SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

As shocking as it was for Survivor fans to see two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine essentially get voted out with her own immunity idol last week on the Winners at War season, there was an even more surprising development to begin this week’s episode.

Upon arriving at the Edge of Extinction — where voted-out players must bide their time and suffer in attempts to collect food and Fire Tokens in the hopes of returning to the game — Sandra decided she wanted no part of it. “You don’t have to convince me,” Sandra told the others about her decision to quit. “I already know this is not for me. Sorry, y’all, I can’t be here. I can’t. I’m not going to sit here for 23 days to fight my way through a challenge to get back in.”

After explaining to the camera that she didn’t feel she had any chance to win a challenge that would get her back at the merge or later, Sandra insisted that “I’m happy to go into retirement and know that I did the best I could with what I had. At the end of the day, I’m still the queen and I’ll always be the queen.” But that was then. How does she feel now?

In this exclusive video filmed right before the season began airing, Sandra weighs in on why she raised the sail that indicated she was done. “I went to Edge of Extinction for not even like two hours,” she explains. “And I was like, ‘I’m not f---ing staying here.’”

What does the most decorated Survivor player ever make now about leaving the game? “So I don’t care if they say ‘Sandra quit Edge of Extinction’” says Sandra, “because essentially that’s what I did. That doesn’t bother me one bit because I know my strengths, I know my weaknesses. I saw all those people out there on Edge of Extinction and I was like, ‘I can’t beat none of these jokers at nothing. I’m not sitting here for 23 days to suffer.’”

Sandra also points out that her decision to appear as a mentor on the previous season, Survivor: Island of the Idols, played a part in her decision. I just finished playing for 36 days, took two weeks off, now I’m back out here, it’s day 16, and now we have to is out there for twenty-something days?” she says. “I wasn’t having it.”

The level of competition also played a factor for a player much more famous for sitting out challenges rather than performing in them. “On Edge of Extinction, to get back in the game, you have to do physical challenges, and all of those challenges are usually three parts,” Sandra points out. “I saw Natalie, who does CrossFit, Amber is active, Danni, Ethan, a soccer player, Boston Rob was out there, Tyson who does bicycling like Lance Armstrong. Me, Sandra, going out there and doing that? No, absolutely not.  It would have just been torture for me.”

In the end, for the two-time winner, the choice boiled down to one simple thing: “I just would have sat there for 23 days being miserable. And I was done with Fiji. I was just done.”

Watch Sandra discuss the decision to leave the game in the video above, and also make sure to read what Jeff Probst had to say about Sandra quitting as well as our full episode recap. And for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"

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