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Survivor: Winners At War features the game's biggest prize to date, and some of the game's most prolific winners competing head-to-head. Viewers should expect some high-level play and, according to Boston Rob, the possibility that some of the contestants will enter the game with alliances they forged ahead of the competition's actual start.
Rob Mariano was asked about any "pregame meetings" happening before Survivor: Winners At War, which was asked with the knowledge that many winners of the show know each other and interact from time to time. Boston Rob shared his stance on the whole thing, and shared some past information he had learned from another veteran of the show that may come into play in Season 40.
I don’t play that. I don’t play it at all. I did not call not one single person, maybe to my detriment, but I have always believed that I’m better building and fostering relationships in person. Now, I understand, like on Game Changers, Sandra told me on [Season] 39 that everybody out there had their pre-existing alliance before they got to the beach and if you weren’t a part of it, then you were gone, one, two, three, four, and that might happen to me.
Boston Rob did not reach out to anyone before Survivor: Winners At War, and is now admitting that that may have been a mistake. If outside alliances do play a factor in Season 40, it's hard not to agree with Rob, as that could be a huge advantage for some competitors as they head into the game. As Rob told EW, if there are some incoming alliances that were forged pre-game, there's a chance he could exit the competition very quickly.
The keyword is "could," however, because Boston Rob isn't one of the show's most notable players for no reason. In addition to that, he has his wife Amber in the game, which is about the strongest alliance anyone can have. He also has a potential ally in two-time Survivor winner Sandra Diaz-Twine, who he stayed on an island with while the two mentored contestants during Survivor: Island of the Idols. An alliance between the three would be huge, even with targets on their backs. Granted, Rob would have to survive the merger to capitalize on it, as he'll start the game on the opposite side of the island from Amber and Sandra.
It may sound shady that competitors are contacting each other prior to Surivor: Winners At War, though it isn't necessarily unfair if every winner has that opportunity. It may be a bit bad for television though, especially if game moves are being influenced by discussions and alliances that all happened prior to the cameras rolling. Hopefully, Jeff Probst and CBS have prepared for that, and will have competitors explain any moments to the audience that may have been influenced by pre-play alliances.
Survivor: Winners At War airs on CBS Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for updates on what may be the show's biggest season ever, and for a look at what else is happening in television in 2020.