1) Sandra has a good fluidity appropriate for the game. Sandra already won SURVIVOR in Season 7 and as expected, that makes her a threat, right? But all things went differently for Sandra. She was sailing through nice and slowly, not winning any challenges but every now and then, she allowed herself to be a part of a ‘powerful’ alliance until she makes the finish line.
2) Sandra’s Tell-Me-Who-You-Want-Out strategy was kept down under which was invisible to the naked eye. During the final four, Russel was the front runner to oust anyone however, he allowed himself to be devoured by his irrational insights, closed a deal with Sandra (who he thought he can beat) and voted out Jerri.
3) Sandra did not hurt anyone. She managed to play a ‘risky and unpredictable’ game but still getting the respect of everyone else. During the announcement, Sandra got three more votes over Parvati. That means, three more people (Candice, JT, Colby) who still respected her although Sandra voted them out.
4) Sandra has nothing to lose. Either she wins a challenge or not, Sandra was regularly digging deep to save her own skin. She wanted others to belittle her. She wanted others to side with her for their advantage. Therefore, her overall game was right in the middle and she executed this plan until she gets to the top once more.
5) Sandra’s power of persuasion was too powerful. Remember that episode when Courtney was supposed to be going home and ended up with Coach? That was all Sandra and Russel bought it with open arms. Is it luck? Yes. Is it strategic? Not exactly. Come on. That was a basic A-B-C lie and quite unacceptable for any experienced castaways to believe it. That only means Russel took the bait and his decision to bring Sandra into the final three handed Sandra the title.
Let me quote what Sandra answered in her interview in Reality News Online with David Bloomberg. She said:
“You can be strong when the tribe is a tribe but the minute you’re an individual, you’re not going to win every challenge. Me being a weak player was strategy. People who want to play should write that down and remember – if you’re strong, be careful. If you’re weak… that’s how I play.”
Parvati was always in the chopping board since Episode 1. But a lot of things went crazy and help Parvati earned the runner-up title. That was so close. She was only down with three votes. Three more votes to make her the first sole survivor in two seasons. But that’s fine! I am completely satisfied with how Parvati played the entire game.
Three Reasons Why:
1) Parvati is the Immunity Queen of the Season. She won three immunity challenges and two of these in back-to-back. What’s so great about it is, she wins the most important challenges. If she did not win the IC against Rupert, she went home. If she did not outlast Colby during the Final Five IC, she went home. These are the challenges that are vital for her and strategically-wise, Parvati aced it BIG TIME.
2) Parvati controlled her emotions well. With all the hunger, exhaustion and sleepless nights, Parvati found a way to connect with her inner self. Day by day, Tribal Council after another, she took the time to re-focus for her survival. During the final four, I was totally expecting her to join the jury when she did not win the final immunity challenge. However, Parvati did not give up. She made use of all the possible shots she still had and get through.
3) Parvati knows how to play a hidden idol. That was her shinning moment and admit it folks, giving the two immunity idols while securing yourself a ‘safe’ spot is totally a risky decision. This is not about scientific methodology. This is pure instincts. Parvati feels when all she sees is blank.
Reality News Online said: “Everyone saw it and no one can deny it. Plus, by doing it all on her own, Parvati is the only person who can claim this move. She wasn’t riding anyone’s coattails, and no one was riding hers… On top of that, she proved that she’s not just a pretty face – she has some brains, too. And she earned herself a Reality TV Hall of Fame Moment.”
Russel, Russel, Russel (Sprint Player of the Season)
I assume everyone knows why he did not get a single vote. Russel hurt the jury so bad and he did not do anything right ’till the last minute of the game. He accepted all his mistakes during the Q&A with the jury but it was too late, it’s still game over for Russel.