Archive > ‘Survivor 20: Heroes vs. Villains’

Interviews with Sandra, Parvati and Russell after the win

<< < (3/3)

'Survivor' runner-up Parvati Shallow: 'Russell does have some redeeming qualities'

Parvati Shallow took second place despite playing a good all-around game in "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains."

She tells Zap2it in her exit Q&A why she thinks she lost to Sandra Diaz-Twine and that Russell Hantz isn't all bad.

What made you want to do "Survivor" again?
I think I have a sick addiction to playing "Survivor." I don't know. I swore up and down that I would never do it again after the second time because I played so hard and it was so strenuous on me. But when they called me, I had this voice in my head going, "Do it, do it, do it," so I had to listen to that voice.

Were you surprised you didn't win?
No, I wasn't surprised. At the final Tribal Council, people made it really obvious who they were voting for and I knew it wasn't going to be me most of the time. They got up there and hurled insults at me and Russell and then talked about Sandra and their whole complete demeanor changed -- how she's an angel who works at a bank and her husband's in Afghanistan and she's God's gift to humanity and I'm like, "I guess I'm not going to win."

Do you think people couldn't get past the alignment with Russell?
I think there were a few things. I think there was a lot of hostility and resentment from the people I'd play with before who didn't want to see me win again. The people at Ponderosa, they're all together, so they're all talking about stuff with each other and making up rumors, it was gossip city. That's one of the reasons why a lot of people didn't vote for me, but the other one is that nobody liked Russell and they connected him and I. Sandra's whole case was, "I wanted to get Russell out, I wanted to help you guys," so they were like we should've listened to her, so they gave her the money.

You aligned with Russell, is he not such a bad guy? Or is he just as bad, or worse, as we saw on TV?
He is intense. I don't know what America is smoking but he is a lunatic. He's out of his mind. He is a very aggressive game player and very controlling and very competitive. He has a very large ego, so whenever any kind of move went down, he wanted to take the credit for it. Which is why he's so hard to live with because he's constantly watching everyone and wants to know what's going on. I just tried to calm him down every time I talked to him. I'm like, "Listen dude, you're outplaying yourself right now. You're irritating everybody, just chill out, go do some downward facing dog for a second and then we can talk strategy because you're driving me nuts. Go take a time out and we'll talk about this later." That's what you have to do with him, you have to let him know what's going on and hope he backs off.

Russell does have some redeeming qualities. He's a very loyal player. He also is willing to take huge risks -- he's very bold in his game-play so he was a good guy for me to align with. I don't think anybody else would have given me an Idol. He was ready to go home, he thought his name was being written down too that night and he gave me an Idol.

Would you do Survivor again if they asked?
No. I will never go back. I'm opening a wellness center in Santa Monica and I'm going to focus on building people up, having a healthy lifestyle, doing good, positive things. I'm just ready to leave all the paranoia and mayhem in the past. I'm appreciate the opportunity to have played, but I am finished.

'Survivor' Villain Russell Hantz: In My Mind I Won

For the second time in a row, "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" Villain Russell Hantz -- possibly the most hated and loved Villain of all time -- made it to the end of the 39 days of game play and lost the vote in Tribal Council. This time he was up against Parvati Shallow and Sandra Diaz-Twine for the $1 million prize -- and it was Sandra who walked off with the cool million, making her the first player in "Survivor" history to win twice.

ET: Do you feel robbed? This is the second time you made it to the end and didn't win?

Russell Hantz: When I win the Player of the Game, the MVP of the game, then my argument is legitimate. I am not just saying it. I am not being cocky. It is fact. The fans think I played the best twice. They voted me the fan favorite. I won twice. It is amazing that people get so bitter and can't vote the way they are supposed to vote. All these weak people who play this game.

ET: All season the voted off survivors told me that they didn't think you had a good social game. You didn't receive a single vote last night. Do you think that is why?

Russell Hantz: They are saying I have a strategic game, but not a social game? Look what I did at Tribal Council. People say that, but they get their feelings hurt so much because my social game is so good. Look how I switched the vote at Tribal Council. It was supposed to be Rupert, and Danielle went home. I looked at Jerri and said, "Danielle." If that doesn't say right there that my social game was brilliant… How can you get somebody to switch their vote just by looking at them and saying the other girl's name?

ET: Intimidation?

Russell Hantz: She trusted me. She believed me. That is why. She believed me the entire time. They could have ganged up on me. I was one person out there. If I was that weak and they couldn't take me out, it makes me look even better. If I am that good at intimidation, I am even better.

ET: Was it harder playing this the second time with survivors who had played before?

Russell Hantz: It was really hard. The first time was a piece of cake. It was laughable. The second season was tough. There were really tough players out there. Parvati was really good. Boston Rob, Cirie, Candice and Amanda are all really good players.

ET: Do you think you were at an advantage because they didn't see your game?

Russell Hantz: I think it was equally the same. Everybody thinks I have a huge advantage, but they were all friends. They all went to events together and know each other. I am sure they were calling each other on the phone before it all started. I didn't have that advantage. Also, my disadvantage was that I had just played 39 days of a very strategic game. Also, I was physically whipped because I had just played 39 days in a very physical game. You can definitely say I was at an advantage because they didn't see me play, but you also say, I had a disadvantage because they had advantages on their side, too.

ET: Would you do it again?

Russell Hantz: I would have to think about that. The people say that I am the best player to play the game twice. That is the facts. Why should I go again and disappoint me and my fans. It is not fair to me and to my fans. Once you retire from something, you should just retire the champ.

ET: But this is the second time that Sandra won the $1 million?

Russell Hantz: I have told them I am going to make it to the end. I do what I have to do to make it. The million dollars is nothing. The money is nothing. I wanted the title. I have come to the [belief] that if I make it to the end, then I did what I set out to do. In my mind, I did it. I did what I had to do, so I won in my mind.

Published 5/17/10 by

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains - Russell, Sandra and Parvati have their say


You have to hand it to Russell Hantz. I doubt that any other contestant in Survivor history has modelled his strategy on a war crime.

When asked about his aggressive style of game play on Tuesday, Russell replied, "My grandfather was a prisoner of war for three and a half years. He was in the Bataan Death March."    

(If you're not up on WWII history, that was a forced march of some 100 kilometres in the Philippines in 1942 in which American and Filipino PoWs were starved, abused and, in some case, murdered.)

"He told me (the Japanese captors) used to control what they got out of them. If they wanted to get some information they just didn't feed them for a week and then started asking them questions.

"I'm not dealing with a bunch of soldiers. I wanted to see if I can do that, if I can control (the other players) by making them miserable and it works, it works. It's a great strategic play."

Two days after coming third in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains to Sandra Diaz-Twine and Parvati Shallow, Russell was still fuming about the outcome.

"I'm not bitter that I lost. I'm bitter because the best player did not win. I would have been okay if you're sitting here telling me that Parvati won."

Sandra, he contends, was terrible in every aspect of Survivor: physical, strategic and social.

The jury "just voted for the lesser of two evils."

Asked if it was hurtful to be considered the greater of two evils by the jury members, Russell responded, "I didn't care about them. What I care about is the way I play the game. I play it full speed ahead and I don't give up. I do my job. I make it to the finals ... Now it's up the jury to make their decision to see if you can take it. Can you vote for the person that stabbed you in the back? Can you be the better man?

"The reason they say I don't have a social aspect, it's only a bitter jury saying that: 'I don't want to vote for him. He broke my heart.'

"I had a great social game. I had them all eating out of the palm of my hand, every single one of them. I had them all doing what I told them to do every single time."

Woops. Not so fast, say Parvati and Sandra.

In fact, in a separate interview, Parvati said Russell was under her protection and not the other way around.

"Since Russell was very intense and very controlling and very domineering, (the other players) thought that's how our relationship was and I was just sitting there and taking it ... They think Russell was the one calling the shots. It was me. Every time he got an immunity idol, he ran to me," she said.

"Every move that I made was from me. I never listen to anyone else to tell me what to do."

Sandra, in another interview, seemed to concur with that.

Russell, she said, was Parvati's "goat. She tied him up, told him where to eat grass, never let him run free."

And that was why Sandra and not Parvati won the $1 million and title of Sole Survivor for a second time.

"I thought (Parvati) was going to win because she did play such a strategic game. She was so strong ... She never got away from Russell. He was the problem ... They were labelled the snake with two heads," Sandra said.

Parvati, admitting she was disappointed not to have won, figures she was damned if she did, damned if she didn't.

While she was penalized by the jury for her alliance with Russell, that alliance was also one of the things that kept her in the game so long.

"Everyone was trying to vote me out. If it wasn't trying to vote me out, it was trying to vote Russell out. He was kind of a shield for me.

"It wasn't something I would have chosen had I had an option, really ... He's just, like, a tough guy to live with, a tough guy to spend so much time with because he's constantly talking about himself and telling you how stupid you are ... You have to have a strong sense of self and a strong mind to be attached to him."

In the end, "he really offended (the jury members) in a deep way. He couldn't crawl out of that hole. I was there along with him. I was connected to him."

Even Sandra, whose strategy at the final tribal council was to remind the jury of the times she'd tried to organize votes against Russell, acknowledged it was better to keep him around.

"I said, 'Wait a minute. This goat is perfect to go to the end with.'

"I would tell him whatever he wants to hear and he ate it up: 'If we get to the merge and I make the jury and I get voted out, you'll get my vote.' Get out of here!"

Sandra said she'd been running around New York for three days fighting with Russell.

She scoffed at his contention she didn't know how to play Survivor.

"I've taken bits and pieces from everyone's strategy (from seasons past). I have the do's and don'ts down to a science. If I have to do a 360 in a split second I will do it ...

"He doesn't know how to play the game. He doesn't. He went to Samoa, did all this crap and came out of the final tribal council thinking he'd won ... I said, 'Listen Russell, listen fool, you could play this game a thousand times. You'll never win.' "

That being said, Sandra said she'd be willing to play again with Russell.

"I'll teach him how to play Survivor, but I wouldn't let him last long."

She'd also like to play Richard Hatch, the first ever Survivor winner. "Now that I'm a queen and he's a queen, I'd love for him to come out and play again," Sandra said.

Interestingly enough, Hatch is the one player that Russell would also like to go up against.

"If they wanted to hit me to play again, he has to be there because I beat the best already."

And Russell's not interested in any rematch with Boston Rob. (Russell says, by the way, that Rob's refusal to shake his hand on the reunion show was a stunt, that Rob had already shaken his hand backstage.)

"Guess what? I'm not playing with him again. I don't need to whip his butt again. I done whipped his butt before."

Even if he did play Hatch, Russell's not certain the original Villain is up to the modern game, where alliances and strategy have overtaken considerations like working hard around camp, feeding the tribe and doing well at challenges.

But he also hopes the game comes full circle and that someone like Hatch is able to win again.

"I hope there's somebody out there like me that dominates the game. If he wins at the end of the game, then I did change it."

Whatever Russell.


[0] Message Index

[*] Previous page

Go to full version