'Survivor: Redemption Island:' Boston Rob talks about lying to his wife, why Grant is so mad at him, and being done with the show forever

Image Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS

It took four seasons, nine years, and 117 days of playing the game, but Boston Rob Mariano is finally done with Survivor. Or so he says. But that’s what winning will do! Rob joined his wife Amber Brkich (who beat Rob in Survivor: All-Stars) as a Sole Survivor by dominating Survivor: Redemption Island from wire to wire. This morning, Rob spoke to EW.com about his victory, why Grant won’t return his calls, and how he’s been lying to his wife for the past nine months! He also offers some surprising advice for his nemesis, Russell Hantz. Read on after the jump for the complete interview.

Well, let me just start by saying — about freakin’ time!
Come on, bro. It ain’t easy. You know that. It’s a lot of work. It looked easy this time, but like I told Jeff at the live show, there was a lot of behind the scenes stuff to make it look so easy

Does this add balance to the marriage now, each of you having won once?
Of course it does. I don’t have to listen to “I’m the winner” anymore. I can say, “Well, I won too.” But she still gets the money, so….

When we talked before the game started, I mentioned how on Survivor: Guatemala the returning players were treated like rock stars by the newbies and I thought that might happen with you, yet you were adamant that no one would be that stupid. So, Rob, were they just that stupid?
You know what? [Laughing] Look, yeah, they were excited to see me — some of them. But the ones that weren’t, I was smart enough to get rid of right away.  And I like to think that was a testament to good game play. At the same time, you know, I realized that once I got my foot in the door and I was able to manipulate and control the situation, that I could work it to my advantage. Just for the record too, when we were out there in Nicaragua, and the interview we did before the game with Russell where I went on and on how he was the best player ever in Heroes vs. Villains — you know I really think Parvati should have won that season.

I know. It was all too clear you were already playing the game right then and there during that interview.
And I knew at that point right then and there during that interview that Russell wasn’t going to be a factor for me or a problem.

You ever play “What If?” and wonder what would have happened had you pulled the purple buff at the start of the game?
Of course. Look, right there, that’s a perfect example of how much luck plays into this game. I’m under no false impression, Dalton. I think I played a great game and I did my best and it worked out for me. But I’m under no false impression that luck doesn’t play a huge factor in this game and right then and there, picking the orange buff and getting on Ometpe was a huge leg up because I felt like I related to the younger people better. Had I picked the purple buff, I think I would have had to play a different kind of game. At the same time, I don’t think they would have thrown a challenge to get rid of me. And therein in lies the difference between Russell’s game play and my game play — where I was able to say, “Hey, look, guys. I have eight years of experience. This is what I’m bringing to the table. Let me show you how to build a shelter. Let me show you how to make a fire. Lets do this stuff.” You know what else, dude? There was a lot made about when Zapatera threw that challenge to get rid of Russell. But I don’t think in any of the interviews I read or any of the people I heard about — not one person mentioned that they may have thrown the challenge to get rid of him, but who’s to say that they were going to win anyway? You kow what I mean? It’s as if it was a forgone conclusion that they were going to win that challenge, and it’s not necessarily true.

It’s just such a shoddy strategic move at that point when numbers are so important.
Never a good idea to throw a challenge.

What’s Grant’s beef with you — other than the obvious fact that you backstabbed him? Did you get to the bottom of that?
Man, I haven’t. And you know what? It’s frustrating, because I had a relationship with Grant out there and obviously I know I’m not going out there to make friends, but I did make friends with him, and of anybody out there I thought that he would be able to handle it and get that it’s just a game. We said it so many times out there. I ingrained it into my tribe’s head — “Look, guys, this is just a game. After, everybody will be fine.” — in order to get their votes in the end because I knew I was going to have to backstab every one of them. So I tried to put it in their head that it’s just a game. And I thought he would be able to take it. I reached out to him on a number of occasions and at some point when it’s not reciprocated you just got to give the guy his space. Hopefully in time he comes around.

It wasn’t like you were talking a lot of smack about him to the camera or anything on a personal level.
It wasn’t, but he felt a strong connection that he was going to the end with me. But you know what, dude? He is a grown man. He has played in the NFL. To the credit of the younger girls, they all felt the exact same way and they were able to get over it a lot easier than he was. It may have been a situation where, look, this guy is a winner. He played in the NFL, he’s a football player, he’s big time. He comes from a family of winners. He has a brother that played, he has a sister that was an Olympian and I think he was always used to being a winner and being on top. And the phone calls and text messages kind of stopped after the episode where it showed me taking the clue and switching it out on him. I don’t know if there was an embarrassment level, or the fact that he got played or schooled — I don’t know if his buddies were giving him a hard time and ribbing him. I don’t know. It’s unfortunate but what can you do, man?

Anyone else still have beef with you, or are they all good?
Everybody’s good.

What about Russell? How much did you talk to him at the reunion?
Nothing. What you saw is what you saw. I don’t have a relationship with Russell. I don’t speak with him. I thought it was classy of him to stand up and shake my hand and, of course, I reciprocated. Watching him get eliminated was actually tough for me. I think Survivor has burnt Russell out a bit. I think he needs to take a step back. I played the game four times over the course of 10 years. Russell played the game three times in what, a year and a half?

A little less, actually.
So I think he needs some space, in my estimation. And I’m not a doctor or shrink or anything, but I would tell him to take a breather and get the rest of his life on track and take a step away from Survivor for a minute.

The way you controlled everyone and everything out there was simply amazing, but even for you, asking Ashley to collaborate on the final immunity challenge was a bold, bold stroke, my friend.
[Laughing] You know what, I try to keep all my bases covered. Who knew? Who knew at that moment if she would automatically get it and then step up and tell me? I mean, I didn’t expect her to, but it’s one of those situations where you have to throw it out there and if they bite and you can hook ‘em, then more power to you as a fisherman.

Not that you needed it at all, but are you gonna take David out for a nice steak dinner for his comments to the other jurors?
Yeah, and for congratulations on his engagement.

You said you’re not going to play anymore so you can spend time at home with your family, but now you’re doing another reality show going around the globe for the History channel. What gives?
Well, I was trying to win a million dollars when I said that. But I got an amazing opportunity. Thom Beers, who does Deadliest Catch, called me. And aside from Survivor, that’s one of my favorite shows on television. He asked me to take a meeting with him back in February and pitched me the idea of this show [called Around the World in 80 Ways] about going around the world in all these different ways. I mean, how can you not? I talked to Amber about it and it’s an amazing opportunity. This guy makes the kind of television that you love. It’s very Mark Burnett-esque. And I’m excited to go do it. I’m actually on a plane to L.A. tonight and we start shooting tomorrow morning.

Well, let me ask you about the Survivor part of being done. Are you done with Survivor?
I’m done with Survivor. I accomplished everything I’ve ever wanted to accomplish. This time around it wasn’t about the money as much as it was about the title. I don’t have to hide in my own house anymore. And plus, Amber’s getting a check anyway.

You said and did a lot of things that I’m sure surprised the other players when they watched at home….
And that was the best part of it and the most fun because I didn’t tell them anything! Even after the fact I didn’t tell them. Week to week they would call me and I’d be like “We got some surprises coming up this week!” and they’d be all nervous. And I didn’t tell anything to Amber either. Obviously I came home and I’m 150 pounds. She knows my sister went out for the family visit so she knows I went deep, but she didn’t know. I actually led her to believe that I was voted out at the final four. So last night when she was backstage in the green room with the kids — she’s watching the last challenge and she sees that I win the last challenge and I’m going to be in the finals. And all of a sudden things start clicking in her head. It was nine months of me keeping a secret and the payoff was worth it.

Well, someone going by the handle — and you’re going to love this — @IHateFenway tweeted me and wanted to know on the flip side if anything surprised you at all while watching at home.
That’s a good question. Just in the beginning I’m always curious to see what’s going on on the other beach and I thought it was really smart of Russell to take his tribe around him and tell them “I’m not gonna do this,” but had he actually not done his antics, I think he actually could have had a shot to build some relationships within his tribe. But given the speech and then going and doing something completely contrary and the exact opposite — from what I heard from his tribe and from what I’ve seen, the writing was on the wall for him.

Probst called it the “as close to a perfect game as anyone’s played on Survivor.” Where do you rank your effort against some of the other dominant performances?
I don’t know, man. It’s a compliment coming from Jeff. He’s given me a lot of compliments and I’m really appreciative of it. But look, there’s been a lot of people that played this game and 22 different winners. So there’s different styles and different things work for different people in different situations. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the way I played was the best. I will tell you that I played it the best way that I knew how to play. Everything came together for me this time and I was able to get it done.

To see my pre-game joint interview with Rob and Russell, check out the video player below. Also make sure to read my Survivor: Redemption Island finale/reunion recap, And for more Survivor news and views all year long, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.

Comments (240 total) Add your comment
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  • Kyle

    I know it is all about ratings but I hope Survivor stops regurgitating the same old players. How many people apply to be on the show? Why should Boston Rob get four chances when so many others are turned away? Again, I get it that it is about rating but enough already. I have watched every season and this was the worst!

    • Dan

      Because, unlike 90% of the contestants, Boston Rob and Russell Hantz are actually interesting people who are there to play. I wish they didn’t have to keep bringing players back, but until new players start stepping up that’s what the producers will do.

      • Jessica

        If the producers would stop bringing on players that they found at the bar, those who are only chosen because they will look good in a bikini, then perhaps they won’t be so boring.

      • TorontoTom

        I have this feeling that they will bring back COACH next season. PUKE. Won’t watch if it is him.

      • utazdevl

        Dan, I think the point to be taken from this is we assume the other “90% of the contestants” aren’t interesting BECAUSE Boston Rob and Russell are there. Naturally, 2 people the audience knows are going to get more screen time and seem more interesting. I suspect people like Grant, Ashley, Steve and Matt were going to be a lot more fun to watch if they weren’t being dominated by seasoned players.

      • Hana

        The producers should learn that Redemption Island and the two returning players twist was what ruined this season. I think it’s better to go back to the basics. Stop redemption island, and start bringing SMART, new people who WANT to win the game. Bring an end to the list of lame gimmicks and wannabe actors and maybe then Survivor could start getting somewhere.

    • SLB

      I guess you didn’t watch the previews for next season then, when they said, two previous players are coming back. If it’s Russell again, i’m done.

      • Dan

        Of course it’s not going to be Russell or Rob. *doh*

      • wizard62

        I watched the “next time on Survivor” clip in slow-mo and I could have sworn I saw Andrea and Matt. I think they are the 2 returning players.

      • Mangan

        It can’t be Russell again. He’s going to be shooting his new A&E show about real estate at the time.

      • innerjuju

        I’m with @wizard62- I think I saw Matt in that preview as well.

      • starbbycat

        it looked to me in the preview that it was that kid who worked in the ice cream shop who gave up his immunity at the top 5, to i think her name was Nathalie.

      • TrueFan

        Yes, Matt was in the preview, so was Erik, phi gee, and other former survivors. But since the season has not even been filmed yet, none of that footage is new. It is solely for publicity purposes. If it is up to Probst, it will be 2 of the following four: David, Marty, Phillip, or Coach.

      • hhhmm

        Drop the idea of bringing back experienced players. It’s so unfair that new contestants have to be with players who have done all this before.

      • Sylvie

        If it’s Russell he won’t last long. Rob is right. Russell should take a l o n g g g break.

      • SJ

        OMG Coach… haha. I bet there’s a strong possibility for that. I rolled my eyes at the idea of more returning players, but as long as it’s not someone like Pavarti who has played several times already, if it’s someone who only played once, I would feel OK with it.

    • a old fan

      I agree totally.Rob’s wife has already won a million dollars and why not give someone else a chance. Everybody said he played a great game, don’t you think he should after playing three times before. Anybody should be able to play good after lots of pratice. I think they should have new people everytime on the show. It makes for a much better show. I also agree this was the worst season ever.

      • Ian

        I agree. Everybody–including Probst–keeps saying how Boston Rob is the best player to ever play Survivor and that he played the most perfect game. Well–yeah. When you get 4 chances to play it–I should hope you know how to play the game well enough to finally win it! I think the greatest players were the ones who won Survivor their first time around, such as Hatch, Brian Heidik and Yul Kwon. Hatch knew the advantages of an alliance; Brian knew the advantages of constantly watching the other players; and Yul knew the advantages of a Hidden Immunity Idol. So, of course, Rob incorporated all of those tactics at Redemption Island and came through with the win. But I feel it was much more impressive that Hatch, Brian and Yul were able to do those tactics their first time around. Personally, I think Boston Rob is overrated as a player. And the same goes for Parvati who didn’t win until her second time around–after she realized her flirting and trying to form an alliance with the boys didn’t work out.

      • Mangan

        Matt maybe one of the returning players in the next season but it won’t be Andrea. I know she did knock out three top athlete men but she’s still not allstar material. If Matt is one of them the other will be somebody else in Season 23.

      • starbbycat

        disagree with you – Boston Rob had a huge target on his back from the beginning but took charge & moved himself deep into the game – props to him – loved the final episode – everything just came together including RI

      • c jones

        Ian, you must also agree that Russell Hantz even tho he didn’t win, came up with so many inventive methods, like saving other players with his idol, and searching for them before a clue is given, and whispering that a guy should switch his vote to get ahead when that guy had been told that if he didn’t switch his vote Russell would be going home, for examples, that he would also make your list. (Beside the fact that Russell beat Rob in their first matchup, and it took Russell’s team throwing a match to get him out to make him lose.)

      • ecksley

        Yes, Rob had the advantage of experience, but I’m tired of the haters. He also had the disadvantage of running the gauntlet with a target on him the whole time. This season was very different than Guatemala’s returning all stars because those two were heroes. Rob and Russel are villains that both nearly got the boot immediately. Yeah, Rob has skills, but so do a lot of people who get the boot early. In Survivor its better to fly low than to stand out. On that note, when Parvati came back on F vs F and H vs V she was an all star on a team of all stars. Take nothing away from her success, but I think that is easier than being the odd all-star villain out. I like your points about Hatch Brian Yul and Russell innovating. True. This season presented some unique challenges with redemption island as well. Rob, like Yul made it a non factor and I think that is worth of some praise.

      • Jerri

        Russell played several times as well, yet his game doesn’t evolve. Rob’s game evolved and he was able to play all his cards right this time.

      • SJ

        I think China was still the worst. With Matt on redemption island, special agent Philip and all Rob’s tricks, plus Russell crying, no way was this the worst season! I found it extrememly entertaining.
        Poor Francesca didn’t get a chance to talk at the reunion, which I thought was a bummer.

    • Meli

      I was like you when it began, but then I started watching Rob play and I realized he was a very different player than I remember. He was much more patient and didn’t fly off the handle like he did before if he spotted something afoot, and while he promised everyone he was taking them to the end, he didn’t pull a hardcore betrayal like he did with Lex during the All Stars. He’s learned over 10 years and I think it made the jury appreciate what he did.

      • starbbycat

        totally agree Meli – he matured alot in his game play – added in the compassion & social game play – it wasnt at all the same old Rob.

      • wiseguy

        Yes, Boston Rob provided a textbook demonstration on how to play this game and how to dominate it without unnecessarily alienating his fellow tribemates. As Jeff Probst said, Boston Rob played a perfect game by winning the jury’s vote in the end.

    • Eric

      As far as drama goes; yeah I agree it was the worst. The plethora of hot women on this season made it quite a bit more enjoyable though, IMO.

    • innerjuju

      For every one of you that doesn’t like returning players, theres two of us that do.

      • Liv

        I don’t mind the returning players but I HATE HATE HATE Redemption Island. You were voted out, the tribe has spoken, go home.

      • wiseguy

        Because this game had two returning players who will definitely be immediate targets for early elimination from the game by their tribemates, the concept of Redemption Island is to give any ousted returning player a fighting chance to get back into the game. In theory, this should make the game more interesting.

    • I’m a Survivor

      No, last season was the worst. This season could have been better, but how intertaining was crazy Phil, and there was a lot of pre-merge excitement. It was the post merge that was definitely too predictable. And it could have played out differently if Russle hadn’t gotten voted out so soon. But overall, I’m glad when someone loves Survivor sooo much that they want to come back, when so many others want to quit. Challenges were better this year than last too, but there needed to be more tribal challenges, less individual challenges.

    • ToastwithJAM

      I agree…CBS is just too lazy and afraid to take a chance on an unknown person to entertain us. I don’t watch a reality show for the “reruns” so I didn’t participate in viewing this season after episode one when I saw the type of “famous-people” worshippers that they had cast. I knew it wasnt about getting to know new people, it was about watching Jeff Probst drool over Boston Rob. No thanks.

    • Fro

      He’s sexeeeee

  • dman

    This game was set up. Who gets 4 chances on the same game. They wanted ROB to win. What a joke. I dont see Survivor lasting much longer.God please have the new returning members be on only their second season. No more 3 timers. UGH

    • a fan

      i agree about them using old players. but also look at the last season? forget that one already? yes, because they players sucked. at least rob and russell bring some risk taking to the table. and it also goes to show that watching it on the couch is nothing compared to being out there. that said, if i was a player this season i would have been pissed off b/c the whole game was stolen from them the minute that helicopter landed with the two Rs

      • Dan

        This season was a mixed bag. It was certainly a thing of beauty to watch Rob put on the clinic of clinics. Only a Rob-hater could call this the worst season ever, and no real Survivor fan could hate Rob.

      • maybe

        I don’t hate Rob, but I do think this was the worse season ever. Rob plays a great game, but it doesn’t really mean very much when he’s the only one playing. I’ve watched every episode since season 1, but this was just boring.

      • Ian

        I’m with maybe. I’ve seen quite a few seasons of Survivor that were turkeys, but this one was by far the worst. It didn’t seem like any of these players knew how to play the game. And the ones who you thought would know how to play the game, such as David, Christina, Francesca–didn’t know how to play the game either! I think it’s about time Survivor goes back to the basics and just get really good strategic players. Enough with these boring players like Matt, Natalie, Grant, Andrea, Mike, Steve, Julie, et al.

      • Jane

        @maybe- Rob was the only one playing because he had everyone step in line right from the beginning. It’s to Rob’s credit that they didn’t give Rob much of a challenge.

      • Ronda

        As far as last season being boating and unfogetable I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. My husband, myself and a group of four other friends do a “Survivor Pool” every season. I put our names in a hat and then make three rounds of drawing names (women, men, & mix of six remaining names). We each end up with 3 players. I go to bed early so I watch on demand … last season week would go by before I would watch. In the end I forgot to watch. About 3 weeks later I had to ask my husband what happened. Now that means it was BORING!!!!! Needless to say not a week went by that I didn’t watch the show and rooted for Rob the whole show even though he wasn’t one of my players in our game!!!!!!

    • Diggin’

      Season 23 – RI and two more replayers. Boring … unless one of them is James … ;~)

      • RBlues


      • Meli

        I’d like to see Phillip vs. Coach. Now THAT would be hilarious!

      • Diggin’

        Hey, RBlues! Missed you – email me!

      • RBlues

        I lost it in old computer during tornado! Mine is the same but at yahoo.com

      • Cara

        Praying for J.T.

    • Mangan

      The returning allstars for Season 23 could be anybody! Any two that made a big impact from the past. My personal guess is that it’s going to be the two crazy guys. Philip and Coach Wade.

  • sandra

    the music cracked me up!

  • a fan

    great job, rob. i will definitely check out your new show. And I don’t think you made it look easy out there. it looked like a ton of work and exhausting. only thing i wish was different is — do you have to call everyone idiots? yes, it seemed like they all sat on things and didn’t play the game. but the name calling out there and by the jurors on the last episode was ridiculous. Oh, I have one question — Why are they all so horrible to Phillip? we all get the ‘crazy’ bit, but they were down right mean to the guy. What was cut out that we missed?

    • Snsetblaze

      Whatever meanness the others displayed to Phillip he had coming – he wasn’t exactly nice during the show, act or not. And most of it did not seem to be an act.

    • Tommy D

      Both Rob and Russell are getting their own shows. Goes to show everybody who is great and who isn’t. We’ll never see any of those Zapatera losers ever again. But Rob and Russell live on in other media. Russell may play Survivor again though in the future but he won’t be in South Pacific even though it’s taking place on his old turf, Samoa.

      • bh

        Just because they have their own shows, doesn’t make them great. How about Springer or Maury – are they great?

      • teresa

        Springer and Maury may not be great but they’ve been on forever and raked in the money.

  • Nick

    Agreed. Worst season ever.

    • davey

      SECOND worst season ever – last season’s Nicaragua with Fabio/Judd and NaOnka was the absolute WORST!!!

      • Diggin’

        NaOnka – ugh! Never wanted to b!tch-slap someone so badly.

      • Ian

        I’ll take Nicaragua over Redemption Island. After watching Redemption Island, I don’t think Nicaragua was that bad. But Redemption Island really was that bad. It definitely was the worst season ever.

      • BoBobb

        NaOnka was a chicken-head hood rat.

    • synapse

      Two things can both be true at the same time: Rob played a good game -and- the season sucked. Jeff was wrong, though. Rob didn’t play a perfect game; he got dealt the perfect hand and played it well.

      • Maddi

        This is 100% true. I’d rather watch a season where people screw up, switch alliances, or have to claw their way into the finals than a season where one person sets himself up so perfectly that nothing interesting happens the entire season. It was astounding to watch Rob play so well but the season as a whole was just boring.

    • Tommy D

      Best Season ever, Rob Mariano finaly got what he failed to get five times in the past counting another reality show. The check at the end.

  • Al

    Rob fully deserved to win, but this was the most boring season ever because nobody in his alliance ever thought for themself. The girls could have controlled the game but they stuck with Rob even though they should have known they would have no chance against him with the jury.

  • Liv

    I really enjoyed watching Rob win this. He really earned it. He came through on individual immunity challenges when it counted even though Ashley was literally riding his coat tails through that maze. I have to give it to the editors I really thought he wasn’t going to win final immunity. Also, Ralph needs to get himself some help if he really thinks Phil did anything to deserve 1 million dollars.

    • Ronda

      I soooo agree. I was so happy that Rob won. I too thought he was gonna lose that last immunity challenge.
      I have to say watching Ashley chase/follow Rob around to make sure she was right behind him pissed me off. She then had the nerve to tell Nat that ‘she’ rode Robs coattails? I didn’t see Nat following Rob in that challenge & she could have just as easily done it.
      Finally, Ralph voting for Phillip was the “dumbest” move in the show!!!! I have no idea where he thought that was deserved. Maybe he is a little crazy too!

  • Anne

    Love Rob! And would watch him in another reality show, but not Russell!

    • davey

      Hate Rob! And would never watch him in another reality show….but I would watch Russell!

      • SLB

        I never want to see Russell again. Rob’s show actually sounds interesting. Russell a house flipper? Gee, that’s original.

      • Ronda


    • S.

      I agree, not a huge survivor fan, but Rob is interesting and him & Amber were a great team on Amazing Race (joint decisions, respectful/encouraging to each other, while still entertaining). His new show sounds like it could be fun.

    • Ronda

      Anne I’m right there with you!!

  • Tilly

    I could see Rob coming back to Survivor as a commentator or to fill in for Jeff someday. His quotes were fantastic!

    • Lcat


    • S.

      ooh – good idea.

    • Liv

      I like this idea!If Jeff ever wants to retire from Survivor. BRob could totally take over.

    • D

      As great as Rob is, I don’t see him being an announcer with that accent.

    • Lecakes

      Rob will never replace Jeff. Especially given that the game of Survivor has wrecked enough havoc on Rob’s social life. He needs to spend time with Amber and their two daughters.

    • RBlues

      Rob is the ONLY person I would accept as a replacement for Jeff if he ever decides to leave.

      • Dara


  • Doc X

    Phillip blew it big time; he had the game handed to him on a plate but couldn’t finish.

    • Diggin’

      Long time, Doc X … how’s the Parvati quest coming along?

      • Doc X

        Lol, Parvati just doesn’t realize how happy I would make her. Great to hear from ya, Dig.

    • Mangan

      Agreed! Philip shouldn’t have came to final tribal council dressed up like Old Chief Wooden Head! He should have checked his attitude at the door and told everyone that he’s not really crazy. Eventhough it’s clear that he is.

  • Jean Guy Levesque

    I can’t understand a word from Ralph and I’m so glad he put on a shirt for the reunion show. I simply could not look at the CAVEMAN hair any longer. Vive la Quebec!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ps.

    I am so glad Rob won, he did play a great game, he was playing ever moment of the game. Russell is a poor excuse of a person, always saying hateful things, about his fellow players. So I am glad he got voted out early. If Russell plays another Survivor game, I will not watch. All i can say is yea Rob………Jeff you are still eye candy…..peace out.

    • Akane

      Rob played a great social and strategic game, very happy he won. Russell is a terrible loser, he tough he deserved to be there because of the way he played before, and complained about Zapatera voting him off, that was their best move. I hope he is out of Survivor forever, Rob is great, one of my favorites.

    • Ronda

      I applauded & cheered when Russell got sent packing!!!

  • RK

    I think they are bringing back old players and introducting Redemption Island to mix things up and to try and keep it fresh as opposed to doing the same thing each season. I just don’t know if bringing people back is going to continue to work. I think Rob winning was a fluke in that all the stars aligned for him. I would tend to believe going forward most returning players are going to get voted off fast. If Rob went out like Russell did, the whole concept would have been a bust. I also think Redemption Island is fine to use once but not twice. Both times the person went back in they went back out immediately. I’m not a fan of the island the way its put together right now

    • D

      Agree on RI. I hope they re-tool that thing. It takes up entirely too much time. I mean, I didn’t even know Philip was a father until the final tribal. We don’t get to learn anything about the players.

    • Razano

      Exactly! After all that work Matt loses that last one and just like that it’s over. And the final four way duel people all went out including Andrea who came back in an went right back out. Plus Redemption Island took away from the Rites of passage. There was no rites of passage because they ran out of time. But it probably did happen though in Nicaragua.

  • Christopher

    I like the element of returning players for two reasons:

    1) Look at this past season…Rob and Russell got two very different results. And if they’d been on different tribes, the results would have been different again.

    2) The social/psychological aspect, to see how new players react to the returning players. As long as you pick the right two returnees, with a good story, it adds an awesome element to the game.

  • Queen Bee

    I love Boston Rob – I think he’s brilliant and hilarious. For me it was really satisfying to see him win one. It is an unfortunate by-product of Rob’s game play that you’re necessarily going to wind with Rob + people who aren’t a threat, because he’s really good at eliminating threats. In other news, Amber looks fantastic…can’t believe she just had a baby.

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