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Sandra Diaz-Twine is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and the only two-time winner in Survivor (U.S.) history. She also competed on Survivor: Game Changers.

In Pearl Islands, after controlling the Drake tribe along with allies Christa Hastie and Rupert Boneham, Sandra made it to the merge where her Drake Alliance was eventually overthrown. However, she was then able to maneuver herself through the game between alliances to eventually make it to the Final Tribal Council and win in a 6-1 vote.

Sandra later returned for Heroes vs. Villains as a member of the Villains tribe where her alliance was overthrown early on by Russell Hantz. Despite this, Sandra again proceeded to demonstrate her adaptability in the face of long odds and was able to manipulate and deceive the new majority alliance into blindsiding Coach Wade in order to save her closest ally, Courtney Yates. Sandra made it to the merge despite Courtney's eventual elimination, but was rebuffed in her efforts to work in concert with the Heroes Alliance. After finding a Hidden Immunity Idol and being viewed as no threat at all, Sandra again made it to the end. Through her previous social relationships and the Heroes' overall disdain for fellow finalists Russell and Parvati Shallow, Sandra won the title of Sole Survivor in a 6-3-0 vote and became the series' first two-time winner.

Her undefeated record caused Sandra to begin Game Changers with a huge target on her back. Even so, her charisma allowed her to emerge victorious from a power struggle on the original Mana tribe against another high-profile threat in previous winner Tony Vlachos. After a Tribe Switch that sent her to the Nuku tribe, she remained in power and successfully took out previous winner J.T. Thomas. However, a second Tribe Switch cost her control of the game, and she was hastily eliminated by the Tavua Alliance led by Andrea Boehlke and Zeke Smith. This marked the first time in 94 total days of Survivor competition that Sandra was voted out. A master of low-profile, socially-savvy, self-preserving gameplay, she is widely considered one of the legends of the game.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Sandra Diaz-Twine currently lives in Ft. Lewis, Washington with her husband, Marcus, and their two children, Tatiana, 8, and Alanna, 6. She is employed as a senior office associate with the Army and Air force Exchange Service. Prior to her current employment, she served as a chemical repair specialist with the United States Army. She also previously worked in the mailroom of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and in customer service at a clothing store. Her favorite hobbies are fishing and camping. She describes herself as adventurous, dedicated and a team player. She is most proud of having graduated from community college where she received an associate degree in Business Administration from Fayetteville Community College in North Carolina. Her favorite sport is volleyball. Her mother is her hero because she has always been committed to and made sacrifices for her children. She thinks her mother is the bravest, kindest, most loving person and an inspiration. She believes she's a contender for SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS because of her ability to improvise and feels her small knowledge of hunting will be an asset to the tribe. She also thinks she's a good provider and possesses good field skills. Her birth date is July 30, 1974.[1]

Sandra Diaz-Twine (34)

Tribe: Villains
Hometown: Stamford, Conn.
Current Residence: Fayetteville, N.C.
Personal Claim To Fame: "Graduating from community college where I received an Associate's Degree in Business Administration."
Inspiration in Life: "My mother."
Previous Finishes: Pearl Islands: Winner
Favorite Past Moment: "When I dumped the fish after Rupert got voted out."
Previous Survivor She Respects Most: "I have no comment."
Previous Survivor She Respects Least: Jonny Fairplay (Pearls Islands, Micronesia)

Why Did She Come Back?: "Hands down, the money!"[2]

Age: 41
Hometown: Fayetteville, NC

Previously played on: Season 7: Pearl Islands, Winner; Season 20: Heroes vs. Villains, Winner
How have you changed since the last time you played? I've gotten older and fatter.
What skills do you bring to Survivor that will make you a useful member of the group and what skills have you been learning since you last played? My ability to get to the end no matter what the situation and being straightforward. I won't apologize for anything I do.
What are you most proud of from the last time? Winning again.
What, if anything, do you most regret? No regrets, period!

How will you play differently this time? I have no choice but to be a more aggressive-sneaky-mean-lying-and-cheating Sandra.[3]

Survivor

Pearl Islands

Sandra was initially placed on the Drake tribe where she proved herself an asset early on when her knowledge of the Spanish language helped her tribe get a huge advantage at the Panamanian village on Day 1, helping secure a huge deal for her tribe in provisions and food. Although she was not a force in challenges, Drake dominated challenges early on. During this time, Sandra grew very annoyed with Jon Dalton. This conflict came to a head when he wanted her to sit out for the Reward Challenge on Day 7 being a weak swimmer. She countered by stating that she was on the shore well before him. Sandra was also the first person to loot the opposing tribe, taking the Morgan tribe's tarp. Eventually, after finding the Buried TreasureBurton Roberts proposed to throw the next Immunity Challenge to eliminate one of the weaker members. Despite doubts about the plan, the tribe went through with it. A twist was revealed that the winning tribe would Kidnap one of the losing tribe's members. Morgan chose Rupert Boneham to abstain from the vote. The tribe voted out Burton for his failed plan. Unfortunately, by giving Morgan momentum, Drake lost all remaining Immunity Challenges. Sandra's social status kept her safe as the tribe voted out Michelle Tesauro as she was blamed for an Immunity Challenge loss. When Sandra learned that Trish Dunn was attempting to blindside Rupert, Sandra redirected the vote toward Trish.

At the next challenge on Day 19, everyone was shocked when The Outcasts, the game's first six eliminated contestants, returned for one final shot. The Outcasts won, sending both tribes to Tribal Council, where Sandra joined in voting out the increasingly volatile Shawn Cohen.

Ultimately, Burton returned to Drake and Lillian Morris returned to Morgan, with the tribes subsequently merging into the Balboa tribe. The Drake Alliance made amends with Burton, who convinced the alienated Lillian to align with Drake and vote out Andrew Savage, the former Morgan tribe leader and perceived biggest physical threat, with Ryan Opray quickly eliminated afterward. At the final eight, thinking that Darrah Johnson would be voted out, Sandra cast her vote for Jon. She was shocked when Rupert was voted out instead. Upon reaching the camp, Sandra stole the fish Rupert had caught earlier but accidentally spilled the very heavy bucket. Sandra was able to deflect suspicion off her, but her closest friend and ally Christa Hastie was blamed instead. Knowing that Christa would tell everyone, Sandra kept the fact that she was the real culprit to herself. At the Loved Ones Challenge, Sandra was the only one to know that Jon was lying about his grandmother's death. Unfortunately, Sandra's husband, Marcus, was the first person out because of that. Sandra tried to convince Tijuana Bradley to betray Burton and Jon. However, the men regained the trust of the Drake women and voted out Tijuana. Unfortunately, the men later flipped on Sandra, and Christa was ousted at the next opportunity.

At the final five, while Burton and Jon were on reward, Sandra formed an alliance with Darrah and Lillian. Neither Burton nor Jon suspected a women's alliance, with Jon making Sandra swear on her kids her loyalty. She secretly said that she swore that she would screw him and Burton. When Darrah won her third straight immunity, the women turned to challenge threat Burton over the antagonistic Jon, blindsiding him at the next Tribal Council. On Day 37, Jon turned Darrah and Lillian against each other. At the Immunity Challenge, all four castaways were vulnerable due to a twist that let the jury compete against the remaining castaways, which they won. Sandra and Jon turned on Darrah for her challenge streak. At the Final Immunity Challenge, Sandra was the first out and Lillian ultimately won immunity. Sandra stated that she would be shocked if Lillian took her to the Final Tribal Council over Jon. However, Lillian was impressed by Sandra's will to provide for her family, and deemed her more deserving and chose her.

At the Final Tribal Council, some jurors addressed her gameplay, questioning Sandra on whether she had worked for her position. Sandra answered the juror's questions effectively and noted that she was loyal to her alliances and worked hard. In the end, Sandra easily bested Lillian in a 6-1 vote, only losing Tijuana's vote.

Voting History

Sandra's Voting History
Episode Sandra's
Votes
Voted Against
Sandra
1 Drake Tribe Immune
2 Drake Tribe Immune
3 Drake Tribe Immune
4 Burton -
5 Michelle -
6 Trish -
7 Shawn -
8 Andrew -
9 Ryan O. -
10 Jon -
11 Tijuana -
12 Lillian -
13 Burton -
14 Darrah -
Ineligible -
Jury Votes
for Sandra
Burton, Christa, Darrah,
Jon, Rupert, Ryan O.
Sole Survivor, Day 39

Heroes vs. Villains

Last time I was mean, this time I'm meaner! You know, I'll lie, I don't care! But I'll make up a good lie.

–Sandra Diaz-Twine


Sandra was initially placed on the Villains tribe where would start the game amongst the majority alliance with Coach Wade, Courtney Yates, Jerri Manthey, Rob Mariano, and Tyson Apostol, with Courtney and Rob being her biggest allies. The Villains enjoyed early success in challenges. only losing to the rival Heroes tribe once, with Randy Bailey being voted out at their first Tribal Council on Day 8. The following day, a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol came with the Villains' reward. However, the clue falls out and revealed in front of the whole tribe. With Sandra threatening that whoever looked for the idol would be marked and voted out at the next Tribal Council, the tribe agreed to punish anyone who did. However, after Rob suspected that Russell Hantz went looking for the idol, Sandra went to spy on him at her alliance's behest. After Sandra spotted Russell looking for the idol, the alliance agreed to vote him out next.

When host Jeff Probst revealed on Day 15 that both tribes would vote someone out in a Double Tribal Council that night, the majority alliance planned to get split their votes 3-3, with three of the alliance voting for Russell, three voting for Russell's ally Parvati Shallow, and, expected the rival alliance of Parvati, Russell, and Danielle DiLorenzo to all vote for either Tyson. This would flush out the idol, and allow whoever between Parvati and Russell was not protected by the idol to be voted out on the revote. However, Tyson foolishly cast a fourth vote for Parvati, leading to his own elimination when Russell unexpectedly played the idol for Parvati rather than on himself; Tyson was eliminated by a 3-2-0 vote against Russell.

After this, the majority alliance would crumble. Coach and Jerri would both switch over to Russell's alliance, and Rob was voted out at the next Tribal Council. When the Villains again lost immunity on Day 21, Sandra lied to Russell, telling him that Coach was gunning for him; Russell bought the lie and Coach was voted out 4-3. Despite the Villains winning the next Reward Challenge, the tribe again lost at the subsequent Immunity Challenge and Courtney was voted out unanimously, with Sandra voting against her ally to protect herself, leaving Sandra at the bottom of the Villains' alliance at the merge.

With an even number of at five Heroes and five Villains on the merged Yin Yang tribe, Sandra would be the one to warn her friend and former Pearl Islands ally Rupert Boneham and the other Heroes about Russell lying about a proposed all-female alliance, to not trust him, and that she was willing to flip and help the Heroes Alliance. She warned that the Villains had every intention of sticking together, and Russell had no plans to help them. Though Rupert wondered if what Sandra said was true, the other Heroes would refuse to believe this after J.T. Thomas gave Russell his Hidden Immunity Idol, which Russell would then pass on to Parvati. At the merged tribe's first Tribal Council, Parvati would play two idols for both Sandra and Jerri, negating all five of the Heroes' votes against Jerri, and leaving J.T. to be voted out with all five of the Villains' votes.

At the final nine, Sandra would again attempt to switch to the Heroes' side, but she would be thwarted by Candice Woodcock flipping to the Villains' side, sending Amanda Kimmel to the jury. After the Immunity Challenge the following day, Jeff Probst would read a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol aloud to the entire tribe. In the ensuing scramble, Sandra would be the one to find the idol choosing to keep it to herself. At Tribal Council that night, Candice was voted out after Rupert and Colby Donaldson piled their votes on her to save themselves when the Villains split their votes. The failed split vote exposed fractures within the Villains alliance, with Russell now wanting to target Danielle and Parvati. At the next Tribal Council on Day 33, Sandra stuck with Danielle and Parvati in voting against Rupert. However, Jerri and Russell voted with Heroes to send Danielle home in a 4-3 vote.

Sandra would make one last attempt to help the Heroes, but Rupert would instead try to work with Russell, and told of Sandra's plan to Russell, leaving Sandra no choice but to vote him out. Sandra, sensing danger, would play her Hidden Immunity Idol for safety, negating two votes against her, but Rupert would have been voted out 4-2 regardless. The next day, Colby was then voted out for being the last Hero standing. The others, seemingly unaware of the large jury threat Sandra posed, did not target her. Russell wanted Jerri to be voted out, while Jerri targeted Pavarti. Pavarti wanted Sandra voted out, believing that she was the biggest jury threat, but after Russell won the Final Immunity Challenge, Pavarti was forced to go along with the others in voting Jerri out.

At the Final Tribal Council, Russell received negative comments from the jury, rendering him a non-factor. Parvati would try to own up to her game, but would be criticized for aligning too closely with Russell, and also for not making enough of an attempt to socialize or even talk strategy with any of the Heroes. She was also criticized for, at times, outright mocking the Heroes and belittling their attempts to get into the game, in particular, mocking the letter J.T. sent to Russell when he gave Russell his idol. Sandra played up that she had wanted Russell out since Day 1, that she had interacted well with both sides and many times tried to help the Heroes, and her ability to get to the end despite losing her core allies early, and being at the bottom of the Villains alliance. Parvati attempted to point out Sandra's poor performance in challenges, and lack of any big strategic moves. The jury awarded Sandra with her historic second Sole Survivor title with 6 votes to 3 for Parvati and 0 for Russell. All five of the Heroes jury members, along with close friend Courtney, would award Sandra their votes.

Voting History

Sandra's Voting History
Episode Sandra's
Votes
Voted Against
Sandra
1 Villains Tribe Immune
2 Villains Tribe Immune
3 Randy -
4 Villains Tribe Immune
5 Villains Tribe Immune
6 Russell -
7 Russell -
8 Coach -
9 Courtney -
10 J.T. -1
11 Amanda -
12 Candice -
Rupert -
13 Rupert Colby, Rupert2
14 Colby Colby
Jerri -
Jury Votes
for Sandra
Amanda, Candice, Colby,
Courtney, J.T., Rupert
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In Going Down in Flames, Parvati used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Sandra, but did not negate any votes against her.
^2 In Loose Lips Sink Ships, Sandra used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 2 votes against her.

Game Changers

I'm the only person to ever win Survivor two times... and it wasn't just luck. That's what I know how to do-- make it to Day 39 and not get voted off. The queen stays queen. Adiós.

–Sandra


Sandra entered Survivor: Game Changers as one of three former winners. She had an especially big target on her back since she had won twice prior. She was initially placed on the Mana tribe. After Mana lost the first Immunity Challenge on Day 3, the tribe made an easy vote and decided to unanimously vote Ciera Eastin out for playing too hard too early. The next day, Sandra made an alliance with fellow former winner Tony Vlachos on the basis that they were both major threats, with the duo planning to link up with J.T. Thomas, the third winner in the season, should they ever meet on the same tribe. Sandra and Tony pulled in Aubry Bracco, Caleb Reynolds, and Malcolm Freberg, and thus the alliance of five controlled the nine-person Mana tribe. However, on Night 5, Tony caught Sandra talking with Troyzan Robertson in the middle of the night. Even though Sandra had not reneged on the alliance, Tony misinterpreted the conversation and confronted her. This resulted in Sandra and Tony turning against each other - Tony for seeing Sandra as too major a threat, and Sandra for not wanting to be controlled by another person. Mana narrowly lost their second challenge on Day 6. Sandra gathered her troops; she spoke to those who were on the outs of the alliance of big threats, namely Troyzan, Hali Ford, Jeff Varner, and Michaela Bradshaw, wanting them to vote with her to take out Tony. At Tribal Council, Sandra voted against Aubry in the event that Tony played a Hidden Immunity Idol while the rest of the tribe voted in her favor and sent Tony packing.

Day 7 brought a Tribe Switch, with Sandra being sent to the Nuku tribe with her former Mana tribemates Aubry, Jeff, Malcolm, and Michaela, leaving J.T., the sole original Nuku, on the outs. Nuku won the third Immunity Challenge, and later the first Reward Challenge. During this time, J.T. plotted with Malcolm to take Sandra out of the competition behind her back. At the Immunity Challenge on Day 11, host Jeff Probst revealed that only one tribe would win immunity and that the two tribes who lost the challenge would be sent to a Joint Tribal Council, where they would collectively vote one person out. Nuku had an early lead but the tribe would narrowly lose the challenge to the Tavua tribe, sending to Tribal Council with Mana. That afternoon, J.T. continued plotting against Sandra, mainly with his new ally Malcolm. However, the rest of the tribe planned to vote together. They planned to vote against Mana's Sierra Dawn Thomas for being their strongest female competitor. At a chaotic Tribal Council, J.T. revealed to his original Nuku tribemates on Mana that Sierra was Nuku's target, and hoped to get the Mana tribe to blindside Sandra. In the end, Nuku continued with their original plan, piling their votes onto Sierra. Unfortunately, Tai Trang played his idol on Sierra, negating the six votes cast against her. Malcolm was taken out, much to the chagrin of the Nuku tribe.

Malcolm's untimely blindside infuriated Sandra, who, after the Tribal Council, confronted J.T. Sandra planned to get J.T. out for his "dirty deed" should Nuku lose the next Immunity Challenge. After Nuku won the challenge, Sandra played on the brewing feud between J.T. and Michaela, escalating the tension by consuming the tribe's sugar and putting the blame on Michaela. Nuku went on to lose the Immunity Challenge, with Sandra seizing the opportunity to exact revenge on J.T. At Tribal Council, J.T. and Michaela's feud reached a fever pitch. Sandra took advantage of this to secure Michaela's vote. She pulled the wool over Aubry and J.T., and with Jeff's vote, J.T. was sent home with an idol in his pocket.

A second Tribe Switch occurred on Day 14, placing Sandra on the third revision of the Nuku tribe. She was relegated to the bottom with Jeff, as the original Nuku members who were sent to Tavua in the first switch held the majority. The Tavua Alliance planned to get Sandra out for being a two-time winner. Sandra's fate was sealed when Nuku lost the next Immunity Challenge. However, she saw through the majority's lie that she was safe over Tai and tried to gather votes against him by telling Andrea Boehlke, Ozzy Lusth, and Sarah Lacina that she would vote with them come the merge. At Tribal Council, Tai whispered to Sandra, telling her to vote against Ozzy. Sandra made a last-ditch attempt to gather votes against Ozzy or against Tai for his perceived duplicity, but this was all for naught. Sandra was voted out in a 5-2 vote. However, she received a positive ovation from her tribemates when leaving and also emerged as the highest-placing former winner in the season.

Voting History

Sandra's Voting History
Episode Sandra's
Votes
Voted Against
Sandra
1 Ciera -
Aubry -
2 Nuku Tribe Immune
3 Sierra1 -
4 J.T. -
5 Tai Andrea, Ozzy,
Sarah, Tai, Zeke
Voted Off, Day 16

^1 In The Tables Have Turned, Tai used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Sierra, negating Sandra's vote against her.

Post-Survivor

  • After Pearl Islands, Sandra appeared on The Early Show and talked about All-Stars. She correctly predicted that Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano would go far in the game, while Thailand winner Brian Heidik, who was also a guest, said that they would not.[4] 
  • In the summer of 2009, Sandra, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"[5]
  • On January 9, 2010, Sandra attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of her Heroes vs. Villains castmates.
  • For winning the game twice, Sandra was one of the first five inductees of the Survivor Hall of Fame along with Parvati Shallow, Richard Hatch, Rob Mariano, and Russell Hantz in 2010.
  • In an episode of Dr. Phil aired on November 18, 2013, Sandra was in the audience to show support for China winner Todd Herzog, who was battling alcoholism.
  • On February 25, 2015, the day of the Worlds Apart premiere, Sandra appeared in a Survivor roundtable retrospective alongside host Jeff Probst and former contestants John Cochran, Parvati Shallow, and Rob Cesternino.[6] Sandra revealed that she was currently working at a law firm, but was preparing to leave for Georgia by August, where her husband was based.

Trivia

  • Sandra is Survivor's first and only two-time winner.
  • In "Flames and Endurance", the finale of Pearl Islands, host Jeff Probst referred to Sandra as "the lippiest mother we've ever had on the show."
  • Sandra had the first confessional in Pearl Islands.
  • Sandra was the first Hispanic castaway to make it to Final Tribal Council and is currently the only Hispanic winner.
  • Sandra is the only castaway to never receive a vote against her in Pearl Islands.
  • Sandra was the first Sole Survivor to not win any individual challenge even indirectly, as Tina Wesson's family won the Loved Ones Challenge in The Australian Outback for her.
  • Sandra was invited back for All-Stars but declined because she was still recovering from the parasites she got from Pearl Islands.[7]
  • Sandra and Parvati Shallow are the only former winners to make it to the end twice.
  • Sandra is the first female contestant to play a Hidden Immunity Idol during a season and go on to win that season.
  • Sandra is one of four Survivor contestants (the others being Amanda Kimmel, Parvati Shallow, and Russell Hantz) to play at least 3 times and only be voted out once.
  • In Sandra's voting confessionals in all of her seasons, she always ended her confessional by saying "Adiós".
  • Both times Sandra reached the Final Tribal Council, she received six votes to win.
  • Sandra was the highest-placing previous winner in Game Changers, outlasting both Tony Vlachos and J.T. Thomas.
    • Sandra is the only castaway to be the highest-placing previous winner in two different seasons.

References

Preceded by
The Amazon
S6 jenna t
Jenna Morasca
Sole Survivor Titleholder
Pearl Islands
S7 sandra t
Sandra Diaz-Twine
Succeeded by
All-Stars
S8 amber t
Amber Brkich
Preceded by
Samoa
S19 natalie t
Natalie White
Sole Survivor Titleholder
Heroes vs. Villains
S20 sandra t
Sandra Diaz-Twine
Succeeded by
Nicaragua
S21 fabio t
Fabio Birza