Amber Joy Mariano (née Brkich) is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: All-Stars. She originally competed on Survivor: The Australian Outback, and later on Survivor: Winners at War.

In The Australian Outback, Amber developed a close friendship with Jerri Manthey. Despite Colby Donaldson flipping, thus resulting in ally Mitchell Olson's elimination, Amber was absorbed into the majority Ogakor Alliance, which allowed her to reach the merge. However, when the alliance turned on and blindsided Jerri, Amber was left with no allies was voted out at the final six for her under-the-radar gameplay and threat status.

Amber returned in All-Stars where she quickly aligned with Rob Mariano. The pair emerged as a dominant force in the game, becoming the center of the dominant Chapera Alliance. When Amber was briefly separated from her allies by a Tribe Switch that fortuitously left her as the only one to effectively switch tribes, a game-defining deal between Rob and Lex van den Berghe, as well as Amber's own scrambling, resulted in her being saved and reunited with her allies at the merge, where the Chapera Alliance managed to Pagong the opposing Mogo Mogo Alliance. The two eventually reached the Final Two, with both facing heavy criticism from an embittered jury. However, Amber's more social approach and managing to impress swing vote Shii Ann Huang was crucial in defeating Rob who was viewed as the more duplicitous half of the power couple, leading her to be crowned the Sole Survivor in a 4-3 vote. Their relationship continued after the show and they ended up getting engaged at the live Reunion Show when Rob proposed before the votes were read. Their relationship had since evolved into marriage.

Amber later returned alongside her husband Rob for Winners at War. After Dakal lost the second Immunity Challenge, Amber was relegated to the bottom due to her involvement with a supposed "Poker Alliance". She was thrown under the bus by a desperate Tyson Apostol and was voted out second. After spending most of her time on the Edge of Extinction, Amber lost both return challenges, becoming the first member of the jury, and finishing in 20th place.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

Amber Brkich is from Beaver, Pennsylvania and is a recent graduate from Westminster College, where she earned a B.A. degree in Public Relations, minoring in Speech Communications. Prior to departing for Australia, while Brkich searched for her "career job," she was an administrative assistant and lived with her parents. Her previous occupations while attending school included waitress, librarian assistant, swimming instructor, lifeguard and babysitter for her professor. Brkich's favorite hobbies are going out with her friends, dancing and just generally having fun. She's a member of Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority, where she was Vice President and New Member Coordinator. Brkich also belongs to the Catholic Church. Her primary reasons for trying out for Survivor: The Australian Outback include lack of change, excitement, and kangaroos in her life, although the million dollars wouldn't hurt either! Her birth date is August 11, 1978.[1]

Since finishing sixth on Survivor: The Australian Outback, Amber Brkich has enjoyed doing dozens of appearances across the country and has taken part in various charity functions. Immediately following the show, Amber appeared on the cover of Stuff Magazine. For a short time, she also worked as the host of an adventure travel game on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. More recently, Amber has appeared in various commercials for Adelphia Cable, Rite Aid drugstores, and Mountaineer Racetrack in West Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys babysitting her niece, Emma, and going out with her friends. Amber remains a resident of her hometown, Beaver, Pennsylvania (a suburb just north of Pittsburgh). She is a graduate of Westminster College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in public relations, with a minor in speech communications, in 2000. She is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta Alumni having served as vice president and new member coordinator while still in school. Amber is currently single. Her birth date is August 11, 1978.[2]

Hometown: Beaver, Pennsylvania
Current residence: Pensacola, Florida
Previous seasons: Survivor: The Australian Outback (Season 2), Winner of Survivor: All-Stars (Season 8)
Occupation: Director of Marketing and Communications
Hobbies: Being a mom of four equals no time for hobbies. LOL! Any free time we have is spent together as a family. Whether it's playing a game, going on a bike ride, or having family movie night... we love hanging out as a family!
Three words to describe you: Dedicated mom/wife.
When did you first watch Survivor? Watched from the beginning, Season 1.
Who is your inspiration in life? Family, my husband Rob and four daughters.
Do you still watch Survivor? Yes. I've seen every season and now watch it with my family every week.
What does Survivor mean to you and your family? Now that our kids are old enough to watch the show... it means enjoying family night while eating Doritos and watching Survivor. It's a lot of fun!
What is one way playing Survivor changed your life? I met my husband on the show and the rest is history.
As Survivor approaches Season 40 and celebrates 20 years on television, what does it mean to be a part of the legacy? Never expecting to play again... had sort of closed that book. So now that it is open again... it's both nerve-wracking and exciting to "get back into the game" and not just watching as a fan, as I've been doing for the past 15 years. I'm so excited that my girls will not just hear about Mommy and Daddy being on Survivor. Now they will actually be a part of our story and get to watch the season with us when it airs. It's an honor to be a part of another epic season!
How will you play differently than you have in past seasons? A lot of time has passed since I last played Survivor. Heck, it's been 20 years since I played the first time on Season 2. Not only has the game evolved and changed a lot... so have I. I'm no longer just playing for myself. I'm married with four children who will be closely watching and listening to everything I do and every word I speak. I'm 20 years older too. I was the youngest in my Tribe when I played Survivor: The Australian Outback. Now, I'm going to be one of the "older" people. People see me in a whole new light. Plus, being married to "Boston Rob" paints a HUGE target on my back. When I played the first two times, I didn't have that pressure. So, I guess for me I'm going to try to focus on my social game in a big way and try hard to find Idols/advantages! I'd like to think I'll be good at challenges but let's face it, I am not in the shape I was before having four kids. But I also want to focus on enjoying the experience and showing my girls how strong their mom is! I'll never give up and I'll show them to always go big and finish what you start. And in the end, hopefully, win it again![3]

Survivor

The Australian Outback

Amber was a participant in the second season of Survivor, having auditioned for the season to put off getting a job after college. She was a member of the green Ogakor tribe. She was quick to fortify a strong friendship with fellow contestant Jerri Manthey, who helped construct a majority alliance with Colby Donaldson and Mitchell Olson. Ogakor seemed to be the weaker of the two tribes, losing three consecutive Immunity Challenges following their initial victory. Before Ogakor's first Tribal Council, Amber's ally, Jerri, accused fellow tribemate Kel Gleason of smuggling beef jerky into the game. Amber helped the tribe search Kel's bag when he was away, but they failed to find anything. Amber voted for Kel at Tribal Council because she considered him to be the least trustworthy member of the tribe.

After losing the next challenge, Amber targeted Maralyn Hershey because of her weakness at the Immunity Challenge. At Tribal Council Maralyn was voted off. At Ogakor's next Tribal Council Amber thought her four-person alliance was going to eliminate the tribal annoyance Keith Famie. She was surprised to learn that her ally Colby had flipped on her alliance, thus causing a tiebreaker between Mitchell and Keith. Amber's ally, Mitchell was eliminated by the tiebreaker. Ogakor went on to win all the following Immunity Challenge's, keeping Amber safe until the merge.

Upon the merge, Ogakor managed to use the knowledge that one of Kucha's members, Jeff Varner, had received votes beforehand, and eliminated him through a tiebreaker, thus gaining a numeric advantage over the Kucha tribe. The ex-Ogakor members stuck together in eliminating Alicia Calaway, but the ex-Kucha tribe then convinced Keith, Colby, and Tina Wesson to turn on their alliance and vote out Amber's closest ally, Jerri. After Jerri's elimination, the Ogakor Alliance once again came together to oust Nick Brown. In No Longer Just a Game Amber felt secure in her alliance and thought they were going to vote out Rodger Bingham. Unfortunately for Amber the remaining Kucha members once again convinced Tina and Keith to turn on their alliance. At Tribal Council, Amber was voted out for playing an "under-the-radar game", and was a threat to win the show, ultimately landing in sixth place. Colby was the only one to not vote against her, hoping Ogakor would "stick to the batting order".

At the Final Tribal Council, as a member of the jury, Amber cast her vote for Colby, who ended up losing to Tina Wesson in a close 4-3 vote.

Voting History

Amber's Voting History
Episode Amber's
Votes
Voted Against
Amber
1 Ogakor Tribe Immune
2 Kel -
3 Maralyn -
4 Keith;
Keith1
-
5 Ogakor Tribe Immune
6 No Tribal Council
7 Jeff;
Jeff2
-
8 Alicia -
10 Elisabeth -
11 Nick Elisabeth, Rodger
12 Rodger Elisabeth, Keith,
Rodger, Tina
Voted Out, Day 33
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Colby

^1 In "The Killing Fields", the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Keith and Mitchell, forcing a revote. Amber did not change her vote on the revote.
^2 In "The Merge", the vote ended with a 5-5 tie between Colby and Jeff, forcing a revote. Amber did not change her vote on the revote.

All-Stars

As one of the quieter personalities of Survivor: The Australian Outback, Amber's inclusion in the All-Stars installment of Survivor came as a surprise to most fans. She was a member of the red Chapera tribe, a boisterous group including Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano, Sue Hawk, and fellow The Australian Outback alumna Alicia Calaway.

In the season's premiere episode, Rob and Amber agreed to form an alliance, with Rob citing his reasoning simply as:

She's beautiful; any idiot can see that.

–Rob



As part of the most dominant tribe in Survivor: All-Stars, Amber enjoyed a healthy winning streak, until Day 12, where they suffered their first loss in an Immunity Challenge. Boston Rob and Amber's relationship was a matter of discussion at the Tribal Council, but Amber claimed to have come to play Survivor, not a dating game. Ultimately, the tribe decided to remove Rob Cesternino, who was perceived as the bigger strategic threat over the more combative Alicia.

The following day, in a twist that "dissolved" the yellow Saboga tribe, two of its four remaining members, Jenna Lewis and Rupert Boneham, joined Chapera. Rob and Amber quickly fortified a long-term alliance with the tribe's two new members, one of the pair's many "agreements." The Chapera tribe then enjoyed a lengthy winning streak, winning immunity the next three times. The group did lose one member, however, when Sue Hawk opted to leave the game due to an indecent encounter with Richard Hatch.

In the season's ninth episode, a tribal shuffle managed to merely make each contestant switch buffs, with the exception of Amber, who remained on the Chapera tribe with Lex van den Berghe, Shii Ann Huang, Jerri Manthey, and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien. Amber bluntly stated she felt screwed over by this outcome. The tribe went on to lose the next challenge and, in one of the season's more famous moments, Rob said to Lex, "You take care of her, I'll take care of you." Not knowing about Rob's plea, Amber worked hard to sway Kathy on her side against Jerri, since Jerri was not an original Mogo Mogo member like the rest of the majority alliance. Jerri was eliminated, with Lex staying true to his deal with Rob and Kathy convinced that Amber would be loyal.

In the following episode, the merge occurred, and Lex was chosen to be eliminated, despite Rob's promise to "take care of him." In the episodes following, Rob and Amber managed to maintain several "alliances," including their agreement with Rupert and Jenna, an agreement with Tom Buchanan, and an agreement with Alicia. With all these castaways believing themselves to be safe, Rob and Amber proceeded through the game, eventually finding themselves in the final four with Jenna and Rupert. While it appeared Rob was the mastermind, Shii Ann Huang noticed that Amber was just as devious but managed to maintain a more pleasant persona.

On Day 37, Amber won her first individual Immunity Challenge, and she and Rob convinced Jenna to vote out her ally Rupert instead of forcing a tie. In the final three, Rob won immunity and chose Amber to continue with him to the Final Two. Facing the jury, Rob and Amber met much criticism for their gameplay, particularly because of how the power couple mixed personal friendships with strategy. Amber maintained her composure, appealing to the largely hurt jury and explained that her strategy was to work closely with someone while still making her own moves.

In the season finale several months later, Rob and Amber revealed they were still dating, Amber even wore a yellow "I Love Rob" shirt (and was booed by the audience in the process) at the Finale/Reunion. Just before the votes were read, Rob surprisingly proposed to Amber and she accepted. It was revealed that, in a 4-3 decision, Amber was the Sole Survivor.

At the Survivor: America's Tribal Council special, Amber was one of ten females from the first eight seasons to be in the "Hottest Survivor Woman" category. Amber ended up winning. She also awarded Shii Ann a new car as thanks for her deciding vote.

Voting History

Amber's Voting History
Episode Amber's
Votes
Voted Against
Amber
1 Chapera Tribe Immune
2 Chapera Tribe Immune
3 No Tribal Council
4 Rob C. -
5 Chapera Tribe Immune
6 No Tribal Council
7 Chapera Tribe Immune
8 Chapera Tribe Immune
10 Jerri Jerri
11 Lex Kathy, Lex
12 Kathy Kathy, Shii Ann
13 Alicia -
14 Shii Ann Shii Ann
15 Tom -
16 Rupert Individual Immunity
Ineligible -
Jury Votes
for Amber
Alicia, Lex,
Shii Ann, Tom
Sole Survivor, Day 39

Winners at War

Sixteen years after her victory, Amber returned for the show's 20th anniversary, alongside but on a different starting tribe from her husband Rob Mariano. Her return surprised some of the players, most notably Sandra Diaz-Twine, who believed neither Rob nor Amber had wanted to play again. Amber initially bonded with Sarah Lacina and Tyson Apostol over the difficulty of leaving her kids at home to play again. Aware of how much the game has changed over 16 years, she tried to look for Hidden Immunity Idols but to no avail. When Dakal lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 3, Amber initially pushed for Sandra to go, but eventually settled for Nick Wilson due to his lack of connections. Driven by her vendetta against Rob, Sandra rallied the one-time players Nick, Sophie Clarke, Yul Kwon, and Wendell Holland as well as Cops-R-Us to target Amber in an effort to weaken Rob. Amber's allies Kim Spradlin-Wolfe and Tyson decided to abandon the sinking ship of their alliance, opting to vote against her, resulting in her elimination by a 6-3-1 vote. She bequeathed her Fire Token to Rob before joining Natalie Anderson on the Edge of Extinction.

Despite Amber's best efforts, she was unable to find advantages to sell during her time on the Edge. She did earn a Fire Token from the wooden logs effort task, which she would give to Rob so he could purchase an advantage ahead of the first re-entry duel. After failing to win that challenge, Amber remained particularly close with the other pre-merge boots. She did not earn any more Fire Tokens and ultimately lost the second and final re-entry duel.

At Final Tribal Council, Amber offered her appreciation to each of the finalists for the games they played. Amber voted for Tony Vlachos to win the title of Sole Survivor, which he eventually did in a 12-4-0 vote.

Voting History

Amber's Voting History
Episode Amber's
Votes
Voted Against
Amber
1 Dakal Tribe Immune
Nick Kim, Nick, Sandra,
Tyson, Wendell, Yul
Voted Out, Day 3
2 On Edge of Extinction
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
Eliminated, Day 35
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Tony

Post-Survivor

Rob and Amber's promotional photo for The Amazing Race 7.

  • As an engaged couple in 2004, Amber and Rob Mariano competed on the seventh season of The Amazing Race. At one point in South Africa, they saw their own photo on a magazine cover. They were also recognized in countries all over the world and assisted by locals who recognized them. Although Rob and Amber won four separate legs, the couple finished in second place behind winners Uchenna and Joyce Agu.
  • Amber lived in her hometown, Beaver, Pennsylvania (a suburb 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh), until her marriage to Rob. The couple then moved to Pensacola, Florida.
  • In 2006, they also took up residence in Las Vegas, Nevada to support Rob's poker career.[6]
  • In the summer of 2009, Amber, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"[7]
  • Amber was in attendance for the Heroes vs. Villains Reunion.
  • Amber was in attendance at the Redemption Island Reunion. After Rob won the $100K Fan Favorite Award, host Jeff Probst remarked that "Amber can go shopping".

Marriage to Rob Mariano

Amber and Rob getting married.

  • Amber and Rob married on April 16, 2005 in Paradise Island, The Bahamas.[8] They currently have four daughters: Lucia Rose (born July 4, 2009[9]), Carina Rose (born December 10, 2010[10]), Isabetta Rose born (born May 5, 2012[11]), and Adelina Rose (born June 20, 2014[12]).
  • Amber and Rob attended the wedding of fellow ​The Amazing Race 7 team Ray Hosteau and Deana Shane on May 21, 2005.[13]

Rob and Amber's promotional photo for The Amazing Race: All-Stars.

  • In 2007, Rob and Amber competed in the first All-Stars season of The Amazing Race as newlyweds. After winning first place for the first three legs, they came in last and were eliminated in the fourth leg, finishing the race in 8th place.
  • Rob and Amber filmed a 10-episode show for the Fox Reality Channel, Rob and Amber: Against the Odds[14] in 2006, which aired in 2007. Set in Las Vegas, the show followed Rob's attempt to become a professional poker player and featured professional player Daniel Negreanu tutoring Rob.

Trivia

  • Amber is the first contestant from Pennsylvania.
  • Amber is the youngest contestant on The Australian Outback.
  • Amber is the first contestant to buy a "mystery item" at the Survivor Auction that was revealed to be a "trap item". She bought a pitcher of water from the Herbert River.
  • In a pre-game interview for All-Stars, Amber considered Richard Hatch and Rob Cesternino as the best players of the game at the time.[15]
  • Amber is the only person to remain on Chapera during the entire pre-merge phase in All-Stars, as well as the only one to never have been a member of Mogo Mogo.
  • Amber is the first of two contestants to obtain a car during a season without winning it in a challenge. She would be followed by Dreamz Herd.
  • Amber is the first castaway to become the Sole Survivor as a returning player.
    • Amber is the first winner to win a season featuring all returnees.
  • Amber is the first contestant to win a season with three starting tribes.
  • According to his profile for Heroes vs. Villains, husband Rob Mariano listed Amber as the previous Survivor castaway that he respects the most.[16]
  • Amber received six elimination votes against her on all three seasons she competed.
  • In Redemption Island, Amber was referenced by her husband numerous times. The most noteworthy mention was when Rob compared Andrea Boehlke and Matt Elrod's relationship to his with Amber. Also, the namesake of that season's merged tribe was the name of one of Amber's stuffed animals.
  • By returning in Winners at War 16 years and 32 seasons after their appearance in All-Stars, Amber and Ethan Zohn broke Kelly Wiglesworth's record for the longest period in between appearances on the show.
    • In addition, Amber holds the record for longest period between her original and most recent appearance, with 38 seasons.
  • Amber is the first Sole Survivor to be voted out before and after winning their respective season.
  • Amber is the lowest-placing juror in Survivor history, finishing in 20th place in Winners at War.

References

Preceded by
Pearl Islands
S7 sandra t.png
Sandra Diaz-Twine
Sole Survivor Titleholder
All-Stars
S8 amber t.png
Amber Brkich
Succeeded by
Vanuatu
S9 chris t.png
Chris Daugherty
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.