Rupert Boneham, the teddy bear from Indianapolis who was the viewer favorite during the last two Survivor games, won a $1 million consolation prize, as voted by 38 million viewers and announced during a special edition of the CBS show on Thursday night.
Three other men were the top vote-getters after the bearded Boneham: “Big Tom” Buchanan, Colby Donaldson and “Boston Rob” Mariano – who on last Sunday’s Survivor: All-Stars finale was named the runner-up to his fiancee, Amber Brkich.
Amber did not go unnoticed by viewers, as it turned out. She was voted the sexiest Survivor. Donaldson was singled out as the hottest male.
Favorite moment went to Rupert’s stealing the shoes on Pearl Islands, while his clash with the back-stabbing Jonny Fairplay was deemed the best fight.
Last Monday, on CBS’s Early Show, the contestants openly campaigned for viewer votes.
Original Survivor champ Richard Hatch, 42, seeking his second million, was his usual self. He said, “Give the money to the guy who plays Survivor, to the guy who knows the game, who’s showing people what it’s all about. That’s me. Give me the money.”
A kinder, gentler Rupert, 40, said: “When you’re out there voting remember that it’s my daughter’s birthday on the 13th, it’s my third time for getting this million and every time I’m getting a little closer. This time, I don’t have to leave my family and I got a chance. I can only hope.”