UPDATE: Since “Winners at War” aired, Parvati Shallow has been having a tough time. Her younger brother Kaelan died in November 2020 after a long struggle with addiction. Then in the summer of 2021, Shallow filed for divorce from her husband John Fincher, who is also a “Survivor” alum. They share a 3-year-old daughter.
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Parvati Shallow is a “Survivor” veteran, returning for the fourth time since first appearing on the show. She previously appeared on season 13, “Survivor: Cook Islands,” where she finished in 6th place; then she won season 16, “Survivor: Micronesia,” and came in runner-up on “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains,” which was season 20.
Here’s what you need to know about this “Winners at War” contestant.
1. Parvati Grew Up on a Commune
Parvati Shallow was born in Florida to parents Mike and Gale, the oldest of three children. Her siblings are a brother named Kaelan and a sister named Sodashi. For the first 11 years of her life, her family lived on an interfaith commune, she told YOU magazine in 2010. Shallow’s family moved to Atlanta when she was 11 and that’s where she attended Sprayberry High School. After graduating, she attended the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication where she received a Bachelor’s degree in journalism.
After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles and worked as a model and a public relations officer before the years where she was routinely seen on Survivor, 2006 to 2010. When she applied for the show, she actually applied for a spot on The Amazing Race first, but the producers wanted her for Survivor. Her sister Sodashi, a fellow University of Georgia grad, told the student news The Red and Black that Parvati went through “some intense interviews” before finally being cast.
Before she left to film the season, Parvati took time to come home to Georgia to bone up on her survival skills.
“She came home for training,” her father Michael told the Red and Black. “My son helped her with archery, we did slingshot practice, practiced throwing sticks and throwing rocks.”
They also used the U.S. Army survival guide to work on making fire, purifying water and building a shelter, plus Michael revealed that Shallow backpacked through Europe during her junior year of college and that experience let them “develop a level of trust in her adventures and that she was smart enough to take care of herself.”
2. Parvati Is a Former Competitive Boxer
Prior to her time on Survivor, Shallow began boxing in the Los Angeles area and eventually worked for an organization called Knockouts for Girls, which provides scholarships and training lessons for underprivileged girls. One of the founding members, Pattianna Harootian, told Voyage LA in a recent interview that they have since expanded their reach beyond young women.
“We try to reach out to at-risk youth and anyone we think may benefit from boxing. Over the years, we have taught boxing lessons to girls, boys, senior citizens, children and adults with Down’s syndrome, those living at homeless shelters, blind children, foster children, and many others. We love what we do!” says Harootian.
Then in 2010, after she finished Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, Shallow opened a wellness center in Santa Monica where she was a boxing and yoga instructor. The ESP Wellness Center focused on “delivering high quality health and fitness results” and offered “specialized care for clients with eating disorders, addictions, and injuries. Developed long-term programs for these clients, focusing on long-term goals, such as strength-building, sustained focus, and integrating mind, body, and spirit.”
3. She Has Also Been a TV Host
In 2011, Shallow began hosting the third season of the web series Around the World for Free. During that 100-day journey, she visited 12 different countries, including Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and more.
Then from 2013 to 2015, according to her LinkedIn profile, Shallow hosted the Survivor After Show for CBS.com. That show featured Shallow and a special guest each week sitting down for 30 minutes to an hour talking about the most recent episode of Survivor. When that gig ended, Shallow became a Health Editor for CBS News for a year.
Now Shallow works as a motivational speaker, yoga instructor and is one of the founders of Heart Beat Movement, a wellness organization that aims to “provide a safe and uplifting experience incorporating movement, sound, and breath that deepens our connection to spirit and community” through live drumming and yoga. Shallow is one of the yoga instructors and Caleb Spaulding is the drummer.
4. Parvati Married a Fellow Survivor Alum
Part of being a Survivor alum means being invited to show-based events and charity functions. In 2013, Shallow played in Ethan Zohn’s soccer charity event in Los Angeles and that’s where she met John Fincher, who was the 9th-place finished on Survivor: Samoa.
“I met John in the carpool on our way to play in Ethan Zohn’s Grassroot Soccer charity game in LA in 2013. Aras was driving, Nate Gonzales was riding shotgun, and John was sitting next to me. When we scooped up Ozzy, John slid into the middle seat, and I remember being struck by how comfortable he felt to me. I was drawn to him instantly,” she told ET Canada when she and John got engaged in early 2017.
The two got married in the summer of 2017 and welcomed their daughter in July 2018.
“This leeeetle wacko has my heart,” writes Shallow on a photo of the two of them together. “She’s the motivation behind my courage & my reason to keep expanding the edges of my comfort zone, to see what I’m truly capable of. I’m so smitten I got her name engraved on a necklace & I rarely take it off.”
5. Parvati Has Her Eye on Some Alliance Members
In a pre-“Winners at War” interview, Shallow told Xfinity that there are definitely a few people she wants to align with.
“Kim is cool and I just want to play with her. I think she can make relationships with other people and tell me if they’re coming after me. Sophie and I are friends from New York. I think she’s a strategic, brilliant mastermind. And I would love to pull off some major heists with her. And she won’t be targeted as a big threat,” says Shallow, adding, “And Denise, the unexpected alliance. She’s a little ball of energy. I’ve been watching her and I’m fascinated by her. She’s a sex therapist and my cousin is a sex therapist. I want to have conversations with her that are real and fun and interesting. And I think with Denise, she’ll be an outlier. She’ll feel like she’s on the outside. She’s one of the older players and she’ll need [me] to bring her into the inside of the circle. Those are my people.”
She also says she’s going to lean into her reputation as a “Regina George”-type character.
“I’ll never play against type. Whatever you think of me, I’m going to lean into that. I want to validate you and what your belief is. I want you to feel good about yourself and I want you to feel right. I’m going to reinforce that.”
Survivor: Winners at War airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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