“Survivor” winner Parvati Shallow has a pretty surprising story for how she was originally cast on the show. She apparently had to make a cutthroat, on-the-spot decision and that is what eventually landed her on “Survivor.” Read on to find out what she did and what reality show she was initially applying for.
Parvati Originally Auditioned For ‘The Amazing Race’
On an episode of the “Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef” podcast, Parvati revealed the wild casting story of how she came to be an eventual four-time “Survivor” castaway.
“I had a friend who was a recruiter, a casting agent, and he recruited me for ‘Amazing Race,’” said Parvati, adding that she and a friend of hers were chosen as a team but cut later on in the casting process and she was “devastated.”
“Looking back now, after I talked to them, they cut me from ‘Amazing Race.’ They cut my team and I was super devastated.”
But ‘The Amazing Race’ Casting Made Her Choose Between Friends And That’s What Landed Her ‘Survivor’
This is where it gets crazy. When Parvati came in to audition for “The Amazing Race,” they told her to bring a blonde friend and she ended up bringing two — and the show made her choose between them right on the spot.
“I actually came in with two girlfriends because [the casting agent] was like, bring a blonde. So I was the brunette and then I had the blonde with me. I had two girlfriends and I came in and Lynn Spillman, the casting director at the time said, ‘OK, pick which one you want to do it with’ — in front of them. And I was like, ‘No, you pick, you’re the casting director! Like, no, these are my friends!'”
Parvati continued, “And she’s like, ‘Do you want to win? … OK then which one would you win with?’ And then I chose and lost a friend that day.”
But then after they were cut from “The Amazing Race,” Parvati said that her cutthroat decision is what got her on “Survivor.”
“A couple of months later, I don’t remember the timing specifically, they called me and asked me if I wanted to do ‘Survivor.’ And Lynn said she knew I had what it took to win the game or be a dominant competitor because I had chosen a friend in front of the other one,” said Parvati.
Parvati chose the friend she had known longer and with whom she had traveled extensively through Europe together, which just makes sense because “The Amazing Race” is a travel-based show.
“[That friend] was one of my best friends in college and we had traveled through Europe together. That’s why it was very easy for me to choose her because I had such a depth of relationship with her. And the other friend was more of a new friend, I didn’t know her as well,” said Parvati.
But the rejected friend did not take it well.
Parvati Was Roommates With The Rejected Friend
Parvati said that choosing between her two friends was kind of a big deal at the time because she was actually living with the one she rejected.
“It was, yeah, it was a tough, tough moment. Cause we also lived together,” said Parvati, but she added that “Survivor” becames such a huge part of her life that she thinks it was fate.
“I think that ‘Survivor’ was woven into the fabric of my destiny and there’s nothing I could have done to avoid it now, having had the experiences I had,” said Parvati. “And that friend, she and I, we grew apart anyways and she moved back to Georgia. So it’s like, you grow apart from some friends. It makes feel better to think that way.”
“Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!