“She Continues to Amaze Me”: Sandra Diaz-Twine Gushes About Nina’s Australian Survivor Game
The Day 16 curse has struck again, with two-time Survivor winner Sandra Diaz-Twine eliminated last night from Australian Survivor: Blood Vs. Water last night after a tribe swap found her in the minority alliance. The twist of the knife?
Speaking to POPSUGAR Australia on Monday morning, Sandra said that Nina’s choice was the right one for her to make.
“I told her from the beginning, ‘unless you’ve got an idol and you can save me, never put your neck on the line for me, they’re gonna come after me no matter what’,” Sandra explained. “Not only that, but you can’t win this game alone. You need to be with the majority, you need to have an alliance that has your back, and it would make zero sense for her to write down someone else’s name and for her to have to deal with that after Tribal Council back at camp.”
Although Sandra hadn’t initially felt like she was in trouble when the tribe went into Tribal Council, things changed once she heard what people were saying throughout the evening.
“I knew it was coming, I got a feeling,” she recalled. “The more I kept talking, Jordy was interrupting me and saying… ‘stick to the plan, stick to the plan’, and I’m looking around like ‘who’s he looking at, who’s he nodding at?’ I was like ‘okay, it’s me. It’s definitely me’.”
A proud mum, Sandra said that she’s been impressed watching Nina’s gameplay throughout the season so far, and she’s excited to continue watching as the rest of Blood Vs Water unfolds.
“I’ve just been super proud of her, and I’m so glad that she got her strength and gusto from her daddy, she’s just been giving it her all in the challenges,” she said.
Sandra continued: “She continues to amaze me, episode after episode. She’s been pulling the strings, and she’s calling it! It’s important that you see what’s going on out there, that you’re paying attention to every detail.”
The Survivor legend went on to say that Nina has one advantage that Sandra does not: her physical strength and fitness for challenges.
“I’m the opposite of that,” she said, laughing. “I have an allergic reaction to the gym, I get hives just thinking about it!”
After finding out that the pair would be headed down under for Australian Survivor, Sandra said that she’d rewatch the show on her phone while working out at the gym.
With a reputation for sitting out of challenges in her previous seasons, Sandra had observed how important physical strength is in Australian Survivor and wanted to step up to the plate.
“I was like ‘oh my God, this is not gonna be easy’, but I gave it my all, every time,” she said.
In fact, when asked what the highlight and hardest part of her time on the season was, Sandra said that the answer is the same for both: the challenges.
“I mean, me sitting out only one of 14 challenges?!” she mused. “That in itself was a record; I don’t think I’ve done that many in one single season of Survivor.”
“The hungrier you are, the harder it is to put one foot in front of the other at the challenges, and each challenge felt even harder than the previous one,” she continued. “Every time that I went out and did one, I felt like I deserved a pat on the back! It was not easy for me, at all.”
Watching the season back as it airs, Sandra said she’s been enjoying getting to relive it all and see the conversations and moves that she wasn’t privy to play out.
Of course, one revelation was finding out that it was her own alliance member, Sam Gash, who actually wrote her name down at Tribal Council rather than Juicy Dave.
“You know what’s crazy is that I had a heart-to-heart with Dave, we were trying to put everything to the side,” Sandra said. “He was like ‘I wanna talk to you, I NEVER wrote your name down’, so I spoke to him for maybe 30, 40 minutes, and then I got back and everyone was like ‘what’d he say?! What’d he say?!’ and I was like ‘you know what, after talking to him, I don’t think he wrote my name down!’”
She continued: “I’d spoken to Dave and I believed him, and then I spoke to Sam and she reinforced my doubts and I was back on him again!
“I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on it. She was pushing it so hard that she would never do that, and I bought into it.”
Although Sandra may not have beaten the Day 16 Curse this time, she actually made it further into the game than she thought she would, “especially after showing up in a helicopter!” she said, laughing.
“Of all things, I know better than to show up anywhere in a damn helicopter!” she exclaimed. “I tell people all the time, I don’t sit around camp saying ‘I’m the queen, I’m this, I’m that’.
“I offer Survivor knowledge, tell them about my experience, things they can learn from,” she explained. “When you play for the very first time, you don’t know everything, you may think you know, but you don’t. I have so much experience under my belt, I wanted to share it with them, but also make them feel like I was someone they could learn from, that they could work with, that I’d help them navigate through the game and if they wanted to work with me, they could.”
As for whether we’ll see her back on Australian Survivor? Only if there are no tribe swaps, she said.
“I keep saying, if they want me back on Australian Survivor, I don’t want to tribe swaps!” she exclaimed. “In Pearl Islands I won, there was never a tribe swap, in Heroes Vs Villains there was never a tribe swap, just a merge. With tribe swap, I’m always outnumbered. It messed up everything I’d put into motion.”
Australian Survivor airs at 7.30pm, Sundays and Mondays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.
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