It took him four tries, but "Boston Rob" Mariano finally earned the title "Sole Survivor."
The 35-year-old outwitted, outplayed and outlasted 17 other players to win the $1 million prize on "Survivor: Redemption Island." He also won $100,000 after being named "Sprint's Player of the Season."
So dominant was Mariano's game play that host Jeff Probst marveled, "In 22 seasons, that's as close to a perfect game as anybody has ever played." With three previous "Survivor" seasons under his belt, Mariano carefully schemed his way over the course of 39 days. He blindsided his toughest rivals and ended up taking two non-threats -- naive Natalie Tenerelli and unpopular Phillip Sheppard -- to the final two. Sheppard only received one vote from the final jury, and it quickly became apparent that Mariano would win.
After Probst read the winning vote, Mariano thanked his competitors and quickly made his way into the studio audience to his wife Amber Mariano (nee Brkich), herself a "Survivor" winner, and their two daughters Lucia Rose and Carina Rose.
Mariano and his wife weren't the only happy couple at the live finale. Contestant David Murphy proposed to his girlfriend Carolina Eastwood, also a former "Survivor" player, towards the end of the show. A stunned Eastwood said yes.
But there was no doubt that the night belonged to Mariano. With 117 days total over four seasons, Mariano has played "Survivor" longer than any other contestant. A reality-TV regular -- he also appeared on "The Amazing Race" twice -- Mariano seemed to imply that those days were over and he wanted to focus on parenting.
At the end of the show, Probst revealed that the "Redemption Island" twist would continue in the show's 23rd season, debuting this fall. "Survivor: South Pacific" will feature two former "Survivor" players who will compete against a slew of new castaways for the $1 million prize.