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Troubled Teens Mentor
Indianapolis, IN


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 four-year-old daughter, Raya. His birth date is January 27, 1964.

Photo, Biography, and Favorites courtesy CBS



Colors: Red
Scents: Vanilla
Flowers: Rose
Board Games: Monopoly
Video Games: Pac-Man
Sports to Play: Racquetball
Sports Teams: No favorite
Outdoor Activities: Fishing
TV Shows: The Simpsons
Movies: Braveheart
Actors: Mel Gibson
Actresses: Goldie Hawn
Music: Classic Rock
Magazines: Playboy
Books/Authors: Books about reptiles
Cereals: Life, Frosted Mini-Wheats
Fruits: Apple, orange
Snack Foods: Ruffles, plain potato chips
Cookies: Oatmeal Raisin
Candy Bars: Hershey's
Alcoholic Drinks: Bailey's Irish cream & coffee
Non-Alcoholic: 2% cow milk


Photos courtesy Survivor Phoenix,
, and my own bad self screen captures

Let us discuss Rupert Boneham

(Note: As with all of my Survivor profiles, this was written prior to the series starting. In other words, I am totally making all this stuff up as if I actually have a clue. I do not in any way know any of these survivors. However, I've received many emails from past Survivors complimenting me on my insight. So, although I make this crap up, but I'm pretty good at what I do.

HOWEVER, I've decided to add comments from articles I've written in an attempt to provide more insight into this very interesting pirate of a man.)

Pre-Series Profile
Rupert is a simple man. What you see is what you get. You ask him a question and he gives you an answer. It requires no thought on his part. He knows what he likes, what he doesn't like, and he'll tell you either way without hesitation.

Does he have to ponder the deeper things in life? No. Does he desire the latest whatever? Not at all.

And his favorites say the same thing. His favorite flower: Rose. Did he feel as though he needed to come up with some midly obscure plant to prove him sensitive, creative, and flower-purchasing? Nope. He said, and he buys, the first thing that comes to mind - the least thought-requiring. Roses. Mini-Wheats. Potato chips. Monopoly.

Pac-Man: He played video games only sort of when they first came out during his high school days. Has he played them much since? Nope. But he liked Pac-Man, so without hesitation, that's what he answered. Outdoor activity? Fishing, of course. I wasn't sure about the TV show, but when I saw The Simpsons it made perfect sense.

Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn, Classic Rock, Hershey's, Ruffles, Apple, Orange... I feel like I'm watching Family Fued while Rupert continually gives the typical #1 response for men in their late 30s and 40s who live in the Midwest:
Name an actress: Goldie Hawn
Style of music: Classic rock
Candy bar: Hershey's
Dip Chip: Ruffles
Fruit: Apple
Magazine: Playboy


It's like he answered these questions while watching TV. Not an ounce of extra thought was required.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: 2% cow milk. Notice how specific he became when it came to his milk. Not just milk, but 2%. Not just 2% milk, but COW milk. Now we understand what's important to him. He was brought up with the belief that he should drink his milk, that it's good for bones and teeth and will help you grow and all that. (This is a fallacy, by the way. America has been duped by a wonderful ad campaign.) And so he insists on drinking his milk and probably has a glass with every meal.

Former Marquesas Survivor John Carroll has a radio show in Omaha, Nebraska. (Apparently he is hilarious and a pure joy to listen to.) He calls Rupert "Hagrid" (from Harry Potter, for those who've lived under a rock) and this is something I wish I'd thought of. What a perfect nickname.

There's speculation that despite Rupert's popularity he won't last long on the island. I hope this is wrong, so we'll just have to see.

Post-Eviction Commentary
My oh my! What an impact this hurly-burly hairy raspy-pirate-voice of a man has made.

The New York Post reported that Survivor fans flooded the CBS switchboard after Rupert was booted off the show. "CBS insiders say over 3,100 calls were logged to the network - with over 2,200 of those from viewers expressing their dismay at Rupert's banishment. The response to Rupert's expulsion from Survivor was the single-largest outpouring of immediate fan angst in the show's history."

From day 1, it seemed as though this Survivor could easily have been retitled, The Rupert Show. Recall from Episode 2...

The Rupert Show continues as we see him bouncing up and down in the trees along with brief glimpses of his tidy-whities beneath his floral skirt. It's easy to see why Big Hairy Man is so popular when he says things like, "I am loving life and loving this place and loving the position I'm in. I am in paradise. What more do I want? I'm living in a bounty of food. I've got beautiful souls around me. And I've got some help being strong. Aargh."

(That was a mellower AARGH! than usual because he was truly appreciating his paradise. Pirates are not always about pillaging, you know. They can love life. They can appreciate paradise. They can flaunt their tidy-whities.)

Also recall from that episode when his tribe was trying to decide what they should loot from the other tribe. Several wanted to take the one thing that would hurt them the most - the tarp. Rupert's response...

"Honestly, we don't need to hurt them."

That says so much about a person, doesn't it?

But let's back up a bit to the first episode when Rupert chose function over fashion.

The pain of having to wear the same clothes day-in-and-day-out is already setting in. Big-Hairy man says in his pirate-raspy voice, "Man, I got to cut these damn pants off. I'm wearing my fancy... My dress jeans." (I giggle because I know a lot of people from Missouri who have a pair of dress jeans.) "The suckers were THICK and HARD and heavy. Them pants killed my crotch. Where nice wet denim RUBS FOR A DAY AND A HALF and just starts EATING that skin away. AARGH!!"

(In case you haven't figured it out, anytime I capitalize Big-Hairy Man's words, you must read them in that raspy, intense pirate voice because that's exactly how he says it.)

The tribe started cutting up all their clothing -- making shorts out of the Armani pants, cutting the dresses shorter and making other dresses from the material.

And once again, the guy whom the camera just can't get enough of, Big-Hairy Man, proves that he is truly confident in his masculinity as he quickly dons a skirt, "My god, my thighs feel so much better. I got the little teasing and laughing with the girls as we made it, and I put it on and I looked really silly... DONE. I'm wearing a dress."

And I must admit that if it were socially acceptable, I'd wear dresses all the time. They look so much more comfortable and free than having to wear pants. Freedom, baby! That's what it's all about.

And here's something from my Episode 4 column. The essence and beauty of Rupert...

What's going to happen to Survivor Pearl Islands when Rupert gets booted? Being that it seems as though each episode has been centered around this hurly-burly raspy voice of a man, it will leave the series rather empty. The show just won't be the same without him.

And I love it.

I love it because Rupert is Rupert. He's not young and beautiful. He's not from an Ivy League school. He's not a Navy Seal. He has neither six-pack abs nor a tan. He hasn't traveled the world and he could give a hoot which wine goes best with red meat.

But there's intensity and passion in his eyes and in his voice. He understands the bigger picture and he appreciates the world around him. He knows good-hearted people and he lives the principle of what goes around comes around.

I think Rupert's popularity is a huge statement to Hollywood, to politics, to the music industry, to those who decide what's "In" and what's "Out."

People like beauty; there's no denying this. But people like passion, truth, and intensity more. As soon as people get wind that there's a politician who speaks from the hip and isn't afraid to offend people with what s/he believes in, this person's popularity soars. How long will it take for the music industry to back a non-beautiful, incredibly talented artist? When it happens, there will be a massive "re-awakening" of people buying music, people seeking music of substance.

When will Hollywood start showing us people who have intensity first and looks last? When will the entertainment industry realize, as Frank Zappa once stated, "There are a lot more of us ugly people out there."

Rupert also screams into our collective unconscious something else that's mildly related: You don't have to be pretty or super smart or have a list of credentials on the resume in order to be gifted, talented, and generally loved by the world populace. And you don't need someone else's approval to do that which is good.

Speak your mind, have passion and intensity, do what's right, work hard, appreciate your world, get angry, scream with joy, smile when something tickles you, look around and soak in the miracle of life.

Thanks, Rupert, for reminding us of all these nifty things.

It's going to suck when he gets booted. And I know he'll be booted because Survivor has become a show in which the final episodes cause a massive collective groan as the most talented, most-liked, most interesting people are booted because the others know they actually deserve to win and WILL win given a jury vote.

Still, even though the Survivors may disagree during tribal councils, it's kind of satisfying to know that the true winner of Survivor Pearl Islands has already been chosen.

I saw a shaving commercial featuring Colby (from Survivor Australia) which didn't at all mention Survivor. And he did a great job. In fact, he did so well, I doubted that it was actually Colby.

Now, if Hollywood can't turn Rupert into a movie star, then they need to fire the writers and producers and hire someone like me who understands the common man. He'd work great in a Disney movie as that guy all the kids are scared of but ends up teaching us about love or some sappy crap Disney is famous for. And of course he'd make a great modern-day pirate. All the writers would have to do is write things that Rupert believes in and then tell him to speak his mind. Who needs acting classes?

Have something you'd like to add?

Email me at with your Rupert comments.

Also, you can look forward to seeing him yet again as he apparently has been chosen to be on the All-Star Survivor. How will he fare against many others that everyone alreadys knows to be a threat? The All-Star Survivor will definitely be interesting experience.

Thank you for reading my crap!


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