Exclusive: Laura Boneham talks about 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'
By Reality TV World staff, 11/07/2013
Survivor: Blood vs. Water eliminated "loved one" Laura Boneham from the game after she lost the season's seventh Redemption Island duel just before the merge during Wednesday night's eighth episode of the CBS reality series' 27th edition.
Laura, a 44-year-old newbie player and merchandiser from Indianapolis, IN, lost the duel to returning player Laura Morett, a 43-year-old construction company co-owner from Salem, OR. For winning the duel, Laura M. got to re-enter the game just as the tribes were merging. Laura M. had also defeated John Cody in the duel.
Laura B.'s husband, three-time returning castaway Rupert Boneham, selflessly switched places with Laura B. -- whom the "loved ones" tribe voted out on Day 1 -- on Redemption Island so she could stay in the game. However, she had to compete in the tribe of returnees due to the switch. Laura B. wasn't voted out of her tribe until after a tribal swap when everyone got mixed up.
As for Rupert, he ended up losing the game's first duel and got eliminated from the season very early on.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Laura talked about Survivor: Blood vs. Water experience. Below is what she had to say. Check back with us soon for John Cody's elimination interview.
Reality TV World: The episode in which you were voted off had made it look like you got voted off because Tina Wesson, Monica Culpepper and Katie Collins were upset that you told Vytas Baskauskas he was going to be going home next without discussing it with them first and that basically meant they couldn't trust you. Do you believe that was really why they voted you off or no?
Laura Boneham: Yes and no. I believe they were already looking forward to the alliance of the original five Galang, and I didn't have any part in that alliance.
So, you know, I think they kind of needed an excuse and that was it. I did discuss it with Tina and she kept her mouth quiet during Tribal Council, acting like she didn't even know. So yeah, you know, I believe that was the excuse to get me out of the game. It was the easiest thing to do.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I asked you that because Katie was tweeting last week she was trying not to laugh when you were telling Vytas he was going home because she already knew -- or was close to being certain -- you were actually the one going home.
Laura Boneham: Strategy-wise, I think it was a huge mistake on their part, you know? Vytas and [his brother Aras Baskauskas], you know, I don't know! It happens.
Reality TV World: Do you think the tribal swap ended up helping you, hurting you, or not making any difference at all? Like do you think you would have lasted any longer in the game if you had remained on the tribe of returning players?
Laura Boneham: You know, I think I maybe would've played a little more social strategic game being with the newbies, because I was a little intimidated, to be honest with you, by the veterans. I don't know. I maybe would have made it just as far, if not farther, with the newbies, because I'm a great worker, I'm an outdoor girl.
I think I could've done well with the newbies and probably would have stepped up my social game a little more, you know, been more comfortable with those people because we were all on the same playing field. We all had never played the game before.
Reality TV World: Last week's episode showed Kat Edorsson arriving on Redemption Island and saying something that was censored out but clearly seemed to be something negative about your social skills. What were your thoughts on that?
Laura Boneham: Kat freaking attacked everybody out there. She had something negative to say about everybody, you know? Everybody can say what they want. I am who I am, and I felt like I was friends with everybody out there. Kat and I had our little spiffs.
She attacked my age, you know, I'm old enough to be her mother. So she can say what she wants, but I'm a 45-year-old grown up and I had a good time out there. I played the best social game I knew, and everybody can have their opinion. I don't necessarily have to agree with it.
Reality TV World: The episodes seemed to show you talking about having an awareness that given your family upbringing and how you grew up on a farm and things like that, your social skills might be weakness you had to overcome. Can you talk about that a little bit more in general, and was that something you had already gone into the game believing or only something you kind of came to believe once the game began?
Laura Boneham: No, I mean, I was a very shy girl. We lived out in the country. We didn't have a lot of neighbors, you know, I didn't grow up with a neighborhood of kids running around. So I mean, I was involved in girl scouts and swimming and had a social calendar, but I was kind of a quiet, shy girl.
And going into Survivor, I'm still that quiet, shy girl, going outside my comfort zone to play this social game. So it was huge for me to get out there and do this, and a big challenge, and I'm proud of myself.
I had the opportunity -- I couldn't pass it up. I couldn't say, "No," to playingSurvivor. I mean, it was a great experience and you got the haters and the doubters and the people that, you know, "I could've done better," or, "Why would she be out there?" And you know, I did the best I could do and I feel good about how I played and who I am.
Reality TV World: Do you think Rupert made the right move switching with you after your tribe voted you out on Day 1, or do you think he should have stayed in his tribe?
Laura Boneham: Financially, he probably made the wrong move. Emotionally and for the growth of our marriage, he made a very good move. (Laughs) So you know, we have to live together. He gave me a chance to play the game and he's played it three times, and he wanted to give me the ultimate gift of getting to play Survivor.
Reality TV World: Why do you think you were the one that the other "loved ones" decided to vote off immediately?
Laura Boneham: I definitely think they were after Rupert. They can weaken him by taking away his loved one. So it's a game of Blood vs. Water, so that's what it was about. It was about weakening Rupert.
Reality TV World: Some people have pointed out that while you're only in your 40s, you were the oldest member in your tribe and a woman, and those do tend to be the profile of the people who tend to get voted off first. You don't think that played any role, that it was really strictly just a Rupert thing?
Laura Boneham: No, I don't think so, because I don't know. Maybe it was because I was an older woman, but I don't think so. Maybe it was because they knew my name, but I do think it was strategy and weakening Rupert's game.
Reality TV World: Had you ever applied forSurvivor on your own, or was it something you had just never been interested in, or you didn't think you'd be eligible?
Laura Boneham: When Rupert signed up forSurvivor, we signed paperwork that says immediate family is not eligible to play Survivor. So I never thought I would be able to play. It's a dream of mine to play because it's a cool game and I know Rupert loves it. And everybody that plays wants to go back!
So what's this mystique of Survivor? Well, you know, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I had a great adventure. It was a lot of fun and it helped me grow as a person.
Reality TV World: So how did you end up getting cast on the show? Was it something where the producers were initially interested in bringing Rupert back and then asked him for a list of "loved ones" possibilities and you were on that list, or was it a situation where they were already familiar with you and that played a role in why they initially wanted Rupert back? How did all of that happen?
Laura Boneham: Actually, they called Rupert and let him know that they were playing familySurvivor and would he submit some names. And my smart, wonderful husband did not put my name down at first because he wanted it to be my idea. He did not want me to hold a grudge against him or anything for getting myself involved in this game and then having it go wrong and me being able to blame him.
So he was very smart in that he didn't turn in my name at first, and then I shortly after them deciding whom they were maybe going to pick, I'm like, "Well, does Survivor want me? Honey, why aren't you putting my name in?" And he said, "Well, I didn't know if you wanted to play." So he was testing me to see if I really wanted to do the game, and then he put my name in and there I was!
Reality TV World: You already mentioned you'd love the chance to play Survivoragain. Would you be willing to play without Rupert on your own or just strictly if you had another chance to play with your husband?
Laura Boneham: Oh I'd play either way. I mean, yeah, I've had a dream of -- we didn't get our time to play together on the island, so I would love to play with him. That would be my first choice. But I would play either way.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for John Cody's elimination interview.