Survivor Winners at War: Ranking all 20 performances from season 40

Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /
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Sandra Diaz-Twine Survivor Winners at War episode 1
Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

14. Sandra Diaz-Twine

As popular as other Winners at War contestants are, Sandra’s road to the end might have been the toughest. Nobody was going to let the self-proclaimed queen of Survivor attend a record-breaking three Final Tribal Councils and win for the third time. Needless to say, Sandra came into season 40 with a target on her back the size of a twenty-foot statue.

She began the season well, evading the spotlight by sticking to her strengths. She was back to her old tricks, spreading lies about the people she wanted out. For some reason, Sandra is so effective at age-old strategies that seem redundant nowadays. Although she didn’t get the chance to do any camp life sabotaging, Sandra did go to a few potential allies, informing them that her ideal target is voting for them.

Even in the post-swap game, she was in a good spot. Her “Game Changers” alliance with Tony and Sarah looked legit, and she still had the numbers on the new Dakal tribe. That’s when things went south. She bought a temporary idol from Natalie with one Fire Token, and Day 16 was going to be the last time she could use it. Instead of playing it for herself or letting it expire, Sandra was eager enough to use it as bait.

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She decided to get two Fire Tokens out of it by selling it to Denise. Once that idol left Sandra’s hands, she gave all her control over to Denise. In a season full of talented winners, letting someone else dictate your fate is a disaster waiting to happen.

Sandra was so confident in her move that she didn’t even cast a vote on someone else in case Denise surprised her. It didn’t even matter as Denise played two idols and became the Queen Slayer. Adding even more salt to the wound, Sandra rose the white flag on the Edge of Extinction, relinquishing her responsibility of crowning the second two-time champion. She showed promise at the start but ended up falling for some rookie mistakes.


– Playing a solid, under the radar game for the first 15 days despite her huge target
– Finding a niche with Tony and Sarah, who turned out to be the most powerful duo of the season
– Seeking revenge for Boston Rob’s surprise appearance by taking out his wife
– Getting the sit-out bench named after her (still not sure if that’s a high or a low)


– Pulling off a J.T.-like mistake by giving Denise an idol, who used it to get her out in return
– Letting her overconfidence cloud her judgment and overlook Denise’s skill as a Survivor winner
– Quitting on the Edge of Extinction, becoming the only contestant to be eliminated from the Winners at War jury