This season’s Survivor winner was guaranteed to go through a unique route. Since this installment was partially set on Redemption Island,and had multiple past champions and famous contestants matched up, this was set to be one of the most chaotic seasons yet. However, the actual competition was anticlimactic, seeing that “Boston” Rob Mariano was the frontrunner for much of the way. He was officially declared the winner Sunday in a long-awaited victory for the long-time series favorite.
Warning: Spoilers follow
Mariano is one of the most hard-luck but successful contestants in Survivor history; this year was his fourth on the series. Yet “Boston” Rob hadn’t prevailed in Marquesas, in the All-Stars battle, or in the Heroes vs Villains showdown.
But this season was as good a time as any for Mariano to do better, since it was on Redemption Island. The main conceit of the game was that those who were voted out would be sent to another island to try to win their way back on the main island. Yet Mariano didn’t need to go back and fourth between islands, as his vast experience finally paid off.
He was the first contestant to last on the series for more than 100 combined days, although it took him 117 days to come out ahead. However, Mariano’s time finally came, as he survived the last two Tribal Councils to prevail over Natalie Tenerelli and Phillip Sheppard.
Now that Rob has finally broken his losing streak, there may not be much of a need for him to be a survivor again. Through four seasons on the show, he has already proved enough, especially by dominating the field this year. 117 days of survival have now fully paid off with the $1 million grand prize, as well as the $100,000 fan favorite award.
Yet because he is such a fan favorite, he will probably be invited back for some kind of future all-star event or big gimmick. But first, the show will move to the South Pacific in the fall, after the concept of Redemption Island was met with mixed results — although the gimmick will be used again in the Pacific.
Since Survivor has gone through 22 seasons in the United States, the show is used to recovering from mixed reactions and gimmicks. It also has a deep bench of contestants to help; two returning cast members will go to the Pacific, according to Zap2it.
Whether one of them will be Mariano is unclear, although he could probably use a rest right about now. Now that he is officially a winner at last, it might be too outlandish for him to suddenly repeat twice in a row.
Entertainment Weekly- “Survivor: Redemption Island: And the winner is — .”
Today.com- “Boston Rob outplays and outlasts his ‘Survivor’ competitors”
Zap2it- “Survivor: South Pacific: 2 cast members returning, Redemption Island sticks around”