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A Timeline of the Unexpected Friendship Between Reality Show Legends Parvati Shallow & Boston Rob

The Survivor BFFs are now taking The Traitors and Deal or No Deal Island by storm.

By Grace Jidoun

Tracking all the frenemies and alliances on any one reality show would require a tactical map worthy of a war room. But years ago, a completely unexpected friendship blossomed between two of the most wickedly competitive contestants ever to grace our screens: Parvati Shallow and Boston Rob (Rob Mariano), both Survivor legends.

How to Watch

Watch Deal or No Deal Island on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: Alan Cumming Reveals What It's Like Behind the Scenes of Traitors Season 2

Shallow is currently scheming inside a Gothic Scottish castle on Season 2 of The Traitors, our favorite brain-bending competition show hosted by Alan Cumming. Boston Rob (dubbed “The Rob Father” on Survivor for his mafia-like swagger) is set to compete on NBC’s upcoming reality show Deal or No Deal Island. With the two back in action, we thought it would be a perfect time to review their unusual and, dare we say, super sweet friendship.

When did Boston Rob and Parvati Shallow first meet?

Mariano and Shallow first met on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (2010), where they both played on Team Villain. Shallow came to the season right after her win on Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites, where she established herself as a savvy and aggressive player. Rob, on the other hand, had been away from the game for several years since his last appearance on All-Stars.

Close up of Parvati Shallow

Though the two were rivals at the time, fans saw a more vulnerable side of The Rob-Father, who struggled to adapt to the elements, talked about missing his newborn and wife Amber Brkich (whom he met on Survivor), and even passed out in the woods at one point. Parvati ended the season as the runner-up to winner Sandra Diaz-Twine, who you may also recognize from The Traitors — Shallow and Diaz-Twine are once again competing but this time as “Traitors” and “Faithfuls,” and it’s clear there is no love lost between them.

Parvati Shallow gives hearty congratulations to Boston Rob after his 2011 Survivor win

When Boston Rob returned to Survivor and won Redemption Island, Parvati supported him in the most epic way, penning a congratulatory note in The Hollywood Reporter. In her Finale Recap, she wrote, “Hats off to Rob Mariano for taking his much-awaited personal victory on Survivor. After 10 years and four games, he’s finally achieved his win. Let this be a lesson to everyone that persistence pays off in big ways — go after your dreams with all your heart, and when you inevitably fail a few times, pick yourself up and try, try again,” she gushed, adding, “Rob worked hard for it this time. I’m very happy for the big guy! Congrats!”

At the time, they were the strongest players to have emerged from Survivor, according to host Jeff Probst, who, in a 2013 interview on Canadian TV, admitted they were “the toughest to beat… both are really smart. They’re great at social politics.”

Parvati Shallow and Boston Rob reunite on Survivor in 2020

Rob Mariano appears in Season 1 of Deal or No Deal Island

The Survivor legends reunited again in 2020’s Winners at War (along with Sandra Diaz-Twine), where the seasoned veterans took Fiji by storm, providing fans with a big dose of nostalgia. Though both Shallow and Mariano were voted out, their friendship lived on.

Mariano captioned a 2020 photo of the two: “Just two #BestFriends hanging out in a sunflower field on a Tuesday Afternoon!” adding the adorably dorky tag, #sunflowerfriendsforever.

In fact, they often take to Instagram to post about fun times they have together, like making pizzas, going to escape rooms on double dates (we’re sure their escape room game is strong), and hanging out with Survivor OG’s in The Hamptons. Even as they move on to conquer other reality show competitions in far-flung locals, we have a feeling they’ll remain Survivor BFFs — forever.

Tune in to Deal or No Deal Island when it premieres on Monday, February 26, 2024 with a 90-minute special at 9:30 p.m. Following this supersized first episode, subsequent episodes will air on its regularly scheduled timeslot starting on Monday, March 4 at 10 p.m.

New episodes of The Traitors Season 2 premiere every Thursday. Episodes are available to stream on Peacock alongside The Traitors: Postmortem aftershow.