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April 16, 2014

Boston Rob Mariano's 'Survivor' Exit Interview

by Audrey Fine, posted Apr 2nd 2010 3:10PM
"I'm after him. He's after me. May the best man win," a matter-of-fact Russell Hantz said of the power struggle between him and Rob Mariano on Thursday night's episode of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.'

Whether or not the "best" man won is up for debate, but unfortunately for Boston Rob, the revitalized Heroes tribe easily bagged both the "yay, we get to eat" reward and the puzzle challenge for immunity and his Villains were sent to Tribal Council.

With four votes against him, Rob saw his hopes for a first win dashed when Jerri Manthey's new alliance with Russell had her flip on Rob and just like that, the fan favorite was sent packing while the "hobbit on crack" (his pet name for Russell) had somehow maneuvered himself into the power position.

How does all this sit with Boston Rob who, after three times at bat, has to be a little jaded? Here's what he had to say about the season, the ouster and the Russell.Boston Rob Mariano, Survivor"I'm after him. He's after me. May the best man win," a matter-of-fact Russell Hantz said of the power struggle between him and Rob Marciano on Thursday night's episode of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.'

Whether or not the "best" man won is up for debate, but unfortunately for Boston Rob, the revitalized Heroes tribe easily bagged both the "yay, we get to eat" reward and the puzzle challenge for immunity and his Villains were sent to Tribal Council.

With four votes against him, Rob saw his hopes for a first win dashed when Jerri Manthey's new alliance with Russell had her flip on Rob and just like that, the fan favorite was sent packing while the "hobbit on crack" (his pet name for Russell) had somehow maneuvered himself into the power position.

How does all this sit with Boston Rob who, after three times at bat, has to be a little jaded? Here's what he had to say about the season, the ouster and the Russell.

OK, before we get into it, I have to ask you about Russell's threat to hide your Boston Red Sox hat after he hid the tribe's machete. Did he ever do it?
If he had, I'd have been kicked off. The rules of 'Survivor' say that you can't conspire to share money and can't get violent. There would've been punches thrown. There would've been a throw down.

During Tribal Council, when you said "My idea of trust and loyalty is different from Russell's," were you speaking indirectly to Coach? Trying a last ditch effort to cement his vote against Russell?
[Laughing] Ha! You're the first interviewer to pick up on that! Yes. I was trying put him in the position where he would see -- what I was trying to convey -- you go out there and talk about loyalty and honor, now's the chance to back it up. Listen, I have no problem with lying in the game of survivor but when someone's out there professing his honor in front of millions of people each week, here's your shot to back it up.

He was conflicted, gave his word to two different people and, what're you going to do? You can't honor both commitments.

When Russell said, "You don't have the guts to do what I did last tribal," you had a big smirk on your face. What were you holding back?
What he did at tribal council in his mind was considered as gutsy; in my mind it was daring stupidity. It looks like he pulled the wool over everyone's eyes but he didn't! He did something I would never do -- he left himself wide open and left himself no lifeline. It was like he was saying, "Look I know that I'm going this week or next week, so I'm just gonna play it." You never put yourself on the line on the line like that. He did it out of fear. He got lucky in that spot.

Last night, for the first time, you grappled with solving a puzzle and the resulting loss, obviously, had huge repercussions for you personally. What happened? And do you relive that kind of thing in your head?
[Chuckles] I haven't relived one moment from the second I got voted off. Had I not been as good as I was, from the time I was out there, I'd have been gone. As for the puzzle, [the Heroes] had a bigger lead than [what you saw on TV] and, listen, you win two or three puzzles in a row and they expect you to win 'em all. It's like, "I'm doing the best I can over here."

Was there anyone from other seasons you'd hoped would be there but wasn't?
Not hoped, but there was a kid that played, Ozzy [Lusth] I think his name was -- he was really good at challenges. I thought he'd have been there. By the same token, I didn't even know who Danielle [DiLorenzo] was.

What was the comfort item you didn't get back when the Heroes won the challenge?
I had my daughter's baby blanket.

You're driving cross-country, which of your tribe mates gets to ride shotgun? Who rides in the trunk?
My wife Amber is shotgun, my daughter is in the back seat. There's no one in the trunk but Russell is tied to the back bumper.

You and your wife, Amber (winner of 'Survivor: All Stars') also appeared on 'The Amazing Race' twice and did a couple of other reality shows. Would you do another one?
I feel pretty fulfilled. But, if the right opportunity came along -- I've learned after almost a decade to expect the unexpected -- then maybe.

Who's the best-ever fictional or real life villain?
I 'd have to say the New York Yankees. Every last one of them.

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