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Rupert Boneham

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Rupert Boneham

S27 Rupert Boneham

S20 Rupert Boneham

S8 Rupert Boneham

S7 Rupert Boneham

Contestant Profile
Born: January 27, 1964 (1964-01-27) (age 53)
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Occupation: Troubled Teens Mentor
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Pearl Islands
Tribe(s): Drake
Finish: 8/16
Alliance(s): Drake Alliance
Challenge Wins: 9
Votes Against: 7
Days Lasted: 27
Tribe(s): Saboga
► Chapera
► Mogo Mogo
Chaboga Mogo
Finish: 4/18
Alliance(s): Chapera Alliance
Challenge Wins: 10
Votes Against: 4
Days Lasted: 37
Heroes vs. Villains
Tribe(s): Heroes
Yin Yang
Finish: 6/20
Alliance(s): Heroes Alliance
Challenge Wins: 7
Votes Against: 10
Days Lasted: 36
Blood vs. Water
Tribe(s): Galang
Finish: 20/20
Challenge Wins: 0
Votes Against: 0
Days Lasted: 4

Rupert Fredrick Boneham[1] is a contestant from Survivor: Pearl Islands, Survivor: All-Stars, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

With his trademark long beard, tie-dyed shirt, and signature victory cry, Rupert is one of the show's most popular castaways ever. He is one of only four contestants to compete four times on Survivor. He is also the only contestant to win $1,000,000 via public vote, an event which sparked much controversy.

In Pearl Islands, Rupert won the hearts of fans with his colorful personality, as he showcased a grizzled, piratical persona that melded well with the theme of the season. His strong physical and social showing led to his being perceived by his rivals as a threat, culminating in his blindside.

Despite his high profile, Rupert was able to penetrate deep into the game in both All-Stars and Heroes vs. Villains. However, these seasons also at times exposed shortcomings in his social game, as he was perceived as overbearing by some of his fellow castaways.

In Blood vs. Water, Rupert became notable for being the second four-time Survivor player and the only contestant to switch places with their loved one on Redemption Island. This move proved to be fatal, as he ended up being the first person eliminated that season despite never receiving a single vote.


Retrieved from

Born in Detroit, Rupert Boneham moved with his parents at a young age to Indiana where he eventually attended Haworth High School in Kokomo. He then moved to Texas to study nursing at Cisco Junior College and San Angelo University. Boneham currently resides in Indianapolis, where he works as a vocational and clinical mentor for troubled teens. He previously worked as a gravedigger and a bartender. His hobbies include scuba diving, camping and coin collecting. His favorite sport is racquetball. He describes himself as strong, smart and brave. He is most proud of becoming independent/self-employed and being able to care for his family while not having to live the "Nine-To-Five" world. He believes his competitive advantages on SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS are his ability to be a team player, hunter and gatherer, camper and all-around survivor. Boneham is married to his wife, Laura, and they have one daughter, Raya.[2]

Since finishing eighth on SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS, Rupert Boneham has been preparing for his second chance to become the Sole Survivor.

Born in Detroit, Rupert moved with his parents at a young age to Indiana where he eventually attended Haworth High School in Kokomo. He then moved to Texas to study nursing at Cisco Junior College and San Angelo University. He currently resides in Indianapolis, where he works as a vocational and clinical mentor for troubled teens. He also drives camera trucks for college football during the season. He previously worked as a gravedigger and a bartender. His hobbies include scuba diving, camping and coin collecting. His favorite sport is racquetball. He describes himself as strong, smart and brave. He is proudest of becoming independent/self-employed and being able to care for his family while not having to live in the nine-to-five world.

Rupert and his wife, Laura have one four-year-old daughter, Raya. His birth date is January 27, 1964.[3]

Rupert Boneham (45)
Tribe: Heroes
Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
Current Residence: Indianapolis, Ind.
Personal Claim To Fame: "Starting my charity."
Inspiration in Life: "Life is Good. Be You. Give Back."
Previous Finishes: Pearl Islands: 8th out, 2nd Jury Member; All-Stars: 15th Out, 6th Jury Member
Favorite Past Moment: "When Jeff Probst was writing a million dollar check on my back on my daughter's 5th birthday and having millions of fans help me win that."
Previous Survivor He Respects Most: Rudy Boesch (Borneo, All-Stars)
Previous Survivor He Respects Least: Jonny Fairplay (Pearl Islands, Micronesia)
Why Did He Come Back?: "I LOVE THE GAME!"[4]

Name (Age): Rupert Boneham (49)

Tribe Designation: Galang
Relationship to Significant Castaway: Laura's Husband
Previous Season: Survivor: Pearl Islands – 2nd jury member; Survivor: All-Stars – 6th jury member, won $1 million for fan favorite; Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains – 7th jury member
Current Residence: Indianapolis, Ind.
Occupation: Mentor for Troubled Teens

Why Did You Want to Return to Survivor and Play with Your Loved One? Survivor has been one of the most exciting experiences in my life. And to have the chance to share that with my wife is amazing. To have Laura out there on the island with me, we will have the chance to share one of the greatest adventures one can have. You can describe what Survivor is like, but until you've lived it, it is hard to understand. To be able to go out and play with my best friend will be a dream come true.[5]


Pearl Islands

Regarded as the likeable pirate, Rupert began his time on Survivor as part of the Drake Tribe. Upon arrival at the local fishing village to obtain supplies for their time at camp, he noticed that the rival Morgan tribe had left their raft, which contained their shoes, unattended.

Everything that was in their raft, I took. I've always said I'll lie, cheat, and steal to win this game. There's my stealing. I stole for the Drake.

–Rupert Boneham

Using these items to help boost their chances in securing more goods, Drake benefited from a more luxurious camp. After enjoying much success with their continuous victories, Boneham became the target of Burton Roberts and Jonny Fairplay after he fashioned a makeshift sarong, much to their enjoyment. Despite all this, Rupert became the resident fisherman, which kept him in good steed with the rest of his team he was never put up for the chopping block.

During the events of "Pick a Castaway... Any Castaway", Boneham was kidnapped by Morgan and joined his rivals at their camp. Surprised by his work ethic, Morgan briefly flourished and came together with Rupert as the catalyst - although when he was offered the opportunity to switch tribes he rejected the proposal and became a member of Drake once again. Although he did not obtain Tribal Immunity with his original side, Rupert remained in a solid position, but after the elimination of Trish Dunn, he was upset to learn that Fairplay had voted against him, and confronted the art dealer at camp.

You're starting this s***!

–Rupert (to Fairplay)

After the outburst, Boneham apologized for his actions and stated that the team will be stronger after these events. When The Outcasts returned to compete in a challenge to win the opportunity to return, Drake lost, with Boneham and his alliance voting out Shawn Cohen, and then having Burton return back to camp shortly afterwards.

Upon merging the next day, Rupert opted to name the tribe Balboa after a small pet snake which everybody accepted. Due to Lillian Morris originally becoming outcasted by the Morgan tribe, led by Andrew Savage, she became the crucial swing vote in destroying the Morgan voting bloc. He enjoyed the next six days under the protection of Individual Immunity, but it was short-lived, as Rupert was deemed too likeable and blindsided by the former Outcasts, the remaining Morgan women, and Fairplay, finishing as the second member of the jury.

Rupert voted for his friend and ally Sandra Diaz-Twine to win the game.

Voting History

Rupert's Voting History
Episode Rupert's
Voted Against
1 Drake Tribe Immune
2 Drake Tribe Immune
3 Drake Tribe Immune
4 Kidnapped by Morgan1
5 Michelle -
6 Trish Jon, Trish
7 Shawn -
8 Andrew Individual Immunity2
9 Ryan O. Individual Immunity
10 Darrah Burton, Darrah, Jon,
Lillian, Tijuana
Voted Off, Day 27
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In Pick a Castaway... Any Castaway, Rupert was kidnapped by the Morgan tribe, granting him immunity from Drake's Tribal Council.
^2 In What the...? (Part 2), Burton originally won immunity, but gave it to Rupert during Tribal Council.


Rupert returned as an All-Star in Survivor: All-Stars. He was placed on the yellow Saboga tribe. Early on Rupert made a strong alliance with Rudy Boesch, seeing him as a father figure. Both pairs of Jenna/Jerri and Ethan/Tina relied on Rupert's vote to vote off either Jenna or Tina at the ensuing Tribal Council. Both of them joined Jenna Lewis's alliance to get rid of the past winners Tina Wesson and Ethan Zohn. At the first Tribal Council on Day 3, their alliance successfully eliminated Tina. 

Saboga continued losing, attending the second Tribal Council. Although the original plan was to eliminate Ethan, the alliance targeted Rudy for his weakness and injured foot. Rupert pleaded to the alliance to vote out Ethan, refusing to vote for Rudy. Unfortunately for Rupert, the rest of the alliance and Ethan decided Rudy was too much of a burden and he was blindsided in a 3-2 vote.

Luckily for Rupert, Saboga remained safe when Mogo Mogo member Jenna Morasca quit the game on Day  9. On Day 12, Saboga finally won immunity keeping Rupert safe for another three days. After the Day 13 Reward Challenge Saboga was dissolved. Rupert and Jenna were sent to Chapera, while Jerri Manthey and Ethan joined Mogo Mogo. Rupert and Jenna quickly joined Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich's alliance.

While on Chapera Rupert did not have to visit Tribal Council, only losing a member on Day 17 when Susan Hawk quit. Rupert enjoyed safety throughout the pre-merge stage of the game. On Day 23, the tribes expected a merge but were shocked when Jeff revealed there was going to be a Tribe switch. Rupert along with the other members of  the Chapera tribe were all switched to Mogo Mogo.

After the two tribes merged into Chaboga Mogo Rupert stuck with Rob's alliance and eliminated Lex van den Berghe and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien in the first two Tribal Council's. On Day 30, after the intended target Shii Ann Huang won immunity Rob convinced his alliance to vote out Alicia Calaway. When Shii Ann failed to win the next immunity challenge, Rupert voted with his alliance and eliminated her.

At the final five, Tom Buchanan became the swing vote between Rupert and Jenna's alliance and Rob and Amber's alliance. Not wanting to force a tie, Rupert and the other three blindsided Tom. When Amber won the final four Immunity Challenge, Rob and Amber aimed to vote out Rupert, while Rupert aimed to oust Rob. Jenna decided to betray her original alliance with Rupert and he was sent to the jury in a 3-1 vote.

At the Final Tribal Council, Rupert asked the finalist what they did to make it to the final two and why he should vote for them. Amber said it was by playing the game day by day. She stated she had she many obstacles like the tribe switch and had never lost focus. Rob said that Rupert was a man of his word. Rupert chuckled and thanked the finalists. In the end, Rupert respected Rob's game play more than Amber's so he cast his jury vote for Rob to win the million.

At the finale of Survivor: All-Stars, viewers were given the opportunity in a fan vote dubbed, Survivor: America's Tribal Council, to select one of the eighteen contestants to win $1 Million. The finalists were Rupert Boneham, Colby Donaldson, Tom Buchanan, and Rob Mariano. Rupert won the $1 Million, receiving 85% of the 38 million votes cast. He spent his prize money on his family's debts, a college fund for his daughter, a new house for his family, and the creation of his charity, Rupert's Kids, which mentors troubled children.

Voting History

Rupert's Voting History
Episode Rupert's
Voted Against
1 Tina -
2 Ethan -
3 No Tribal Council
4 Saboga Tribe Immune
5 Chapera Tribe Immune
6 No Tribal Council
7 Chapera Tribe Immune
8 Chapera Tribe Immune
10 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
11 Lex -
12 Kathy -
13 Alicia Alicia
14 Shii Ann -
15 Tom -
16 Rob M. Amber, Jenna L.,
Rob M.
Voted Off, Day 37
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Rob M.

Heroes vs. Villains

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Voting History

Rupert's Voting History
Episode Rupert's
Voted Against
1 Sugar -
2 Stephenie -
3 Heroes Tribe Immune
4 Colby -
5 Tom -
6 James -
7 Heroes Tribe Immune
8 Heroes Tribe Immune
9 Heroes Tribe Immune
10 Jerri1 -
11 Parvati -
12 Candice Candice,
Danielle, Parvati
Danielle Danielle,
Parvati, Sandra
13 Sandra2 Jerri, Parvati,
Russell, Sandra
Voted Off, Day 36
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In Going Down in Flames, Parvati used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Jerri, negating Rupert's vote against her.
^2 In Loose Lips Sink Ships, Sandra used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Rupert's vote against her.

Blood vs. Water

Rupert arrived to play the game for a fourth time with his wife, Laura Boneham. After Laura was the first contestant voted out of the game on Day 1 due to her tribe trying to weaken Rupert, he decided to go to Redemption Island in place of his wife, while Laura took his place on the Galang Tribe. On Redemption Island with Candice Cody, Rupert attempted to preserve his energy by not doing any work, saying he had worked his butt off for his tribe in the past and that's why he didn't have energy for Individual Immunity Challenges. The two were joined by Marissa Peterson on the night of Day 3, and competed in their first duel on Day 4; Rupert was in second the majority of the way until his stack fell over near the end, allowing Marissa to catch up causing Rupert to come in last place in the duel and be the first person eliminated from the season, placing 20th.

Voting History

Rupert's Voting History
Episode Rupert's
Voted Against
1 Laura M. -
Switched, Day 11
1 On Redemption Island
Eliminated, Day 4

^1 In "Blood Is Thicker than Anything", Rupert was given the opportunity to switch with his wife, Laura B., after she was voted out from her tribe, which he accepted, sending himself to Redemption Island.


  • After being awarded one million dollars on Survivor: America's Tribal Council, Boneham used a large percentage of his winnings to establish Rupert's Kids, to help "at-risk teens" in his hometown. The organization joined with the City of Indianapolis to create the Park Adoption Program.
  • Shortly after his Survivor appearances, Boneham briefly appeared at promotional appearances for the Hardee's restaurant chain. In 2004 he appeared as a stable hand named "Paul" in The Big My Little Pony Episode, the third season premiere of the TV series Half & Half. In 2006, he appeared in the independent movie Open Mic'rs. He also made a cameo appearance as a homeless man in The Radford Reshuffle, the sixth season premiere of the show Yes, Dear.
SurvivorFamilyFeud Men

Rupert on Family Feud for charity.

Rupert The Price is Right

Rupert with his partner, Jessica, and Drew Carey.


Statistics of Rupert Boneham
Seasons competed: 4
Days lasted: 104
Challenge Wins
Tribal wins: 22
Individual wins: 4
Total wins: 26
Tribal Council
Total votes received: 21
Exile Island
Times exiled: N/A
Redemption Island
Duels won: 0
Days spent on Redemption Island: 3
  • Rupert is the first contestant from the state of Indiana. He was the only one until his wife, Laura participated in Blood vs. Water.
  • Rupert is the first contestant to be kidnapped by another tribe.
  • Rupert went the longest time without visiting Tribal Council in Pearl Islands. He, along with the rest of the Drake tribe, was immune from the first three Tribal Councils, which were all attended by the Morgan tribe, then when Drake attended their first Tribal Council, Rupert was kidnapped by the Morgan tribe, meaning he did not attend that Tribal Council.
  • Rupert had the most confessionals in Pearl Islands with 59. This makes him the first castaway to get the most confessionals of a season without reaching the season's finale episode.
  • Rupert was the first contestant from Pearl Islands to become a Returning Player. He was followed by Jon DaltonSandra Diaz-Twine, and Andrew Savage.
  • Rupert is the first contestant to compete in back-to-back seasons. He was followed by Bobby Jon Drinkard, Stephenie LaGrossa, Amanda Kimmel, James Clement, Russell Hantz, Malcolm Freberg, Shirin Oskooi, Joe Anglim, Zeke Smith, and Michaela Bradshaw.
  • On Survivor: All-Stars, Rupert, along with Jenna Lewis and Jerri Manthey became the first castaways to be on three tribes before the merge. They were followed by Andrew Savage in Survivor: Cambodia and Cirie Fields in Survivor: Game Changers. Rupert, Jenna, Andrew, and Cirie are the only castaways to be a member of four separate tribes with a season.
  • Rupert has won the most money out of the winners of the Fan Favorite Award, with $1,000,000. Subsequent fan favorite winners Cirie Fields and Ozzy Lusth won a car. Starting with James Clement in Survivor: China, all fan favorites earn $100,000.
  • Rupert is the first male castaway to have his torch snuffed three times and the second overall after Cirie Fields.
  • Rupert is the first of two contestants to be a member of the jury in three different seasons. The other contestant is Ozzy Lusth. Coincidentally, they have never competed on the same season.
  • Rupert is tied with Rob Mariano for highest number of tribe affiliations with nine.
  • Rupert is one of seven contestants to make the merge three times. The others are Parvati Shallow, Amanda Kimmel, Rob Mariano, Ozzy Lusth, Cirie Fields, and Andrea Boehlke.
  • Rupert, along with Jerri Manthey, Rob Mariano, and Tyson Apostol were the only returning players to never participate in a Survivor Auction, either not having one in their seasons or not lasting long enough to be in one.
  • Rupert is one of only five returning contestants to play more than 100 days playing the game, along Cirie FieldsParvati ShallowOzzy Lusth, and Rob Mariano. Rupert's 100th day was on his last day on Heroes vs. Villains (Day 36).
  • Rupert was on a blue tribe at one point in his first three seasons.
  • Rupert is so far the only player to vote for the same person in two different Final Tribal Councils. In both Pearl Islands and Heroes vs. Villains, he voted for Sandra Diaz-Twine to win.
  • Rupert, along with Colby Donaldson, Jerri Manthey, Tina Wesson, Rob Mariano, and Coach Wade are the only six castaways to compete in seasons with 16, 18 and 20 castaways.
  • Rupert lost 30 lbs. during his time on Heroes vs. Villains.[14]
  • Rupert is the first contestant to live at Redemption Island without getting voted off, due to switching with his wife.
  • He is the fourth castaway to place last in a season while never have a single vote cast against him (after Jonathan Libby and Wanda Shirk of Survivor: Palau, and Kourtney Moon of Survivor: One World).
  • He is the second person to intentionally send themselves to Redemption Island with the intention of eliminating the current inhabitant and returning to the game, following Ozzy Lusth from Survivor: South Pacific.
  • He is the fourth castaway to be eliminated not through medical evacuation or quitting, without receiving any votes cast against him during a season (after Paschal English, Jonathan Libby, and Wanda Shirk).
  • Rupert is the first contestant to be eliminated from the game on Day 4.


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