In a recent interview, Boston Rob Mariano spilled a few behind-the-scenes secrets from “Survivor: Winners at War,” including naming the “best gift” the show has ever given him and how he broke “the protocol” of production for an impromptu moment. Read on to find out what he said during a recent “Survivor Snyder” podcast interview.
Mariano Said The Family Visit Was a Complete Surprise
Letting the families come to visit the eliminated castaways on Edge of Extinction was a first for “Survivor” — and it turns out that the castaways truly did not know it was going to happen. In fact, once Mariano was voted off and was relegated to Edge of Extinction, he actually asked production to call his family and let them know they wouldn’t get to visit because he knew how much his four daughters were counting on the visit and he didn’t want them to be in the dark.
“Here’s a story that nobody really knows — once I ended up on the Edge of Extinction, I knew at that point — or I thought I knew — that the kids wouldn’t be coming out for the family visit. … I went to the producer and I was like — normally the producers won’t do anything — and I was like dude, do me a solid. Just go to Jeff [Probst] and just have somebody just call home and let them know it’s not happening, just so they’re not sitting there. It’s horrible, sitting there for weeks on end. And that afternoon, he came back and I talked to him and he said ‘you’re good,'” recalled Mariano, adding, “I was like wow, that’s really nice. I never expected that. I expected them to be like yeah, we talked to [Probst] and he said they’ll think about it.”
But it was all a ruse because that was the exact day the families were coming to visit.
“Then two hours later, they all showed up on the beach. [Production] knew it, they had me,” said Mariano with a laugh, adding that getting to have his girls out there was “by far” the greatest gift the show has ever given him.
“That was by far — out of all the seasons, out of all the things, winning the show, meeting my wife, everything, having those kids come out there, that was the best,” said Mariano. “It just felt like everything had come full circle. It was quite an experience. I owe a lot to the show … 20 years, a long time. I was a 25-year-old kid when I first went out there, I’m 45 now, it’s been amazing. But to have them out there and actually experience it and know my relationship was born out of it, my family was born because of the show and here they are. It was just probably the best gift I could have ever got.”
Mariano Was Worried About Production Getting Mad At Him When They All Hugged Jeff Probst
Following the family visit, that night at Tribal Council, after the vote, the entire jury rushed over and hugged Probst to thank him for letting their families come visit. Mariano said he was nervous about messing up the production protocol and he almost didn’t do it.
“It was one of those impromptu moments. You don’t wanna break the protocol of what’s supposed to go on. We all know there’s a certain way the show is run and these guys are there doing a job. It takes a lot of people to run that show … so even though you’re in there starving and in the rain, which is real and it’s hard, you still gotta be respectful of everybody else and what they’re doing too,” said Mariano. “They’re out there in the rain too. Yeah, they got a rain jacket on and stuff, but it’s not easy for them too, so you don’t want to do something to sabotage the production or anything.”
But then he decided to just do it and hope for the best — and it turned into a really sweet moment.
“Survivor” returns for its 41st season on Wednesday, September 22. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022.
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