Exclusive: Rupert Boneham talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (Part 2)
By Reality TV World staff, 09/27/2013
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 concluding portion of his interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Even though you saved Laura B. for the short-term, she did instantly become the only non-returning player in her tribe, which would seem to make her the obvious first vote target when they go to Tribal Council. Did you ever worry about that while you were on Redemption Island? Why or why not?
Rupert Boneham: Once I was out on Redemption Island, I didn't even really think about that while I was trading places, but then when I sat there just like that first person coming back, I was praying it wasn't going to be Laura. I know now that after sitting on Redemption Island for a few days, Laura is going to have a tough time.
That's what I told her when I whispered in her ear just before I left, "Get in there and try to be that pawn. Be that person that you -- just like we watched [Sandra Diaz-Twine] win the game twice by saying, 'I'll vote for anyone that's not me,' be that person now. You're a free agent, let them know."
Reality TV World: When your tribe was voting Candice Cody out and the other tribe was voting out your wife, did you suspect Redemption Island was going to be around again, or did you believe they were being voted completely out of the game at that point?
Rupert Boneham: Right at the start, I thought, "Oh my gosh, what are they doing?! Are they going to -- like they've done in the past -- the two people that were voted out, are they going to put them on a chopper and chopper them out to the island first and let them have a little bit of an advantage? What are they going to do?" I had no idea that they would have Redemption Island.
Reality TV World: After you lost the Redemption Island duel, you told Jeff Probst you had no regrets. Did you really mean that -- because given you lost the challenge to a couple of other women, that seemed to be the type of challenge where maybe your wife Laura might have been even better at it than you, I don't know.
Rupert Boneham: I'm sure Laura would've been better in that darn challenge, but you know, going into -- watching [John Cody] and Candice not trade and John saying, "Oh but you can go out there and beat Rupert," it's not just beating me on Redemption Island. You've got to beat the next eight, 10 people that come in there to even make it out of Redemption Island.
And then, just like we've seen so many times in the past, the person making it out of Redemption Island has not bonded with the tribe. They are a wild card coming out of a darn scenario that they are playing with a vengeance now, so they're put out of the game. I didn't want Laura to have to go through that.
Reality TV World: Do you think you still would have made the same decision to switch with Laura if you had known what the duel challenge was going to be and who she would be competing against before you had to make that decision?
Rupert Boneham: Even if there was no Redemption Island and I had to walk totally out of the game, I would've traded in a second with my wife.
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Reality TV World: There's been some criticism that this season seems to have way too many twists. As someone who first playedSurvivor back when there really weren't any twists like Redemption Island or even hidden Immunity Idols, I think, what are your thoughts on that?
Rupert Boneham: You know, I have to say I'm thrilled that I was able to play the game 10 years ago when it was a little more of a pure Survivor kind of game -- when they didn't give you two-three changes of clothes, when they didn't give you food right on the first day, when they didn't give you anything and you were thrown out there into a very hostile environment.
That wasSurvivor. Now, when they give you so much -- they give you an allowance of rice on your first day, they give you -- heck, the tribe had tools! Saws and hammers and nails and lashings and stuff. That would've been a reward for us that we would've loved, not just part of the game.
Reality TV World: It's much unlike the days when they used to just give you a machete to work with! (Laughs)
Rupert Boneham: When you give so much stuff, it changes the game from Survivor to a little more of the conniver-side of the game.
Rupert Boneham: Watching Gervase sit there and seeing Marissa, knowing that she was voted out because of what Gervase did, I kind of felt bad when Gervase didn't trade with her.
Reality TV World: I did too. (Laughs)
Rupert Boneham: Laura and I talked about this for weeks before we went out there. If we're put in a scenario where we have to decide and go against the other person -- if I have to go against Laura or Laura has to go against me -- we're not going to take it personal. [But] I told her, "No matter what, I am never writing your name down, so I would never go against you."
Reality TV World: Last week's episode showed you saying you were deliberately doing nothing on Redemption Island because you wanted to save your strength for the duels. Was that really a strategy, or did you just decide to enjoy yourself more this time on the show? And did you plan to adopt the same strategy if you had still been on the returnees tribe or take on the big provider role again you mentioned earlier?
Rupert Boneham: Now [being] on the tribe is a different game than Redemption Island. In Redemption Island, they say there's only one of us coming out of there. And I am not taking care of anyone else but me on Redemption Island. On the tribe, I would've been that worker bee that did everything, that let everybody sleep while I took care of us. But that's how you make it to the end too.
Reality TV World: What are your thoughts on the loved ones' plan to target Tyson Apostol by voting off Rachel Foulger? Do you think it will work and Tyson is the same type of guy like you, or do you think he's more like a John or a Gervase and will let Rachel fend for herself out there?
Rupert Boneham: You know, being able to try and weaken the other tribe by voting one out in your tribe, it's a very different concept in Survivor. It's going to be interesting to see, you know? We watch those coming attractions and we watched Tyson stand up -- is he going to walk out of that game and take Rachel's place and show? I hope so.
Above is the concluding portion of Rupert's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.