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“I Showed My True Passion for the Game” – An Interview with Survivor’s Rupertby David Bloomberg -- 12/24/2003
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Rupert was “unavailable” to be interviewed when he was voted out on Survivor: Pearl Islands. Most people think it was because he will be on Survivor: All Stars, which was filming at the time, but CBS is officially mum on the subject. In any event, after the finale, we had a chance to catch up with him.
RealityNewsOnline: Hello, Rupert, and thanks for taking the time to answer these questions from RealityNewsOnline! We’ll start with something you said at the end – you mentioned at the reunion that you'd wanted to play Survivor since the first one aired. Had you applied previously and what did you do to prepare yourself for the game before you actually got on?
Rupert: When I put in my application in January it was the first time I had ever applied to Survivor. The only preparation before Survivor was to quit smoking the day I was told I was going to the Pearl Islands.
RNO: You quickly became one of the most popular Survivor players ever – why do you think so many people quickly joined in the Rupertmania?
Rupert: I guess because I showed my true passion for the game.
RNO: The other players saw you as the dominant player in the game. Did you see yourself that way – do you think you should have toned it down a bit in order to have a better chance of sticking around?
Rupert: Yes, but I live my life like "never give up, never surrender" so I probably was too confident and too comfortable.
RNO: When Burton came up with the idea of throwing the challenge, why did you go along with him and vote him off rather than just saying "no"?
Rupert: I did say no. I said it was the stupidest thing in the world to throw a challenge. After a long discussion with Trish & Burton, I said I would sit out if they had to throw a challenge. I did not vote for Burton, because I did not go to that Tribal Council. I did not think he would be loyal to the Drakes.
RNO: When Jon cast his vote for you, were you really as enraged at him as you appeared to be, or was that strategy to scare him straight?
Rupert: I wanted to scare him. I couldn't believe he voted for me.
RNO: You mentioned that you should have trusted Andrew and Ryan O. – did you consider allying with them after the merge instead of sticking with Drake-plus-Lill, and what made you decide to reject the Morgans?
Rupert: Right after the merge feast, Christa & I both talked to Andrew & Ryan O. about taking three of them and merging with Christa, Sandra, & I. They did not want to do the merge until all their other options were gone. I made them the deal of a six-person merge right after the feast. They did not take the deal until we were on our way to Tribal Council, by then it was too late & other plans had been made.
7. Sandra warned you that Jon and Burton were plotting against you, but it seemed that you still went along thinking that Drake would stick together. Why did you seemingly discount the threat that Jon and Burton posed?
Rupert: I did not understand that they had Lill, Ti, & Darrah on their side also. When we went to Tribal Council to vote Darrah off I thought at the worst it would be a tie between Darrah & I.
RNO: When you were voted off, your final words indicated that you felt rejected. When did you realize that you weren't voted off for not belonging, but for being too popular to keep around, and how did you feel about it when you realized that?
Rupert: All those days in jury camp made me realize a lot of things about myself.
RNO: When Burton was eliminated the second time, most of the jury celebrated in an obvious manner. What was going through your head at that time and how would you have voted if he had ended up in the Final 2?
Rupert: I was very happy, as you could see, when Burt was eliminated. I did not want to see Burt, Johnny "Foreskin," or Lill win. I did not want to vote for any of those three. I'm glad I had Sandra to give my vote to.
RNO: How are you handling your newfound fame?
Rupert: I am answering fan mail and sometimes even the phone & enjoying it all! I've said it before, that it feels like I am in a dream. I just hope it lasts.
RNO: Do you think it was fair that so many people held it against Lill that she represented the Boy Scouts and lied when it really wasn't her choice to play the game in her Scouts uniform?
Rupert: Lill represented herself as a Scoutmaster in her video, in her application, in the whole qualification process of Survivor. Lill chose to portray herself as that Scoutmaster. I was a Cub Scout, Webelo, and Boy Scout. I feel I played with honor and I feel Lill did not.
RNO: What don't we know about Rupert that the show didn't completely convey?
Rupert: I am who you see on TV... strong & confident, weak & full of self doubt, & everything in between.
RNO: Thanks again!
Rupert: You're welcome!
P.S. I would like to say thanks to all of my fans who have written me such nice letters which I truly am thankful for and appreciate greatly! Happy Holidays!
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com. Thanks to the other writers of RNO for their question suggestions!
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