With the help of my friend Gavin, we’ll outline exactly what went wrong for the most recent boot from Survivor: Game Changers. Since this is a season with returning players, we’ll also take a look at their span of games and if that influenced their demise. Which is 100% likely. Also, not that I need to mention this, but there are definitely spoilers ahead.
I’m thinking of changing this post around because when I honestly sat down trying to think about what went wrong for our Survivor Queen, I came up a little short. Sure, there are things here and there that could’ve been different, but in the grand scheme of things Sandra was phenomenal and I don’t know that playing any differently would get her any further.
So, this week instead of talking about what went wrong we’re going to be giving the first Survivor Eulogy. And who better to kick things off than the one and only, Sandra Diaz-Twine.
Sandra came to our screens in Survivor: Pearl Islands as mostly a secondary character to the all-famous Rupert. She was a perfect sidekick though and gave us many moments to root for her: hiding the fish after Rupert’s blindside, shouting “I CAN GET LOUD TOO WHAT THE FUCK?”, and being the only person to not believe Johnny Fairplay’s dead grandmother lie. She slipped into the finals being deemed more deserving (which is hilarious honestly) and won over the jury. Easy money.
Seven years later, Sandra returns in Survivor: Heroes vs Villains on the Villain side of things (because, duh). While we don’t get to hear too much from her in the early portion, we know she’s willing to stir up trouble. Evading vote after vote for being a weak player, Sandra makes the merge and starts playing a bit more aggressively. She warns the Heroes about Russell’s sinister ways, but to no avail. She slips past vote after vote AGAIN and lands herself in the final three. After burning Russell’s hat, she puts on a decent Final Tribal Council performance which wins her a second million dollars.
Our first two-time winner somehow returns for Survivor: Game Changers and fans everywhere scream from the rooftops. “THE QUEEN IS BACK” they yell.
Quite honestly, I thought the only way that Sandra could up her legacy was to win again or at the very least make the jury and give one hell of a jury speech. But after watching the first episode, I knew her legacy was already upped.
Sandra started off the season being her old self… as long as it ain’t me. And it worked for the Ciera vote. But I think that one vote was all Sandra wanted to get through, because her aggressive nature went into high gear. She started running the show and it was a look we haven’t yet seen from her. She took control of the people on the bottom of Mana and shifted the vote toward Tony, taking out another winner.
Our first tribe swap happened and, luckily, Sandra was placed in the majority with 4 other Mana members and JT. It was clear Sandra could make it another vote. But we get the new “early merge tribal council” and all hell breaks loose. Sandra doesn’t lose confidence though, and pushes her tribe forward. Malcolm is booted due to JT’s terrible move, but the queen stays put and in charge.
Coming back to her camp for revenge, Sandra forms a plan to get JT out. Steal the sugar and blame Michaela. It’s foolproof and the gif to last a lifetime is born:
Sandra lures JT into a false confidence and before he knows it, his torch is being snuffed. It’s probably one of the best episodes Sandra has ever had across her multiple seasons.
Which brings us to her final episode, another dreaded swap. With four of her former Mana members out of the game already, Sandra gets stuck on the bottom with only Varner by her side. She knows she’s in trouble, but even as she enters tribal council you can tell she’s ready for one last hail mary.
She first exploits Tai’s unnerving nature and gets him to tell her a name to write down. Then she passes the name to the other tribe members and pushes Tai further under the bus. The scramble seems real and we as the audience know that Sandra has just, once again, avoided being voted out. But the votes roll in, and Sandra’s name comes up.
Three times… this is it.
“The sixth person voted out of Survivor: Game Changers… Sandra.”
For the first time ever, Sandra brings her torch up to Probst for snuffing. It’s an amazing scene and one even the layers know is momentous. As her flame goes out, she’s met with applause and walks down the fallen comrades trail. I can only hope it’s the last time we see that walk from Sandra.
I cannot get enough of Sandra. I wanted to see her play in the merge phase with these other legends like Cirie and Ozzy. But it wasn’t in the cards this time around, I guess. And you know what? I can live with that. Because even though she’s only the sixth person voted out, that’s six more rounds of Survivor that had Sandra in them! We got five glorious weeks of Sandra taking charge, trying to kill a goat, stealing sugar, and repeating her catch phrase, “The queen stays queen.” It was magic and I loved every minute of Sandra on my TV.
I can only hope that Sandra will return for the ever-looming All Winner’s season. Her target certainly got bigger from this showing, but in a season like that? Her target will still be smaller than others. My fingers are crossed that we’ll have a three-time winner of Survivor at some point in the future. And as she takes her third million dollar check, we’ll be hearing her say, “Adios.”
That’s it for this round and I hope y’all enjoys the Eulogy rather than the what went wrong that it normally is. Let me know your thoughts below! And don’t forget to read the Episode 6 (Week 5) – Recap from the last episode (because it was a fun one).