won the final immunity challenge and then sobbed about having to vote out either Parvati or Cirie. Her previous acting job at Tribal Council apparently worked against her.

For a season that included a number of unexpected, dramatic moments, there was also a lot of repetition last night. Once again, Amanda made it to the end with her original alliance yet lost to someone who seemed to be less palatable. And once again, Cirie left the game immediately before the final Tribal Council (although in Panama, she left after losing a tie-breaking challenge). James won the fan favorite award yet again, taking home $100,000, and Jeff Probst returned to his normal wardrobe after wearing funkier shorts last week.

During the reunion, we learned that Ozzy and Amanda’s romance has actually survived. While Ozzy tried to joke about it by referencing Denise’s job-related lie from last season, they ultimately admitted they’re still a couple. That’s a good thing, since Ozzy flushed his credibility as a competitor by almost bawling his way through the final Tribal Council, angry with Parvati not for voting him out but because she “took away 14 days I could have spent with Amanda.” Also dating now are Ryan from Pearl Islands and Mary from Micronesia, a fan and one of those contestants I forgot was even on the show.

There may be more romance brewing. Natalie’s questions to Parvati during the final Tribal Council seemed to be an attempt not to gain information, but to fish for a date. Jeff Probst had an hysterical quizzical expression on his face as Natalie stumbled around a question to Parvati about whether or not Parvarti used her cunning ways in bed. (Probst even asked, “Parvati, do you know what she’s asking?”) Finally, Natalie said, “you flirted on me on several occasions,” and Parvati said, “you’re sexy.” Natalie then made dreamy eyes at Parvati until she had a chance to vote for her.

Perhaps most shocking of all, though, was James’ revelation during the final Tribal Council. He said, “Parvati, you fluffed me.” Despite that, he didn’t vote for her. Apparently, she’s much better at flirting than she is at fluffing.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.