Survivor has produced several romances and even marriages over the years, but none is so beloved with fans as that of Boston Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich Mariano. Here’s what you need to know about how they met, fell in love, and became reality TV royalty.
They Met on ‘Survivor: All-Stars’
Amber Brkich originally played Survivor: The Australian Outback, the second season of the show where she finished in sixth place. Boston Rob Mariano originally played Survivor: Marquesas, the fourth season of the show where he finished in 10th place.
Honestly, it must be fate that the producers decided they were good picks for all-stars because neither one of them was a huge breakout star from their original seasons. But they skyrocketed into fans’ hearts on all-stars as the whole world got to watch them fall in love.
In a video filmed during “Winners at War,” which is the first season the two of them played together since all-stars, Brkich Mariano said, “I love our story. I love that I have such a unique story to tell. One day we’re going to have such a great story to tell our grandchildren.”
There is also some great footage of them on all-stars talking about how they had real feelings for each other but they were both nervous they were being played.
“In the beginning, the flirting with Boston Rob was complete strategy for me and on the other end, I thought it was complete strategy for him too,” said Brkich Mariano in the flashback video.
Mariano added, “She probably thinks she’s playing me, I probably think I’m playing her. Who knows how it’s gonna turn out? One thing’s for sure, though — there can only be one winner in this game.”
He later added, “I think it’s genuine, what’s going on [between us]. I could be the biggest sucker in history and hey, she had me fooled.”
Back in the Ponderosa during “Winners at War,” Brkich Mariano said, “I wanted to believe that it was real because I knew that if it wasn’t, it was gonna hurt really, really bad that you had played me all that time.”
During “Winners at War,” when the Edge of Extinction battle back was over and the Marianos were finally fully eliminated from season 40, Mariano became very emotional talking about what the show has meant to him — because it has given him everything that is important in his life.
They Got Engaged at the Live Finale
After filming wrapped, the Marianos were able to start their relationship away from the cameras and everything must have fallen into place because Mariano proposed to Brkich at the live Survivor: All-Stars finale — and he did it before they found out who won the million dollars.
They were the final two that season and Brkich eked out a win in a 4-3 vote. A lot of fans thought Mariano should have won because he played a stronger game, but that’s a bit of a controversial opinion — he played a flashier game, to be sure, but Brkich didn’t ride his coattails. She was in on the strategy and she forged better friendships. Four jury members didn’t want to vote for Mariano to win and that’s bad jury management. It was something that actually plagued Mariano on several different seasons.
Anyway, they got engaged on live TV and were married a year later, in April 2005, in a special for CBS called Rob and Amber Get Married, which aired in May 2005.
They Have Four Daughters
After waiting a couple of years to start their family, the Marianos quickly went from having no kids to having four kids. They welcomed four little girls in just under five years.
Lucia Rose was born in July 2009; Carina Rose was born in December 2010; Isabetta Rose was born in May 2012; Adelina Rose was born in June 2014. All of the girls’ middle names are from Mariano’s paternal grandmother Rose who passed away when he was a teenager.
They Competed on The Amazing Race Twice
While Brkich Mariano didn’t return to Survivor until “Winners at War,” the two of them did compete on The Amazing Race twice before they started their family, in 2005 and 207.
On their first appearance, they competed hard and finished in second place. On season 11, they finished in first place for the first three legs of the race but then were eliminated in episode four after a Roadblock hung them up and they couldn’t recover from the lost time.
Survivor hopes to film season 41 in the spring of 2021 for a fall 2021 premiere.