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Rupert: Episode 13 of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains"

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Rupert knew his time on the island was coming to an end: “Colby and I are standing on a sinking ship.” After he barely survived the last tribal council, pretty much everybody in TV-land saw it coming. But (use Rupert voice here) “Oh my gosh!” what a great ride it’s been.

Survivor has a particularly sentimental, tear-jerky part of the show where family members are brought onto the island. This is great drama, especially when you consider how mentally and emotionally frayed the contestants are at this point (except for the unshakable Russell).

It was fun seeing Rupert’s wife Laura come out of the jungle, spy Rupert and blurt out, “Oh God, you’re so skinny!” Rupert got teary-eyed and a little mushy — which is why America loves Rupert. It’s the old “tough guy with a heart of gold” image. The big, burly man who’s really a big teddy bear. A teddy bear who could rip your head off.

Back at camp, Rupert’s late night wood chopping has Jerri seething. “Rupert is loud, obnoxious and selfish,” she says. “I want to kill Rupert right now.” (Funny, I’ve heard those exact same words lots of times when Rupert is over here playing alley bocce.)

The next day’s challenge is a stress-position balancing act (add a couple of electrical wires and some hoods and you’ve got a Dick Cheney wet dream). Rupert nearly wins this one, which I believe would have been his first individual immunity in his Survivor career, but Parvati edges him out.

At tribal council, Rupert knows he’s toast. He’s practically out of his seat before the final vote is even read. Instead of saying goodbye, Rupert simply turns and glares intensely at the remaining Villains. I might have a word or two wrong, but this is what Rupert says to the camera as he prepares to leave:

“I’m proud of the way I played this game. I walk out of this game knowing that I might not be as tough as I was six years ago, but I’m still pretty tough. I don’t need to win Survivor to know that I’m a winner.”

Well said, my hairy, tie-dyed friend. Well said indeed.

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