They may have looked as though they were thick as thieves on Survivor: Island of the Idols, but Sandra Diaz-Twine doesn’t exactly have the warm-and-fuzzies when it comes to her fellow Winners at War competitor Rob Mariano.
During a special panel discussion Tuesday to help kick off the 40th season of Survivor, Diaz-Twine admitted that she felt blindsided when Mariano — with whom she just starred with on Island of the Idols — showed up in Fiji to compete against her and other past winners in the new season.
“The fact that he knew… I don’t know. I guess I wanted that phone call, even if it wasn’t ‘Sandra, let’s align, let’s do something,’” Diaz-Twine told EW’s own Dalton Ross, who moderated the panel in Hollywood. “Just [say], ‘See you in a week or so.’ That was all, I guess. I don’t know why it affected me so much and it still does. I don’t know. I was hurt about it, really.”
Mariano, who gathered for the special premiere screening and a Q&A along with host Jeff Probst and fellow Winners at War contestants Amber Mariano, Ethan Zohn, Parvati Shallow, Wendell Holland, and Sophie Clarke, tried to assured to Diaz-Twine that “it wasn’t anything personal.”
“For the record, I called no one before this game started,” said Mariano. “The only person I had discussions with about season 40 was my wife. For the record, I love you, you know that. It wasn’t anything intentional. It was just my mindset going into it.”
So, did Diaz-Twine forgive him? You’ll have to watch the video above to find out! Also discussed are fun memories about the golden days of Survivor and how Winners at War is taking the game to such a new extreme that Probst admitted, “Survivor as we know it is over.”
Season 40 of Survivor debuts Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
- Boston Rob is back to ‘kick everyone’s ass’ one more time on Survivor: Winners at War
- Amber Mariano on why the timing was perfect for her to return to Survivor
- Survivor’s Parvati Shallow wants to slay the Night King (a.k.a. Sandra) on Winners at War