Last night on the season finale of Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites, we were treated to one of the most dramatic jury panels ever — and I’m not just saying that. For the first time in Survivor history, the final four contestants were all women, and this women’s alliance was led not by Ami Cusack, who unfortunately didn’t manage to forge a useful alliance this season, but by the unlikeliest of castaways: 25-year-old Parvati Shallow, a “favorite” who previously appeared on Survivor: Cook Islands and was known primarily for being a flirt.
The final four (left to right): Amanda Kimmel, Natalie Bolton, Parvati Shallow and Cirie Field
All photos by Monty Brinton/CBS
This women’s alliance held together because, I think, it had an entirely different feel than Ami’s back on Survivor: Vanuatu, which ultimately failed. This alliance mostly flew under the radar, even though Parvati, Amanda Kimmel and Cirie Field had talked about it among themselves since the beginning. And they never labeled it as a “women’s alliance” at all; this time, it was all about “the girls.”
Warning: Spoilers for finale after the jump
Then, after the two tribes merged, Parvati brought in the young women from the tribe of fans: Natalie Bolton and Alexis Jones. The women then proceeded, through a series of blindsides and incredible persuasion, to pick off all the remaining men. Alexis was also voted off the island when the last man standing won immunity, making her the one female casualty of their alliance.
Through it all, the women employed a combination of flirtation, flattery and feminine wiles to get the men to believe that they were on their side and they wouldn’t be voted off the island. Though the women were clearly happy about being able to eliminate the men, there was little that was traditionally “feminist” about this alliance. Parvati and Natalie especially were gleeful about it, accepting and celebrating stereotypes about women being vicious black widows. It was an alliance straight out of Gossip Girl.
In the end, the final two castaways were Parvati and Amanda, both 20-something women who had developed romantic relationships with two of the men, Ozzy Lusth (who is still, apparently, dating Amanda) and James Clement. But they did not emerge unscathed from the game; during the jury, every castaway whom Parvati and Amanda helped to vote out lashed out at them.
Amanda was criticized for her whining and apparent lack of sincerity during tribal council; Parvati was called out for her backstabbing and manipulation. The most unusual exchange, however, occurred between Parvati and Natalie:
Natalie: You have labeled yourself as a flirt. You’re probably the most masterful person in the history of Survivor to play the flirt card, which is great. My question for you is, how does that resonate for you in the bedroom? How do you take that to the next level as far as strategy in the game? How does that translate your layers of being? [the camera pans to other jury members who look confused]
Jeff Probst: Parvati, do you know what she’s asking?
Natalie: You’re a flirt. You flirted with me on several occasions. I’m not complaining.
Parvati: You’re sexy. [giggles]
Natalie: [smiling] Thanks. So, how does being a flirt parallel to your intimate life?
Parvati: I think my strategy in this game has been infused with my personality. And being flirtatious is a big part of my personality at home, it um it gets me what I want. I’ll flirt with girls to get my way, I’ll flirt with guys to get my way, and I think I honestly can develop genuine relationships with people without flirting with them, but it is an old standby, I’m not gonna lie.”
Is Natalie lesbian or bisexual? Rumors online suggest that she is, but there has been no official confirmation yet. In her CBS bio, she is identified as a 32-year-old personal trainer and bartender who currently is single and lives in West Hollywood, Calif.
Ultimately, Parvati’s backstabbing won out over Amanda’s whining, and Parvati took home the million-dollar prize. What did you think of the Survivor finale? How do you feel about this alliance of “girls”? And has anybody seen Natalie near Jackie Warner lately?