“Survivor” player Parvati Shallow said on a podcast she was tired of players competing in underwear.
She tried not to be in underwear on season 40 but said producers told her it looked authentic.
Multiple players have spoken about the risks that come with not getting swimsuits on “Survivor.”
The “Survivor” winner Parvati Shallow is tired of watching players compete without swimsuits.
The four-time competitor spoke about her time on the show on the October 24 episode of “Rob Has a Podcast,” hosted by her fellow former contestant Rob Cesternino.
While discussing the new season, 41, Shallow spoke about how frustrating it was that the show still had contestants compete in their underwear and no longer provided swimsuits.
Shallow said she put up a ‘huge fight’ to try to avoid competing in her underwear
Shallow said that a lot of things had changed on “Survivor” in its 41 seasons but that players “are still in their underwear” and they “need to get bathing suits.”
She said that when she competed on season 40, she was a new mom and tried to push back on producers about the underwear situation.
“I put up a huge fight. I was like, ‘I just had a baby. I can’t be out here in my underwear,'” she said.
Shallow said she was told that production felt it was “more authentic-looking for people to be in their underwear.”
She responded by saying it wasn’t and “everybody knows it’s a show” – especially because “Survivor” sometimes shows the people who are holding cameras on-screen – but she didn’t win the argument.
The show still has players competing in their underwear, and Shallow didn’t get a swimsuit that season.
Shallow added: “Let people wear their bathing suits. Give them some dignity.”
Players used to receive swimsuits, and it’s unclear why they stopped getting them
Up until season 36, which aired in 2018, players received swimsuits.
“It was a whole era of ‘Survivor’ where it was bathing suits, and then all of a sudden, they switched to underwear,” Shallow said on the podcast.
She had been able to compete in a swimsuit in her earlier seasons.
It’s unclear why players stopped getting swimsuits, but one theory involves the actor and director Tyler Perry, a fan of the show who has previously contributed ideas to it.
In May 2018, the show’s host, Jeff Probst, told The Hollywood Reporter Perry suggested that “filthier” and more worn-out-looking swimwear make it onto the show.
Davie Rickenbacker – a competitor on season 37 who confirmed his 2018 cohort didn’t receive swimsuits a few months after Probst’s comment – previously told Insider he blamed Perry’s supposed influence.
He said he believed bathing suits “were withheld” because Perry suggested the show “look more authentic.”
Shallow isn’t the first to call out the lack of swimsuits, which can lead to serious health risks
As Cesternino mentioned, the decision to keep contestants in their underwear this season has led to a “lot of not-so-great press.”
And Dr. Premal Patel, a urologist, previously told Insider that constantly wearing a “less-than-hygienic kind of clothing” for such a long time was bound to come with many health risks.
For example, poor hygiene on the island, combined with the warm, moist environment created by wearing wet clothes for a prolonged period, can increase one’s risk of contracting a urinary-tract infection, especially for players with vaginas.
Multiple contestants told Insider they experienced severe UTIs on or shortly after the show – some said they required hospitalization. Players also said they felt vulnerable and exposed on camera when they tried to clean and dry their one outfits.
Multiple players have encouraged CBS to consider bringing back swimwear.
Representatives for CBS and Shallow didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
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