Returns Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8/7c
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 10:30am

On night twenty-seven, Rupert Boneham, the 39-year-old troubled teens mentor from Indianapolis, Indiana, was shocked to learn he had been voted out of his beloved Balboa tribe. Rupert felt safe going into Tribal Council because of an alliance with Lillian Morris, the 51-year-old scout troop leader from Cincinnati, Ohio. Shocked and dismayed at the five-to-three vote, Rupert shared some parting thoughts: "This would have made my life a lot better. I always get hurt trusting people. I want so badly to be accepted, and I never get the acceptance that I want. I don't fit. So much for my dreams."

As morning crept into the Balboa tribe, Jon Dalton, the 29-year-old art consultant from Danville, Virginia, was annoyed by the arrogance within the alliance between Christa, Rupert and Sandra. While Jon and Burton Roberts, the 31-year-old marketing executive from San Francisco, California, fetched water, they devised a plan to break this powerful troika. The key to their plan was to recruit ex-Morgan members Darrah Johnson, the 22-year-old mortician from Liberty, Mississippi, and Tijuana Bradley, the 27-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from St. Louis, Missouri. It was now just a question of timing. "We didn't know when to tell Tijuana and Darrah that the plan is to flip on our original alliance," explained Burton.

When Rupert went fishing and Christa and Sandra went to get lemons, a window of opportunity opened for Jon and Burton to enlist Darrah and Tijuana into their new alliance. Already on the chopping block due to their Morgan affiliations, Darrah and Tijuana were elated to accept the offer, which gave them both a new lease on life. "I was down in the dumps, thinking that I was going to go home, but all of a sudden that changed. Now I'm ready to stay," exclaimed a rejuvenated Darrah.

The tribe converged on the beach to find the wreck of an old Spanish galleon, which would serve as the location for the Reward Challenge. Host Jeff Probst explained that the Challenge involved an obstacle course, which included racing up a cargo net, swinging on a rope to the other side of the ship, climbing up to a crow's nest and sliding down a large canvas sail. The castaways would team up in pairs to compete in two rounds, with the winning teams advancing to play each other. The winning team of the final round would enjoy a reward of a day at sea on a luxury catamaran with pizza and beer.

The first round was a close race between Burton and Lill versus the coupling of Christa and Darrah. Darrah missed a rope-toss from Christa, which cost the pair just enough time to allow Burton and Lill to advance to the final round.

The second round was the team of Rupert and Jon versus Tijuana and Sandra. When Rupert and Jon took a large lead, it looked all but over for T and Sandra. But Jon forgot to ring the bell, thus he had to retrace his steps, which narrowed the gap. In the end, though, it was too little too late for T and Sandra, as Rupert and Jon won by a nose.

The final round was Burton and Lill vs. Rupert and Jon. Jeff Probst made the competition more difficult by telling the castaways that they had to collect bags full of puzzle pieces that would have to be assembled at the end of the course. Both teams made quick work of the course, with Burton excelling at untying the knots. It was a dead even finish until Burton and Lill put the final piece of the puzzle in place, thus winning it all. Burton chose to give his reward to Jon, while Lill decided to keep the reward for herself.

Upon returning from the Challenge, Rupert seethed with anger because he felt something was amiss. His trust in Burton was thinning, because Burton had given his reward to Jon when Rupert felt it was owed to him. Meanwhile, Lill was consumed with guilt and felt horrible about accepting the Reward rather than giving it away. "I should've sent Rupert on it, and I didn't. I'm such a bitch," cried Lillian.

Boarding the luxurious catamaran, Lill and Jon enjoyed pizza and beer while discussing strategy. Jon explained how he would coach Lill in the art of deception so that she could convince Rupert, Christa and Sandra that she's with them while actually being part of the Burton-Tijuana-Darrah-Jon conspiracy. Feeling the wind in their hair, Lill and Jon fished, but eventually they came back to camp empty-handed, much to the dismay of their tribemates. Rupert immediately lobbied Lill for her loyalty. Rupert fell for Lill's deceptive reassurance, remarking, "I know now that Lill be wholehearted with me."

When Balboa reconvened for the Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst explained that they were to compete in a cutthroat game of skill using blowguns. On a large target, each Survivor was designated a colored area. The goal would be to knock out all the other players by blowing darts onto the other castaway's areas. The last player in the game would win.

Rupert proved to be quite the blowgun marksman by immediately hitting the target where he intended. Christa and Tijuana had trouble even hitting the board. Christa and Darrah were eliminated first, and the game moved on with Burton being the best marksman in the field. As it came down to Lill, Jon and Burton, it was clear that the alliance of Rupert, Christa and Sandra would not have Immunity that evening. In the end, Burton used his accuracy to win Immunity, thus guaranteeing himself three more days as a Balboa tribe member.

With their alliance set in stone, Jon and Burton had Rupert right where they wanted him. Everyone, including Darrah, pretended that Darrah was to be voted off. Not trusting this situation and confident that Lill was in his pocket, Rupert constructed alternative scenarios: "If they turn and they've gotten Darrah, T, Jon and Burton together on one side, I've got my four on my side, and we'll have a tie."

The one scenario Rupert did not plan on was that Lill would stab him in the back and write down his name. In a five-to-three vote, Rupert became the ninth castaway voted off SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS. Rupert also became the second member of the Jury, which will ultimately decide who will win the million-dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor.