After playing ‘Survivor’ a total of FOUR times, ‘Boston Rob’ Mariano is one of the most notorious players in the show’s history. Now, he’s returning as a mentor on season 39.
Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano will be back on the beach for Survivor: Island of the Idols! However, this time, he won’t be competing for the $1 million and title of Sole Survivor. Instead, Rob and fellow legend, Sandra Diaz-Twine, will be serving as mentors to the new players on the show. With so much experience between them, Rob and Sandra are the perfect players to offer up advice to the rookies. This role doesn’t mean they’ll have it easy, though. While they won’t have to compete in challenges or worry about their social games, Rob and Sandra will have to survive the elements on a deserted island…just like the other players. Ahead of the premiere, he’s more to know about Rob:
1. What is his ‘Survivor’ history? Rob first came to Survivor on season four, Marquesas. Although he started out in a majority alliance, an unfortunate tribe swap stunted his game. He was the first person voted out at the merge. Rob returned during season 10 for Survivor: All Stars, where he quickly formed an alliance with Amber Brkich, which he rode all the way to the end. He wasn’t afraid to play dirty, and broke promises throughout the season to further himself and Amber in the game. In the end, his villainous ways took a toll, and Amber beat him at the final two.
When Rob returned for Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, season 20, he was, understandably, put on the Villain tribe. He quickly emerged as the leader of the group, but all of his plans fell apart when his ally, Tyson Apostol, did not vote according to plan at the sixth tribal council. It led to Tyson being voted out himself, and Rob losing all control to Russell Hantz and Parvati Shallow. The next time the Villains went to tribal council, Rob was voted out himself, without even making the merge.
The Rob/Russell showdown was one of the biggest storylines of Heroes vs. Villains, and so they were both invited to return for season 22, Redemption Island. They were placed on separate tribes, and since Russell’s tribe was aware of how dirty he played the game, they wasted no time voting him out. On the other hand, Rob emerged as a leader in his tribe, and quickly took control. He played as perfect of a game as possible, both socially and physically — not only did he win important challenges, but he voted the right people out at the right time without making any major enemies. There was no question that he’d be named the winner by the end.
2. He met his wife on ‘Survivor’. Rob and Amber weren’t just allies on Survivor: All-Stars — they also fell in love on the show! Their romance blossomed all season long, but fans were still convinced that it was just a ploy to get further in the game. However, at the live reunion show, Amber proved that her love for Rob was VERY much real by wearing an ‘I [Heart] Rob’ shirt to the taping. Rob proposed during the live show in 2004, and they got married in April 2005 in the Bahamas. Together, Rob and Amber have FOUR daughters: Lucia, born in July 2009, Carina, born in Dec. 2010, Isabetta, born in May 2012, and Adelina, born in June 2014. The family lives in Florida
3. He was also on ‘The Amazing Race’. After Survivor: All Stars, Rob and Amber competed on The Amazing Race…TWICE. They first appeared during season 7 as an engaged couple. They were a powerful team throughout the race, coming in first in FOUR out of 12 legs, while also never coming in last place. However, they wound up finishing in second place. They then returned to The Amazing Race: All-Stars (season 11). However, after coming in first on the first three legs, Amber and Rob were eliminated fourth.
4. He’s a HUGE Boston sports fan. Rob is vocal about his love of Boston sports teams: the Red Sox (baseball), Bruins (hockey) and New England Patriots (hockey). That, along with his thick Boston accent, earned him the nickname of “Boston Rob” on Survivor.
5. He’s an avid poker player. Rob loves playing poker and often enters tournament. In 2007, Rob and Amber actually starred on a reality show called Rob & Amber: Against the Odds, which showed them spending time in Vegas so Rob could kick off a career as a professional poker player. However, the series ended with Rob and Amber accepting an offer for The Amazing Race: All-Stars, rather than him successfully launching a career in poker.