Has the queen abdicated her throne? Sandra Diaz-Twine has never been shy about proclaiming her dominance at Survivor. But she has the track record to back it up. Her first time out, for Survivor: Pearl Islands, she won. Her second time out, for Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, she won. And her third time out, for Survivor: Game Changers, she in many ways played her most aggressive and impressive game yet, being ousted only after a tribe swap put her on the wrong side of the numbers.

She’s the only two-time winner the game has ever known. So imagine my surprise when Sandra offhandedly remarked that the person joining her as an advisor on Survivor: Island of the Idols, Boston Rob Mariano, is actually better! After being asked about the interactions she and Rob had with the newbies that visited them on season 39 (which premieres Wednesday on CBS), Sandra responded that “It was easier for me, because I feel like Rob carried 60 percent to 65 percent of the load. He’s had a lot of experience with TV and doing different shows and whatnot. And I think he’s a better player than I am.”

[Insert record scratch noise here] SAY WHAAAAAAAT? Did Queen Sandra just come right out and say that Rob is a better Survivor player than she is? Even though she has won twice to his once, and beat him head to head on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains? Naturally, I had to follow up. Did you just say what I heard you say, Sandra?

“Well, not in the sense of winning,” Sandra replied. “But just that Boston Rob, he’s so slick. I think a lot of the players that came to meet us were more mesmerized by him than they were by me. Yeah, they’re with the Queen, but it was always Boston Rob because he’s a big character. He takes over, but I wanted him to take over. Like he said, there wasn’t a scenario that we hadn’t encountered. We had been out there for more than 200-plus combined days. We both had lost. We both won. It was easy for us to talk to these people.”

Yeah, okay, fine. But again: Is he better?!? “I honestly think Boston Rob is a good, great player,” Sandra continued. “Like sometimes when I have to defend my crown, then it’s different because then I talk s—. But being out there with him on a different level, we’re not going after this money, then I felt like not only was I a mentor, but I was learning from him as well. Do you get what I’m saying?”

Yes, I got what she was saying. But for once and for all, answer the question and stop stalling: Is Boston Rob a better player than you, Sandra?!?

A long pause. “No.”

Well, I guess we’re back where we started.

For more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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Episode Recaps

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!"

  • TV Show
  • 41
  • CBS
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