Whether you love her or loathe her, Sandra Diaz-Twine definitely left a lasting mark on the reality show known as “Survivor.” As of now, she is the only two-time winner of the game — a distinction that will be changed once “Winners at War” is completed.
Initially, on her fifth season on the show, she exhibited some savvy gameplay and joined in targeting Amber Mariano — the wife of fellow castaway and “Island of the Idol” mentor Rob Mariano. Sandra even positioned herself as provider when she showed her fellow castaways how to easily catch fish by throwing a net on the rocks near the shoreline.
Luckily for her, she was part of the Dakal tribe, which had established a streak of challenge wins early on. Not that she contributed much. The two-time champ participated in only once when she helped to put together a puzzle. The rest of the time, the self-described Queen eagerly decided to sit out from doing any physical feats when the opposing tribe had fewer members. She volunteered to be an observer so many times, host Jeff Probst dubbed the challenge sit-out bench the “Sandra bench.”
But when the two tribes broke into three, Sarah clearly acquired a bigger target on her back as more and more old-schools players were voted out. But even before then, during season 40’s third episode, Sarah proclaimed, “Here I am for the fifth time, and once this is over I’m retiring from the game.” She kept true to her word when she stepped foot on the Edge of Extinction after she letting her guard down and underestimating season 25 winner Denise Stapley, who managed to play Sandra’s own idol against her and then handed her own to tribe mate Jeremy Collins.
The minute Sandra washed up on the Edge of Extinction where seven other veterans greeted her, it was clear she was going to throw in the towel and hoist the mast to beckon the getaway boat. So what was Probst’s reaction in an Entertainment Weekly interview to her decision to quit the game? Given her gameplay this time around, he says, “There was 0.0 chance that Sandra was going to win a challenge against the group of players already assembled on the Edge. We all know that Sandra does what Sandra wants, and Sandra wanted to go home. I don’t think it changes her legacy in any way. Sandra is a legend.”How legendary is she? Check out this fan-made rap-driven video.
The longtime host of CBS’ signature reality show says that Sandra found a way to play strategically and socially wthout being a physical threat, giving hope to others not exactly musclebound. She also said yes every time “Survivor” reached out to her, Probst adds. “So after 16 years, if Sandra is done, I’m good with that.”
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