October 20, 1978 |
Wantagh, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Television||Survivor: The Amazon
Originally from Wantagh, New York, Cesternino worked as a computer projects coordinator for an insurance general agency. He had been previously employed as a store clerk, a waiter and a bartender. In 2001, Cesternino graduated from the honors program at the State University of New York at Oswego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting. Cesternino wrote his college senior thesis on "The Impact of Reality Television".
Cesternino first achieved fame when he appeared on Survivor: The Amazon in 2003. Originally a member of the all-male Tambaqui tribe, he quickly implemented an aggressive and innovative style of strategic gameplay. Often seen as the pioneer of the alliance-switch strategy, Cesternino cut a number of deals throughout the game, which often resulted in double-crossing his allies. Cesternino lasted 38 of 39 days, but was voted out by Jenna Morasca at the final three. At the live reunion show, he was declared by host Jeff Probst to be "the smartest player to have never won the game."
In 2004, he came back to play again in Survivor: All Stars and was a member of the original Chapera tribe. However, his previously strong strategic game caused others to identify him as a threat, and he was voted out in a blindside led by "Boston" Rob Mariano. With all votes against him, he was the third person voted out and came in 15th place.
In May 2013, Cesternino was a guest on the Survivor After Show, hosted by Parvati Shallow. In June of that year, he appeared as a co-host and executive producer of Reality GameMasters, a YouTube show documenting six reality stars competing in a game of Risk.
Cesternino was inducted into Xfinity's Survivor "Hall of Fame" in 2012, alongside Amanda Kimmel and Ethan Zohn. In the official issue of CBS Watch commemorating the show's 15th anniversary in 2015, Cesternino was voted by viewers as the third greatest contestant in the history of the series (behind Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano), and thus was the highest-ranking contestant on the list to have competed only twice. In addition, both of his seasons were voted by viewers as being among the top 10 greatest seasons of all time - The Amazon was 8th, while All-Stars was 6th. In a 2015 interview shortly before the premiere of the 30th season, Jeff Probst admitted that Cesternino, along with Spencer Bledsoe from Survivor: Cagayan, was his personal favorite contestant to have never won.
Writing and podcasting
After appearances on Survivor, Cesternino started a website, aptly titled "The Rob Show". He was hired to write a weekly newspaper column for his local paper, The Long Island Press. Cesternino also began to write material for a stand-up comedy act. In 2004, he moved to Los Angeles, California to begin a career in production. Cesternino became a founding member of The FishBowl, an online talk radio station operated by reality television alumni. In 2005, he co-wrote and produced the film The Scorned. The following year, he performed the same duties, along with acting, in the film Soup of the Day, which was released on DVD on February 6, 2007 through Echo Bridge Home Entertainment.
Cesternino manages his own website entitled "Rob Has A Website," which is the home of his podcast series "Rob Has A Podcast" (RHAP). There are often former reality stars, reporters, or fans that appear on the podcast. The podcast covers popular culture and TV shows like Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race and other reality shows, often while interviewing past players. RHAP is currently the only podcast on the Internet with coverage of The Celebrity Apprentice. RHAP was a 2010 Podcast Award nominee in the entertainment category, but lost out to The Fringe Podcast. The podcast was once again nominated in the Entertainment category in 2011, losing out to The Morning Stream. On January 7, 2013, RHAP was awarded with its first podcast award, winning best entertainment podcast for 2012. The following year, it received two additional podcast awards, best produced and best video podcast.
In late 2013, Cesternino launched a new podcast and website called "Post Show Recaps," where he covers scripted shows, allowing RHAP to focus solely on reality TV coverage. In 2014, he launched "Reality TV RHAP-ups". Reality TV RHAP-ups are hosted by various contributors and co-hosts of the podcast and cover shows that Cesternino doesn't cover on the main podcast feed. These shows include The MTV Challenge series, The Bachelor and its spin-off shows, and international English speaking editions of The Amazing Race and Big Brother.
In August 2010, Cesternino married his longtime girlfriend, Nicole Palmeri. The couple's first child was born on September 29, 2013.
- Petrozzello, Donna (January 14, 2003). "'Survivor' River Rumble Will Be Guys vs. Gals". Daily News. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- Petrozzello, Donna (February 13, 2003). "Survival is a Ball for L.I. guy plays for laughs". Daily News. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- Whitehouse, Beth (October 10, 2001). "CASTING CALL / Who will be the next Sean or Kimmi? / Maybe these 'Survivor IV' audition tapes will tell.". Newsday. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- Cesternino, Rob (May 3, 2013). "Rob Cesternino with Parvati Shallow on the CBS Survivor After Show". Rob Has A Website. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- Cesternino, Rob (2013). "Reality Gamemasters, A Rob Has A Podcast Original Web Series". Rob Has A Website. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "Get Insider Answers in the Survivor 30th Season Extravaganza". CBS.com. February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Blickley, Leigh (January 30, 2015). "The 10 Best Seasons In 'Survivor' History". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Stanhope, Kate (September 30, 2013). "Survivor: The Amazon Alum Rob Cesternino and Wife Welcome a Baby Boy". TVGN. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- Rob Cesternino's website and TV Podcast
- Rob Cesternino's Post Show Recaps website
- Rob Cesternino at the Internet Movie Database
- Rob Cesternino biography for Survivor: The Amazon at CBS.com
- Rob Cesternino biography for Survivor: All-Stars at CBS.com