Sandra Diaz-Twine

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Sandra Diaz-Twine
Born (1974-07-30) July 30, 1974 (age 41)
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
Television Survivor: Pearl Islands (winner)
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (winner)

Sandra Diaz-Twine (born July 30, 1974) is an American television personality who became known for her appearances on the reality game show Survivor. She won both seasons she appeared on, Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, making her the show's only two-time winner.[1] She was born in Stamford, Connecticut and currently lives with her husband and two children while working as a secretary for a law firm in Fayetteville, North Carolina.[2][3]


Pearl Islands[edit]

Sandra seemed like an early target for her lack of physical strength and inability to swim, but her knowledge of the Spanish language and her resourcefulness, which helped their tribe Drake gather much needed resources from local traders at the start of the game, put her in good stead with the majority of her tribe. She eventually formed an alliance with Rupert Boneham, Christa Hastie, Trish Dunn, and Johnny Fairplay. Sandra was the first person to sit out of a challenge and the first to raid on Morgan's camp as part of the reward, where she not only took their tarp, but sabotaged their shelter. When Drake lost the fourth and fifth immunity challenges, the alliance voted out the minority alliance's Burton Roberts and Michelle Tesauro. When Drake lost the sixth immunity challenge, the originally-targeted Shawn Cohen was saved when Sandra turned the alliance against Trish for instigating an attempted blindside of Rupert.

With the Drake and Morgan tribes even at five members each, they were shocked when the six contestants who had been previously voted out came back into the game as a third tribe, in a turn of events called "Outcast Twist." When the tribe of outcasts competed against the Drake and Morgan tribes and subsequently won the immunity challenge, two of the outcasts were allowed to return to the game. At the same time, both Drake and Morgan were forced to vote out a tribe member. In a game-changing move, Sandra, Rupert, and Christa, unsure about whether to send home Shawn, the last minority alliance member left, or Jon, who betrayed them previously together with Trish, asked them to publicly campaign for their spot. The alliance eventually eliminated Shawn, and received Burton as a replacement from the outcasts group.

As the tribes merged into Balboa at 5-5, the Drake tribe, with the help of outcast Burton, was able to sway Morgan outcast Lillian Morris to vote with them, controlling the game and subsequently voting out Morgan leaders Andrew Savage and Ryan Opray. However, the game took a major shift when old Drake members Jon and Burton aligned themselves with Lillian, and recruited the remaining Morgan members Tijuana Bradley and Darrah Johnson. This new alliance successfully targeted Rupert and he was blindsided.

At the final 7, it seemed Sandra and Christa were doomed by this newly created alliance, but Sandra swayed Tijuana and Darrah by spying on Burton and Jon to expose their intentions to eliminate the Morgan girls after Sandra and Christa. However, when Burton and Jon learned of this impending mutiny, they regained the trust of Sanrda and Christa (with the help of Jon's infamous "dead grandmother" fiasco) to successfully blindside Tijuana. Soon after that, they were betrayed once again when Burton and Jon switched sides and Christa was voted out next.

At the final 5, Darrah was the next target of Burton and Jon, but Lillian started to have suspicions about her alliance (which would prove true eventually). Burton made a potentially fatal error by inviting Jon on his reward trip, leaving the three women, including an angered Lillian, together back at camp, sparking a last minute scramble to break the bond between the two guys, eventually voting out Burton.

After Sandra made it to the final 4, she was no longer a target, with Lillian targeting physically strong Darrah and Darrah targeting Lillian, believing that no one could win against her in the final 2. Sandra and Jon decided to side with Lillian and vote out Darrah, propelling them into the final 3. In the final 3 endurance immunity challenge, Lillian won and chose to eliminate Jon, an error that led to Sandra's ultimate win.

In the end, after having previously stated that no one could ever win against Lillian because she was too nice, Sandra annihilated Lillian in the final vote, winning by a vote of 6-1 to become the Sole Survivor. During her final statements at Tribal Council, Sandra described her strategy as being the one people would come to if they needed one more vote to oust someone ("anyone, as long as it ain't me"). She gained the votes of Ryan, Rupert, Christa, Burton, Darrah and Jon. Only Tijuana voted for Lillian.

Heroes vs. Villains[edit]

After declining a spot on Survivor: All-Stars due to recovering from parasites and being cut at the last minute for Survivor: Micronesia,[4] Sandra accepted a spot on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. She was one of four previous winners chosen; the other three were Tom Westman of Survivor: Palau, Parvati Shallow of Survivor: Micronesia, and J.T. Thomas of Survivor: Tocantins. Sandra was placed on the Villains tribe, and in the first episode, when host Jeff Probst asked who believed they were on the wrong tribe, Sandra was quick to raise her hand. During the first reward challenge, Sandra deliberately tore Sugar's top off. This, according to Cirie Fields, solidified why she was chosen as a villain.

In episode 3, when the Villains faced their first tribal council, Sandra stuck with her strategy from Pearl Islands of "as long as it ain't me". She, along with the rest of the Villains tribe, unanimously voted out Randy Bailey, formerly of Survivor: Gabon. Despite previously appearing to be in a comfortable six person alliance, by Episode 8, Sandra found herself on the outs of her tribe alongside Courtney Yates of Survivor: China. Despite the pair being considered the weakest on the tribe, Sandra convinced Russell Hantz that Benjamin "Coach" Wade was against him, and Sandra and Courtney survived elimination at tribal council. Courtney, however, was voted off in the subsequent tribal council.

After the merge, Sandra pleaded with the Heroes not to trust Russell. However, they did not listen, and despite several attempts to oust Russell, Sandra remained with the Villains after her plans to help the Heroes failed to materialize. Sandra made it to the final three, along with Parvati and Russell. On May 16, 2010, Sandra received six jury votes to Parvati's three and Russell's zero to win the game. She became the first and, to date, only contestant to have won Survivor twice. The $2,000,000 in prize money (combined from both seasons) is the most money ever won by a woman in an American television contest.


In 2013, Sandra was in the audience of an episode of Dr. Phil to support her friend and fellow Survivor winner, Todd Herzog, who was struggling with alcoholism.[5]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jenna Morasca
Winner of Survivor
Survivor: Pearl Islands
Succeeded by
Amber Brkich
Preceded by
Natalie White
Winner of Survivor
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
Succeeded by
Jud "Fabio" Birza