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Robert DeCanio (also known as The General and Big Rob) is a contestant from Survivor: Marquesas.

A member of the initially powerful Rotu Four alliance, Robert was relegated to the minority when his alliance was overthrown by the Outsiders Alliance shortly after the merge. He was the last member of the alliance to be voted out.


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Born and raised in Flushing, New York, Robert DeCanio has one older brother and one older sister. He attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, New York. After graduation, he went on to study for two semesters at St. John's University in Jamaica, New York.

DeCanio currently works as a limousine operator in New York City. He has previously worked as a customer service manager for the United States Postal Service (18½ years) and a general contractor.

Robert DeCanio enjoys mountain biking, weight lifting, jogging and anything involving the New York Rangers. Currently single, DeCanio lives in College Point, New York. His birth date is June 19.[1]


Robert DeCanio was placed on the Rotu tribe. Initially, Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien was pushing everyone to make fire. When the tribe discovered its water source was a pair of waterfalls, everyone was amazed. Robert even stated that you have to go back to mother nature. John Carroll made fire, annoyed with Kathy's pleas. Rotu won the first challenge of the season. This would be the start of a winning streak for the tribe. In general, the only drama surrounded Kathy and her emphasis on the Survival aspect. She eventually mellowed out with the help of Gabriel Cade. Robert once cut his toe severely. John treated the bloody wound. Despite wincing in pain, Robert said that you have to deal with it. 

On Day 10, The Castaways arrived for what was thought to be the Reward Challenge. Everyone picked a disc to stand one. When called, the castaway would flip over the disc and revealed a new buff. Robert stayed on Rotu with Gabriel, John, Tammy Leitner, and Zoe Zanidakis. Kathy, Neleh Dennis, and Paschal English was moved to Maraamu and replaced by Rob MarianoSean Rector, and Vecepia Towery. Rotu continued their winning streak at the new Immunity Challenge.

Rob M. later talked about voting out the new Maraamu in a merge situation. The conservation caused Rotu to talk about the differences in the games of Rotu and Maraamu. Maraamu won their first challenge. As a result, Maraamu's reward was the right to raid the camp. After the raid, Robert said that that was like getting their feet pulled from underneath the rug. Robert agreed to join John in an alliance and the latter also persuaded Zoe and Tammy to join them as well. The Raid would cripple Rotu in the Distress Signal challenge, causing its first immunity loss. John was able to get his target, Gabriel out because he believed the latter was untrustworthy. In control, John braskes in his power. Robert states he doesn't mind John being the leader as he gets the heat at the end. The tribe was excited when they learned that the Reward Challenge was for food. Despite being the declared the winners, Maraamu protested the win. Turns out that tribe made some mistakes that caused Maraamu to win. However, Rob lead the tribe to victory in the Immunity Challenge.

The next Tree Mail said that Rotu needed to pick a representative for an event. Rob volunteered to go. The next day, he returned with Kathy, Neleh, and Paschal for the merge. Much to Robert's annoyance, the new buffs were fuchsia. Despite Zoe saying real men wear pink, Robert full heartedly disagreed. Rob was causing discontent in the tribe by telling Kathy that Zoe was a liar. Without Immunity, Boston Rob was voted out. The morning afterwards, a windstorm blew down two trees. Robert mentions that they was lucky that the trees didn't hit the shelter. At the Immunity Challenge, Robert came close but was beat out by Tammy. The Rotu Four openly celebrated their victory and John and Robert even hugged. However, The people not in the alliance including Zoe banded together and voted out John.

Knowing they're at the bottom, Robert and Tammy only have each other as Zoe distanced herself from them telling them she was never aligned with them. They tried to get Neleh and Paschal on their side. However, when it became clear that they did not want to join them, Robert walked off in frustration. Tammy saved herself by winning immunity again. Robert said he made his peace and can deal with being voted out but the others must remember that he will be on the jury. However, Robert was not voted out, Zoe was voted out unanimously instead with Zoe being the only one voting against Robert. At the next Reward Challenge, Robert made it to the final round but lost to Paschal. He brought Neleh with him to the reward, a meal on a yacht. When the pair returned, Neleh went on and on about her time on the yacht. In order to prove himself, Robert decided to build a pig Snare. Robert was the one to win immunity. In an effort to save themselves, Robert and Tammy tried to get Sean and Vecepia on their side. Although tempted, they didn't flip because of the risk of being thrown under the bus. Tammy was voted out that night.

The next challenge was the Loved Ones Challenge. Robert's loved one was his sister, Diana. Upon seeing her, Robert told her he got her out of Maryland. The loved ones would be the ones competing in the challenge instead of the contestants. Diana came very close to winning, but Kathy's Son Patrick ultimately won. As the siblings hugged and said goodbye, Diana apologized for losing. Robert said it was okay. Patrick was a huge help around. Everyone enjoyed his presence and was saddened when he had to leave. Kathy talked to Robert about a possible alliance because the others were working as pairs. At the Immunity Challenge, Robert knocked Paschal out of the challenge. However, he was knocked out of the challenge by Vecepia. Despite feeling vulnerable, Robert decided not to beg as it would damage his pride, honor, and integrity. At Tribal Council, Robert was unanimously voted out. 

At the Final Tribal Council, Robert asked the finalists what action could hurt them. He wanted one specific thing and didn't want an explanation. Vecepia said what she did to Kathy at the Final Immunity Challenge. Neleh said having him and Zoe go before Sean and Vecepia. Robert gave his vote to Vecepia, who won the game in a 4-3 vote.

Voting History

Robert's Voting History
Episode Robert's
Voted Against
1 Rotu Tribe Immune
2 Rotu Tribe Immune
3 Rotu Tribe Immune
4 Rotu Tribe Immune
5 Gabriel -
6 Rotu Tribe Immune
7 Rob -
8 Sean -
10 Zoe Zoe
11 Vecepia Individual Immunity
12 Sean Kathy, Neleh,
Paschal, Sean, Vecepia
Voted Out, Day 33
Voted for
Sole Survivor


  • In 2003, Robert was one of several castaways who appeared on MTV's Men vs. Women: Rumble in the Jungle, a preview show for The Amazon and offered his commentary in the debate of which gender was stronger.[2][3]


  • Robert's luxury item was a voodoo doll. He intended for the doll to represent the opposing tribe. Prior to the first Immunity Challenge, Robert and the other Rotu tribe members took turns sticking pins and needles into the doll. Ironically, Maraamu ended up losing all but three of the tribal challenges.
  • His nickname, "The General," comes from one of his tattoos.
  • Robert is the only man to win an individual Immunity Challenge during Marquesas.
  • Robert is the highest-placing castaway to never have been part of the Maraamu tribe. Everyone who outlasted Robert was a member of Maraamu at some point as a result of the tribe switch.
  • Robert is the first man to be eliminated in sixth place.


Survivor: Marquesas Castaways
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