Exclusive: Rupert Boneham talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 09/26/2013
Survivor: Blood vs. Water eliminated returning castaway Rupert Boneham from the game after he lost the season's first Redemption Island duel to Marissa Peterson and Candice Cody during Wednesday night's second episode of the CBS reality series' 27th edition.
Rupert -- a 49-year-old mentor for troubled teens from Indianapolis, IN who previously competed on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: All-Stars -- had selflessly opted to switch places with his wife Laura Boneham on Redemption Island at the very beginning of the game.
Laura B. is still in the game however, playing with the returning castaways on the Galang tribe in the hopes of winning Survivor: Blood vs. Water's million dollar prize.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Rupert talked about his Survivor: Blood vs. Water experience and unfortunate early ouster from the game. Below is the first half of his interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you.
Rupert Boneham: Yeahhh, that's okay! My wife's still out there. I've still got a pony in the race!
Reality TV World: So I guess I wanted to start with the beginning. Last week's premiere showed you saying you thought the loved ones tribe had targeted your wife Laura at that Day 1 vote because they were scared of you and felt they needed to stop you. Did you really feel that way and do you think that was the reason they voted her off, or was that just the editing?
Rupert Boneham: You know, honestly, I really believe that there was, on that tribe, not everybody even knew everybody's name, but everyone knew Laura's name. I mean, they've seen her come out and play Survivorwith me a few times in the loved ones visit. So it was a combination, I think, of everyone knowing her name and putting a strike against me.
Reality TV World: Part of the reason I'm asking if you really felt she was just voted off because of you is because, even though she's only 44, Laura was both the oldest member of her tribe and a woman -- and historically those tend to be two of the common characteristics of the castaways Survivor tribes choose to vote off first.
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Reality TV World: But it sounds like you don't think that played any role in this case? That it just really came down to her relationship with you?
Rupert Boneham: I think it was honestly, I think it was just that she was my wife, you know? Because even though she is 44-years-old, she doesn't look it. She's young at heart. And honestly, the tribe would've done great if they would've kept her. She's going to be one of the best swimmers out there. I already know she's one of the best runners out there, and she's great at puzzles.
Reality TV World: There are a couple of former Survivor winners on the returnees tribe and, while you've played the game three times and you did win [Survivor: All-Stars' million-dollar] fan vote, you never actually won the game itself. So, why do you think the loved-ones tribe would've come after you and deemed you more of a threat than say, Aras Baskauskas or Tina Wesson, who did win?
Rupert Boneham: You know, I don't know exactly. I had to keep going back to not only am I aSurvivor winner, but I'm one of the more popular players, and we're out there all as very big Type A personalities. For some of us, it's the goal to be the only leader out there. That's one of the reasons I'm targeted so often, is I do play that lead role without even thinking about it. I fall into that lead role.
Now, I don't know exactly -- I would have loved to be that little fly on the wall, hearing what her tribe was talking about and if they did actually have a reason for targeting Laura, or if it was just, "We know her name. Write it down."
Reality TV World: Why did your own tribe opt to vote [Candice Cody] out of the game? Did your tribe have an opportunity to discuss it at all before you wrote it down? What happened there?
Rupert Boneham: Well in the show, we didn't see the few minutes it took to pass out all the parchments and pass everything out. But in our tribe, I had Candice and [Tyson Apostol] close to me. And I looked right at them and said, "[Laura Morett]. We've got to get Laura out. There's only room for one Laura in the darn game!"
Unfortunately, the others were on the other side of me all saying, "Candice." So, yeah, unfortunately for Candice, I would have -- honestly, I think the tribe would've been better off -- and the guys on the tribe of the returning players would've been better off -- if they would've voted Laura out of the game, Laura M. She was the one that played the game before that wanted all the women that did the "women's power"-kind of play.
Reality TV World: Jeff Probst has acknowledged Candice and John Cody were alternates and weren't even supposed to be part of the season's cast. They were last-minute replacements for "RC" Roberta Saint-Amour and her dad after they had to pull them due to a medical issue. Do you think that played any role in why your tribe of returnees targeted Candice? I mean at this point, it's not much of a secret that some returning Survivor players make pre-game alliances with one another or already have strong relationships built from time outside of the game.
Rupert Boneham: When John and Candice were used, when they used the alternates -- because every time that Survivor is played, there are alternates because you never know what the heck's going to happen just before the game, and you want to make sure you've got enough people to play. In this scenario with John and Candice being alternates, I think that just gave my tribe another reason.
Now, remember, we're all returning players. We saw how every one of us played, the same reason that I voted for Laura M., I think most of my tribe voted for Candice because on [Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains], they saw her be wishy-washy. They saw her float back and forth. She can't always be trusted.
Reality TV World: I was actually going to ask about that as well, Candice did develop a reputation for betraying her alliances on her first two seasons of Survivor. It sounds like you didn't have much of a chance to discuss it with your fellow castaways, but you think that played a big role in why they targeted her?
Rupert Boneham: I think so. I would say, honestly, yes. When I looked at Tyson and Candice, I heard them saying, "Candice," behind me. But I was not going to look right at Candice and say, "Candice." That's why I tried to flip my tribe around and just put Laura M. out first. But I knew Candice was going.
Reality TV World: Had you formed any pre-game alliances with any of the other returning castaways, or who had you planned on allying yourself with if you hadn't suddenly had the Redemption Island monkey wrench thrown into things?
Rupert Boneham: With having returning players, we all are friends, and it's tough sometimes. But I had a strong line that I said to everyone before the game, "We don't even know what tribe we're going to be on, who's tribe we're going to be on, who we're going to be playing with. Why should we try to make alliances before the game starts?" I never do. I go out there and...
Reality TV World: Rupert, you've played the game four times. You actually believe that?! (Laughs)
Rupert Boneham: Oh God yeah. (Laughs) When I looked at Tyson when we were all just standing there, I said, "Okay, you and I are on the same tribe. Now, we're going to start talking. Don't change the plan!" Because that's how he got out the first time in Heroes vs. Villains. He changed the plan. I waited until I was out there to see who I am playing with.
One of the reasons why my tribe didn't want me to leave was I am one of those players that will go out there and make the shelter, build the fire, gather the wood, go fishing, collect all the food, clean the food, cook the food, and wake you up to eat it. I don't need to make pre-alliance alliances. I'll make them as soon as I get out there.
Above is the first half of Rupert's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.