Rob Has a Podcast
|'Rob Has a Podcast'|
|Hosted by||Rob Cesternino|
|Updates||Multiple shows each week|
|Audio format||Podcast (via streaming or downloadable MP3)|
|Original release||February 12, 2010 – present|
|Cited for||Five-time Podcast Award winner|
|Website||Rob Has a Website|
Rob Has a Podcast (RHAP) is an entertainment podcast hosted by former Survivor contestant Rob Cesternino. The podcast primarily provides coverage of strategy-based reality television shows Survivor, Big Brother, and The Amazing Race. In the past, RHAP covered The Celebrity Apprentice, several scripted shows, and other miscellaneous reality shows directly. However, as RHAP has grown, its coverage of scripted shows and miscellaneous reality shows has moved to RHAP's spin-off podcasts, Post Show Recaps and Reality TV RHAP-ups, respectively.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Format
- 3 Special Events
- 4 Related podcasts
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Cesternino started RHAP in 2010, in order to cover Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and the final season of Lost. He continually expanded the show over the next several years, adding coverage of Big Brother, The Amazing Race and The Celebrity Apprentice. In 2011, he began adding more live coverage using YouTube's Google Hangout feature. The show expanded further with the addition of the weekly "Survivor Know-It-Alls" segment with co-host Stephen Fishbach, during Survivor: Philippines in 2012. In 2014, Cesternino was able to move to podcasting full-time, earning a living through monthly contributions from voluntary "patrons," advertisements, corporate sponsorships, affiliate products, and side projects like his audiobook series, The Evolution of Strategy.
When Survivor is on the air, Cesternino records several podcasts about the show each week, most analyzing strategy or discussing highlights. These include:
- "Survivor Know-It-Alls," hosted with Survivor: Tocantins runner-up Stephen Fishbach, airs live immediately following the Wednesday night broadcast of the Survivor episode.
- An "exit interview" podcast, in which Cesternino will record a brief interview with the contestant(s) eliminated that week. Since 2015, this is paired with "This Week in Survivor History", where Cesternino and co-host Jordan Kalish will reminisce about memorable moments from previous seasons.
- A long-form recap and discussion of the episode with a prominent former Survivor player.
- The "feedback" show, in which listeners can call in and ask questions, which are then discussed by Cesternino and a guest, often either a former Survivor player or member of RHAP's stable of co-hosts. A segment on the feedback show is the "Survivor Social Media" in which Cestereno and the guest discuss (usually humorous) post by former Survivor contestants.
- "The Wiggle Room", in which Cesternino discusses the characters and stories of the Survivor season with Josh Wigler, writer for The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Why _______ Lost Survivor," in which Cesternino and writer David Bloomberg review clues from the episode, online bonus material, and social media to analyze the reasons behind the most-recent eliminations.
At the beginning of the Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers season, Cesternino introduced a new weekly Survivor podcast to the Reality TV RHAP-Ups, the "RHAP B&B." Cesternino does not appear on this podcast, except as an occasional guest. It is hosted by Mike Bloom and Liana Boraas. Each week, they bring on a guest and play games and answer trivia related to Survivor in general, as well as to the current season and castaways.
In addition to these regular Survivor podcasts each week, there are often bonus podcasts about special topics related to Survivor. These podcasts can range from interviews with former contestants, to discussions about larger issues (such as a discussion of sexism on Survivor following several controversies during Survivor: Worlds Apart).
During the Big Brother season, Cesternino and the Live Feed Correspondents record several podcasts about the show each week. Cesternino and a member of the LFC do a live stream podcast after every episode of the show, discussing highlights and strategy. They are often joined by a guest, typically either a former reality contestant or a member of the RHAP community. These streams feature both discussions about the episode itself and the general events on the live feeds since the airing of the previous episode. Additionally, Taran Armstrong, one of the members of the LFC, does a live stream every morning of the Big Brother season. In these Overnight Updates, Armstrong is joined by a guest to recap and discuss any significant events from the Big Brother live feeds from the previous day. These recaps also often include significant strategic discussions and the potential implication of the players' decisions. Cesternino also provides coverage of Big Brother Canada in the spring in the same format as the US series, although he does not appear on every live show due to the conflict with the Survivor season.
Cesternino has interviewed and worked with numerous Survivor and Big Brother contestants, including Survivor winners Richard Hatch, "Boston Rob" Mariano, Parvati Shallow, Tyson Apostol, Aras Baskauskas, Sophie Clarke, Kim Spradlin, and Sandra Diaz-Twine. Frequent guests and contributors include Survivor contestants Stephen Fishbach, Jessica Lewis, and Andrea Boehlke. The podcast has also featured interviews with Survivor host Jeff Probst, American Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan, Amazing Race Canada host Jon Montgomery, and Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox. Numerous Big Brother contestants have appeared regularly on the show as well, including Ian Terry, Rachel Reilly, Brendon Villegas, Matt Hoffman, Eric Stein and Andy Herren.
"Miss Survivor" and "Mr. Survivor"
From 2012 to 2015, Cesternino hosted annual "Miss Survivor" competitions, in which podcast listeners could vote for female Survivor players to compete as finalists in a personality and beauty contest. The first competition, in 2012, allowed listeners to vote in any five women from Survivor's first 23 seasons as a finalist. The finalists would then participate in an interview with Cesternino and campaign for votes to win. This inaugural competition was won by Parvati Shallow, of Cook Islands, Micronesia, and Heroes vs. Villains.
Subsequent competitions limited balloting to female competitors from the previous years' two aired Survivor seasons, and were won by R.C. Saint-Amour (Philippines) in 2013, Andrea Boehlke (Redemption Island and Caramoan) in 2014, and Natalie Anderson (San Juan del Sur) in 2015.
In 2014, Cesternino created a "Mr. Survivor" competition, which followed the same rules and procedures as the "Miss Survivor", but was open to men. The two competitions were won by Malcolm Freberg (Philippines) in 2014 and Spencer Bledsoe (Cagayan) in 2015.
Prior to the 2016 competitions, Cesternino decided to suspend both "Mr. Survivor" and "Miss Survivor" competitions, but allowed a chance of revival in future years.
On February 20, 2013, Cesternino launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new project, Reality Gamemasters, in which six reality TV contestants would compete in a game of Risk, which would be filmed and would air on YouTube. On March 22, 2013, the project was successfully funded, receiving $7,036 from 170 individual backers. The miniseries, directed by Cesternino and Alex Forstenhausler, consisted of six episodes and began airing on June 3, 2013. The contestants included John Cochran, Sophie Clarke, and Stephen Fishbach of Survivor, and Ian Terry, Eric Stein, and Matt Hoffman of Big Brother. Andrea Boehlke hosted the competition, with additional Survivor contestants Billy Garcia and R.C. Saint-Amour making guest appearances on the show. Cesternino provided game commentary throughout each episode alongside Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross. After the Survivor contestants teamed up to take out the Big Brother contestants, Cochran ultimately went on to win the game.
"Survivor Know-It-Alls" LIVE
Since October 2014, Cesternino has hosted at least one live Survivor viewing party and subsequent taping of "Survivor Know-It-Alls" every Survivor season. The event is held twice-yearly in New York City, with some seasons offering a second taping in other cities including Los Angeles and Toronto. Numerous other Survivor contestants have made appearances at the events.
So You Think You Can Podcast
In the fall of 2016, throughout the season of Big Brother: Over the Top, Rob held a competition to add a fourth member to the Big Brother Live Feed Correspondents. The ten contestants were divided into three teams, each coached by one of the then-current members of the LFC. There were multiple rounds of the competition, each whittling down the number of members on each team, and culminating in a final round between the two remaining contestants. The winner of So You Think You Can Podcast was Melissa Deni, making her a full-time member of the LFC. Despite their loss, many of the people who competed continue to podcast within the RHAP community. Liana Boraas, who finished in third place, currently co-hosts the RuPaul's Drag Race podcast and the Survivor RHAP B&B, and many of the other competitors join Taran Armstrong for overnight updates during Big Brother seasons.
Post Show Recaps
In mid-2013, Cesternino announced the launch of a new podcast network and website, Post Show Recaps. Post Show Recaps provides coverage of current scripted television shows such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, among others. Post Show Recaps has also covered past shows, including Breaking Bad, Lost, Seinfeld, Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, and 24. Occasionally, Post Show Recaps covers movies or entire television series in "one-off" episodes. Cesternino appears as a host on some, but not all of the shows. Each television series covered features at least two regular co-hosts, some of whom cover multiple shows for the network.
Reality TV RHAP-ups
In 2014, Cesternino partnered with his long time editor and producer, Scott St. Pierre, to start a new podcast channel, titled Reality TV RHAP-ups. The RHAP-ups cover miscellaneous reality TV programming, including The Bachelor and its spinoff shows, international seasons of Big Brother and The Amazing Race, and MTV's The Challenge and Are You the One?. Most of the shows are hosted by other RHAP community members. In the spring of 2015, Cesternino opened up applications for positions as correspondents who would cover the Big Brother Canada live feeds. Currently, the Live Feed Correspondents, or LFC, are Taran Armstrong, Brent Wolgamott, and Melissa Deni. In the summer of 2015, Big Brother Canada 3 contestant Jordan Parhar began hosting a weekly podcast on Reality TV RHAP-ups called the RHAPpy Hour. On the RHAPpy Hour, he discussed Big Brother, Survivor, and other miscellaneous shows with a different guest each week. Parhar frequently recorded the show live and took calls from listeners. On April 13, 2017, Jordan announced that he was stepping down as the host of the RHAPpy Hour and that the show would be retired.
The Evolution of Strategy
In 2015, Cesternino began selling his audiobook series, The Evolution of Strategy. With co-host Josh Wigler, Cesternino explored past seasons of Survivor following a detailed re-watch. The series was released in three parts over the course of 2015. Each part consisted of ten chapters, one for each of the first thirty seasons of Survivor.
The Genius Know-It-Alls
In December 2016, Cesternino and "Survivor Know-It-Alls" co-host, Stephen Fishbach, began releasing audiobooks covering the South Korean strategic reality competition, The Genius (TV series), in which they recap the show episode by episode in the "Know-It-Alls" format. To date, they have covered the first two seasons: The Genius: Rules of the Game and The Genius: Rule Breaker.
The Spyson Hour and News AF
In 2015, Cesternino began The Spyson Hour with Survivor: Blood vs. Water winner and frequent RHAP guest Tyson Apostol and reality TV personality Spencer Pratt from The Hills. The Spyson Hour began as a way for Apostol and Pratt to analyze season four of Marriage Boot Camp, where they had met and become friends as fellow participants. After the season finished airing, Apostol and Pratt continued the podcast, focusing on events in their lives and on zany current events stories, with Cesternino as a moderator. Pratt left the show in September 2015. The show was retooled to focus on unusual news stories, and accordingly renamed News AF (It's Actual Factual News). Danny Bryson, a longtime friend of Apostol's, was brought in to replace Pratt.
The Taran Show
In July 2017, Taran Armstrong of the Live Feed Correspondents launched his own podcast, The Taran Show, where he interviews a different individual each week, typically either reality TV alumni or individuals affiliated with RHAP. The podcast is published both in its own unique feed and as part of the Reality TV RHAP-Ups feed.
Rob Has a Podcast has grown over the years, from a small start-up podcast into an expansive network with an enthusiastic and devoted fanbase. By 2013, RHAP had over two million downloads on iTunes, and had been watched for twenty-four million minutes on YouTube. RHAP has won five Podcast Awards: best entertainment podcast (2012, 2014), best video podcast (2013), best produced podcast (2013), and people's choice podcast (2014). Most notably, RHAP successfully beat hit podcast Serial in the category of people's choice podcast of 2014.
RHAP recorded its 1000th episode on November 14, 2014 and celebrated its fifth anniversary in February 2015. In 2015, the podcast was nominated for an Academy of Podcasters award in the entertainment category.
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