Five-time “Survivor” castaway Boston Rob Mariano recently revealed why he thinks “Winners at War” was so hard for the old-school players, why he wishes Sandra Diaz-Twine had played differently, and why he thinks seasons that feature all returning players are “complicated.”
Boston Rob Says Sandra Wasn’t ‘Smart Enough’ To Work With Him
In a recent interview with the “Surviving Snyder” podcast, Mariano said that he wished he had been honest with Diaz-Twine during “Island of the Idols” about both him and his wife Amber Brkich appearing on “Winners at War” because he thinks that’s why she was working against them.
“By not telling her [about Amber and me], she just got so scared that she had to rally everything against us,” said Mariano. “Instead, I was hoping that she would be smart enough to realize we need each other.”
Mariano has also acknowledged he owes Diaz-Twine an apology for something he did during “Island of the Idols.”
But back on the podcast, Mariano also said the only way the old-school players were going to have a chance during “Winners at War” was if they had found a way to work together against the new-school players.
“I kind of was hoping in ‘Winners at War’ that people like Danni [Boatwright] and the old-school players would realize that we needed each other,” said Mariano, adding, “Parvati [Shallow] knew it. She realized it. She knew it, for better or worse. Ethan [Zohn] knew it.”
But he also laughed and said that Zohn was convinced he could have won “Winners at War” and Mariano always told him there was no way he was going to get to the final three — Zohn is too likable.
“Ethan still thinks that he could’ve gone to the end and won. I tell him every day — Ethan, nobody in their right mind would ever bring you to the end. They would cut you at fourth or fifth every single time. He’s like, ‘Why?’ I’m like, ‘Because they wanna win and nobody’s not gonna give it to you if you end up there.'”
Mariano Says Seasons That Are Made Up Of All Returning Players Are So ‘Complicated’
Mariano said that returning players have to be so careful not to be seen as too much of a threat or else they are targeted early and often.
“You see that in a lot of returning seasons. You’ll see it’s happened countless times … the big threats, the big names, they’re the ones that ultimately are targeted from the jump. Look at Richard Hatch and Ethan in the first all-stars — ‘we gotta get the winners out of here.'” recalled Mariano.
He said it gets complicated because of the pre-existing relationships, the “dynamics between the players” and the “psychology of looking at where certain people fall in the hierarchy.”
Mariano cited “Survivor: Blood vs Water” as the perfect example. Tyson Apostol won because after his wife, Rachel was voted out, he was overlooked because he no longer had his partner in the game.
“It gave him a huge advantage. … Something as simple as that where all of a sudden he doesn’t have his pair in the game lets people overlook him,” said Mariano, adding that if you are “at any extreme one way or the other, that’s what will get you caught.”
“You gotta figure out a way to blend in the middle. I’m never gonna blend in the middle [anymore]. In the early days I could, but [during ‘Winners at War’], I was toast as soon as the tribe swap happened. I knew it, everybody knew it,” said Mariano.
“Survivor” returns for its 41st season on Wednesday, September 22. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022.