Boston Rob Mariano Reveals What Reality Show He'd Do Next After 'Deal or No Deal Island'

Courtesy of NBC

Survivor winner and legend Boston Rob Mariano found himself back on an island for the first time in five years, but in a very different capacity. Gone were the days of immunity idols, torch snuffing, and starvation. But a surprisingly cutthroat element still existed on Peacock's Deal or No Deal Island. While every episode ended with a game of "Deal or No Deal," the series brought a surprising amount of social strategy to it. Alliances were brokered, big moves were made, and emotions ran high.

Boston Rob got to see the highs and lows of the game over his time on Deal or No Deal Island. Clocked immediately for his reality TV experience (and winnings), he was able to maintain a position of power. But when a counter-alliance formed, Rob suddenly had to fight with his back against the wall. After skirting elimination for a few rounds, he made it all the way to the finale. In the end, Boston Rob's time on Deal or No Deal Island ended in the most unconventional way. Unintentionally breaking a rule, he copied another contestant's puzzle, which earned him a time penalty that pretty much made him DOA entering the maze.

Despite 20 years on reality TV, Rob ended the season doing something he had only done once before in his career. He sat amongst the other eliminated contestants, watching Jordan Fowler play one final game for a prize up to $10 million. On paper, considering how close he had just come to being up there himself, one could imagine he'd be feeling a certain way. But, surprisingly, Rob's mood immediately turned to support for Jordan.

Related: Boston Rob Mariano Names Which Reality TV Legend Should Appear on 'Deal or No Deal Island'

"So interestingly enough, I think the format of the show lends to really no hard feelings amongst the people that are eliminated," Boston Rob tells "Because it wasn't like a vote or something personal, that ended up causing someone's demise for the most part, with the exception of maybe the people that sat at the end that were targeted because they had beaten the Banker. I didn't even get taken out by another contestant or luck. It was kind of my own undoing. So I had nobody to blame but myself. So I was genuinely excited for her to play the Banker and bank a big amount of money to take home. I felt like if it wasn't me, it was definitely a worthy opponent. And I think that for the most part, that was the sentiment of everyone that sat up there at the end."

Over the course of Deal or No Deal Island's airing, Boston Rob has told various outlets that he had softly retired from the show that gave him his claim to fame in Survivor. He had played on six out of 40 seasons, including back-to-back appearances as a mentor on Island of the Idols before playing in the epic anniversary Winners at War season. But, when asked by Entertainment Weekly about whether he'd return for more, Rob felt there'd have to be a pretty big stipulation to do so.

"I've always said it would take some kind of unique format change to make me go back and compete over there," he said. "Something would have to happen, otherwise we're faced with the same situation where they gang up on me and want to get me out, or keep me around for a little bit, or whatever."

That format change, interestingly, might lurk an ocean away, right next to where Rob played his last two seasons in the Fijian islands. Rumors have been swirling about the upcoming tenth season of Australian Survivor, Australia's version of the hit reality stalwart that has been going strong since a 2016 reboot. It has been heavily speculated that producers are pursuing an "Australia vs. U.S." format, which pits legends from both franchises against each other to see which country reigns supreme. So, what are the chances Boston Rob would want to come out of Survivor retirement for the opportunity to go head-to-head with some of Australia's best?

In Rob's own words (or word), "Unlikely."

Related: Everything to Know About Survivor 46

"I love to stir the pot, right, especially on social media, as much as I can," he elaborates, referring to responding to a post fellow Survivor legend (and past Australian Survivor contestant) Sandra Diaz-Twine made on Instagram. So any interest he's shown for the season is merely through piggybacking off his fellow Island of the Idols mentor. For Boston Rob, though he is looking for a change in format to possibly come back, "Australia vs. U.S." doesn't seem to be the one in mind.

"From an outside point of view, just my perspective, the Australians would crush us," he says. "Because physically they play a lot of a harder game, a lot stronger. At the same time, I don't know that they would crush us strategically. I feel like we have a lot of good strategic players in the U.S. And then how would that work? Unless we all started on the same tribe, and then it's going to be divided. [Otherwise], it's going to be based on who wins more challenges. It just feels like it'll be a Pagonging."

Just because Boston Rob isn't eyeing a return to Survivor anytime soon doesn't mean that that's a wrap on him for competitive reality TV. In fact, we may not need to look far for his next appearance, as there's another Peacock show that many fans feel has his name written all over it.

"I watched the first season of The Traitors when Cirie won, and I thought she did a great job," he says about the reality series. "And then I watched the most recent season with Parvati and Sandra and Trishelle. And I think they really upped the game. I love the strategy aspect of it. I love the fact that they feed you and you don't have to sleep on an island. So it's right up my alley in terms of that. I actually played a lot of Among Us during the pandemic. So it's interesting, I would consider it."

So whether it's doing his best as a Faithful, or causing chaos as a Traitor, don't be surprised if Boston Rob continues to expand his extensive reality TV resume to a castle in Scotland soon.

Next, check out our Deal or No Deal Island interview with Claudia Jordan.