'Survivor' host Jeff Probst: Denise made "one of the most vicious moves" ever against Sandra!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/25/2020
Survivor: Winners At War host Jeff Probst is calling Denise Stapley's double-idol play to take out Sandra Diaz-Twine one of the most "vicious" and biggest moves the game has ever seen in 40 seasons.
"It was... as it should be... that the only two-time winner, and one of the only two players to have a statue erected in their honor, should be taken out by one of the most vicious moves in the history of the game. THAT is how you kill the Queen," Jeff toldEntertainment Weekly in a recent interview.
Jeff added, "Denise didn't just take out Sandra, she knocked her out. It was one of the biggest moves that has ever been made in the game."
During the latestSurvivor episode, Denise, the winner of Survivor: Philippines, orchestrated a huge move by blindsiding and voting out Survivor's only two-time winner, Sandra aka "The Queen," all by herself at the season's eighth Tribal Council session.
Denise, 49, played two hidden Immunity Idols -- one of which Sandra had given her in a negotiation for Fire Tokens -- to save herself and one of Sandra's targets, Jeremy Collins.
Although Denise received four votes from her Dakal tribe on Night 16, Sandra was sent packing instead with only one vote from Denise. Denise's move not only shocked her tribemates, but it blew awaySurvivor viewers.
"We may never know the truth about Sandra's motives. As someone who has watched her play for nearly 20 years, I question the part of her motive that centered around 'liking' Denise," Jeff noted.
The hidden Immunity Idol Sandra gave to Denise, for instance, was only good for one more Tribal Council.
"I put more weight into the idea that she 'calculated the odds' (a lesson from Island of the Idols) and figured she was safe and could gain two very powerful Fire Tokens in exchange for an idol that was about to become completely powerless," Jeff reasoned.
Sandra's Dakal allies, Tony and Kim, wanted Denise out heading into Tribal Council, but Sandra realized Tony was the only person who would benefit from Jeremy sticking around given she had many allies on the other side.
Sandra therefore warned Denise that everyone planned to write her name down, before telling Denise to choose either Jeremy or Tony as their target. (Sandra noticed Tony was acting "very paranoid" and would probably turn on her eventually).
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Denise -- who already had one idol in her possession -- told Sandra what she wanted to hear and then promised "The Queen" one Fire Token before Tribal Council and then one after.
Denise was shocked she had so much power in the game and couldn't wait to make a huge move, so Jeff acknowledged Sandra's big mistake was underestimating Denise.
"As for underestimating Denise, add me to that camp as well, I would have never seen that coming," Jeff told EW.
Jeremy, Tony, Kim and Sandra all voted for Denise that night, with Sandra telling the cameras her vote was just for show and she was convinced Denise wouldn't be going home that night.
On Sandra's way out of the game following Denise's two-idol play, she joked with her tribemates, "Day 16 got me again!"
"I love that Sandra took it like a true player," Jeff said.
"She got got -- and she didn't make any excuses. It has happened to most every great player and the few that haven't felt it yet in their Survivorcareer will most likely feel it at some point this season."