|Born||Amber Joy Brkich
August 11, 1978
Beaver, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Occupation||Reality television participant|
The Amazing Race 7
The Amazing Race 11
|Spouse(s)||Rob Mariano (m. 2005)|
Amber Joy Mariano (née Brkich; born August 11, 1978) is an American television personality and winner of Survivor: All-Stars, after appearing as a contestant on one of its predecessors, Survivor: The Australian Outback. She is married to fellow Survivor contestant Rob Mariano, with whom she has three daughters.
Born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Beaver, Pennsylvania, Mariano went to Beaver Area High School. She is a graduate of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations, with a minor in speech communications, in 2000. She is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta Alumni having served as vice president and new member coordinator while still in school. Mariano is of Croatian descent.
She began a relationship with fellow reality star Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano in 2003, when they formed an alliance as castmates on Survivor: All-Stars. They became engaged on May 9, 2004, during the show's live finale at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and married on April 16, 2005 at Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas. CBS aired a two-hour special about the wedding, entitled Rob and Amber Get Married, on May 24, 2005. After their marriage, the couple moved to Pensacola, Florida. The Marianos have three daughters: Lucia Rose (born July 2009), Carina Rose (born December 2010), and Isabetta Rose (born May 2012).
The Australian Outback
Amber was a participant in the second season of Survivor, having auditioned for the season on a whim. She was a member of the green Ogakor tribe, and she was quick to fortify a strong friendship with fellow contestant Jerri Manthey, who helped construct an alliance with Colby Donaldson and Mitchell Olson.
Upon the merge, Ogakor managed to use the knowledge that one of Kucha's members, Jeff Varner, had received votes beforehand, and eliminated him, thus gaining a numeric advantage over the other group. Later in the game however, it was decided by a majority of the remaining players that Amber had played "under-the-radar", and she was sent home, ultimately landing in sixth place.
A member of the jury, Amber cast her vote for Colby, who failed to win the million dollars, losing to Tina Wesson.
Immediately following her appearance on Survivor: The Australian Outback, Mariano appeared on the cover of Stuff magazine. Maxim ranked Mariano as the 50th most beautiful woman in the world in 2004 and 73rd in 2005. Mariano also appeared in various commercials for Adelphia Cable, Rite Aid drugstores, and Mountaineer Racetrack in West Virginia.
As one of the quieter personalities of Survivor: The Australian Outback, Amber's inclusion in the All-Stars installment of Survivor proved somewhat of a surprise to the general public. She was a member of the red Chapera tribe, a boisterous group including Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano, Sue Hawk, and fellow Survivor: The Australian Outback player Alicia Calaway.
In the season's premiere episode, Rob and Amber agreed to form an alliance, with Rob citing his reasoning as: "She's beautiful; any idiot can see that." The group faced its first Tribal Council in the fourth episode. Rob and Amber's relationship was a matter of discussion at the Tribal Council, but Amber claimed to have come to play Survivor, not The Dating Game.
In the next episode, due to a twist that "dissolved" one of the three tribes, Jenna Lewis and Rupert Boneham joined the Chapera tribe. Rob and Amber quickly fortified a long-term alliance with the tribe's two new members, one of the pair's many "agreements." The Chapera tribe then enjoyed a lengthy winning streak, winning immunity the next three times. The group did lose one member, however, when Sue Hawk opted to leave the game due to an indecent encounter with Richard Hatch.
In the season's ninth episode, a tribal shuffle managed to merely make each contestant switch buffs, with the exception of Amber, who remained on the Chapera tribe with Lex van den Berghe, Shii Ann Huang, Jerri Manthey, and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien. The tribe went on to lose the next challenge and, in one of the season's more famous moments, Rob said to Lex, "You take care of her, I'll take care of you." In perhaps an ironic twist of fate, it came down to Amber and her former Outback ally Jerri at that night's Tribal Council. Jerri was eliminated, but Lex stayed true to his deal with Rob, and Amber was spared.
In the following episode, the merge occurred, and Lex was chosen to be eliminated, despite Rob's promise to "take care of him." In the episodes following, Rob and Amber managed to maintain several "alliances," including their agreement with Rupert and Jenna, an agreement with Tom Buchanan, and an agreement with Alicia Calaway. With all these castaways believing themselves to be safe, Rob and Amber proceeded through the game, eventually finding themselves in the final four with Jenna and Rupert.
In the final four, Amber won her first individual Immunity challenge, and she and Rob convinced Jenna to vote out her ally Rupert instead of forcing a tie. In the final three, Rob won immunity and chose Amber to continue with him to the final two. Facing the jury, Rob and Amber met much criticism for their gameplay.
In the season finale several months later, Rob and Amber revealed they were still dating, Amber even wearing a yellow "I Love Rob" shirt. Just before the votes were read, Rob proposed to Amber and she accepted. It was revealed that, in a 4-3 decision, Amber was the Sole Survivor receiving votes from Lex van den Berghe, Alicia Calaway, Shii Ann Huang, and Tom Buchanan.
The Amazing Race
During a Roadblock challenge in Mendoza, Argentina, in the third leg of the race, contestants had to eat four pounds of meat. Mariano began the roadblock but very quickly determined he would not or could not eat that quantity. The penalty for not finishing the Roadblock was a 4-hour delay. By convincing several other contestants to refuse to participate, he ensured that several contestants were on the same timetable as he and Brkich. Also in South America, Mariano pooled his money with some other racers to bribe the bus driver to let the teams that contributed off earlier. When he did bribe the driver, Mariano used none of his own money.
In Botswana, during the sixth leg of the race, the couple was criticized by fellow racers, as well as host Phil Keoghan, when they drove by the car accident of another team, brothers Brian and Greg, without stopping. Their fellow competitors all checked in with the brothers prior to continuing on to the next stage of the race. In southern Africa, Mariano and Brkich saw their own photo on a magazine cover. They were also recognized in countries all over the world and assisted by locals who recognized them, helping to keep the team in the race until the last leg.
Mariano and Brkich ultimately finished in second place behind married couple, Uchenna and Joyce. Amongst fans, there has been much speculation surrounding the final leg of the race. It has been argued that the production crew had intervened with the airport authorities and aided Uchenna and Joyce onto the same, earlier plane as Mariano and Brkich. In the "Revisiting the Race" special feature on the Season 7 DVD, Mariano, along with Uchenna and Keoghan denied these accusations. Mariano describes Uchenna running around frantically trying to get onto the flight, which the final edited version of the show does not portray. Phil cites the fact that the decision to re-open the door rested solely with the pilot, and that intervention by the production crew would have resulted in someone leaking such information out. Although at the final leg of the race, the couple lost the one million dollar grand prize and "The Amazing Race 7" winners' title to married Uchenna & Joyce. They however managed to place 1st in the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th legs. They were also the only team to not come in last place on any legs of the race.
In 2007, Rob and Amber competed on the All-Stars season of The Amazing Race as newlyweds. After achieving first place for the first three legs, they came in last and were eliminated in the season's fourth episode which aired on March 11, 2007.
Rob and Amber: Against the Odds
Rob and Amber filmed a 10-episode show for the Fox Reality Channel, Rob and Amber: Against the Odds in 2006, which aired in 2007. Set in Las Vegas, the show follows Rob's attempt to become a professional poker player and features professional player Daniel Negreanu tutoring Rob.
- "'Survivor' Star Amber Brkich Boasts Croatian Fraternal Union Connections".
- Silverman, Stephen M. (April 8, 2004). "Rob, Amber Heat Up 'Survivor: All-Stars'". People. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Romantic Finish For 'Survivor'". CBS News. May 2004. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Survivor Couple Rob and Amber Say 'I Do'". People. April 20, 2005. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Rob and Amber Mariano Welcome Daughter Lucia Rose". People. August 2, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Survivor‘s Rob & Amber Mariano Welcome Daughter Carina Rose". People. December 20, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "PIC: Meet Rob and Amber Mariano's Adorable New Daughter, Isabetta Rose!". US Weekly. June 15, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Survivor All-Stars Biography". Survivor All-Stars. CBS.
- Official CBS Survivor: The Australian Outback Website[dead link]
- Official CBS Survivor All Stars Website[dead link]
- Official CBS Amazing Race 7 Website[dead link]
- Official CBS Amazing Race 11 (All Stars) Website[dead link]
- Official Rob and Amber: Against the Odds Website
|Title of Sole Survivor