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Interviews with Sandra, Parvati and Russell after the win

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Exclusive: Parvati Shallow talks about 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/18/2010

Parvati Shallow claims she knew that Russell Hantz' decision to take Sandra Diaz-Twine to Survivor: Heroes vs Villains' final Tribal Council was the final nail in both of their coffins.

She was right, as Sandra defeated both Parvati and Russell during Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' finale broadcast on Sunday night after she received six of the nine jury votes, with Parvati receiving the other three.

On Monday, Parvati talked to Reality TV World about why she knew Sandra would win; why she couldn't convince Russell that Sandra was such a huge threat; if she knew about Russell before the game started; and why she feels aligning with Russell was a good decision.
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Reality TV World: Unlike Russell, you seemed to recognize Sandra as a threat to secure enough jury votes to win if she made the Final 3. What was it about Sandra that you thought gave her the edge over you during the final Tribal?

Parvati Shallow: Sandra has friends on the jury that were really campaigning for her at Ponderosa.

I knew [Courtney Yates] was all Sandra all the way, and I also knew that Sandra was like best friends with [Candice Woodcock] -- they live in the same hometown. So I knew basically whichever way those girls were gonna vote, they were gonna vote for Sandra. She had [Rupert Boneham] wrapped around her finger. Sandra had a lot of people that were pulling for her.

Reality TV World: Why do you think Russell had such a hard time seeing Sandra as a threat?

Parvati Shallow: Because Russell has a hard time seeing past his ego. It's extremely large. (laughing)

Reality TV World: It's as simple as that?

Parvati Shallow: Yeah. It's completely straight forward. I spelled it out for him. I told him exactly what was going on and he believed that he could win against anyone. He was like, "I'm going to take Sandra because I've been dragging her this whole time. She ain't done nothing." I'm like, "You're ridiculous. Do you not see how the jury starts smiling every time Sandra talks? You don't see them start laughing every time she says something? They love her. You're crazy."

Whenever [Jerri Manthey] would say something they would roll their eyes and groan. I'm like, "I want to take Jerri."

Reality TV World: So you think you would have won if Russell took Jerri?

Parvati Shallow: I wanted Jerri. I was trying to convince Russell to take me and Jerri to the Final 3.

Reality TV World: Were you surprised that Russell decided to take you to the Final 3? At that point were you confident that you were going to win, or did you see no scenario where you could win if Sandra was there?

Parvati Shallow: If Sandra was there I didn't think that I was going to win at all. I knew if Sandra wasn't there I probably would have had Courtney's vote and maybe could have swung a few other votes my way. Jerri probably would have been some tough competition too. But with Sandra, I knew she just edged me out. She had all those people. She was good at her final Tribal.

The fact that Russell took her was kind of like sealing both of our death warrants in the end.

Reality TV World: Why do you think Russell decided to take you over Jerri?

Parvati Shallow: I don't know. (laughing)

Really, Russell and I were playing from Day 1. Maybe -- maybe -- deep down in the blackness of his black little munchkin heart he had a little sparkle of a glimmer of loyalty and goodness and he brought me because we had been aligned since the first day. But maybe that's just me fantasizing. (laughing)

I honestly don't know. Maybe it was because Sandra and I were both former winners and he thought he'd have a better chance going up against two former winners.

Reality TV World: Was there ever a time when you considered blindsiding Russell, or did you see him as someone who would be easy to beat during the final Tribal and thus want to keep him around?

Parvati Shallow: Russell got on my last nerve. There were a million times I thought about getting rid of him. But for me, it's always that logic wins over emotion. I know that I can get through anything in an allotted amount of time, and 39 days was the longest amount of time I would have to put up with Russell. So I did because I realized in the end I could beat him.

Reality TV World: Just to be clear, if you would have won that final Immunity Challenge you would have taken Russell and Jerri with you?

Parvati Shallow: Yes.

Reality TV World: There's been a lot of talk about whether it was fair or not for Russell to get to play the game without anyone having gotten to seen his season first...

Parvati Shallow: I mean, the game's not fair. Everyone's going to whine about something.

Reality TV World: Do you think he would have had any chance of making it so far if you guys had all seen his Samoa season before Heroes vs. Villains was filmed?

Parvati Shallow: Who knows. Everyone saw me in Micronesia and was trying to get me out since the first day and they couldn't. So who knows. People probably would have targeted him and it might have taken some of the heat of me, but people were targeting him regardless.

Reality TV World: During her exit interviews, [Jessica "Sugar" Kiper] made some comments that have sparked a lot of speculation and rumors that even though he season hadn't aired, you somehow knew about Russell or had some contact with him through "the Survivor grapevine" before the game started...

Parvati Shallow: That's ridiculous. She would do anything to keep her name in the news. She was the first person voted off and she wants to extend her 15 minutes or get her picture taken or something.

No. That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. I don't even go to any of the Survivor events. I'm never involved in Survivor unless I'm playing the game or at the finale. So honestly, it's just a ludicrous claim that anyone could even say that.

Reality TV World: Do you think you still would have aligned with Russell if you had seen his Samoa season first?

Parvati Shallow: If he would have aligned with me, yeah. No one else would align with me.

Reality TV World: Based on what was shown on TV last night, Russell seemed to be consider blindsiding Sandra at the Tribal Council when [Colby Donaldson] was eliminated.  Were you aware of that at the time?

Parvati Shallow: Well I knew Russell was thinking about trying to get rid of Sandra. I knew that Jerri -- if she had a brain in her head -- wasn't going to do that.

Reality TV World: Is that something you would have been open to?

Parvati Shallow: No way. I knew we needed to get rid of Colby -- hands down -- because Colby would have swept the jury vote.

Reality TV World: During her exit interviews, [Amanda Kimmel] said that "a lot of things" that she didn't elaborate on had made her lose her interest and passion for the game out there and she'll never play Survivor again. Do you have any idea what she was talking about -- do you think any of it might have involved you and the way you were kind of able to use your prior relationship with her to take control of the game?

Parvati Shallow: Amanda's had a tough time on Survivor. She's played a lot of times and lot of days. I think the longer you stay in the game, the more you play, the darker and darker it gets. You start seeing this seediness in human nature. It's just like, "Ugh" -- not pretty. It makes you kind of feel like you don't want to be a part of it.

For Amanda, I think her last straw was giving that [Hidden Immunity Idol clue back to Danielle DiLorenzo]. That sealed her fate. I think she regretted not working with me and having [James "J.T." Thomas"] voted out. I think she regretted how she made a bunch of mistakes and her game was unraveling.

I've never seen Amanda do this, but she just laid down and died. She laid down in that shelter for the remainder of the day after we got back from that challenge and didn't try to talk to anyone. She just kind of read her letters and checked out.

Reality TV World: Do you think you would have made it as far as you did if [Tyson Apostol] hadn't ruined [Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano's] plan and freaked out and voted himself off?

Parvati Shallow: I don't know. That night, it was either me or Russell and the votes were going to be split between us. Russell still was giving me the idol knowing that the votes were going to be split -- knowing that he was probably going to go home. He still gave me the idol. So without Russell, I would have been without a serious line of defense.

So I'm not sure I would have lasted. I think I would have had to pull a rabbit out of a hat to stay in the game at that point.

Exclusive: Russell Hantz discusses 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/18/2010

Russell Hantz claims he won't waver from the way he plays Survivor -- even if it means he'll never actually win over a jury.

The former Survivor: Samoa runner-up finished third during Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' finale broadcast on Sunday night after he received no jury votes and was defeated by former Survivor: Pearl Islands winner Sandra Diaz-Twine.

On Monday, Russell talked to Reality TV World about why he took Sandra and Parvati Shallow to the Final 3; if he ever had contact with Parvati before the season started; how the quick turn-around from Samoa to Heroes vs. Villains didn't give him any time to reflect; and which castaway he felt was the only one he could have beat in a jury vote.
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Reality TV World: Jeff Probst asked you several times during the reunion show if you take jury votes into consideration when playing the game and you answered by claiming you "don't care" about the jury. Seeing as how that strategy has now prevented you from winning two seasons in a row, don't you think it's an unwise stance to take?

Russell Hantz: Well, you would say that. But did you not see that I got millions of votes from the fans that love the way I play the game? The thing is, with my game -- the reason I'm loved -- is because I don't waver from the way I play.

I might not win it in the end, but I'm not going to say what [Jerri Manthey] wants me to say. I'm not going to say what [Colby Donaldson] wants me to say. I'm going to do what I want to do. That's how I am as a person. When it comes to me making decisions -- even with my company -- I make the decisions.

Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed you telling Parvati that the fact that you were sure you would have Jerri's jury vote was why you were going to vote her off at the Final 4, so was that a lie or do you at least start thinking about jury votes near the end of the game?

Russell Hantz: It goes through my mind. People say I don't have a social game. Well you know what? When you're able to switch people's votes at Tribal Council just by looking at them and saying, "[Danielle DiLorenzo]," that means that I am pretty powerful out there. That means that they very, very trust me.

They don't show my social game, but trust me. Did you see [James "J.T." Thomas] saying, "Yeah, he is a good ole' boy." That's because my social game is so good I was fooling them all. But then when they get to Ponderosa, they say, "Oh no! He fooled me." They get their feelings hurt. So what can you do?

Reality TV World: Parvati had tried to warn you that Sandra would get at least three votes if you made it to the end but you didn't seem to believe her, why was that?

Russell Hantz: I didn't think Sandra would get them because she's a terrible player. I give credit where credit is due, trust me dude. Parvati is a great player. If we were having this conversation [and Parvati had won], the only thing I would be saying is, "She couldn't have done it without me but she's a wonderful player. When she had to make a move, she made the move." That's why she's so good.

Sandra, she's terrible in all aspects of the game -- the physical game, the social game and the strategic game. Her strategic game was to get rid of me -- the entire game -- and she couldn't accomplish that! I told them both, I'm like, "Listen ladies. Every time I wrote somebody's name down in two seasons, when I put their name down they went home." That's pretty impressive.

Reality TV World: What made you decide to take Parvati to the end instead of Jerri?  I mean if you felt Sandra wouldn't get any votes at the end, wouldn't the same thinking have applied to Jerri as well?

Russell Hantz: Well I started thinking [Sandra and Parvati] are two winners. I started thinking they're my best option because nobody likes Parvati because they're jealous for some reason -- she's a pretty girl, the girls all like her because she's young and they're jealous or the guys don't like her because she whipped them in the challenges or whatever. Sandra, she won the game and she had no game when it came to that game at all.

I figured that was my best option. I thought that by bringing Jerri it would be like brining another [Survivor: Samoa winner Natalie White].

Reality TV World: There's been a lot of talk about whether it was fair or not for you to get to play the game without anyone having gotten to seen your season first.  Do you think you would have had any chance of making it so far if the other castaways had all seen your Samoa season before Heroes vs. Villains was filmed?

Russell Hantz: It has its good and bad. I lost 50 pounds from Season 19 and I go back out there 10 days later -- I'm sick, weak and tired and I don't know anybody. Everybody else knows everybody. They're friends, they go to events. They're buddies. They probably talked to each other before they even went out there. I'm just out there not knowing anybody. That's a horrible position for me to be in, and being a Villain. "Why's he a Villain? He did something wrong."

Reality TV World: During her exit interviews, [Jessica "Sugar" Kiper] made some comments that have sparked a lot of speculation and rumors that Parvati somehow knew about you or had some contact with you before the game started.  Was that the case?

Russell Hantz: I didn't even know Parvati. I'd seen her on TV. That's all I knew about her. And in 10 days I was back on the island. I didn't have time to take a crap! (laughing) I didn't know Parvati. I heard that myself. That's bull crap.

Reality TV World: So you're saying that even though you reportedly co-own a bar with former Survivor: Fiji castaway "Boo" Bernis, he didn't put you in touch with Parvati before the game or anything like that?

Russell Hantz: No. I didn't talk to anybody. Boo, he doesn't know any of these big-time players. (laughing) He knows [former Survivor: Fiji castaway Yau-Man Chan].

Reality TV World: Last night's episode showed you making a comment that suggested you knew you had lost Survivor: Samoa even though Samoa hadn't aired yet.  Was that just a reference to what you had told me when I interviewed you after Samoa -- that you knew you weren't going to win Survivor: Samoa based on how the jury questioning had gone -- or was there more to it?

Russell Hantz: When you're sitting there at Tribal, you read people. You know what's going on. If you're pretty good at reading people -- which I am -- I knew it. You can see it in the questions they asked and the way they looked at you. It's easy to read bitter people.

Reality TV World: During the reunion show, you insisted that since you played back-to-back without getting to see your initial season air first, you've only actually played Survivor one time.  But when you were asked if you would change anything, you insisted you wouldn't have.  If that's the case, then what's the point of insisting you only played once, not twice?

Russell Hantz: I could say I might change... If I would have been seeing my season and if I would have had time to reflect on it, then I might have done smaller things a little differently. But they're going to be my decisions. I'm going to make the moves, it's my strategic game. I'd try to get votes at the jury... somehow.

Reality TV World: Do you think you underestimated Sandra's game play at least a little bit? 

Russell Hantz: She had no game play.

Reality TV World: I mean she did seem to trick you into voting [Benjamin "Coach" Wade] off before [Courtney Yates] and herself...

Russell Hantz: Nope, that didn't happen like that.

Reality TV World: Could you elaborate on that a little bit?

Russell Hantz: There's no way. Everybody knew that Coach was gunning for me. She ain't the only one who told me -- everybody did. Everybody! They only just showed her telling me.

Reality TV World: Do you regret your decision to take Colby or Jerri out instead of Sandra?

Russell Hantz: No.

Reality TV World: Is it because you think that would have only allowed Parvati to win instead of Sandra?   

Russell Hantz: You know you go over it in your head over and over, "How could I have won?" The only thing I think I could have won with is if it had been a Final 2 and it would have been me and [Candice Woodcock].

Reality TV World: You discussed how America should have a final Tribal vote and called the fact that they don't a "flaw" in the game. However seeing as how you got zero percent of the jury votes and Sandra got two-thirds of them, that really wouldn't have changed the result, right?

Russell Hantz: I think it's something they need to talk about. I think it's something they need to discuss. I still probably wouldn't have won... I wouldn't have won because I didn't get any votes from the jury. I don't know how they could do it, but at least it holds them accountable and they don't want to look stupid and America gives me 100% of the vote and the jury only gives me nothing! It holds them accountable for their actions.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Despite Russell's comment, he didn't receive 100% of the Player of the Season home viewer votes.  During the reunion show, Jeff stated it "came down to a two-person race between" Russell and Rupert.  "Less than 2,000 votes separated the two," according to Probst's post-finale blog.]

Exclusive: Sandra Diaz-Twine talks 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' win

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/17/2010

Sandra Diaz-Twine knew she had a good chance at winning Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains after the final Tribal Council, but she was still surprised when a majority of the votes were cast in her favor.

The former Survivor: Pearl Islands winner claimed Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' $1 million grand prize during the live portion of last night's finale broadcast from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.

Sandra defeated former Survivor: Samoa castaway Russell Hantz and Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites winner Parvati Shallow to become Survivor's first-ever two-time champion.
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On Monday, Sandra talked to Reality TV World about why Russell underestimated her strategic and social game play so much; how she thought the final Tribal Council vote would shake out; what thwarted Rupert Boneham's chances of aligning with her; and if she'd ever play the game again.

Check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday and Wednesday for our additional interviews with fellow Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains finale castaways Parvati, Russell, Jerri Manthey and Colby Donaldson.

Reality TV World: First of all, congratulations!

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Thank you!

Reality TV World: Why do you think Russell underestimated your strategic and social game play so much?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Oh my god, we've been fighting all morning. I'm glad our interviews are separate now because he keeps saying just because I won that means the system is flawed. I tell him, "You know what Russell? I was a fan first before I was a Survivor. I take bits and pieces of everybody's season and every winner's strategy and I have dos and don'ts and I just have a winning combination."

He thinks because he saw Micronesia and he played in Samoa that he's an expert. He's not. He doesn't understand this game. He can play a thousand times and he'll never win.

Reality TV World: It seemed like you could have sided with [Jerri Manthey] and forced a 2-2 tie between her and Parvati at the Final 4 Tribal Council but you didn't, obviously.  Does that mean you also preferred to go to the Final 3 with Parvati instead of Jerri, and if so why?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Yup. After a certain time of trying to get rid of Russell for so long, everyone wanted to go with him to the end. I said, "I've got to put my vendetta aside and I've got to take this goat to the end because anyone who plays against him will automatically win."

Parvati being aligned with him and never disassociating herself from him, she was just as bad. [The jury] looked at them like a snake with two heads -- one in the same. So I was like, "Damn! These two are awesome to go to the end with."

Reality TV World: Heading into that final Tribal Council, how confident were you that you could secure enough jury votes to win? Which members of the jury did you specifically think would vote for you and why?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: I thought at that point that I had four out the five [needed to win]. Parvati in all her interviews, which you'll talk to her later, won't you?

Reality TV World: Yes.

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Okay, well I don't need to say what she thinks.

I thought I had at least four out of the five. I knew I had [Courtney Yates'] vote because she was my friend. [Candice Woodcock], I know her from Fayetteville. Candice went home because of what she did. [Amanda Kimmel] because I tried to save Amanda and Rupert because he had been my friend before. Although I voted him out, when I went to the end with Russell and Parvati I knew he would give me his vote.

Everyone else was applauding Parvati about her strategic game and thought she was a very physical player, so I figured, "Okay I'll get four and she'll get five." But when I got six and she got three I was like, "What!?!"

Reality TV World: Okay, so you know you got six votes -- who cast the other two votes for you?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: I got all five Heroes and Courtney. Parvati got Jerri, [Danielle DiLorenzo] and [Benjamin "Coach" Wade].

Reality TV World: Based on what they showed on the episode, you seemed to be one of the main people that was pushing to keep Parvati when [Tyson Apostol], Coach and some of the other Villains were trying to get [Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano] to agree to vote Parvati instead of [Randy Bailey] off at the Villains' first Tribal Council.  And when we talked to Randy a few months ago, he insisted it was because you had actually wanted to keep another former winner in the game to help keep the target off you -- was that true or was there some other reason you didn't seem to want Parvati gone?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: You know what happened, when we landed on the beach it was like second number one or second number two -- it wasn't even a minute in -- Randy comes up to me and says, "We've decided Parvati has to go because she's already won." I'm thinking like, "Dude, do you not know who I am? How do you say that to me?" I'm like, "Wait a minute Randy, who is the 'we' that decided it." Because in my game, I need to be in the majority and if he's coming up to me and telling me "we've decided," I'm not part of "we've decided." So I'm already screwed.

You don't tell me those two kind of things. So I went back and I told Parvarti but by then she already knew. So I figured as long as she stayed in the game they wouldn't come after me. So a lot of the times, although my alliance wanted her out, I don't want to put her name down because it's not convenient for Sandra. That's strategy.

Reality TV World: Before the Tribal Council where Rupert ended up going home, you approached him and started to tell him how much you wanted Russell gone.  Was that because you were planning to give Rupert your Hidden Immunity Idol and have him use it so that you guys could vote Russell off...

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Yes. I was expecting there to be a lot of secret scenes. At final Tribal Council -- then I'll go back -- me and Rupert actually talked for 10 minutes. That's why he was crying. But they cut that out because they didn't show those scenes leading up to there. It would have messed everything up.

But when Danielle... Before we went to Tribal Council I told Rupert I would never vote your name. But when Danielle and Russell started fighting and he told Jerri, "Danielle," I switched my vote from [Colby Donaldson] to Rupert. When we got back, he was like, "Sandra, what was that?" Because he knew all the votes were either Danielle or Rupert. So it was obvious what I did.

Reality TV World: What was your reason for changing your vote there?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Because I panicked. I was like, "Oh my god, Russell is going to send Danielle home. Although I want revenge against Danielle, right now for Sandra's game, she does not need to go home."

So the next morning I wake up and I'm like, "Listen Rupert, there's still hope. We can still get rid of Russell." He's like, "Me, you and Colby?" I'm like, "No! Me and you!" I guess it didn't add up for him and that's all I could say because Russell was coming up. So just that quick he turns around and tells Russell. Then I'm telling the cameras, "I still want to give [Rupert] my idol, but I don't want to look like [former Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites castaway Erik Reichenbach] and give away my idol. [Rupert] saves himself and I still go home."

Reality TV World: You had seemed to be in a pretty tight alliance with Boston Rob until he got voted off, but I think we had also seen you make a comment about being willing to "cut his throat" when the time came.  So about how long were you planning to have stay loyal to him if Russell had been voted out of the game at that Tribal Council where Tyson ended up voting himself off instead?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Up until the merge. If the merge came and Boston Rob was there. I had planned on having an alliance with Candice, so for me, I would have went over to the Heroes and we would have taken a couple of people from Candice's group and a couple of people from my group.

If there's five of us, I want to be with the Top 3. If there's seven of us, I need to be with the Top 5. So I always put myself in that position. It all depends, really. I can't say what it would have been, but eventually -- once it became an individual game -- I know what Boston Rob is like. I mimic a lot of his stuff. I was a fan of Boston Rob. I knew he was a dangerous player.

Reality TV World: Do you think the way you stood up to Russell on more than one occasion played any factor in the jury's decision?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Of course. Why do you think I got all five Hero votes -- because I told Rupert on Day 1 [after the merge], "This is what's going down." He went and told [James "J.T." Thomas] and J.T. was like, "No, Sandra's a liar. Don't worry about it. We've got this." What ended up happening? He went home. The minute we came back from Tribal Council that night it was a different tune. Then Candice went and told on me when Russell offered her Final 2. 

Reality TV World: Since you were both his enemy and his ally, what do you think prevents Russell from winning the final jury vote once he makes it all the way to the end? Is his abrasive personality and kind of taunting gameplay why don't jury members respect his strategic game play more or is there more to it?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: He doesn't know how to play Survivor.

Reality TV World: Why?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: He's a bully. You can't bully people around and expect them to give you votes. Let me tell you this, when I saw the finale in Samoa I knew he didn't win. I knew -- with everyone's tone -- what was going down. I don't see how he didn't understand that, how he could go back two weeks later and repeat the same game. How is he a strategic player if he didn't change anything -- and that was a crappy game.

Reality TV World: There's been a lot of talk about whether it was fair or not for Russell to get to play the game without anyone having gotten to seen his season first.  What's your thoughts on that?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Well, it could go both ways. Had we seen his season we would have targeted him and he might have been forced to change his game. He would have probably changed his game, but we would have known what kind of person he was and he wouldn't as lasted as long as he did. So it's a pro and a con.

Reality TV World: During her exit interviews, [Jessica "Sugar" Kiper] made some comments that have sparked a lot of speculation and rumors that Parvati somehow knew about Russell or had some contact with him before the game started.  Were you aware of anything like that?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: I heard what you're saying, but I don't know what to say.

Reality TV World: Seeing as how you crowned yourself the queen of Survivor last night, is there any way you would ever consider putting your crown on the line and going back out there and playing again?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: I would in a couple of years, but right now it's too fresh in my mind to say I'm going to go back tomorrow.

Reality TV World: Last night J.T. won the "dumbest move" award.  Do you agree that's the dumbest move in Survivor history and do you think the game would have turned out differently had you intercepted the Hidden Immunity Idol J.T. gave to Russell?

Sandra Diaz-Twine: Yeah because the minute we had gotten over there I would have flipped so quick it wouldn't have been funny. I would have flipped so quick. Like I said -- I had Candice over there. Different things would have happened. Rupert would have eventually been my friend. I could have moved in there, I could have muscled my way to the top. I'm not scared.

'Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains:' Exclusive Interview with Sandra Diaz-Twine

Monday, May 17, 2010
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Last night on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Sandra Diaz-Twine became the only person ever to win two seasons. She seemed to steal the crown from Parvati - literally - without dominating the challenges or the strategic decisions. Rather, she constantly gave players like Russell the rope to hang themselves with, feeding on egos and conflicts, and manipulating others into doing her bidding like a trickster from a Shakespearean tale.

Some viewers have complained that Sandra was less entertaining this season than in the Pearl Islands. But lest there be any concern that Sandra has changed, and become less foulmouthed and brassy, let me reassure you: That was just sensible gameplay. Talking to her this morning about Johnny Fairplay and Russell, she was hilarious. That she is, deep down, the same person who screamed at Johnny Fairplay is all the more proof that Sandra played a controlled, deliberate game, and deserved to win.   

Exclusive Interview with Parvati Shallow

Hi Sandra! Congratulations!

Thank you, Henry. I'm sorry that my voice is sore. I've been yelling at Russell all day because he's been talking smack, saying because I won [Survivor] must be flawed. He just doesn't know how to play the game.

Why doesn't he understand that you need to make a good impression on the jury?

I don't know. I said to him, "Just because you saw Micronesia on DVD and played in Samoa doesn't make you an expert on Survivor." You know what I'm saying? I don't know why they brought you out here. You might have been a villain, yes, but it was too premature. I don't even know how he didn't know he had lost when he left Tribal Council in Samoa. I knew from my living room that he'd lost. How do you come back 10 or 12 days later and play the same stupid game? How does he call that being a strategic player? Explain that.

I can't possibly. Did he ever allude to events that happened in Samoa?

No, but he would ask me questions about being a winner, and I said to people, "I think this dude has gone very, very far."

So you could tell.

I just watched the fact that he had nothing else to offer. He was always against doing manual labor. I was like, "Dude. We're on freaking Survivor. Nobody is going to build you a house to sleep in." It's a community. You know what I'm saying?

Rupert said he did the majority of the labor. Did other people contribute?

No, I think when we went over there, Rupert or Colby or JT - There was just too many people. We had to cut up more bamboos. But their area was straight. They had a nice place, so there was really nothing to do after got there the first day. But it's true. He doesn't do manual labor. We've been screaming back and forth because, you know what, Russell, I shouldn't have to feel bad about my crown. One's the king and one's the queen; but I'm like, "How do you figure?" because I have the million dollars and the two titles. Especially coming from Russell, who never won anything but Fan Favorites.

Amazingly, he did win the Fan Favorites!

 He said five million people voted for me. I was like, who the hell told you it was five million? It could have been 10,000 votes for Jerri, 10,000 for Parvati, 10,000 for me and 10,001 for him. Where does he get the five million from? That's what I want to know.

That's a good question. Would it be fair to say that Russell is your new Johnny Fairplay?

Yeah. Yeah. But Johnny Fairplay worries about his personal hygine. Russell doesn't.

I saw that Fairplay was in the audience last night. Did you get a chance to talk with him?
Yeah. He said "Gimme a hug!" and I turned my cheek and he kissed me and I smacked him in his face.

Oh ho ho! Nice!

Yup. What about Russell's hat? Did you like that I burned the **** out of it?

I loved it. And you had no idea that Russell burned Jaison's socks at the beginning of Samoa?

I did not know. And how I ironic that I ran into Jaison in California for the ten year party in January, and I was like "Jaison, you've got to watch our season, because in the end I'm gonna get Russell back for burning your socks. And it's crazy, because he did it to you in the first episode and I do it to him in the last."

It was the perfect bookend.

Because it was a funky hat. That hat by itself would make our whole shelter stink. It was worse than his body oder. I would be embarassed to be his wife, to let it be known how nasty he is. When you're in the jungle your personal hygine should be at the top of the list.

What do you think of the Parvati/Russell relationship?

I think he fell in love with her. My thing is that she calls him her pet dragon, but I always said he's your pet goat. You could tell him "Chew grass right there" and that's where he's chewing grass at. You know? He does what she says and he doesn't understand that. And I told him too, you ought to thank Parvati, Danielle and Jerri, because if any of those girls had given you up at any one time, you would have been gone a long time ago. You need to thank those girls for letting you play this game. But he doesn't understand that. That sets him off. [Sandra hisses furiously like a cat.]

Did you ever have a chance of getting any jury votes?

No. That's why I quit pursuing him. Because he was a goat. I was like - bahhhh! [Bleeting like a goat] I'm taking him al-l-l-l the way to the end. And he's like, "Oh, but if they respect the game and love the game like I do, you'll never get a vote. How could anyone possibly vote for you?" And I was like, "I know, Russell. That's why I'm perfect to take to the end." You know? And he did. That's how dumb he is.

Do you think your performance at the final Tribal Council won you the million? Or were the jury's minds already made up?

 I would never want to win the last challenge. That morning Jerri was like, "Sandra, it should be me, you and Russell," and Parvati was like, "Sandra, it should be me, you and Russell." So I'm thinking no matter what I'm going to the end. I don't need to win, because you know what? I'm going. The person that decides who goes home never gets that person's vote most of the time. That's what happened. He voted out Jerri and Jerri gave her vote to Parvati.

But did Parvati's performance at the final Tribal Council lose her the jury vote?

No. What happened with Parvati was that she never disassociated herself with Russell. They were seen as a snake with two heads. You can't have one without the other. They're like siamese twins.

Is that fair?

I can't say that it's fair for her. I don't think she'd think it was fair. But for me, hell yeah it was fair. She had the choice of who she wanted to be with and she chose him. She could have given him up and he would have been gone. We could have voted him out.
Last time you beat Big Lill in the Final 2. I'm guessing Lillian wasn't quite the competition Parvati proved to be?

Oh no. These people here were higher calliber, with the exception of Russell. A lot of people who were playing for the third time were so desperate that they were scared, and they did what was best for them. But not me. I wasn't taking anybody's crap and I knew eventually I'm going home. So I'm gonna say what I have to say, do what I have to do.

The fact that you'd won before never seemed to come up, where as the winners in Survivor: All Stars were targeted from the beginning. Why didn't that become an issue?

Well, it did become an issue on Day One, when Randy told me Parvati needed to go home because she had already won.

Why isn't Colby performing as well this season?

That was a strategy, Henry. Jeff said last night that Colby had won the most immunity challenges as a man. Well, I mean, he is a man. But for a male. And then in the All Stars they got rid of him because he was a physical threat. So this time around he made a strategic move. And I'll tell you, it worked. Because when we merged and got over ther they were like, "Okay. J.T. is strong. So is Amanda. So is Candice. And Rupert has a broken toe, so he'll be fourth. But Rupert with his broken toe is still stronger than Colby." So that's the order that they put them in. You know what I'm saying? So Colby staying way until the freaking end? I'm almost sure he did that crap on purpose.   

Now that you've won twice there's this big discussion about whether this means you are the greatest player of all time. What's your opinion?

Of course. Why would I wear a crown? Come on! Show me someone else! Show me someone who has won twice and won twice.

And until last night you had never had a vote cast against you, had you?

No, and Colby did that. Well, Rupert and Colby voted against me the time before but because I had my idol those votes don't count. It was like they never happened. Colby voted against me so I punched him. I was like, "Man, you effed up my record. That one stupid vote." I was really mad because I had gone the whole way without a vote. Something should be said about that too. You know what I'm saying?

(Images courtesy of WENN)

'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains:' Exclusive Interview with Parvati Shallow

When Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains began I was lukewarm about Parvati. By Survivor standards she was not a colorful personality in Micronesia, and she didn't play the game in an overly flashy manner. No one has done more to win me over this season.  Parvati got the lion's share of quotable quotes this season. Her gameplay was fire and ice - serene confidence and sassy dominance.
After talking with her twice, I am well aware of the Parvati charm, and it's easy to understand how Russell could let it go to his head. I asked her about the after party, Amanda's vote for Sandra, Candice's comparison of Parvati to an abused wife, and where she draws her confidence from. 

Parvati, how are you today?

It's been a long day. It sounds like we're both in the same frame of mind, so this ought to be wildly entertaining. Did you have a wild party last night?

Wild Survivor party. Lots of tikis.

Very nice. I love it

A few Mai Tais.

Delicious. I could go for one of those right now.

Did you have a wild Survivor party last night?

I didn't, actually. I have one of my best friends from high school in town. My family is in town. I just didn't want to get caught up in the madness that was going on last night. We just kept it low key in my room. We had a pizza party and hung out.

With the second place finish, were you disappointed?

Of course I was. I think I played the best game overall. It just came down to a few bitter jurors, and also the backlash of the Russell hatred. I think that's why I didn't get the vote from the jury. Of course I'm disappointed. I worked so hard. I put my blood, sweat and tears into that game.

How did it compare to Micronesia?

I played even better than I did in Micronesia, and I won that game.  It just shows that Survivor really is such a social experiment. It shows human nature at its most base level. When people feel wronged they will do everything they can to make sure that the person who wronged them does not get rewarded.

Did Amanda and Danielle vote for Sandra?

Danielle voted for me. Amanda and Candice voted for Sandra.

We didn't get the context there. How did Amanda come to vote for Sandra?

Amanda just didn't want me to win. I think Amanda got outplayed by me in every way possible. I beat her record for the most days out there. I won in Micronesia. Every possible way that Amanda could be beaten, she was beaten by me. She wasn't going to vote for me. She was getting up at the final Tribal Council campaigning for Sandra, saying how wonderful Sandra is. I'm like, "You don't even know her! You just don't want me to win!" She didn't even ask me a question. That's how bad it is.

Wow. But I thought you guys were best friends for several years.

We weren't best friends for several years at all. We had a relationship during the game in Micronesia. It's tough when you're in this game because there's trust issues afterward, and the resentment for one person winning and the other person not. But this time there was a lot of distrust between us because we didn't know if the other person was telling us the truth, and we were right. We weren't telling each other the truth. I don't blame her for not voting for me. I completely understand. I just think it makes her look lame. Her game is to play a strategic, athletic, competitive game, and I know that she knows that I played the best game.  I think she just looks kind of lame for voting for Sandra.

Why didn't you get Candice's vote?

Candice gave the most horrible, bitter jury speech I've ever heard in my life! She called me a battered wife, and that I played the game under Russell's thumb, and I was riding his coattails the whole time.  It was a complete misconception that Candice had. Everyone in the game had a different perspective on what was going on and they could only see certain portions of what was happening. I don't really think Candice believed that was what was going on. She just wanted to speak her piece for other people to vote for Sandra, and to make you look as bad as possible.

Russell came across as unlikable to a lot of people. Did you connect with him?

I mean, let's face it. Russell is just not a big teddy bear. He is not the most likable guy. At all. But I did respect the way that he played the game as a competitor. He was out there. He put it all on the line and it paid off for me in the beginning when I was with him. I needed someone like that who was willing to make big moves in order to keep me there. So for me to be able to suck it up - I can create a relationship with pretty much anyone. Those are the skills I have that make me good at the game, because it is a social game and you need to play with what you have.  And given the way people were after me, I was blessed, honestly, to have Russell align with me, because I would have been the first person out.

Stephenie commented that she felt she was targeted early because she hadn't been involved in the Survivor social scene. It seems like you're at the center of it, but you were targeted from Day One. What role does that play?

I've never been to any of the Survivor events. The only time when I'm involved in Survivor is when I play the game and when we do the finale.  So I don't really hang out with all of those people. I don't do the charity events.  The only person I hang out with is James. Everyone thought Amanda and I were going to team up, but you saw that didn't happen. Everyone has preconceived notions in an All Star season anyway, so there's nothing I could have done to prove to those people until I got the chance to actually [compete.] You know?   

Did Sandra play a great game?

I think Sandra played with the skills that she has, and it paid off for her. Sandra is able to fly under the radar and not be seen as a threat, or targeted. In the end, since her alliances had been voted out, I don't think Sandra made any big strategic moves to get herself to the end. She just played kind of a "Not me, not me, not me" game, which is a good strategy to get you to the end, and if that's the talent you have to play with then, you know, that's what you have to work with. I couldn't play like that because I was targeted from the beginning as a huge threat. I had to step it up and win challenges. Good for her, though. She conserved all her energy. She didn't have to. But she saved all of her energy for a good final Tribal performance. She did very well in the final Tribal.

Do you feel like Sandra throws the challenges or she's just terrible at them?

I think Sandra doesn't really care whether she wins or loses in the challenges because she knows she doesn't have to win. I think Sandra realizes that being a weaker competitor in the challenges has paid off for her in the past. So I don't think she really puts her heart and soul into those challenges.

What was up with Colby? Where did his energy go?

You know what? As soon as we merged and got onto the Heroes camp it was like walking into a rain cloud. Colby was the biggest wet puddle I ever seen. He was so depressing. Everyone there looked at the ground. No one would smile. It was like [game show sound effect] wah wah wah! So, so bad! Colby was the ring leader of the great depression. He was completely checked out. Didn't want to be there. Hated everyone there. I guess he just felt like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
At the second to last Tribal Council when you made that comment about how you've been protecting Russell, Jeff Probst seemed to egg Russell's paranoia on a bit more than he should. Is that how it came across to you?

Yeah. Jeff likes to put his two cents in. Jeff always wants to crack somebody or change a vote at Tribal or make somebody break down to change the game up. Jeff always wants a big surprise or a big blindside. If he can say something to set Russell's wheels in motion he's going to do it. That's why I have to be 100% set going into Council that I'm not going home in order to sit there and be calm and collected and confident while Jeff shoots his firy bows and errors at us.

You do seem to have a calm and confidence that not a lot of people have, even on this show extraverts. Where does that come from?

I do a lot of yoga. I grew up in a Hindu community so I've always been very even minded and pretty even tempered. Not much really ruffles my feathers. I think, honestly, doing yoga has really created a solid foundation for me. I realize things can only effect me if I let them. Especially when I do Survivor that becomes an impenetrable wall. I don't really let my emotions get the best of me. If I did, I would have broken so much earlier in that game.

You had some tough days out there.

On the fourth day I felt alienated and alone, and I constantly had people after me. When you walk into a group of people and they scatter and walk away, or you join a conversation and everyone stops talking, it's like "Oh wow! Nobody wants me!" It's horrible. So you have to have a calm exterior and think, "Nothing gets to me. I'm unbreakable" in order to make it.


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