Say it ain’t so. After 16 days on the island, Survivor all-star and the only two-time winner of Survivor Sandra Diaz-Twine was voted off Survivor.
After a total of 94 days spent in various Survivor situations, Sandra was booted off of Game Changers in Season 34 after another tribal shake-up and another very weird Tribal Council session. Even if you weren’t a fan of Sandra, who we admit could sometimes come off as some sort of psychopathic genius diva from hell, you have to admit that she is probably the most talented person to ever play the game and that you will miss her next week when the level of game play inevitably goes way, way down.
In case you missed it
Here’s what went down in case you couldn’t bear to watch or in case your DVR mistakenly recorded Modern Family:
There was a terrifying drop-your-buffs moment on the beach in which the three tribes were consolidated into two tribes and Debbie, who was carted away to Exile Island. The biggest two losers in the new buff draw were Sandra and Jeff, the only two original Mana members on the new Nuku tribe. And of course, since everyone is terrified of Sandra, she immediately had a big X on her back and knew it.
Sandra’s first instinct when backed into a corner was simply to win the Immunity Challenge and avoid Tribal Council, but although the two teams were pretty tied during the race, Mana kicked butt in the puzzle portion and Nuku lost.
Sandra’s second instinct was to talk the other team into voting out Tai — and she did so with the Sandra smoothness that we are all used to by this point. It sounded like she was calmly and deliberately explaining to an 8-year-old why the family cat needed to be euthanized. As Andrea told the camera later, “It’s like she’s grooming us — she doesn’t pressure you, her voice doesn’t raise, she just sucks you in…”
Jeff was lied to and told that Tai was on the chopping block, but Sandra, in her infinite wisdom, didn’t believe it for a second. She was like a soldier going to a battle who knew she was not to return.
At Tribal Council, things got confusing. At one point, Tai said everyone should vote for Ozzy, and for a moment Sandra’s face lit up with happiness and mischief just like old times. Somehow, though, the Mana members managed to avoid Sandra’s siren call, ditch the drama of Tribal Council and stick together against Sandra.
It was sad when her torch went out, because if Sandra can’t make it in this world, who can?
An homage to Sandra
Even though Sandra is gone from this season of Survivor (and from Survivor for good, most likely), it doesn’t mean that she has to be gone from our hearts. Maybe what the world needs is a little more Sandra in our lives, standing up for us, scheming for us, making sure we get all the way to the end.
Maybe tomorrow, when it seems like there’s no way out, you find a way through determination and cunning and street smarts and regular smarts.
Maybe tomorrow, when your children aren’t cooperating when getting ready for school, you use mind games to pit them against each other while also turning their before-school routine into a smoothly running machine.
Maybe tomorrow, when someone has obviously stolen your Diet Coke out of the communal fridge, you get revenge by getting that person fired under false pretenses all in under a week.
Maybe tomorrow, if you see an adorable baby goat, you should mercilessly kill and eat it because that’s what Sandra would have wanted.
A quick summary of the other stuff that happened last night
We just want to sit here quietly reflecting on Sandra, but we also realize this is a recap article, so here are a few other things of note that we should review quickly before stopping to build our Sandra shrine:
- Tai found not one, but two hidden Immunity Idols. He gets some flak for not being a super-smart Survivor player, but you cannot argue that he is a huge game changer. Major props to him.
- Debbie thought she was headed to a shitty deserted island, but really it was a boat filled with food, wine, pillows and John Cochran, who gave her strategic advice (or tried to anyway) along with a free extra vote advantage heading back into the game.
- Upon her return, Debbie joined the Nuku in Sandra’s place. Sad face.