The ‘Australian Survivor’ Couple Who Met on the Show & Are Returning Together

Mark Wales Sam Gash Amber and Rob Mariano

Network 10/Getty Mark Wales & Samantha "Sam" Gash in a promo for "Australian Survivor: Blood V Water"/Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano at the "Survivor: All-Stars" reunion show in 2004.

Although “Survivor” may not be a dating show, it has been known for producing its fair share of couples over the years. Most of these couples have met through networking or charity events, rather than on the show itself, though there are one or two notable exceptions.

Back in November 2003, Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich met on “Survivor: All-Stars.” They aligned very closely and made it all the way to the final 2 together, and by May they were engaged. In April 2005 they married, and 17 years later they are still happily married with four children. Though stories like this may be unlikely, there is at least another couple in the “Survivor” franchise whose story resembles Rob & Amber, and their “Survivor” journey is ongoing.

Here’s what you need to know about “Australia’s Rob & Amber”:

Sam Gash and Mark Wales Met on Season 4 in 2017

Samantha “Sam” Gash and Mark Wales, then 32 and 37, respectively, first met in May 2017, while filming season 4 of “Australian Survivor.” They were placed on the Asaga tribe, and quickly formed an alliance. They bonded quite strongly, and quickly became a target due to the threat level they posed as a couple. Their tribemates soon turned on them, and they were voted out successively, Sam in episode 6 (Day 16), and Mark in episode 7 (Day 18), shortly before the first tribe swap.

Although, unlike Rob & Amber, neither of them secured the win in season 4, they did find a lasting love, and have since had a child together. In fact, officiating their wedding was Jacqui Patterson, the woman who orchestrated their eliminations, according to Who magazine. “I never thought [it would happen],” Mark said in a 2019 interview with New Idea. “I was living in New York, I was going to do the show and go home.”

“It was unique,” Sam added, “but what was unique about it was it completely transformed our personal lives.”

Now, they are both coming back for redemption in the upcoming season, “Blood V Water,” which pits loved ones against each other. There, they will start off on opposite tribes, like American “Survivor’s” “Blood vs. Water”-style seasons.

Sam and Mark Are a ‘Couple to Watch Out For’

Many fans are running wild with speculations about the upcoming season, which will also see American “Survivor” legend and two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine compete against her daughter Nina. Some are saying that “Blood V Water” will see Sandra and Nina turn on each other, perhaps with Nina voting her mother out. Although crazier things have happened in “Survivor,” it is unlikely that Mark and Sam will be voting against each other; in fact, they make quite a formidable couple.

In a teaser video for the couple, Mark said that “playing ‘Survivor’ with your spouse is a very dangerous idea.” Sam added, “You never know how it’s gonna play out.”

“The silver lining to that story,” host Jonathan LaPaglia said of the couple in a cast assessment Monday, “is that they fell in love and got married and have a child now, so that’s a great story. So they come back and they learned from their previous mistakes, so they’re definitely a couple to watch out for.”

“Australian Survivor: Blood V Water” will premiere Monday, January 31 on Network 10 for Australian viewers. Americans will be able to watch the show on Paramount+. Previous seasons of “Australian Survivor” can also be viewed on the website and app.

American “Survivor” airs Wednesdays 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. Season 42 premieres on March 9, 2022.

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