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‘Survivor’ winner criticizes show for pitting players in underwear to compete

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Survivor winner Parvati Shallow is tired of seeing players compete without a swimsuit.

The three-time contestant opened up about her appearance on the Oct. 24 episode of “Rob Has a Podcast,” hosted by former contestant Rob Cesternino.

While discussing the new season, 41, Shallow explained how frustrating it is that the show still has contestants in their underwear and no longer provide swimwear.

Shallow said she had already fought a “huge fight” to try to avoid competing with her underwear

Parvati Shallow with her relatives in the tenth episode of SURVIVOR: WINNERS AT WAR

Parvati Shallow at the loved ones reward on “Survivor: Winners at War”.

Robert Voets / CBS via Getty Images


Shallow explained how a lot has changed on “Survivor” in its 41 seasons, but the players “are still in their underwear” and they “need a swimsuit.”

She said that when she appeared in Season 40, she was a new mom and tried to push the producers off about the underwear situation.

“I fought a lot. I was like, ‘I just had a baby, I can’t be here in my underwear,'” she said.

Shallow said he was told the production thought it was “more authentic for people to be in their underwear.”

She argued that this was not the case and that “everyone knows this is a show” – mostly because “Survivor” sometimes shows people holding cameras to the screen – but she doesn’t did not win the argument.

The show still has players competing in their underwear, and Shallow didn’t have a swimsuit that season.

Shallow added, “Let people wear their swimsuits, give them some dignity.”

Players were getting swimsuits, and it’s unclear why they stopped getting them

Until season 36, which aired in early 2018, players had obtained swimsuits.

“It was a whole time in ‘Survivor’ where it was swimwear, and then all of a sudden they switched to underwear…” Shallow said on the podcast.

She had already been able to compete with a swimsuit in her first seasons.

It’s unclear why players have stopped buying swimsuits, but one theory involves actor and director Tyler Perry, a fan of the series who previously contributed to it.

In May 2018, host Jeff Probst told The Hollywood Reporter that Perry had suggested that “dirtier” swimsuits that look more run down be part of the show.

Season 37 contestant Davie Rickenbacker – who confirmed his 2018 season didn’t receive a swimsuit a few months after Probst’s comment – previously told Insider he blamed Perry’s supposed influence.

He said he thought the swimsuits “had been withheld” because Perry had suggested the show “looked more authentic.”

Shallow is not the first to speak out against the lack of swimsuits, which can lead to serious health risks

karishma survivor

Former player Karishma Patel told Insider she had a severe urinary tract infection on the show.

CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images


As Cesternino mentioned, the decision to keep the contestants in their underwear this season has led to “a lot of not-so-great press.”

Several “Survivor” players have spoken to Insider about the embarrassment and health risks they face by being forced to wear their underwear on the show for up to 39 days.

And urologist Dr Premal Patel previously told Insider that constant wearing of a “less hygienic type of clothing” for such a long time carries many health risks.

For example, poor hygiene on the island combined with the hot and humid environment created by wearing wet clothes for an extended period of time can increase the risk of getting a UTI, especially for players with vaginas.

Several contestants told Insider they suffered from serious urinary tract infections during or shortly after the show – some said they had to be hospitalized. Players also spoke of feeling vulnerable and exposed to the camera when they tried to clean and dry their outfit.

Several actors have encouraged CBS to consider bringing back the swimsuits.

Representatives for CBS and Parvati Shallow did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.


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