“Survivor” winner “Boston Rob” Mariano and monster truck racing champ Dennis Anderson apparently aren’t kidding when they say that in-fighting between the two of them turned out to be the toughest obstacle involved in their Oct. 2-debuting History Channel show, “Around the World in 80 Ways.” They can barely make it through a conference call without taking potshots at each other.
“Can you say ‘Pain in the a–‘ in print?” asks Rob at one point.
“Go to h—, Rob,” says Dennis at another.
It’s not a competition show. They’re co-hosts.
Dennis tells of a time when he was in a basket 300 feet above ground, suspended from a crane — and Rob convinced the crane operators to go have lunch, leaving him stranded, knowing heights bothered him.
“Rob ——s me off throughout the show,” he says. “He was constantly setting stakes — ‘Let’s race’ – when I wanted to focus on the ultimate objective. He will bend the rules and he thinks out of the box. He would find a step so simple, I would feel this internal anger I could barely choke down. But I was able to give him a taste of his own medicine along the way.”
“He’s talking like this because we’re calling from two different cities,” informs Rob, who is calling fromMassachusetts, while Dennis is inNorth Carolina.
“When you spend 24/7 with someone, you’re going to have ups and downs. I can see how I may have gotten to him at times,” Rob admits. “He got to me, too. But when we had good times, we really enjoyed it. Dennis had never gone out of the country before this trip. To go around the world on a 10 1/2 week adventure as your first international trip? I’m proud of him, how far he came from the beginning. Honestly, there were times I didn’t know if he would make it through the whole time. I’ll give the guy one thing: he can fix anything if it has an engine. We were in a situation inIndia, I don’t know how we would have gotten out of it if it hadn’t been for him.”
He says their relationship was really “love/hate.” Dennis agrees and says that sometimes Rob “reminded me of an aggravating little brother.”
“Around the World in 80 Ways” is both the title and the directive of this latest series from manly man TV producer Thom Beers (“Deadliest Catch,” “Ice Road Truckers,” etc.). The duo had to circumnavigate the globe using a fantastic array of different forms of transportation, never repeating. Rob and Dennis certainly had more than enough challenges without their internal battles.
They did zip lines through mountainous passes in Peru, got down from the roof of a Sao Paulo skyscraper on a window washer’s rig. They sailed rickety dugout boats of ancient style, rode camels and drove a Model T. They were nearly charged by hippos in Africa as their camera/production team looked on helplessly from a different boat. “Dennis got our boat going just in time,” says Rob. Rob water-skied — towed by a helicopter. That was Dennis’ idea. “It was supposed to be payback for something he did to me,” says Dennis. But as it turned out, Rob loved it.