Fear Keeps People Loyal
Rob is basically a young punk in his first season, more concerned with hooking up with Sarah Jones than working around camp or helping his tribemates. But it’s the third episode of Marquesas where we see the first signs of the cutthroat “Robfather.” Rob scoops up the underdogs of the Maraamu tribe, giving his memorable “fear keeps people loyal” speech and putting out a hit on the tribe’s alpha leader Hunter Ellis.
The Lex Vote
The true emergence of “The Robfather” happens in All-Stars, when Rob, along with his future wife Amber Brkich, put a stranglehold on the game. But Rob’s dominance comes with consequences. Having asked Lex van den Berghe to protect Amber after a tribe swap, Rob finds himself in an awkward position come the merge when Lex asks him to return the favor. Rob chooses not to save Lex, leading to a tense and uncomfortable confrontation that ultimately costs Rob the win.
The Buddy System
In his fourth season, Redemption Island, Rob brings his “fear keeps people loyal” motto full circle, steamrolling his way to victory with his devoted Ometepe tribemates by his side. The best example of Rob’s cult-like control is a strategy he coins “The Buddy System,” keeping the former Ometepes in pairs so that nobody can sneak away and talk game with the enemy. Rob tries to bring this strategy back in Winners At War but to less successful results.
What we think
There is arguably no one more synonymous with Survivor than Boston Rob. He’s appeared on the show more than any other castaway, he’s a runner-up and a winner, he met his wife on the island, and his entire family came out for the loved one’s visit in Winners At War. He’s also one of only two players that Survivor built a statue of on the island. A cunning gameplayer with a charming cockiness, Rob is without a doubt a worthy Island of the Icons entry.