LOS ANGELES – Parvati Shallow was the last woman standing on "Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites."
The 25-year-old boxer and charity organizer from Los Angeles outwitted, outlasted and outplayed her competitors -- both "favorite" former castaways and "fan" contestants -- to claim the title of "Sole Survivor" and the CBS reality show's $1 million prize during Sunday's live finale. She previously came in sixth place on "Survivor: Cook Islands."
Shallow received five votes over three for runner-up Amanda Kimmel, the 23-year-old former beauty queen and aspiring fashion designer. She also bested 37-year-old nurse Cirie Fields and 32-year-old bartender Natalie Bolton. It marked the first time in the reality competition's 16-season history that four female contestants made it to the end of the game.
"I couldn't have done it without the girls that I was with," Shallow said during the finale.
At the beginning of the season, a tribe of former contestants competed against a tribe of new players. When the teams merged, Shallow helped form an alliance of female competitors from both sides. The alliance shocked several contestants with their eliminations, including Erik Reichenbach, who gave up immunity he won to Bolton and was subsequently voted out.
During the finale, Kimmel won both immunity challenges, choosing Shallow to accompany her at the final tribal council. That last deliberation featured two players vying for votes from an eight-person jury of cast-off competitors -- unlike the three previous "Survivor" seasons, which featured three contestants angling for winning votes.
"The fact that it's a final two and not a final three was almost poetic," Fields said when she learned about the finale's twist. "I mean, we've been blindsiding people left and right, and essentially we got blindsided. We thought we had it made. I guess what goes around, comes around."
At the end of the finale, host Jeff Probst revealed the series will return to Africa for its 17th season and feature 18 contestants living among wildlife. "Survivor: Gabon -- Earth's Last Eden" will premiere in the fall. The third "Survivor" season was filmed in Kenya.