||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2013)|
|Born||Robert Carlo Mariano
December 25, 1975
Canton, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Residence||Pensacola, Florida, U.S.|
|Other names||Boston Rob|
Survivor: All-Stars (runner-up)
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
Survivor: Redemption Island (winner)
The Amazing Race 7 (runner-up)
The Amazing Race 11
|Spouse(s)||Amber Mariano (m. 2005)|
Robert Carlo "Boston Rob" Mariano (born December 25, 1975) is an American television personality, widely known for appearing in several reality shows, including Survivor, and The Amazing Race with his wife, Amber (Brkich) Mariano. In 2011, he won Survivor: Redemption Island and the $1,000,000 prize in his fourth appearance on Survivor.
Mariano was born in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, and raised in Canton, Massachusetts. He attended Xaverian Brothers High School, where he played golf, softball, and hockey. In 1999, Mariano graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Boston University and began serving as the head coach of their inline hockey team. At the time he first entered Survivor, he was a 25 year old construction worker.
Mariano began a relationship with fellow reality TV contestant Amber Brkich in 2003, during their time filming 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, Brkich took Mariano's surname, and the couple moved to Pensacola, Florida. The Marianos have four daughters: Lucia Rose (born July 4, 2009), Carina Rose (born December 10, 2010), Isabetta Rose (born May 5, 2012), and Adelina Rose (born June 20, 2014).
During Survivor: Marquesas, Rob Mariano fronted a highly successful opening alliance in his initial Maraamu tribe. A tribal swap in the fourth episode effectively denied him the control he enjoyed in his old tribe, as he was switched to the "new" Rotu tribe in which he was outnumbered by former Rotu members 5-3. Ultimately he was the first person voted out of the game when the tribes merged in the seventh episode. His original Maraamu tribe was outnumbered by members of the original Rotu tribe 7-3. Since the Rotu tribe thought that Mariano caused too much drama in camp and that he was the biggest threat of the remaining Maraamu tribe members (Vecepia, Sean, Rob), he was the first Maraamu tribe member targeted. He tried to warn Rotu tribe members Pascal, Neleh, and Kathy about the Rotu 4 alliance of John, Tammy, Zoey, and Robert, in an attempt to save himself, but was unsuccessful (although he successfully planted seeds of suspicion that would lead to the remaining Rotu members and Maraamu members teaming up to turn on the Rotu 4 the following vote off). Prior to his elimination, he provided useful information to Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien about possible betrayal by former members of Rotu who were not switched during the tribal switch.
During Survivor: All-Stars, Mariano developed an early alliance which eventually developed into a romantic relationship with fellow contestant Amber Brkich. He was able to form a dominant long-term alliance with Rupert Boneham and Jenna Lewis, taking them all the way to the final four.
Early on, Mariano and Brkich agreed to form an alliance. After the game was underway, due to a twist that "absorbed" 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. 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 due to an unpleasant encounter with Richard Hatch.
Later on, a tribal shuffle had every contestant remain with their same tribe but switch tribe names and camps, with the exception of Brkich, who remained on the Chapera tribe with Lex van den Berghe, Shii Ann Huang, Jerri Manthey, and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien. Chapera went on to lose the next challenge and Mariano bargained with van den Berghe to save Brkich in return for Mariano's help later down the road. van den Berghe, Huang, and Vavrick-O'Brien saved Brkich and eliminated Manthey. In the following episode, the merge occurred, and Mariano voted to eliminate van den Berghe, going back on his promise. From there on, Mariano and Brkich managed to maintain several alliances; they were allied with Boneham and Lewis, with Tom Buchanan, and with Alicia Calaway. Mariano and Brkich proceeded through the game, eventually finding themselves in the final four with Lewis and Boneham after breaking ties with Calaway and Buchanan.
With four contestants remaining, Brkich won her first individual Immunity challenge, and she and Mariano convinced Jenna Lewis to vote out Boneham, reminding him that they would draw rocks otherwise, with a 2 of 3 chance one of she or her main ally Boneham would be eliminated anyway, and that none of the other three could beat Boneham in a jury vote should he reach the final. Mariano won the next and final immunity and chose Brkich to continue with him to the final two. Facing the jury, the couple met criticism for their aggressive and underhanded gameplay. Rob took the brunt of the criticism, as he was seen as the leader of their dominant 2 person alliance, and was deemed by the jury as the one with more blood on his hands. He took particularly harsh comments from betrayed friends and allies Tom Buchanan, Alicia Calaway, Lex van den Berghe, and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien, 3 out of 4 who would vote Amber to win the game instead. Amber admitted to being there partly by riding Rob's coattails and letting Rob do more of the dirty work while she worked behind the scenes, but argued her impressive overall social and underrated quiet strategic game as a key part of both getting to the finals together. She also seemed to get less blame by the jury for decisions she and Rob largely made together, and thus wisely stayed somewhat in the background during the final Tribal Council.
In the season finale several months later, the couple was revealed to still be dating. Just before the votes were read, Mariano proposed to Brkich and she accepted. Moments later, it was revealed that, in a 4–3 decision, Amber Brkich had won the game. Mariano received votes from Lewis, Boneham and Vavrick-O'Brien.
Lex van den Berghe had contributed a hate filled speech of mostly rage towards Rob and Amber at the final Tribal Council, voted for Amber mostly out of spite, and it was confirmed at the Reunion show the two had ended their friendship as a result of Rob's betrayal. Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien also ended her friendship with Rob as a result of his betrayal of her and Lex, although she had voted for Rob to win. Shi Ann Huang though called Lex out on his hypocritical mindset after he had voted off his good friend Ethan Zohn earlier, at both final Tribal Council and the Reunion Show, stating "those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones", and was rewarded by Amber out of gratitude for this, as well as for being the swing vote that gave Amber the Survivor title over Rob, as the one Amber picked to be awarded a new car. 4th-place finisher Rupert Boneham edged out Rob Mariano for the 1 million fan based award for Player of the Game.
Heroes vs. Villains
Mariano was a contestant in the 20th season of the show titled Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. He was a member of the Villains tribe, and was the de facto leader of the Villains until his right-hand man Tyson Apostol fell for a plot by Pavarti Shallow and Russell Hantz to give Pavarti a 4th vote, rather than split the votes 3-3-3 between Russell, Pavarti, and Tyson as planned. Russell shocked Rob's 6 person alliance by playing the idol on Pavarti, rather than himself, and with Pavarti's 4 votes negated by the idol, Tyson would be voted out 3 votes to Russell's 2. This completely swung the balance of power in the tribe, and after a clash with Russell Hantz, a switch in alliances by Jerri Manthey to the Russell side, and Benjamin "Coach" Wade refusing to take a side and casting his vote for Courtney Yates, he would become the 8th person voted out on a 4-3-1 vote.
On January 13, 2011, it was announced that Rob would compete in Survivor: Redemption Island as one of two returning players (along with Russell Hantz). This made Mariano the first person to play Survivor four times. While Hantz's tribe (Zapatera) saw Hantz as a threat, and intentionally lost an immunity challenge in order to vote him out, Mariano made various alliances with most members of his tribe (Ometepe) and managed to convince his tribe that his experience was valuable and that he could be loyal. Ultimately, Rob's 6-person alliance from his original tribe remained loyal to one another and became the final six players remaining on the main island (discounting those like Matt Elrod and Matt Chiesl long stuck on Redemption Island before their official elimination in the final Redemption Island Duel). Once the alliance began voting out its own members, Rob managed to remain in the game and won the final immunity challenge, lasting the full 39 days. He successfully removed Andrea by convincing his tribe she was untrustworthy and the bottom of their alliance totem poll. He then blindsided his right-hand man and good friend Grant Mattos, after intended target Ashley Underwood won immunity, by convincing the others Grant was the biggest threat to win the game, including himself. He successfully eliminated Andrea a 2nd time after she returned by defeating Matt, Mike, and Grant in the final Redemption Island Duel, using his idol at the last possible chance to use it for extra protection (though Andrea would be voted off 4-1 regardless). Lastly he removed his only remaining possible threat for jury votes- Ashley Underwood, successfully convincing her best friend Natalie Tenerelli to vote her out, going to the finals with the unthreatening Natalie Tenerelli and Phillip Sheppard just as planned long ago. Phillip, Natalie, Grant, and Andrea all considered Rob their main ally while in the game, and Ashley considered him her main ally besides Natalie, and the person they each trusted the most of the Ometepe 6 alliance, making it easier to masterfully control their decisions, and also amazingly keep himself from ever being seriously targeted for vote off despite being such an obvious threat.
On the 22nd day of Redemption Island, Mariano became the fourth person to play Survivor for 100 days, following Amanda Kimmel, Parvati Shallow, and Rupert Boneham, and ultimately surpassed Shallow for most days survived, with a total of 117. His performance in Redemption Island at the time was gushed upon by Jeff Probst as the "most perfect game of Survivor ever." He had run his tribe, alliance, and the entire game like a Godfather, picking off everyone in methodical order from strongest to weakest, refusing to allow game or even social interactions between the two tribes, and convincing everyone in his own tribe of final 3 plans with him, and somehow having each trust him fully. Upon the merge he went to work in eliminating the most major threats from the Zapatera tribe like Mike Chiesl and David Murphy first, the athletic Julie Wolfe next, and the weaker Zapatera players like Ralph Kiser and Steve Wright being last to go. Then doing likewise when it came to picking off his own tribe, with the biggest threats- his own closest ally Grant Mattos and Matt Elrod finishing in 8th and 7th place after Rob orchestrated their blindsides and vote offs, followed by eliminating the stronger female competitors of his tribe Andrea Boehlke and Ashley Underwood finishing in 5th and 4th, and successfully taking arguably the two poorest and least overall liked players in the entire game- Natalie Tenerelli and Phillip Sheppard to the finals with him, giving even a potentially bitter jury no real option who to vote for. While the jury consisted entirely of former Ometepe members Rob had blindsided and former Zapatera members whose tribe was picked off one-by-one by Rob's alliance, and while most seemed aggravated towards Rob at the Final Tribal Council, all but one member of the jury chose to vote for Mariano rather than for the generally disliked Phillip Sheppard or the young and perceived coattail riding Natalie Tenerelli. At the reunion, Mariano was declared the winner in an 8-1-0 vote, with Phillip receiving the other vote. Additionally, Rob won the viewer-voted $100,000 "Sprint Player of the Season" award over runner-up, Matt Elrod, with 40% votes to Matt's 36%.
In a similar situation to Lex and Kathy from All Stars, it was confirmed at the Reunion show a hurt Grant Mattos had eventually ended his friendship with Rob Mariano as a result of the betrayal and being voted out of the game by Rob as a major winning threat. Although they had at first tried salvaging their relationship and staying in touch the first few months after the show.
Rob and Grant made up as friends in June 2015.
The Amazing Race
As an engaged couple, Rob Mariano and Amber participated in the seventh season of The Amazing Race and came in second place. During a Roadblock challenge in Mendoza, Argentina, in the third leg of the race, contestants had to eat four pounds of meat. Rob 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, Rob 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.
Rob Mariano and Amber 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.
Rob and Amber Mariano later competed in the All-Stars season of The Amazing Race, which began airing in February 2007. Their racing status was listed as "newlyweds". While they had set a record for the Race, coming in first place for the first three legs, they were eliminated on the fourth leg.
Additional television appearances
Between their two appearances on The Amazing Race, Mariano and Brkich filmed a 10-episode show for the Fox Reality Channel, Rob and Amber: Against the Odds in 2006, which aired the following year. Set in Las Vegas, the program follows Mariano's attempts to become a professional poker player and features professional player Daniel Negreanu tutoring him. The series ended with Rob and Amber Mariano accepting an offer to appear on The Amazing Race: All-Stars and the odds of professional poker career waned.
He also appeared in the "All-Stars" episode of Canadian show Reality Obsessed, hosted by Murtz Jaffer and won first place in a competition that pitted him against James Zinkand (Big Brother 9 (US)), Jen Parker (The Amazing Race 12), and Jennifer Hoffman (The Apprentice (U.S. TV series)).
|The Player||2004||Reality show||Narrator / player operator||In 2004, Mariano was the narrator/player operator of a short-lived reality series on UPN titled The Player.|
|Rob and Amber Get Married||May 24, 2005||Reality show special||Himself||On April 16, 2005, Mariano and Brkich were married in a private ceremony in the Bahamas. CBS aired Rob and Amber Get Married, a two-hour special about the wedding, on May 24, 2005. |
|Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker||2006||Poker competition||Himself||Mariano appeared on Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker in 2006. He was eliminated in Episode 4, but came back to win the second-chance celebrity table. He was eliminated once again in the final episode.|
|Sci Fi Investigates||October 2006||TV series||Co-host||Mariano was a co-host of the six-week Sci Fi series, Sci Fi Investigates. The show investigates subjects such as Bigfoot, Mothman, Paranormal Hotspots, Roswell, The Afterlife and Voodoo. |
|Poker Dome Challenge||October 8, 2006||Poker competition||Himself||Mariano appeared on the October 8, 2006 episode of Poker Dome Challenge where he finished in second place.|
|Around the World in 80 Ways||October 2, 2011||TV Series||Co-host||Mariano was co-host on the History channel's Around the World in 80 Ways which ran from October to December 2011.|
- "Rob Mariano". Reality TV World.
- "Exclusive Interview with 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' Boston Rob Mariano". Survivor. BuddyTV. 9 February 2010.
- 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.
- Cynthia Wang (August 2, 2009). "Rob and Amber Mariano Welcome Daughter Lucia Rose". People. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
- Wang, Cynthia (December 20, 2010). "Survivor's Rob & Amber Mariano Welcome Daughter Carina Rose". People.
- Wang, Cynthia (June 14, 2012). "Rob and Amber Mariano Welcome Daughter Isabetta Rose". People.
- Michaud, Sarah (June 26, 2014). "Rob and Amber Mariano Welcome Daughter Adelina Rose". People. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- Official website
- Rob Mariano at the Internet Movie Database
- Rob Mariano on Twitter
- Rob Mariano biography for Survivor: Marquesas at CBS.com
- Rob Mariano biography for Survivor: All-Stars at CBS.com
- Rob Mariano biography for Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains at CBS.com
- Rob Mariano biography for Survivor: Redemption Island at CBS.com
Jud "Fabio" Birza
|Winner of Survivor
Survivor: Redemption Island