Sandra Diaz-Twine wins Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
Everything comes to a head as Russell’s plans fall into place. But his scheming, lying, and backstabbing prevents him from seeing what he’s doing to the very jury he expects to crown him king, and while Parvati takes her share of shrapnel for aligning with one of the most hated players to ever play the game, Sandra’s charm ends up getting her further than anyone could have imagined.
After Colby’s exit, the next challenge had the castaways navigating a maze blindfolded, and in an amazing nail-biter Russell won and secured himself a spot in the final four.
Even as Russell crowed that Sandra “cannot beat me,” he helped oust Jerri, who became the 17th person voted out.
And Survivor’s best player ever? As the votes were read in front of a studio audience, the evil genius lost out to Sandra, the coat-tail rider.
A two-time Survivor winning coat-tail rider, that is.
34-year-old Sandra Diaz-Twine became the first ever repeat Survivor winner, beating fellow Villains Parvati and Russell in the final three. The episode began with Parvati the endurance queen winning the night’s first immunity competition (which was a redo of China‘s final challenge in which contestants had to stack up dishes on a wobbly arm), leading to Colby becoming the final Hero to be voted off, ending his long yet ultimately disappointing campaign.
Then, after honoring their fallen comrades by torching their names in a giant fire, the final four took part in one of the most riveting final challenges ever, as they went blindfolded through a maze while collecting necklaces. Russell narrowly secured the immunity necklace a split second before Jerri and Parvati could grab it. That split second would cost Jerri, who was the last contestant voted off, setting up a final three of Russell, Parvati, and Sandra. (And don’t get me started on how much I hate final threes as opposed to final twos.)
Russell and Parvati take a walk. Parvati thinks Sandra has Courtney, Candice and Amanda’s votes, minimum. Russell tells her he wants Jerri on the jury because she would vote for him. Russell says he’s on the fence because he doesn’t think Parvati would vote for him in the end, “but she might.”
At tribal council, they talk about what their strategies were when they got back to camp after the challenge. Sandra says she went to the person with immunity, and that he keeps telling her she wouldn’t win. Parvati says she feels very vulnerable and that “if people are trying to vote out threats,” she will probably be leaving. Jerri says Parvati’s a threat because she has been kicking butt and has lots of friends. Parvati says Russell should take her to the end if he wants to redeem himself since they’ve been allied. She says she’s been protecting him, and he's annoyed. He says he’s been protecting her. She says they’ve been protecting each other. He’s not buying that, either.
Sandra was determined to get rid of Russell during the season, but she was never successful.
“He wants the title of “Sole Survivor” If that’s what Russell wants, that’s what I’ve got to make sure Russell doesn’t get,” she said.
Sandra was on the Villains team and has played Survivor once before. She was also the winner of that season, despite the fact she has never won a challenge on the show.
The final physical challenge, in which the players were forced to make their way through a maze blindfolded, was based on luck rather than will and determination. Russell beat Parvati and Jerri by a hair to claim a spot on his second final tribal council.
Sandra convinced Russell to take her to the final three with the argument that the jury would never vote for her since she already won the million dollars. The past winners argument is a strong one — who really wants to give someone else another million bucks? — and made Parvati a logical choice for the final three as well. But at camp, Russell sounded intent on taking Jerri with him to the end.
At the penultimate tribal council, Parvati seemed truly nervous she would fall short of the final council, despite her close (but complicated) alliance with Russell. But Russell surprised viewers and took Parvati to the end, pitting two previous winners against one of Survivor’s most notorious villains.
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