Even before Denise Stapley (see above) pulled off her epic blindside of Sandra Diaz-Twine on the sixth episode of the current all-winners edition of “Survivor,” host Jeff Probst already was a big fan of the sex therapist who originally won the 25th edition of the show that was based in the Philippines that aired in 2012. She not only became the only castaway to attend every single tribal council during her time on the show, Denise became the oldest female at age 41 to become the Sole Survivor.
In a 2015 interview, Probst named Denise as one of his top 10 favorite winners ever and one of his top four female winner of all time. But I am guessing her ranking might be a wee bit higher after she pulled off an epic blindside — one that Probst described as “one of the most vicious moves in the history of the game” to Entertainment Weekly . He also added, “THAT is how you kill the Queen,” a reference to Sandra’s catchphrase every time she was left unscathed at a tribal council: “And the Queen stays the Queen.”
But she met her match and then some when it came to her fellow Dakal member Denise and severely undestimated her strategic ability when she offered to give her idol to her, which would be null and void if not used this week, in exchange for her two fire tokens. They agreed that Denise would give her one token now and then the other after it was proved to be a real immunity idol. But Sandra didn’t know is that Denise had her own idol, which she ended up giving to Jeremy Collins, saying that she just wanted “to settle her stomach.” Denise gave herself a bit of license on social media to celebrate her game-changer move as Sandra joined those banished to the Edge of Extinction.
— Denise Stapley (@goofygal1171) March 19, 2020
Among those in awe was this Season 38 castaway:
— Rick Devens (@Rick_Devens) March 19, 2020
Meanwhile, this tweet really sums it up nicely:
From winner to legend status. Shot her with her own gun.
— Emily Gimbel (@EmilyMa26349964) March 19, 2020
For someone who has been on five seasons of “Survivor” as a player and a mentor, Sandra made the big mistake of feeling safe. So safe that she sat out every team challenge that she could — so much so that Probst began to call the place where non-participants wait during challenges as the “Sandra Sit-Out Bench.” Is that what winning looks like? Don’t think so.
Does Denise deserve the designation of Queen now? Will Sandra rally on Extinction, considering that it is even more gruelling than the real game. Or will she just bid a sentimental sayonara to “Survivor” while raising the mast and sailing away? Take our poll below and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
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