Survivor Wiki

Robert Kristopher "Rob" Cesternino[1] is a contestant from Survivor: The Amazon and Survivor: All-Stars.

Referred to by Jeff Probst as "the smartest player to never win", Rob emerged as a strong social competitor, introducing the strategy of flip-flopping between allies while still maintaining strong alliances that controlled the latter half of his time in The Amazon. Due to these actions, he was considered a villainous figure. While on The Amazon, Rob identified Matthew von Ertfelda as an easy pawn and took him under his wing, teaching Matthew about the strategic side of Survivor. Rob ultimately fell a day short of the Final Tribal Council after he was voted out by Jenna Morasca for being a jury threat.

In his shot at redemption in All-Stars, Rob quickly found himself at the bottom after his lack of work ethic at camp put a target on his back. Upon Chapera's first loss, he was eliminated as a strategic threat.

Years after his stint on Survivor, Rob became famous for his podcast, Rob Has a Podcast, which covers Survivor and several reality shows and other series, with a growing community of listeners.


Retrieved from

Rob Cesternino currently works as a computer projects coordinator for an insurance general agency. He has been previously employed as a store clerk, a waiter and a bartender. After receiving 1420 on his SAT's, he eventually went on to graduate from the honors program at the State University of New York at Oswego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting. Cesternino wrote his college senior thesis on "The Impact of Reality Television" and received an A. While in college, he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Cesternino's favorite hobbies include telling jokes, watching sports and singing karaoke. He believes he is a master strategist that is always pulling shenanigans on people who suspect he's just an innocent kid. He describes himself as mischievous, hilarious and creative. If he could hold any office, he'd like to be member of Congress because "it looks like they can do anything they want with no repercussions." Certernino cites a last minute college road trip where he and two buddies drove 21 hours to go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans (without hotel accommodations) as his single greatest accomplishment. His favorite sport is baseball and he is an avid fan of the New York Mets and New York Jets. His hero is Bob Barker because, since a child, he always admired how he ran the show and was so funny about it. Superman is his chosen superhero—besides the obvious strength and flying, "the x-ray vision would keep me busy for hours." He is doing this because he is an avid fan of Survivor and has dreamed of being a castaway. If he wins the $1 million, he's buying a "fully equipped bachelor pad with a big neon sign that will say 'OPEN.'"

Cesternino currently lives with his family in Wantagh, NY. His birth date is October 20, 1978.[2]

After Rob Cesternino's third place finish on Survivor: The Amazon, Jeff Probst declared him "the smartest player to have never won Survivor" during the live finale show. Since then, among other things, Rob has written a weekly newspaper column for his local paper, made speaking engagements, endorsed Mattel's "Magic 8-ball" (which was his luxury item) and has been writing and performing stand-up comedy.

Rob graduated from the honors program at the State University of New York at Oswego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting. While at Oswego, he worked extensively with both the university's television and radio stations. He wrote his college senior thesis on "The Impact of Reality Television" and received an A. During his time in college, Rob was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. After college, he worked for more than two years as a computer projects coordinator for an insurance general agency. His other previous work experience has included a store clerk, a waiter and a bartender.

Rob's favorite hobbies include telling jokes, watching sports and singing karaoke. His all-time favorite pastime is watching television, and he is a self-described pop culture encyclopedia. If he could hold any office, he'd like to be member of Congress because "it looks like they can do anything they want with no repercussions."

Rob cites a last minute college road trip where he and two buddies drove 21 hours to go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans (without hotel accommodations) as his single greatest accomplishment. His favorite sport is baseball and he is an avid fan of the New York Mets and New York Jets. His hero is Bob Barker because, since a child, he always admired how he hosts The Price Is Right with such humor. Superman is his chosen superhero: besides the obvious strength and flying, "the x-ray vision would keep me busy for hours."

Rob currently lives in Plainview, New York, but originally hails from Wantagh, New York. His birth date is October 20, 1978.[3]


The Amazon

Rob was placed on the all-male Tambaqui tribe. Throughout the game, Rob made many witty comments. Like most of the men, Rob felt the men would easily defeat the all-female Jaburu tribe. He could tell that Dave Johnson was planning to play an honorable game based on his speech. That works fine for him because he was planning to lie to get ahead. Rob was impressed by Butch Lockley's survival skills. He also didn't mind being called a "kid" by Roger Sexton. The men made fire quickly and built shelter. Rob offered his luxury item, a magic 8-ball. He stated that the only condition was if you don't ask the magic 8-ball if the tribe wins or loses challenge, because it would freak them out or be a sham. Most of the men talked about the women, namely the three young beauties (Heidi StrobelJenna Morasca, and Shawna Mitchell). Rob's favorite girl was Heidi. At the Immunity Challenge, the men were leading for the most part. However, Ryan Aiken and Daniel Lue couldn't cross the balance beam. This allowed the women to catch up and surpass the men. Rob and Dave also had problems with the puzzle. The women won immunity. Rob was approached by both Roger and Ryan to vote out the other. After weighing his options, Rob cast the deciding vote against Ryan.

Despite having the better camp life, the men lost the Reward Challenge. This was demoralizing, but they won the Immunity Challenge. At this time, Rob wanted Roger out badly and witnessed an argument between Roger and Alex Bell about being gay (despite both men being straight). Both Rob and Daniel lobbied for Alex's vote. At the Reward Challenge, Rob learned that his "witty partay" was viewed favorably among women. The men praised him, and Rob hoped for a merge soon. Tambaqui lost the Reward Challenge, which was for toiletries. Rob didn't mind losing because he felt that the women needed it more. That night, Rob envisioned the young women bathing. He voiced also a dislike of JoAnna Ward claiming that God loves Jaburu. Jaburu won immunity, sending the men back to Tribal Council. Alex did not vote against Roger, forcing Rob to do the same. Things took a turn for the better when the men won the next two challenges.

The tribe received Tree Mail asking for its youngest member to have a night of fun and wine. Rob wanted to go, but Dave was younger that him. When Dave returned, he announced a tribe switch. Rob, along with Alex and Matthew von Ertfelda would be transferred to Jaburu. Rob was angered by Dave's decision, viewing him as looking out for his, Butch and Roger's best interest. The men made a big entrance and were welcomed by the women. The men's presence sparked Shawna back up, who had a breakdown a few days ago. The new tribe won immunity. Rob decided to make an alliance with Deena Bennett, who he felt people were least likely to have an alliance with. At the Reward Challenge, Rob only went up once and lost against Butch. Rob also made an alliance with Matthew. Matthew was thrilled because he felt that they were the next two to go on the original Tambaqui. Jaburu lost the Immunity Challenge. Alex and Shawna revealed they were voting against Matthew. Not wanting to lose his new ally, Rob and Deena decided to vote out Shawna. While showing his voting confessional, Rob described Shawna as a wonderful person because she put others needs before her own, but that's what made her a terrible Survivor player.

Alex was saddened by Shawna's departure. Rob felt that Alex could focus on the game. Rob told everyone a plan to make it appear the men were sticking together, so they could divert their votes. The intended target was Dave for his athleticism. However, the target quickly shifted to Roger because of his bossiness and sexism toward women. Rob was amazed when Jenna and Heidi stripped for peanut butter and chocolate. Rob stepped out for pizza. Both Deena and Christy Smith decided to end the challenge for spaghetti and meatballs. Deena won rock-paper-scissors, giving her immunity. Rob's plan worked and Roger was voted out in a 7-3 vote. Rob and the others made fun of Roger and his underwear. He was ready to get rid of Dave because he viewed him as arrogant. Rob was teamed with Butch and Christy, but they lost. At the Immunity Challenge, Rob was the fourth person knocked out. Jenna eventually won immunity and Dave was unanimously voted out.

Matthew was the initial target. However, after Alex won the Reward Challenge, Deena started to target him if Matthew won immunity. Deena approached Rob to vote him out. When Alex learned of this, he tried to recruit Rob to oust Deena. At the same time, Rob used Matthew to form an alliance with Butch. As he said, Rob was the most powerful player in the game. Matthew won immunity after Deena refused to eat the live grub worm. After careful consideration, Rob swayed the vote against Deena, sending her to the jury. In the majority, Rob, Jenna, Heidi, and Alex got lazy at camp. This irritated the others. Matthew and Butch tried to get Rob on their side. At the Survivor Auction, Rob bought a protein bar. Later that night, Alex told Rob that he would likely be the one to go at the final four. Refusing to take that lying down, Rob formed a counter-alliance with Butch, Matthew, and Christy to oust Alex. Rob explained to Matthew that he was manipulating him through the game. Matthew accepted it well and acknowledged the fact that Rob was the reason he was still in the game. At the Immunity Challenge, the tribe was given a survey. The tribe had to guess the most common answer. Rob beat out Matthew for immunity. Rob's plan came too fruition and Alex was blindsided.

After Alex's expulsion from the game, Rob started a conversation about Alex being likable but untrustworthy. Heidi and Jenna were extremely angry with Rob and his betrayal. Rob was planning to take Matthew to the Final Two. Rob questioned Matthew's ability to be beaten when he gave up a visit from his mom so the others could see their loved ones. Rob was able to see his mother, Roseanne. He told her that he was a "bad boy" in the game. Rob tried to make a finals deal with Jenna, but she was too disgusted by him to accept. Meanwhile, the girls were trying to get Christy to come to them. Rob nearly won immunity but Jenna won it instead. Rob talked to Christy about her choice, which she replied that her decision would be based on what would win the game. Terrified by Christy's swing vote status, Rob formed a plan with Heidi and Jenna to get Christy out. The women happily accepted and Christy was blindsided.

Rob didn't sense any animosity from either woman. In fact, both women were thankful because he saved them both. They didn't mind being told that Rob was planning to vote them out. Butch made Rob help him collect firewood, which camp was overflowing with. Matthew selected Rob to join him on reward. At this point, Rob admitted that he told every lie he could and his fate was in Matthew's hands. After eating, they returned to a burnt camp. Rob felt this was one of the worst things that could happen. In a confessional, Rob blamed Butch for the disaster. After Matthew won the Immunity Challenge, Jenna had a breakdown. After careful consideration, the men decided to vote out Heidi for being the bigger threat. The men were planning to vote out Jenna next. However, Jenna won immunity. Rob was in danger due to his lack of relationships with Butch and Jenna. Matthew did save him, convincing Jenna that Rob was more deserving than Butch for playing the game. The trio got a scale from Tree Mail. Jeff Probst later came to camp, saying that the final three would get a seaplane ride to view the Amazon. After that, they would adorn themselves with paint and jewelry for the Final Immunity Challenge. Rob finished second to Jenna in the Immunity Challenge which meant that Jenna would cast the deciding vote that night. Although she considered taking Rob because he was easier to beat, Jenna took Matthew because he was more deserving and because Rob played a strong game of strategy. Rob was the last person to be voted out and became the final member of the jury.

At Final Tribal Council, Rob asked the finalists why shouldn't the other one win. Matthew said that Jenna didn't contribute at camp as much as the others and asked to be voted out days earlier. Jenna said that Matthew didn't play the strategic game, that he didn't need the money, didn't care about the people here and viewed the game just as an adventure. Rob gave credit where it was due and voted for Jenna to win who would win in a 6-1 vote.

Voting History

Rob's Voting History
Episode Rob's
Voted Against
1 Ryan -
2 Tambaqui Tribe Immune
3 Daniel -
4 Tambaqui Tribe Immune
5 Jaburu Tribe Immune
6 Shawna -
7 Roger -
8 Dave -
9 Deena -
11 Alex Individual Immunity
12 Christy -
13 Heidi Heidi, Jenna
14 Butch Butch
Ineligible Jenna
Voted Out, Day 38
Voted for
Sole Survivor


Rob was a member of the Chapera tribe. He, like most of the other Chapera members, did not have to worry about voting anyone out due to Chapera's winning streak and an avoidance of Tribal Council due to Jenna Morasca pulling out of the game. However, Rob found a rival in fellow Chapera tribemate Rob Mariano, who was the de facto leader that was calling the shots. Rob C. attempted to show that he could contribute to his tribe by hunting down the final key to their rice box, but coincidentally, his rival had found the final key first.

At the Immunity Challenge, Rob C. and Amber Brkich sat out, and Rob C. could only watch helplessly as his tribe was pummeled by the large puzzle pieces carried by the other blindfolded tribe members. Mogo Mogo managed to edge out the dominant Chapera at the last second to send Chapera to their first Tribal Council.

Rob M. attempted to make a fake alliance with Rob C. to ease his fears over going home. However, Rob C. was skeptical of him. At Tribal Council, Rob C.'s smart and savvy gameplay marked him as a threat by Amber and Rob M., and he was unanimously voted out.

Voting History

Rob C.'s Voting History
Episode Rob C.'s
Voted Against
Rob C.
1 Chapera Tribe Immune
2 Chapera Tribe Immune
3 No Tribal Council
4 Alicia Alicia, Amber,
Rob M., Susan, Tom
Voted Out, Day 12


  • On January 9, 2010, Rob attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • Rob married with longtime girlfriend Nicole Palmeiri and resides in Los Angeles. The couple hosted Rob Has a Podcast, where they talk about Survivor and other reality shows, such as Celebrity Apprentice, Big Brother (both American and Canadian versions), and The Amazing Race while checking with previous reality show contestants and their post-show accomplishments. Due to Nicole's work and later, pregnancy, she was replaced by Tocantins runner-up, Stephen Fishbach.
  • Rob writes the Immunity Blog on In addition, Rob was inducted into the 2012 Survivor Hall of Fame, along with Ethan Zohn and Amanda Kimmel.
  • At the end of Survivor Know-it-alls episode for the Caramoan Reunion Show in May 2013, Rob announced he and Nicole are expecting a baby. On September 29, 2013, the couple welcomed their first child, Dominic James Cesternino.[4]
  • In 2013, Rob won a Podcast Award for "Best Entertainment" at the 2013 Podcast Awards by the fans of Rob Has a Podcast. In 2014, Rob Has a Podcast won "Best Produced" and "Best Video Podcast" at the 2014 Podcast Awards.[5] Later that year, he appeared on the Survivor Live After Show and lost a game of trivia to a kid in middle school.
  • On February 25, 2015, the day of the Worlds Apart premiere, Rob appeared in a Survivor round table discussion alongside Jeff Probst and former castaways Sandra Diaz-Twine, Parvati Shallow, and John Cochran about the series' past 30 seasons.[6]
  • Rob broadcasted a two-night special edition of Rob Has a Podcast in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on May 10 and 11, 2017 to recap the twelfth episode of Game Changers and Big Brother Canada 5 final five eviction, respectively.[7][8]
  • Rob and Nicole's second child, a son named Anthony Joseph Cesternino was born on November 12, 2015.[9][10]
  • On December 20, 2017, Rob was in attendance at the Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers Reunion Show participating in a challenge alongside fans.
  • Rob attended Stephen Fishbach's wedding on June 9, 2018.[11]
  • Rob and Stephen were asked to compete together in The Amazing Race 31, but were unable to do so because of Stephen's wedding.[12]



Survivor: The Amazon Castaways
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Survivor: All-Stars Castaways
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Mogo Mogo
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 Jenna L.
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 Jenna M.
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 Rob C.
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 Rob M.
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 Shii Ann
Mogo Mogo
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