Rob Mariano punches potential Tontine contestant in the head

Rob Mariano hasn’t officially begun to host Tontine yet, and already he’s making hosting history: He punched a potential contestant in the head. Twice.

The drama was caught on tape and took place at a casting call for the new show, which promises a $10 million prize that will be funded by the contestants’ life savings. It’s not clear exactly what happened, especially because the audio is bad, but it’s clear the guy pissed Rob off.

At the San Diego auditions, someone stands between Boston Rob and a man, who Rob tells to “walk away” several times. Then the man shoves Rob, who immediately punches the guy in the head, followed by another punch to the head and a shove. The YouTube video’s title says Rob “Decks [a] Heckler,” and explains that the guy is “in his face.”

Ryan Seacrest, Phil Keoghan, Jeff Probst, and Julie Chen, you’d better guard your jobs, because you certainly didn’t think to be the first host to deck one of your contestants. And potential Tontine players, you have been warned. Here’s the video:

Boston Rob Decks Heckler [YouTube]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.