Survivor's Matt Blankinship Gushes About Finding 'Fire' with Girlfriend Frannie Marin on Season 44

The reality TV competitors revealed they were officially dating back in April

Matt Blankinship and Frannie Marin from SURVIVOR Season 44
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS (2)

Love is in the air after Survivor 44!

Matt Blankinship and Frannie Marin got candid about their relationship during Wednesday's finale at the final Tribal Council, even revealing their nickname of "Mannie."

"Jeff, a showmance has occurred," Blankinship, 28, told host Jeff Probst. "From day one, we land on the beach and there is like an uncanny amount of chemistry here. We have more chemistry than a pharmaceutical lab."

"And we are just bouncing off each other, like so much emotion here, but we're also playing this game," he continued. "We're like, 'Oh no, we can't be doing this. We can't play this game. We got to like make ourselves a little subtle, subtlety is not our forte. Everyone here was like, 'Matt and Frannie, they're so tight.'"

"But man, it was like the spark became a fire. Like, so fast, so quick. We're just in each other's face all the time and we cannot be separated," said Blankinship. "It's only a matter of time."

Marin, 24, then confirmed that the duo had already made plans to hang out after the show,

She also noted how her instant connection with Blankinship simultaneously improved and proved challenging for her Survivor strategy. "Coming into this game — my mom loves the show, [and] she sat down and she wrote a 10-step plan for 'How Frannie can win Survivor' ... one of them was 'Find a Ride-or-Die.' She was like, 'Find a ride-or-die, I don't know if you can in this new era of Survivor, it's so hard to trust somebody. But if you can, do it.'"

Frannie Marin, Danny Massa, and Matt Blankinship
Robert Voets/CBS

"Day one, we're sitting in folded palm fronds and I'm like, 'Oh my God, this is somebody who I feel like I can trust unequivocally," she recalled.

"I don't know what it is about you, pretty little face," she said, turning to Blankinship, "but I was like, There's no doubt in my mind he's going to tell me the truth. I can't lose that in this game."

Marin revealed that, at first, she saw Blankinship as an "alliance member" and "best friend," but eventually things took a turn.

The group then came together and agreed that they were happy for the pair, with all having nice things to share about the newfound romance.

While Yamil "Yam Yam" Arocho took home the season's $1 million prize, it seems Marin and Blankinship took home something else!

More than a month has passed since the Survivor stars revealed they have officially been dating, with Blankinship confirming their status in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"We're still dating," he told the outlet, confirming their relationship. "We're still going strong."

Frannie Marin, Matt Blankinship, Kane Fritzler, Brandon Cottom, and Jeff Probst.
Robert Voets/CBS

The pair admitted to crushing on the other in confessionals during the season, but still kept things friendly as to not be seen as a power couple in the game. "I think of myself as a very logical, smart guy," Blankinship said. "The one thing you come into Survivor and not do, is get into a showmance 'cause it's a terrible strategy."

He elaborated on their "chemistry" during his chat with EW, calling them "two dorky magnets" and their connection "so strong."

"It's the last thing I expected," he said. "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. Go out there with an open mind and just let myself feel the things I was feeling and express them and let myself be whatever, whoever I am in that moment."

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Survivor can be streamed in full on Paramount+.

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