Monday, January 31, 2011


As we all know by now, this upcoming season of Survivor Redemption Island will once again bring back old stalwarts Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano for a total smackdown battle with 16 other people thrown in. For Hantz this will be his third try in four seasons while Mariano will be playing for a record fourth time. I thought it was a good opportunity to look back at both of their careers on Survivor and decide where they rank all time. Today lets start with Boston Rob who has certainly been quite possibly THE most interesting and most talked about player in history.

Really when lookng at Rob Mariano's career on Survivor, you can state without debate that everything the man has in his life was as a result of this show. He met his beautiful wife Amber during All Stars, married her and enjoyed her million dollar winnings which surely helped with the down payment on their house. They than multiplied by having two daughters as well. Clearly this show has changed their lives like no other. Now for the actual game play.

Looking at Rob's performance on Survivor, if one were to study his three previous failures at the million bucks, there is some thought that he was overrated as a player. For all his bravado and tough talk, Rob's wife beat him to the title and he has had some poor performances along the way. Lets rehash.

In Marquesas, Rob was a big talker in his debut season and really didnt do very well as he was voted out as the first jury member. He made an impression though and so it was not a shock when he was selected for All Stars. In my opinion, this is where the man did his best work, albeit in a very harsh and at times unethical manner. Being able to balance a burgeoning love affair while lasting longer than every other of the previous best player's in the game's history to that point was a major score in his reputation as a big time player. And really you can make the strong argument that Rob should have won the million dollars which I have said all along. He made all the big moves and really saved Amber's behind with his deceit of Lex. Without Rob they dont have the million bucks in their bank account. Rob absolutely was the biggest villain coming out of that reason though and I have to admit I hated his guts. The whole Lex thing was the biggest dick move I ever saw on the show to that point and it was great how the jury tore him apart.

So it was with great pleasure when I saw Rob included in the Heroes VS. Villains cast as I couldnt wait to see him voted out and get what he deserved from All Stars. Well a funny thing happened along the way....I started to like the guy. And really Rob went though the biggest and easily the most unprecedented Survivor transformation in history as he went from being arguably the show's biggest villain to a hero due to his battle with the new ultimate villain Russell Hantz. Rob even played a nice game as he made friends with Sandra, Courtney, and Tyson and did everything he could to protect them. He came up with a brilliant plan to ensure either Russell or Parvati went home but we all know now that Tyson screwed it up and than Jerri later on failed to go along with the second try at it. So after challenging Hantz heads up, Rob lost and was sent home right before the jury. A much quicker end to his game than many would have expected.

So now ultimately Rob has two lackluster showings in three tries on Survivor with one fantastic outing in the highest stakes game ever in All Stars. So how do we rate his career? Is it off the mark saying he was overrated? Was he too much talk and not enough action? Does he need to win to finally cement his spot in Survivor lore?

In my opinion, Rob Mariano is one of the best players to play the game. If Tyson doesnt screw up the plan in H V V, its likely he goes a long way and maybe even wins. It was a ridiculously fluky result and so he deserves a mulligan there. Ultimately if he can oust Hantz in Redemption Island, than even more so Rob places himself at the very top of the list of all time players. In my view Sandra is the best ever due to the fact she is the only person to win twice followed by Richard Hatch and than Parvati. Hantz and Mariano are right behind that group due to their bagel in wins and how they do this season will determine who gets the nod.

It should be a great season to watch and at the very least we get to see Rob in action one last time....or maybe he comes back again. Stranger things have happened. Fatre all he found a wife on this show.

Let me know what you all think about this.

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