For all you “Survivor” fans who aren’t able to watch “Australian Survivor: Blood V Water” and see Sandra Diaz-Twine try to win her third career crown, here’s your weekly update. (Warning: this article contains spoilers for what has already aired!) Gold Derby has recapped Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7 and Episode 8, and we’ll be covering the show all throughout the season.
When Sandra first arrived on the set of “Australian Survivor” Season 7, she did so in style … in a helicopter. Most of her fellow players instantly recognized the two-time American champ from “Pearl Islands” and “Heroes vs. Villains” and were a bit starstruck to find out they’d be playing with her down under. Host Jonathan LaPaglia revealed this season’s theme to be “Blood V Water,” and Sandra brought along a secret weapon in the form of her daughter, Alanna “Nina” Twine.
SEE How to watch ‘Australian Survivor: Blood V Water’
Sandra competed right away in her first reward challenge, a far cry from her infamous “sit out” history on the American version. In that challenge, loved ones were paired up against each other and they had to slide down an enormous slide and then battle in muddy water to bring a ring to their team pole. Nina outmaneuvered her mother by twisting her arm, and she ended up prevailing for her Blue tribe.
At camp, Sandra vowed “not to play too hard too fast” this time around, but then admitted in a confessional that she would take down anyone — even her daughter — if it meant she would win her third trophy. This, folks, is why we love her.
Sandra’s team avoided the first two tribal councils, which allowed Nina to really come into her own over at the Blood camp. Nina had a strong hand in voting out the first person, Andrew “Andy” Meldrum, because she didn’t trust him. And the second eliminee, Briana Goodchild, essentially sealed her own fate when she was caught rifling through a reward box to try to find an advantage.
At the start of the third episode, Sandra promised, “If I find out someone is after me, forget it, it’s over for you. I don’t forgive, I don’t forget.” In fact, that’s exactly what was happening at another part of her camp, as David Goodchild was trying to rally the troops to get rid of the Queen should his Red tribe lose immunity. After David went to the “Survivor” Storehouse and came back with supplies, Sandra’s spidey senses started tingling and she (correctly) suspected he had actually acquired an idol.
SEE Everything to know about ‘Australian Survivor: Blood V Water’
After her Red team lost its first immunity, Sandra and Kate Tatham‘s names were both thrown out at camp, with David leading the charge. Ben Watson broke the news to Sandra that she was on the chopping block, as he wanted to work with her in the game. Ben then informed Michael “Croc” Crocker about the possibility of ousting David instead, but it was just a matter of getting enough numbers to flip the vote. Meanwhile, Samantha “Sam” Gash and some of the others wanted to keep the tribe strong by voting out the Queen and keeping the loyal David.
At tribal council, David inexplicably tried to blow up Sam’s game by calling her a “social butterfly,” and she was beyond offended because she was the person who was most fighting for him to stay. Oopsie! Sam then went around and whispered to everyone individually to vote out David. Before the votes were read, David stood up and played his idol, which meant the eight votes cast against him didn’t count. As for the other four votes, Kate got three and Sandra got one. If just one person had switched from Kate to Sandra, it would have been a two-two tie and Sandra likely would have gone home on a revote. Talk about a close one!
In Episode 4, Sandra called the previous tribal council a “hot mess.” “It was between a s*** show and a three-ring circus,” she noted. She blasted David’s grenade-throwing performance at tribal, saying that’s not how you’re supposed to play the game of “Survivor.” Later on, Sophie Cachia bragged to the camera about how she’s a natural born leader and that she has a tight foursome with the “alpha males” (Ben, Croc and Jordan Schmidt). Sandra was totally onto Sophie’s rookie alliance and hinted that she might be a better person to vote out than David.
SEE ‘Survivor’ winners list: All seasons
Prior to tribal, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that David would be going home, with Sophie going around and confirming with everyone. But Sandra called Sophie the “puppet master,” saying it’s way too early in the game for someone to take charge. “There’s only one queen,” she stated unequivocally. Sandra used Amy Ong as her mouthpiece to try to rally the votes against Sophie — that way, Sandra remained in the shadows and wouldn’t get caught. At tribal council, Sophie got the most votes, but Jonathan told her she’d actually be joining the Blue tribe.
In the fifth episode, Sandra’s Red tribe won immunity, sending the Blue team to tribal council. That’s where Alex Frost voluntarily quit the game because of his injured back.
Episode 6 turned out to be the third tribal council for the Red tribe. Sandra said it was “okay” they lost immunity because David would be going home: “I’m ready to send him packing.” However, Amy was ready to make a big move against the Queen, along with Jay Bruno and David. Michelle Chiang revealed to Sandra that she saw Amy find the idol (!) and all of a sudden everything changed. “I’m not happy with that,” Sandra declared. The new plan was to try to flush out Amy’s idol by throwing votes on both Amy and on Jay. At tribal, Amy played her idol, negating the three votes cast against her. Sandra received three votes and Jay received four, sending Jay home in a true nail-biter.
A tribe swap in the seventh episode shook up the game, with Nina (among others) joining her mother on the Red tribe. After they lost the immunity challenge, Sandra trusted that Nina and her fellow Blue alliance members would keep her safe. However, Nina’s friends, led by Jordie Hansen, were secretly plotting to get rid of her. Sandra told Jonathan she “felt good” about her new Red tribe, even though this was Day 16 and the previous two times she played, she was ousted on that day. The Queen then admitted she wouldn’t be surprised if she got a couple of votes her way, but when Nina refused to look at her, she started getting a bad feeling. The players all voted and, amazingly, Nina voted for her mother. Sandra was eliminated by a unanimous vote. “I’m not even mad,” she said as she thanked the Australians for inviting her on the show.