America's tribe has spoken, and Rupert Boneham, the jolly pirate of Survivor, is $1 million richer.
An audience favorite on the last two seasons of the hit reality show, the tie-dye-sporting softie roared with joy when his name was announced by host Jeff Probst on a special episode of the show Thursday night.
CBS reported that 38 million people voted online and by text-message vote. Aside from picking Rupert to win the million-dollar consolation prize, fans selected winners of categories such as Sexiest Survivor and Best Fight.
A male-dominated group of finalists received the most votes for the hefty purse. Aside from Rupert, Colby Donaldson (Outback), Tom Buchanan (Africa) and "Boston Rob" Mariano (Marquesas) were deemed the most deserving Survivors by "America's Tribal Council," as Probst dubbed the vote.
That Boston Rob made the final four at all was something of a surprise, considering that he was the runner-up on Survivor All-Stars, and is newly engaged to winner, Amber Bkrich--he's already guaranteed a healthy share of Survivor bucks. (He also won $250,000 for finishing second on the show.)
The camera-friendly duo smooched on stage and told Probst that an undisclosed network has already approached them about televising their future nuptials.
But is the couple willing to follow in the gag-worthy footsteps of their fellow products of reality programming, Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter?
"If the price is right," Rob announced.
The twosome is currently searching for a house somewhere between their hometowns of Pittsburgh and Boston so they won't be too far from their families.
They haven't worked out their wedding plans yet, but Amber told People magazine she sees "something barefoot in the sand."
Sounds like she's staying true to those Survivor roots...we'll see if the marriage manages to outwit, outplay and outlast future pitfalls.
In addition to winning Survivor All-Stars, Amber was voted the sexiest female Survivor, while Colby captured the honors for the male set.
According to Nielsen Media Research, just under 25 million people tuned in for the finale of the All-Star series last Sunday, putting it fourth for the week.
The extra million CBS put out for the consolation prize was likely a good investment--it bought the network another hour of Survivor-programming during a sweeps month and will probably reel in many millions in advertising profits.
Casting is currently underway for the ninth season of the show, which is set to take place in the Vanuatu islands. The next crew of castaways is due to hit the small screen this fall.