The World, France, blogging, me, and the rest…

Rob Mariano

(Redemption Island – 5th-time player)

And just like that Boston Rob became the first person to play Survivor 5 times!

What can I say about him that hasn’t been said?

Well, actually, I do disagree with a lot of what has been said about him. I think he’s a very overrated player. There, I said it!

Sure, he made it to the finals twice, but how? By betraying his real-life friends the first time – at a time when these things did matter in the game of Survivor (it cost him the game after all).
And the second time, he played with a cast that was tailor-made for him and who fell under his spell, in an almost worrying way (I’m sure some cults have been started just like that).

Let’s not forget that he didn’t make the merge in Heroes vs Villains.

Now, don’t get me wrong, he’s not a bad player, and I never hinted so. He’s just not the best, contrary to what some people sometimes say.

In other words, even if he didn’t have one of the biggest targets this season, I don’t think he’d be able to dominate much.
He would try, but he would soon be confronted to people who are smarter than him and who wouldn’t fall for his “charm” as newbies would.

And it’s kind of a moot point anyway because he’ll be voted out as soon as possible, I don’t see any other outcome for him.

Production knows this too. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Island of the Idols twist, as well as the return of Edge of Extinction, are there just to make sure that Rob (and Sandra) get a lot of screen time no matter what.

Actually I wonder how Sandra and him spending a lot of time in Fiji beforehand will influence the game.
First, it’s definitely a huge advantage: no jetlag, no adapting your body to the food, water, weather and so on. Also, of course, they have had a lot of time to devise some plans (although I’m not sure how much planning is possible exactly). In his interview, Rob says that he has been observing and learning about Sandra, which kinda implies that despite being friends and former allies, he may not want to work with her this time.
Finally and more importantly, being part of Island of the Idols gave them a lot of insight on the current and new twists and advantages in the game. I’m not sure if they would have known about the existence of the Idol Nullifier, for example (I still remember that Rob didn’t really know what a hidden immunity idol was when he started Heroes vs Villains). So, yes, this Island of the Idols is a huge advantage.

However, the place where we’ll see Rob the most will very probably be on the Edge of Extinction. Now, depending on who’s there, he could indeed return to the game when the time comes, although I’m not sure how many challenges dad-bod Rob will win. But he will know how to charm the jury, and he will try to pull a Chris Underwood.

Can he win? I’m sure Probst will do all he can without blatantly cheating to have Rob win, but it still remains more than unlikely.

Follow Rob on Twitter

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