The 43rd season of Survivor is going to air on September 21st, and fans are already curious about the incoming cast. After all, how many of them will be funny? How many will revolutionize gameplay? Will there be a legendary hero? Will the winner play under-the-radar or a dominant game from the start?
But one question seems to ring out the most: Will there be a legendary villain? Over the years, Survivor has had many villains completely change the game’s scope, and none were more famous than Boston Rob. That’s why there have been so many memes about the man that sum him up pretty perfectly.
While Boston Rob is almost always a dominant player, he doesn’t always have his eye on every aspect of the game. Too often, he assumes that his social game and godfather-like commandeering presence will be enough to keep the other players in line.
Often, Rob picks one or two players that he trusts wholeheartedly. After Coach’s insistence that iron sharpens iron in Heroes vs. Villains led to a significant betrayal, it was no wonder Boston Rob was sent packing. In that way, his anger at Coach was wholly justified.
Rob’s biggest ally on any of his seasons is often not even a player at all. After all, though he’s played Survivor alongside his soon-to-be-wife, Rob is always most respected by Jeff Probst himself, which is somewhat funny, given that Boston Rob is often named as a player who could replace Jeff Probst when he retires.
During challenges, Probst will often glowingly praise Rob as both a competitor and a cast member. The respect is likely due to Rob’s sharp wit and funny confessionals, as it makes for excellent TV that any producer can enjoy. That’s also why Rob will sometimes remain a presence in the game even after his boot, as he was in Heroes vs. Villains.
Boston Rob is a man who demands absolute loyalty and obedience from the players around him, and it never showed more than it did in Redemption Island. After Matt shook hands with competitors after a challenge, Rob sent him packing. When he won enough challenges to return to the game, Rob didn’t even hesitate before sending him home again.
It was utterly ruthless behavior that didn’t display even a semblance of pity for the seemingly friendly Matt. That behavior is exactly what turned Boston Rob into one of the most notorious Survivor villains. After all, even Tyson and Fairplay were never quite that mean.
Unfortunately, while Boston Rob has always had an incredible social game and a strategic mind, he can’t always account for other players making major mistakes. Though he managed to secure Tyson’s loyalty in Heroes vs. Villains, he lost the game as a consequence of Tyson accidentally voting himself out, while trying to help the alliance.
It was an example of Rob having the perfect play for a situation, and it somehow still blew up in his face. A genius strategy, but one he never got to reap the benefits of. Had Tyson not made that blunder, Rob might have walked to an easy victory at the end of the game.
The Boston Rob of Winners at War was unfortunately not the dominant presence he was in earlier seasons. After all, he had been removed from the game for too long and was blindsided by the fast-paced nature of the New School players upon his return.
It led to him losing Ethan, Amber, and one of the best Survivor alliances, which certainly dealt a major blow to Rob’s chances at an eventual victory. The Old Schoolers were doomed from the start, and it took Rob completely by surprise, which is always a shocking thing.
As a bachelor in All-Stars, Rob had eyes for one player and one player only: Amber. It’s what led him to betray Lex in one of the show’s most shocking double-crosses, and it eventually led to a marriage and a million dollars in Amber’s pocket. That’s why Ethan spent the season sidelined by Rob.
Yet, by Winners at War, with Amber voted off before she and Rob could scheme together, Rob was left with Ethan as his Number One, and the two stayed together as long as they could. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long, as Ethan was sent packing. Still, it shows Rob’s adaptability that he could find two different Number Ones and get them on his side with ease.
While Rob was voted out of Winners at War, he isn’t the type to quit. While other players were struggling to get a single token on the Edge, Rob collected them with ease and eventually had to hide the ones he’d collected, because other players would see him as a threat.
It shows his determination and his willingness to go above and beyond in the game of Survivor. Even if he’s voted out, Rob will always do his best to keep going if given the chance. In a way, with that in mind, it makes it somewhat fitting that the season he’d won is Redemption Island.
When Boston Rob is winning, he is absolutely dominating, as can be seen easily by his performance in Redemption Island. The season saw one of the best redemption arcs in Survivor history as Rob controlled his tribe completely through the merge and to Final Tribal Council.
Though Kim Spradlin comes close, no other player has ever dominated a game as completely as Rob did that season. Players were willing to completely stop playing the game just because Rob told them to, and it meant he’s essentially won from the start.
As Rob always insists, there’s a reason he’s so good at Survivor, and it’s because he wrote the book on it. Having published The Boston Rob Rulebook, he’s written exactly how to dominate the game of Survivor and how he makes it through his day-to-day life.
The fact that he wrote a book on life tends to come up often in Rob’s later seasons, as he insists that other players should follow him in Survivor, thanks to the fact that he dedicated so much time to the book about it. Though the book itself isn’t related to Survivor, it’s still a funny note, since he mentions it often.
Though Boston Rob has started a family of his own, he’s always willing to return to Survivor, no matter what. After all, he was willing to star in Island of the Idols without even the chance at the million, because it meant returning to the show alongside Sandra.
Though he wasn’t allowed to be a player, he was given the opportunity to share strategies and tips with new players, who desperately needed his advice as they tried to survive the game. It shows that he’s grown into a mentor figure and a major legend within the community. Even better, it shows how much he loves the game of Survivor.
Next: 10 Biggest Survivor Meltdowns Fans Will Never Forget