EXCLUSIVE: Why Survivor Blood V Water star Sandra Diaz-Twine knew her fellow contestants were out to get her

“There was a target on my back.”

By Helen Vnuk
Survivor royalty Sandra Diaz-Twine thought she was done with being a castaway. After six seasons, and with two wins under her belt, she felt she'd proved her game-play ability and announced her retirement.
But when the opportunity to go on Survivor with her daughter Nina came up, Sandra couldn't say no.
"I meant it when I said I was retired," the 47-year-old tells TV WEEK. "But it was Blood V Water and I had the opportunity to take a loved one with me."
The contestants were gunning for Sandra from the start. (Image: Ten)
Nina, who was five years old when Sandra first went on the show in 2003 and is now 24, is a super-fan of the series. After trying out for previous seasons in the US with no luck, Survivor: Blood V Water was the opportunity for the pair to show Australia what they're made of.
"Nina knows the game inside and out, and has what it takes to kick some butt," Sandra says with a laugh.
"She's so smart and so strong physically, whereas I'm the opposite. She's the total package, a secret weapon. Everything I don't have, she has."
Sandra is competing alongside her daughter Nina. (Image: Ten)
Before the "Queen of Survivor" arrived, she thought she'd be able to slip under the radar, but the moment the other castaways saw her, she knew she was a marked woman.
"I wanted to be as invisible and under the radar as possible," she says.
"There were people who had watched Survivor who knew who I was. So it was one of those things where I decided that I'm just going to play for as long as they allow me to."
Thankfully, Sandra had done her research too. Watching as many seasons of Australian Survivor as she could, and quickly piecing together who everyone was from conversations, she realised that she wasn't the only one people would be gunning to vote out.
"I thought, 'Good – there are other big names out here,'" she says. "Maybe I can gravitate towards these people, because the others will come after us. I wasn't the only one out here dealing with a big target on my back. After me, then who?"
"I wanted to be as invisible and under the radar as possible." (Image: Ten)

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