October 20, 1978|
Wantagh, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Notable work||Rob Has a Podcast|
Survivor: The Amazon|
|Website||Rob Has a Website|
Robert Kristopher "Rob" Cesternino (born October 20, 1978) is an American reality television and podcasting personality, known for his appearances on both Survivor: The Amazon (2003) and Survivor: All Stars (2004) and his current coverage of reality television on his personal podcast, Rob Has a Podcast.
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. A lifelong television enthusiast, 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 game-play. Often credited with pioneering the alliance-switch strategy, Cesternino cut a number of deals throughout the game, which often resulted in him double-crossing his allies and convincing other tribe members to flip their votes. Through this strategy, Cesternino engineered four consecutive blindsides, voting out Deena Bennett, Alex Bell, Christy Smith, and Heidi Strobel. 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 strong strategic game in Survivor: The Amazon 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 finished in 15th place, after fellow Amazon castaway Jenna Morasca quit the game to be with her dying mother.
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.
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 was thus 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 stated that Cesternino, along with Spencer Bledsoe from Survivor: Cagayan and Survivor: Cambodia, was his personal favorite non-winner contestant.
Rob Has A Podcast
Cesternino manages his own website entitled Rob Has A Website, which is the home of his podcast series Rob Has A Podcast (RHAP). The podcast began during 2010, originally covering Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and the final season of Lost. In its seven years on the air, the podcast has developed into one of the leading entertainment podcasts, particularly well known for its coverage of Survivor. Cesternino also covers a wide range of other reality programs including Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and The Celebrity Apprentice, among others. The show features weekly interviews with a wide range of former contestants to get their perspectives on the game.
The podcast also covered scripted programming until mid-2013, when coverage for these shows moved to Cesternino's new podcast and website called Post Show Recaps. This allowed RHAP to focus primarily on reality TV, with The Spyson Hour, a variety show featuring Spencer Pratt and Tyson Apostol, as the only RHAP show not focused on reality programs. In 2014, Cesternino 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 does not cover on the main podcast feed. These shows include MTV's The Challenge series, The Bachelor and its spin-off shows, and international English-speaking editions of The Amazing Race, Big Brother, and Survivor.
RHAP was a 2010 Podcast Award nominee in the entertainment category, but lost to The Fringe Podcast. The podcast was once again nominated in the entertainment category in 2011, losing to The Morning Stream. On January 7, 2013, RHAP was awarded its first podcast award, winning Best Entertainment Podcast for 2012. The following year, it received two additional podcast awards: Best Produced Podcast of 2013 and Best Video Podcast of 2013. On April 14, 2015, RHAP won its fourth award, Best Entertainment Podcast of 2014, and notably beat out Serial for its fifth award, in the category of People's Choice Podcast of 2014.
In August 2010, Cesternino married his longtime girlfriend, Nicole Palmeri. The couple's first child, Dominic James, was born on September 29, 2013. The couple's second child, Anthony Joseph, was born on November 12, 2015.
- 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.
- Holmes, Gordon (December 12, 2012). "'Survivor' Hall of Fame 2012 Inductee – Rob Cesternino". Xfinity. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Get Insider Answers in the Survivor 30th Season Extravaganza". CBS.com. February 3, 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- Blickley, Leigh (January 30, 2015). "The 10 Best Seasons In 'Survivor' History". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- Ross, Dalton (February 25, 2015). "Jeff Probst names his favorite Survivor winner, non-winner, twist, challenge, and season ever". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Stanhope, Kate (30 September 2013). "Survivor: The Amazon Alum Rob Cesternino and Wife Welcome a Baby Boy". TVGN. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
- Helling, Steve (November 13, 2015). "Rob Cesternino Welcomes Son Anthony Joseph". People. Retrieved 2 December 2015.