May 19, 2010 07:17 PM by Ryan Haidet
Survivor history was made earlier this week when “Sassy” Sandra Diaz-Twine became the first contestant to win the game twice. That’s right, Sandra took home the $1 million in the show’s 7th edition Survivor: Pearl Islands. The 34-year-old mother from Fayetteville, North Carolina, talked with RealityTVMagazine’s Ryan Haidet after she won the game on Sunday, May 16. During the red carpet chat, Sandra delivered details about Russell and his dirty ways, weighed in on her own strategy and talked about what it was like having her husband home from Afghanistan to watch her take the title.
Read on to see an exclusive video from the red carpet with Sandra.
Check out Ryan Haidet’s interview with Sandra on the red carpet after she won the $1 million prize.
Ryan Haidet — RealityTVMagazine: I talked to you in January (at the 10th anniversary party) and the one thing you told me about the game is that you wish there were no challenges.
Sandra Diaz-Twine: ‘Cause I hate them. Did I say that to you?
RTVMag: You did, you told me that. But you said that was a strategy.
Sandra: I hate challenges and being a weak player is actually a strategy. Some people say it’s not, but you can’t win everything. Yes people love you when you’re a tribe and you’re winning challenges. But the minute you’re by yourself, unless you win everything, you’re gonna go home. And usually you’re outnumbered by the minority who’s afraid of you because you’re strong. It always happens.
RTVMag: Winning for the second time you’ve made Survivor history, and your husband was here to see it. Talk about that moment when you got off the stage and gave him a big hug.
Sandra: I started to cry, but then I calmed down because he was there. My win the first time was more emotional than this one. This one was more like, “Let’s get this over with.” I thought Parvati was gonna win — I guess that’s why I didn’t cry like I wanted to. Like I should’ve, I guess. But I was glad that my husband was here.
RTVMag: You had a standoff with Russell in the reunion show.
Sandra: I hate Russell like I hated Jonny Fairplay.
RTVMag: Who’s worse?
RTVMag: Kind of describe what day-to-day life was like with Russell because fans absolutely adore him.
Sandra: People like Russell in the game, but if they had to live with Russell on a day-to-day basis they wouldn’t be happy. Ask his wife. From what I understand, that’s all a facade. She’s just smiling, but it’s not real.
RTVMag: Really? What don’t we see?
Sandra: I don’t know. I don’t want to start saying stuff and then — ya know — rumors.
RTVMag: No, I mean what do we not see with Russell in the game?
Sandra: Russell doesn’t bathe. For real. That’s why I had said at Tribal Council that he needed to take his dirty ass to the ocean and wash up. That’s why I burned his hat, ’cause it was funky. He’s really nasty, so I’m like what woman would lay with him? Then I used to say, “How can Danielle and Parvati lay next to him every day?”
RTVMag: You never told him you tossed his hat?
Sandra: That happened on day 37. That was at the end. I just took it and threw it in the fire. Then I felt bad because he was crying about it for two hours. He was like, “Where’s my hat?” I’m like, “Maybe it blew away,” because that day the wind was blowing. Then I felt bad ’cause he was like, “I’ve had that hat for two seasons.” And I’m thinking like, “Oh damn, I feel bad.” Then he started talking shit, then I was like fuck it he deserves to get the hat burned.
RTVMag: So what are you going to do with this second million dollars?
Sandra: The first thing I’m gonna do is not be another Richard Hatch — pay my taxes. Then I’m gonna take my kids to Germany to meet my husband’s side of the family.
RTVMag: Advice to a future player?
Sandra: Take it day by day. Don’t go over there on day 1 already knowing how you’re going to spend your million dollars. Make sure you’re in the majority. Don’t take yourself out of the game because of an injury. Don’t make just one alliance, make two alliances. Never give away your Immunity Idol. Don’t tell anyone you have an Immunity Idol. I mean there’s so many things I’d take from different games and different strategies that different winners have made, and I just combine them and have my winning combination.
RTVMag: What was the game-changing moment for you?
Sandra: There’s so many things that I adjusted to like Tyson, like JT. So for me to pinpoint one thing that I — I can’t because I just move around and if that’s not gonna work I go and do something else. That’s how I play.
Red carpet images by Leah Machek. All other images courtesy of CBS.
Stay tuned for other exclusive interviews from the Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains red carpet with Parvati Shallow, Russell Hantz, Jerri Manthey and Colby Donaldson.