Known for their romantic connection during their time on Survivor, the self-proclaimed “dorks” hit it off as soon as they stepped foot on the beach, getting very close with while serving as members of the Soka tribe — the franchise was in need of a showmance!
After both of their eliminations, the duo reconvened at Ponderosa, where their relationship grew stronger. Frannie gushed about their reunion in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly:
“It was joyous. Kane [Fritzler], Brandon [Cottom], and Matt weren’t really sure what my energy was going to be when I came into Ponderosa, right? Sometimes people are devastated, but I ran up the boardwalk and I was like, ‘I’m giving everybody hugs! We’re here to have a good time!’ Of course, I literally ran like a slow-motion movie and jumped into Matt’s arms and we had the best hug, and then we talked until like 4 AM and it was so amazing. I mean, literally two dorky magnets. We cannot separate from each other. It’s such a beautiful thing.”
While things seemed to be smooth sailing for the couple immediately after their respective Survivor journeys came to a close, where do Matt and Frannie stand now, several months later?
Keep scrolling to find out for yourself…
Who is Matt Blankinship from Survivor 44?
Matt Blankinship, a “joyful, empathetic, and persistent” security software engineer from Albany, California, is known for having a Survivor journey that was less-than-ideal in comparison to his lover.
Starting out on the Soka Tribe, the 27-year-old was a member of the Soka Alliance, which carried him to the merge alongside Frannie. The Soka camp is where the duo began to hit it off, however, this ultimately led to his exit after an unexpected twist.
After the castaways were split in half for two separate tribal councils, Matt found himself at the mercy of the Ratu Alliance, who voted him out in order to break up the power couple that was beginning to form. Forgetting his bag back at camp with all of his belongings, Matt was sent to Ponderosa after being on the wrong side of a 3-2 vote — poor guy!
Who is Frannie Marin from Survivor 44?
Frannie Marin is a 23-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota, currently working as a research coordinator at a center for mindfulness and compassion, but doubling as a force to be reckoned with in the Survivor world.
Starting out as a member of the Soka tribe alongside Matt, the “curious, calculating, and zesty” castaway was a key number for the Soka Alliance post-merge, however, her strong social, strategic, and (most importantly) physical game caused her allies to distance themselves from her relatively early.
Winning three out of five challenges post-merge, it was just too risky having Frannie around, causing her to be voted out at the final eight in a 5-2-1 vote.
Are Matt Blankinship and Frannie Marin of Survivor 44 still together?
To the delight of Survivor fans everywhere, yes! Matt Blankinship and Frannie Marin’s to-die-for relationship continued beyond the beach, and they are seriously as cute as can be.
In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly this past April, published just a few hours after Matt’s gut-wrenching elimination, the Survivor 44 castaway revealed where his relationship stood with Frannie:
“We’re still dating. 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, 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, because it’s a terrible strategy, but we literally couldn’t help it… We’re still going strong. We did get Ethiopian food. We’re planning that road trip. We’re making it happen.”
Similarly, after Frannie’s devastating elimination one month later, she gushed about Matt in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly as well, revealing how things have been progressing between them post-Survivor:
“We’re doing long distance, but Matt is such a great guy. He’s so kind, he’s so patient, and he’s the best person to do long distance with. I feel like we just communicate so well, and we’re making it work. Also, I’m considering making a little cross-country move in the near future, but don’t tell anyone.”
According to their respective Instagram profiles, this “cross-country move” has not occurred just yet, but things seem to be smooth sailing for the happy couple, grabbing some donuts together in August, hitting the Minnesota State Fair together in September (alongside Carolyn Wiger and Carson Garrett), and more.
The duo even celebrated their one-year anniversary on June 27! Frannie shared a heartfelt Instagram post to commemorate their lovey-dovey relationship, and it might have had us shedding a few tears:
“I’m not wild about anniversaries, but I am wild about these pictures that I was too nervous to post while season 44 was airing, so here’s to one beautiful year with this joyful, patient, loving man 💛 Pls enjoy this blurb from my journal, written on day 1 of Survivor pre-game, days before Matt and I ever exchanged a word: ‘I have already developed a mild affinity for [Matt]. This is problematic as I want to be best friends with him and will likely a) trust everything he says and b) tell him every thought in my head. Halt, emotional being! Enough with reaching your wretched tendrils! Steel yourself!’”
With the way things are going, Matt and Frannie might become the next Rob and Amber Mariano — how sweet would that be?
Survivor 45 will premiere on CBS on September 27, followed by weekly episodes from 8pm to 9:30pm ET/PT every Wednesday. With unprecedented 90-minute episodes, this season is sure to have some surprises in store…