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Boston Rob Has a Podcast: Rob Mariano on Four Seasons of Survivor

Boston Rob Mariano in an extensive interview spanning Survivor Philippines and his four survivor seasons

Boston Rob likes to stay at the Four Seasons

Since the inception of Rob Has a Podcast, listeners have wondered if Boston Rob would ever appear on the show… wonder no more. Boston Rob Mariano from Survivor Marquesas, Survivor All-Stars, Survivor Heroes vs. Villains and the season that made him a winner, Survivor Redemption Island joins Rob Cesternino is the most extensive interview of Boston Rob’s Survivor career.

Rob Cesternino starts by talking with Boston Rob about Survivor Philippines and his take on whether he likes the three tribe format of the game. Boston Rob has played many different variations of the game, including Survivor All-Stars where there were also three tribes. Rob thinks it was a mistake for the Kalabaw tribe not to vote out Denise Stapley this week when they had the chance. Rob C. asks how come Boston Rob didn’t vote out Jenna Lewis and Rupert Boneham on Survivor All-Stars when they were in a similar position and Boston Rob explained his thinking from that game.

Rob C. brought up the medical evacuation of Dana Lambert from the game this week and how that compared to Boston Rob from Survivor Heroes vs. Villains the famous case of Crybaby-itis. Rob says that it’s a real thing that got brought on from severe dehydration, much like what happened to Russell Swan on Survivor Samoa. Boston Rob also discusses knowing Mike Skupin from charity events that the older players used to attend back in the day. Rob is excited for Skupin to return to the show for this season. Boston Rob also likes Jeff Kent but may be rooting for him more if he had ever played for the Boston Red Sox.

Eventually, Rob begins asking Boston Rob many of the questions that came from the Facebook Fan Page spanning across a number of different seasons of the show. Boston Rob discusses many of the famous moments from his Survivor playing career including:

– What were his plans for Survivor Heroes vs. Villains had Tyson decided not to switch his vote. What could Rob have done differently to change his fate in the game?

– His thoughts on his decision to vote out Hunter Ellis early on in Survivor Marquesas. Why did he decide to take out Hunter and what did he learn about the game?

– What does Rob think now about his decision to not save Lex on Survivor All-Stars after Lex didn’t vote Amber Brkich out of the game. What does Rob wish he could change about how that whole situation was handled?

– How did Boston Rob end up working so closely with Phillip Sheppard during Survivor Redemption Island?

– Which of his seasons had the toughest weather conditions?

– Would Boston Rob be open to possibly replacing Jeff Probst if Jeff decided he didn’t want to host Survivor any more?

– Plus, what exactly happened in Survivor: All-Stars when the two Robs played the game together on the same tribe? What really was the downfall of Rob Cesternino that season?

It’s a Survivor interview spanning Boston Rob’s last 11 years of playing Survivor. For a Boston Rob fan, this is truly the interview that you’ve been waiting for.

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Rob Cesternino is a two-time Survivor player and reality TV aficionado. Rob gives his thoughts on his favorite Reality TV shows as the host of "Rob Has a Podcast" More From Rob Cesternino »

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  • LosPollosHermanos

    SO excited!

    Just scrolling the questions in the recap – you really asked some great questions!

  • Half way through and already best podcast to date.

  • Jasssi

    “Why didn’t you pick up a phone and call me?” LMAO This was a great podcast Rob (and Im talking about Rob C)

  • I’ve only listened to bits and pieces so far, but it’s already pretty epic.

  • The Boston Rob interview was absolutely fantastic. It was a great balance of humor, insight into the current season, and deeper information about past seasons.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    Best podcast you ever did Rob! I think it will be hard to ever top this one. Boston Rob was amazing, he met every expectation I had. He is so full of life and charismatic and it really comes through in his answers. I finally get why people like him.

    • I thought Rob did an amazing job. He was really on point… and no I’m not talking in the third person.

  • Alex

    I had very high expectations for this podcast and it went above and beyond those expectations. Ever since I started following RHAP at the beginning of Survivor South Pacific, I think this is probably my favorite podcast of them all.

    Great podcast! Keep up the good work.

  • Great podcast, Rob! My favorite one yet.

    It proved to be both therapeutic for Rob C. and also very insightful. I appreciated hearing the inside info on all four of Boston Rob’s seasons. It was especially interesting to hear Boston Rob’s side of the Tyson vote and the Lex situation. I was glad to hear Boston Rob mention how Lex’s votes against Colby and especially Ethan (Lex’s ‘brother’ from Africa) were business decisions for Lex, but when Rob turned on him, Lex felt it was personal.

    The birthday wish seemed to be the icing on the birthday cake to wrap up the podcast! Looking forward to hearing from Boston Rob on the podcast again!

    • Would definitely love to work B. Rob into the every season rotation.

      • As much as I would like that, I think it’s best his appearances are kept to a minimum. That way, it remains a special, rare occasion he comes on. I liken it to when WWF wrestling used to be on Saturday mornings. They would put the scrubs, B wrestlers, and occasional stars out there on a weekly basis. It was absolutely rare to have the superstar (Hulk Hogan type) wrestler appear on the weekly show.

        The podcast was great. There are a few things I wish we were able to hear. I wish we were able to get his thoughts on Amber’s game and what he thinks of her low ranking among Survivor winners, and his thoughts on his fellow cast mates from RI. Was it as bad a cast as many others think? What does he think of other Survivor’s criticisms of him?

        Oh well, great job Rob! Does BRob’s opinion of you officially remove the “Rob that Sucks” label?

  • Wow, I think this is the first time I ever heard Boston Rob
    talk Survivor, He seems very down to earth and humble my respect for him has
    grown higher. He really reminds me of Sandra, their whole perspective of the
    game, their rationale and the whole “adaptability” as paramount, now I
    understand why they clicked, day one, and why she always reference him as the
    one who reminded her of herself (I believe she said that HvsV episode 1 and
    other previous interviews). RHAP is the

    • Yeah, I don’t think he’s ever done an interview like this covering his entire Survivor career. I think that Rob is a really unique figure in the game because he’s played more than anybody and over such a long period.


  • I’m not the biggest fan when it comes to Boston Rob, but after having listened to this podcast I have a new found appreciation for the guy. No wonder everyone believed him in All-Stars, the guy’s just charismatic. I also loved that him and Rob talked about the whole vote out situation and that they could have a few laughs over it.

    This whole podcast just made me feel good and of course it was very entertaining, as per usual.

  • Was there any discussion on the female Boston Rob, Kim Spradlin?

    • No.

    • LosPollosHermanos

      that was my only regret of the podcast, I wanted to hear what Boston Rob thought about her game. We already know that the other greats like Hatch, Sandra, and Parvati have the utmost respect for her game.

  • Thank you soo much Rob. Tomorrow’s Your birthday, and WE get the present. Boston Rob is basically Alpha & Omega- 2 hours just touched on all his experiences and stories. Great interview! Would love to hear a Cesternino-Mariano DrunkCast!!

  • Sally M.

    Great interview. It’s instantly one of my favorites!

  • JackMarco

    48 Laws of power is the ultimate book. After reading it I noticed the parallels between that book and the gameplay of some succesful survivor players. Yul for example.

    • Yul have to do better than that with your smokescreen. 95% confident that Dan Gheesling misted Rob into listening to those books.

      • JackMarco


        • I thought you were implying that Yul recommended “The 48 Laws of Power” (and by extension “How to Win Friends and Influence People”) to Rob. Admittedly I have not seen “Survivor: Cook Islands” but I associate both books with Dan Gheesling’s personality. And Rob recently had Dan on his show. The first sentence was a poorly constructed joke in more ways than one. All I was trying to convey is that I believe the most likely reason Rob is listening (or re-listening) to both books is that Dan mentioned them in a private conversation with Rob. Just a hunch.

  • I can tell that Cesternino had a lot of fun with this interview. Also Boston Rob is spot on with comparing Cesternino to Ray Romano.

  • Wow, that was a great podcast. It was so interesting to hear him talk about the
    game. I was impressed with Yul’s interview from a couple of weeks ago but Boston
    Rob blew my mind. He IS the best Survivor player ever.
    With that said, he didn’t seem to get your sense of humour Rob… I think that you are hilarious. The Bachelor comment seemed pretty funny to me! More funny jokes and impressions please.
    And thanks to Jessica Frey for asking the food question.
    – Marie

  • Russell Lindberg

    I think this was your best podcast yet Rob. Highly anticipated, and well worth the wait. You had me going at the beginning, wondering if you were really going to go back and forth with your impression of Boston Rob or actually have him on the show. Great stuff.

    • I thought people would think that, but if you saw that the podcast was 2 hours long, you had to guess I couldn’t keep that up for long.

      • Unless you actually thought we were buying it. Now that I think of it, Russell does usually compliment you very highly on the podcasts he’s on.

  • Probably the single best podcast in the history of RHAP.

    Boston Rob is one of the most insightful guests that have been on the show, up there with Aras and Yul. But what really put it over the top for me was getting to listen in on a conversation that by all rights we probably never would have gotten a chance to listen in on. Hearing two really amazing past players discuss for the first time how one voted out the other and why and making their peace about it all was a rare, insightful treat for us fans of Survivor.

    So thanks a lot, Rob C, for sharing this with us.

    • Glad you enjoyed it, it was one of the most fun podcasts for me to do as well.

  • I rank this almost as high as the Richard Hatch interviews.

    BRob is a Ron Swanson kinda guy; doesn’t really play along with Rob’s “cutesy” sense of humor….and Rob did a great job of keeping the kneecap sucking to a minimum and tailoring his conversation style that was on BRob’s level.

    Thanks for this Rob. Fantastic interview. I’m glad BRob was so generous with his time and I appreciate his openness and willingness to talk about the more touchy, controversial moves he made in the game.

  • I hope Dan and Russell were listening to this podcast.

    • Dan knows how to win over a jury better than just about anyone. He is still the only unanimous winner of BB. I agree about Russell though.

  • Great podcast and the Boston vs NY in Football was an added bonus. Can’t wait to hear from him again.

  • I was looking forward to this, and considering how you had one of my favorite survivors last week, this was one of your best so far. I always thought Boston Rob was cocky and antisocial regarding the other survivors, but he is a very interesting and charismatic guy and I can sense he genuinely felt bad for what happened with Lex and Grant. You are an excellent interviewer, Cesternino!

  • Cesar Guzman Jr.

    And to believe it only took him 4 tries.

  • Epic podcast Rob! Just curious, what was he going to say about BB14?

    • I asked Rob about the game that Dan played and how it was similar to the games he played on Survivor All-Stars and Survivor Redemption Island. Boston Rob said that he didn’t think Dan did a good job with the jury and he deserved to lose because he didn’t bring the right people to the end.

  • damnbueno

    Boston Rob said it during the All-Stars season, and he said it again 3 times during this podcast.

    Rob C. got voted out of All-Stars because Boston Rob considered him to be way too smart.

    I hope anyone who thought Rob C, was voted out because of being a physical liability in challenges listens to this Podcast and learns a thing or two about Survivor.

    • Mike

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Tina, Rich, Rob C., Yau-Man, Cirie and Tom Westman were all voted out within the first 5 tribals on their All-Star seasons and people like Danielle, Jerri, Rupert, Jenna Lewis, Amber, and even people like Boston Rob and Parvati (while nowadays they’re both talked about among the best of the best, and rightly so, when they were cast on their initial all-star seasons they were certainly not seen as big threats) made it to the end. It’s the way All-Star seasons work, get out the smartest, winningest, or as Rob C mentioned, camera-hoggingest players first, which is why I tend to ignore all-star seasons when thinking about the best players (aside from giving some extra credit to Cirie in Micronesia, Parv in HvsV, and Dan and Will in Big Brother for getting to the end anyway with their big targets).

      • damnbueno

        Yeah, I don’t detract from anyone’s resume when its clear they get voted out more because of their reputation than because of any mistakes they make in that particular All-star season. But to be fair, Tom DID make several mistakes early on in HvV that hurt his cause. He got caught hiding his Idol, screwed up a challenge by barking instructions after they’d all agreed to follow J.T.’s lead, and never could decide who he really wanted gone first — bouncing from Cirie to Amanda. His strategic shortcomings weren’t exposed early in Palau because Koror went 8-0 in Immunity challenges.

        But I do find it interesting that you give credit to Cirie for doing well in Micronesia, but didn’t mention giving similar credit to Sandra’s effort in HvV. And I KNOW you respect Sandra.

        Parvati and Sandra started HvV in almost the exact same position. Both had already won the game — which was reason enough to target them. And both had friends on the opposing tribe. Sandra had been in an alliance with Rupert, and Parvati had been aligned with Candice in Cook Islands, and rode to the finals with Cirie and Amanda. The only difference is that Parvati’s win was more recent, and she’s more of a camera whore.

        I give Sandra even more credit than Parvati because the very first thing Parvati did that season was raise her hand and say she thought she should be on the Heroes tribe. That made the target on her back even bigger. Sandra kept her mouth shut about wanting to play with Rupert. Sandra helped build all 3 shelters while Parvati stood idly by and criticized everyone. Parvati did damage to herself, while Sandra didn’t.

        Then later, Sandra pointed out at Tribal Council that Parvati should be targeted because she had so many friends on the Heroes tribe, yet Parvati didn’t think to point out the same was true about Sandra.

        No doubt Kim’s reputation has grown large enough to breed resentment among any other returning players. But Kim is far from a camera whore. Her social game is exceptional. I’d love to see her play against all returning players — including former winners like Yul, Earl, and Todd.

        • Mike

          Because Sandra wasn’t a target in Heroes vs. Villains. No one in their pre-season interviews mentioned her as someone they wanted out, and no one was concerned about her status as a winner, even so far as Sandra throwing Parvati under the bus in a conversation about being a winner… that’s how under the radar her winner status was. As both Robs said, the people they target are people who get a ton of camera time or who have a big reputation for whatever reason among other players, such as “Best Player to Never Win” which did in our beloved podcast host, for instance. The only one that got targeted purely for being a winner was Tina (and Jenna Lewis wasn’t walking through that door on Heroes vs. Villains). Even Hatch wasn’t targeted as much for being a winner as being the face of Survivor and for being a feared strategist. Sandra does not hog the airtime (she had Rupert and Fairplay for that) and was not viewed by the other players as a strategic threat (key word being other players, not how we view them). Parvati was targeted because of a similar reason, players feared her, the edit in Micronesia made HER the big bad of that season (There’s literally no argument there, Cirie and Amanda were on the Hero tribe, Parvati was on the Villains. Parvati was edited as the head of the black widow alliance whether it was true or not) and thus, everyone wanted her out.
          As for your general arguments about Parvati and how she impacted her target during the season, I’m going to decline to engage since I have long since accepted that you can’t be objective about Parvati.

          • damnbueno

            Cirie wasn’t targeted early in FvV at all. After Fairplay quit, James and Ozzy wanted Eliza gone, and Jonathan wanted to boot Parvati — and not because he thought she was smart. So again, I’ll ask why credit Cirie, but not Sandra?

            Rich was just as targeted as Tina was in All-Stars. He just lasted longer because his tribe won early Immunity, and Jenna quit. Ethan was also targeted for the same reason, but got 3 extra days in the game because Colby pissed off Shii-Ann, and Jerri was still mad at him from Australia.

            I agree that Sandra was not viewed by the other players as a threat, but Sandra herself consciously contributes to that perception. She always shows everyone in her tribe not named Russell that she can work with them — that includes Fairplay too. Parvati has never realized the value of making others believe they can beat her, and if you’re not in her alliance, you’re pretty much dead to her.

            I totally understand why you think I can’t be objective about Parvati. You already know my mind won’t be changed about her. But do you realize I consider her one of the 10 best to ever play? Most don’t note that she’s the only returning player who actually changed her strategy from her rookie effort the 2nd time she played (Skupin might be the 2nd), yet I’ve said that several times on this site. I’m totally capable of giving credit where it’s due. I just make sure it’s due first.

            I don’t consider Parvati to be the evil queen of the “Black Widow” alliance simply because the promos say she was. But I also won’t give her credit for orchestrating the blindside on Ozzy simply because the promos say she did either.

            But your point is made. Discussing Parvati with me is a lengthy debate waiting to happen.

  • I find it fascinating that Boston Rob’s greatest reality show weakness is Prime Time 99’s only strength.

  • This was great! Such insight to Rob the player and Rob the person. I now understand the things he did in the game so much better than I did before, and I do admire him now. Great job! Hope this happens again. Happy Birthday, RobC!

  • Wow. This was up there with the Jeff Varner podcast and a few others as the best RHAP episodes ever. Boston Rob’s candor was great to hear, and he has a really interesting take on the show and how to do well. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time on both Survivor and the Amazing Race, so it was a real treat to listen to him for nearly two hours. Great job, Rob C! You are definitely not the Rob that Sucks.

  • Rod Ironwood

    At the risk of pissing into the wind, I gotta jump off this Boston Rob Love Train and say I was…underwhelmed. It was an O-K interview, but I thought the ones with Kim and Aras were better.

    His frequent inability to remember names was distracting. It also seemed that a disproportionate number of his responses to questions consisted of some form of “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.” As someone else mentioned already, he too often took seriously remarks by Rob that were clearly made in jest, and that was also distracting.

  • kristanmarie

    I’m not a huge fan of Boston Rob, but am glad that it took so long to get him. I don’t think I would have appreciated this as much if it was closer to Redemption Island, where I was still not so happy about his walk to the million. He seems much more down to earth than I expected and I feel like I have a new-found respect for him. Thanks for a great interview, Rob!

  • awesome

  • Was great to hear Boston Bob’s thoughts. Don’t think I have ever heard him outside of Survivor before. Was a great ep of RHAP. Good stuff.

  • bobnfriends

    I found it a little odd how B. Rob knocks Russell’s learning curve in reguards to his social game, yet claims he himself didn’t even attempt to have one
    until his third time out.

  • Has Amber been on the show yet?

  • Nice job Rob. And if a Rob sucks from Survivor it would have to be Robert DeCanio not Cesternino or Mariano

  • Amirical

    Well needed discussion.

  • I really appreciated that he said he would’ve voted for Parvati instead of Sandra in H vs V. One question I’ve wondered though which I wish would’ve been asked (please ask next time), why is Russell considered
    so different than Rob, or not liked as much? Both had great strategy,
    and both had a complete disregard for their word or other peoples’
    feelings, so what makes them so different? In fact Rob betrayed many
    more people than Russell did, and you could see in the final tribal
    council’s how badly he had hurt the juror’s, while Russell had no such
    effect. Rob did touch on this saying its because Russell is
    disrespectful to their faces but I didn’t really notice that much nor
    did I think it was a great answer.

  • leo graycar

    great interview that would been a better present then anything good gift rob, and good interview.

  • jc050604

    Being a Bostonian myself, I was always a big Boston Rob fan, so I was pretty excited to see that he was going to be on. Then I was ready to be pretty annoyed that it was going to be a full podcast of Rob C. doing a Boston Rob impression – even though I love that too. But ultimately it was great. Definitely one of the best interviews you’ve ever done. I think a lot of that was attributable to it seeming more like a conversation between you two and not just a random Q&A session.

    I always thought there was more to Boston Rob than the blue collar guy with a thick Boston accent that he gets portrayed as. He is obviously charismatic, as he ended up being a leader – not necessarily by choice – on each one of his seasons. And that personality came through during the interview.

    What impressed me even more was how intelligent and well-spoken he is. And now that he’s a dad and in his 30s and is mature, he actually comes across as pretty thoughtful too.

    If you do ever have him on again, I would love to hear you 2 drilling down even deeper into gameplay and strategy. He has obviously given it a ton of thought since he’s played 4 times, and he alluded to trying to explain something to you but declined saying it would take too long. I want to know how he thought about numbers – why his strategy was different depending on the numbers. He seems to have excellent recall of each of his seasons, so I think that would be fascinating.

  • Amanda Quist

    The two Robs have such a funny, borderline awkward chemistry! For as much fun as BRob is, his tolerance for silliness is quite a bit lower than everyone who listens to this podcast. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, I thought Rob C did a great job, and I’m super glad it was so long. It seemed to get much better the farther in we got. Nice work!

  • Rafik33

    Is it me or does it seem like Rob C is a little bit scared of Boston Rob? I respect Boston Rob for his gameplay, but I think he was a little bit rude to Rob C in certain instances. Especially when he mentioned that his jokes are dry.

  • In terms of hosting Suvivor, B Rob said he would have to think about it, and possibly isn’t the right person based off where he is in his life. Bullshit. He would drop whatever he is doing and host the show in a second.

  • Jeffrey Meier

    Rob that was a fantastic interview with Boston Rob. I think you learned a few things as well from your last experience with him on All-Stars. Glad to see he is a regular guy with an extraordinary knowledge of Survivor. This podcast could become a TRAINING requirement for all future Survivor contestants. Good humor and great insight…thanks a bunch!

  • PorkStoreKiller

    Wow. I am sorry I got so behind and didnt listen to this when it was first released. This is the best discussion of how to play the game I’ve ever heard. With his blue collar background and thick accent, BRob has always done a great job hiding just how much of a command he has over human insight, logic and game theory (what he calls “the math”), but he really lets everyone see just how smart he really is in this interview. The way he described his simultaneous 2-person, 3-person and 5-person alliances in All Stars and demonstrated how the entire plan worked because of the nature of people like Big Tom, Rupert and Alicia was nothing short of profound.

    Congrats Rob on harpooning your white whale. It goes without saying that such a conversation is only possible if both parties operate with an elevated understanding of the game. As listeners, we’re only trying to hold on,

  • FBI Surveillance Van

    Dude, Rob Has a Podcast, just discovered you tonight: what a RIDICULOUSLY satisfying interview. Wow. Seriously. Survivor is my dirty little secret (my friends all think it’s stupid, which it ISN’T). And I seriously could not have even dreamed up a more satisfying place on the internet than this. Dude. Boston Rob talking nuts-and-bolts Survivor strategy FOR HOURS? Epic, epic, epic. I’m not even finished listening. I’m an immediate fan for life – never stop. I can’t wait to go back through all your podcasts.

    • FBI, great to have you on board. Can I ask how you found the show?

      • FBI Surveillance Van

        Sure! Just simple ol’ google. I believe I was typing things like “former player’s name” and “interview” into google. I love hearing you guys talk about behind the scenes stuff and strategy, etc. I think I actually passed over a few Rob Has a Website/Podcast links a few times; I had no idea what it was. Then I saw the word “Cesternino.” Then Boston Rob. Things started to dawn on me and I finally clicked. Hopefully that answer wasn’t too boring. Hope you’re well!

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  • Nita Shah

    Loved this interview, robs are us

  • Tom Polite

    I could (and probably will) listen to this episode over and over. I first listened when it originally aired.. and I just re-listened while re-watching the Philippines in the summer.. and I’m sure it’ll happen again down the road. I love hearing Rob talk about his own games most of all.. it doesn’t get much better than behind-the-scenes Survivor: All-Stars information!

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