“Let’s Not Be Cute About It” – Castaways must find the key to unlock a new twist in the game. Then, one castaway finds themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, on SURVIVOR, Wednesday, April 12 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured (L-R): Frannie Marin. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Survivor Stars Matt Blankinship And Frannie Marin Are Dating

Season 44 of Survivor has given birth to a new romance. An actual romance—not just a showmance! On the Soka tribe, fellow nerds Frannie Marin and Matt Blankinship hit it off from the jump. Their fellow Survivor competitors noticed their bond. It certainly put a target on their back as a “power couple” in the game.

Sadly, it wouldn’t be an issue for long. Matt’s fortunes tumbled when the immunity challenge divided the competitors into two teams. Damn you and your surprises, Jeff Probst! Frannie and Matt were on opposing teams. The person who lasted the longest from each team won individual immunity, and the last person also won it for their entire team.

Frannie won individual immunity for herself. If she dropped the ball (quite literally) that she was balancing, she would keep Matt’s team from going to Tribal Council. If she kept competing and won, then Matt would probably be banished to the jury. You guessed it—Frannie went for it and slayed that challenge.

Oh, and the security software engineer left his bag, which contained his “Shot in the Dark” advantage, at camp. Oops! In fairness to Matt, he had no way of knowing that he wouldn’t be returning to camp before the next Tribal Council.

Matt recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his time on Survivor and gave an update on his relationship with Frannie. Matt reflected on his decision not to bring his bag. “For the record, I was not the only one who left their bag. I was the only one for whom it mattered, but I was not the only one who was slipping up in that way. I’m kicking myself for that one,” he explained. Ouch!

So, how did he feel when Frannie kept competing instead of ensuring his safety in the game? Matt stated, “I’m genuinely so proud of her for winning the immunity and setting the tone in this way. I don’t fault her at all for wanting to compete and wanting to win.”

He continued, “I mean, okay, I was hoping that I would be safe in that moment. It was a complicated feeling for me as well, because actually — and I don’t think they showed this in the episode — but when Brandon [Cottom] dropped the ball, I had a moment of joy, actually. I was so excited for Frannie. I was putting myself in her shoes, being like, ‘I’ve won the challenge!’”

He added, “And then I had a turnaround of like, ‘Oh s—. Now I’m screwed.’ The emotional response came before the logical response.”

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Although his stint on Survivor may have ended abruptly, Matt walked away with the real prize- a love connection! Matt and Frannie are dating in real life. I always root for love!

“We’re still going strong. Obviously, there is so much chemistry there. We’re two dorky magnets. We couldn’t stay away from each other,” Matt remarked. “And we knew the whole time. I think of myself as a very logical, smart guy. The one thing you come into Survivor and not do is get into a showmance ’cause it’s a terrible strategy, but we literally couldn’t help it. So, yeah, we’re still going strong. We did get Ethiopian food. We’re planning that road trip. We’re making it happen.”

Still, finding a deep romantic connection on Survivor is rare. “You prepare for this game, but you could never prepare for that, right? One of the things I told myself going out there was to just sort of embrace whatever the experience had for me. I think I really did that.” But his feelings for Frannie were too strong to ignore.

“For me, that connection is so strong. That relationship with me and Frannie is so beautiful and so pure. It would be a disservice to me and a disservice to her to not allow that to flourish, regardless of game, you know? I’m the real winner of Survivor 44,” Matt said.

Viewers will have to wait and see how far Frannie makes it in the game. At least the duo can still gaze longingly at each other during Tribal Council. And who knows? Maybe this couple will follow in the footsteps of Survivor legend Boston Robalso known as Rob Mariano and his now wife, Amber Mariano. Once in a while, love does triumph on this show.


[Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved]