What Amber Brkich And Rob Mariano From Survivor Are Doing Now

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Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano are not the only couple who have fallen in love after meeting on "Survivor." So many sparks have flown on CBS' long-enduring reality show — which challenges "castaways" to "outwit, outplay, outlast" each other, all while forming and breaking alliances — that the producers may want to consider rebranding it as a dating show.

Fan-favorite competitors Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca were together for 10 years before their amicable split, while host Jeff Probst once had a romance with a contestant on the show. 

Jaime Dugan and Erik Huffman fell in love while filming "Survivor: China" (Season 15) in 2007, got married in 2009, and now have a son. "It's actually proven that 'Survivor' couples have a higher success rate than couples from 'The Bachelor,'" Jaime told The Sway in 2020.

But Amber and Rob are definitely considered the power couple of "Survivor." Here's what they're doing now.

How Survivor brought Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano together

Amber Brkich was a 22-year-old administrative assistant from Pennsylvania when she competed on "Survivor: The Australian Outback" (Season 2) in 2001. She ultimately came in sixth. 

After getting voted off the show, she told Entertainment Weekly, "Yeah, it would have been nice to win, but coming out of the game I still feel really good about my reputation. I didn't betray anyone. I represented myself well."

A native of Massachusetts, Rob Mariano was 25 years old, working as a construction foreman and coaching an inline hockey team for Boston University when he competed on "Survivor: Marquesas" (Season 4) in 2002. His nickname, "Boston Rob," came about because host Jeff Probst needed a way to differentiate between the two Robs competing that season (per Parade). Boston Rob finished 10th.

Amber and Rob met briefly at various "Survivor" events before they competed on "Survivor: All-Stars" (Season 8) in 2004 — but it was far from love at first sight. "I couldn't stand her," Rob confessed to People. "I thought she was a snob. Beautiful, but a snob."

The pair formed an alliance both on-screen and off

Almost immediately upon arriving in the Pearl Islands for "Survivor: All-Stars," Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano became allies and began strategically outplaying (and betraying) the other competitors. Probst told Entertainment Weekly: "From where I sit, she is playing the smartest game in that she found the strongest guy, she's tucked neatly under his arm, and she is making him do all the dirty work."

Their romance blossomed on-screen. "We only kissed twice on air," Amber insisted to People. "The first time when we got a toothbrush and the second time when there were candy mints." A few more smooches happened off-screen, too.

Rob and Amber's scheming was so successful that they became the final two players left in the game. Amber showed up to the final jury vote wearing a T-shirt declaring, "I ❤️ Rob," but he had an even bigger surprise in store for her.

Live on television, he dropped to one knee, pulled out a ring, and proposed. She said yes, later telling CBS, "I had no clue he had enough guts to stand up in front of 30 million people and do that in front of everybody."

Then host Jeff Probst read out the name of the season's Sole Survivor and winner of the $1 million prize, who'd squeaked out the win in a 4–3 vote: Amber.

Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano defied critics with their lasting romance

Despite cynics immediately arguing that Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano's relationship was a mere showmance, intended solely for television ratings and 15 minutes of fame, "Survivor" host Jeff Probst saw it differently.

"They were asleep and they were wasted away; I mean there was nothing left of them," Probst told People, describing the couple's bus ride to the airport immediately after the Tribal Council featuring Rob's surprise marriage proposal. "But they were in each other's arms and they just looked so content. I was watching them thinking, 'This is a couple in love.'"

The fiancés were smitten, but they still had to return to their lives in the real world, outside of the "Survivor" bubble. Rob went back to work immediately because a big snowstorm hit Boston. He told Parade, "And 24 hours after the final Tribal Council happened, I was in a front-end loader in the city of Boston, plowing streets."

He kept trying for his own $1 million prize

After two appearances on "Survivor," Rob Mariano wasn't done with the reality TV juggernaut. Boston Rob, sometimes dubbed the "Robfather" for his scheming, explained to Parade one of the reasons he agreed to return for "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" (Season 20) in 2010: "I haven't won; I really want to win. At the time, Amber would always tell me who the winner was in my own house." Unfortunately for the Robfather, he lost.

But he returned the following year for "Survivor: Redemption Island" (Season 22), and this time — his fourth attempt at the game — he emerged triumphant. He took home not only the $1 million prize but also an extra $100,000 for the fan-favorite award.

"For my money, in 22 seasons, that's as close to a perfect game as anyone has played on 'Survivor,'" host Jeff Probst declared during the season finale (per The Hollywood Reporter).

Rob enjoyed keeping his win a secret from everyone, including his own wife. "I actually led her to believe that I was voted out at the final four," he told Entertainment Weekly. "It was nine months of me keeping a secret and the payoff was worth it."

After finally achieving his longtime goal, Rob felt ready to retire from the game. "I'm done with 'Survivor,'" he said. "I accomplished everything I've ever wanted to accomplish. This time around it wasn't about the money as much as it was about the title. I don't have to hide in my own house anymore."

Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich still weren't done with Survivor, though

Rob Mariano's declaration that he was finished with the franchise was premature. In 2019, he and fellow winner Sandra Diaz-Twine agreed to be mentors on "Survivor: Island of the Idols" (Season 39). 

The two didn't compete, but they did choose to rough it just like the "castaways." The show's producers had offered to pamper the mentors, but Rob turned down the creature comforts, telling Parade, "That's B.S. If I'm gonna talk the talk, I gotta walk the walk."

Rob and Sandra both immediately returned as competitors on "Survivor: Winners at War" (Season 40) in 2020, vying for the increased prize of $2 million. Joining them on the show was Rob's other half, now using her married name, Amber Mariano. 

She was reluctant at first. "I had kind of closed that book, closed that chapter in my life. How could I not? It's season 40 for goodness sakes," she told Entertainment Weekly. "I was on season 2." But her husband wanted them both to compete again. "He lives and breathes this game. He loves this game," Amber explained.

"This is not only an all-winners season, this is also 20 of the most popular Survivors of all time," Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly. "We've never had a season like this and I can't imagine we ever will again."

Unfortunately for the duo nicknamed "Romber," Amber was the second person voted off the show, and Rob was the sixth.

The couple also competed on The Amazing Race

Though Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano are best known for their antics on "Survivor," they also competed twice on "The Amazing Race." The first time was on Season 7 in 2005, when they were fiancés.

The presence of Romber didn't sit well with fans of the globetrotting show, who argued that the reality TV stars had an unfair advantage because people recognized and helped them. Fellow contestant Lynn Warren had even harsher words for the "Survivor" duo (per Seattle PI): "They're kind of like [a disease]. You've got to protect yourself from them, and the only way you can do it is just keep yourself away from them."

After finishing second, Amber and Rob were invited to compete on "The Amazing Race: All-Stars" (Season 11) in 2007 as newlyweds. They lost after being targeted by the other teams, finishing eighth.

Following their elimination, TV Guide asked them how it felt to be so disliked. Rob responded, "The bottom line is that when Amber and I go on TV shows, it creates a stir. And every reaction, whether it's positive or negative, does one thing, which the TV networks see, and that is, it brings in viewers. So as long as that's happening, we're doing our job."

He was equally pragmatic about their loss, telling IGN, "It was definitely tough to take. But you get over it. What are you gonna do? You spilled your milk. You can't cry about it forever. Let it go."

Rob Mariano still does construction work

During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, Rob Mariano kept himself busy renovating a three-bedroom house to rent out. "Normally I would just sub out the painting and hire someone," he told The Ringer, but the pandemic forced him to change his plans. "So I did it all myself."

He appeared in one episode of CBS' "Secret Celebrity Renovation" in 2021 alongside HGTV star Sabrina Soto, helping the crew redo the kitchen and deck of his parents' house. He hoped in some small way to repay his mother and father for everything they've done for him over the years.

"Because my background is in construction, I took an active role in actually completing the renovation," he told Parade. "For the rest of their lives, they're going to be in that kitchen, and they're going to know that I had a hand in making that happen for them." Rob is joining the show's design team in 2022 as a home improvement contractor.

Ever the entrepreneur, Rob even sells T-shirts, hoodies, and hats emblazoned with the Mariano Design and Construction logo through his website.

Romber has remained in the public eye

Ever since their very first appearances on "Survivor" two decades ago, Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano have stayed in the public eye. Their wedding in 2005 aired as a two-hour special on CBS, "Rob and Amber Get Married." Rob told a reporter from CBS, "They're throwing a boatload of money at us and saying, 'Make the wedding of your most wildest dreams.'"

The couple's show "Rob and Amber: Against the Odds" aired in 2007, focusing on Rob's attempts to become a professional poker player in Las Vegas.

Rob co-hosted "Sci Fi Investigates" in 2006 and "Around the World in 80 Ways" in 2011, plus he had a regular segment on the "The Early Show," called "Rob to the Rescue." In 2022, he hosted the series "Boston Rob Does Beantown." He also does personalized videos on Cameo.

Amber, meanwhile, has appeared in a few television commercials and magazines. She was featured on the July 2001 cover of Stuff magazine beside the cheeky headline, "Survivor's Amber casts away her clothes!"

Both Amber and Rob have written books. "Amber's Guide For Girls: Advice on Fame, Family, Fashion and More!" hit stores in 2006. "The Boston Rob Rulebook: Strategies for Life" was published in 2019 (and has been studied by "Survivor" competitors ever since), and his cookbook, "Boston Rob's Family Favorites," came out in 2021.

Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano are grateful for what Survivor gave them

Though Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano each have a net worth lower than the net worth of host Jeff Probst or the richest "Survivor" contestants, they're still comfortable. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Amber's net worth is around $1.3 million while Rob's net worth is about $2 million.

And "Survivor" gave them something far more valuable than money: love. That means they also have the show to thank (indirectly) for their daughters, Lucia Rose, Carina Rose, Isabetta Rose, and Adelina Rose.

"Not only have I been on the best of the best shows, but I found my husband; I won a million dollars; I've traveled the world. It's spectacular!" Amber told IGN in 2012. "We've just had so many once in a lifetime experiences and to do it all before I was even 30, it's amazing."

Rob told Parade in 2021, "I was a 25-year-old kid when I first went out there. I'm 45 now, and it's been amazing. My relationship was born out of it. My family was born because of the show."

So are Rob and Amber truly done with "Survivor"? "I feel like we have the cherry on top of the sundae this time, and we are officially retired," Rob told ET in 2020. "It's like the ball player coming to the end of a long career. It's bittersweet, but I definitely have enjoyed the ride."

Amber agreed, saying, "I'm just the luckiest person there is, so I think I should hang up my hat and retire while I'm on top."