Amazing Race 31: What are Survivor’s Rupert Boneham, Laura Boneham winning chances?

NEW YORK - MAY 19: Survivor's Rupert Boneham attends the 2010 CBS UpFront at Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center on May 19, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 19: Survivor's Rupert Boneham attends the 2010 CBS UpFront at Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center on May 19, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images) /

One has played Survivor four times; the other played it once. How will Survivor legend Rupert Boneham and Laura Boneham fare in The Amazing Race?

With a rushed preseason overlapping Survivor: Edge of Extinction, today we begin our first look at the 11 teams set to compete on the 31st season of The Amazing Race! As a reminder, five All-Star teams, plus three teams from Big Brother and Survivor, separately, will compete for a shot at a million dollars as they travel around the world to complete challenges highlighting local culture.

We’ve seen Survivor players compete on The Amazing Race a few times before, with Boston Rob and Amber Mariano racing twice. They’ve also played in Survivor: All-Stars with Rupert Boneham, making this the perfect opportunity to start our cast assessment with the oldest duo on TAR 31; Rupert and Laura.

They have shared one season together on Survivor, but it was very short-lived. In the opening moments of Blood vs. Water, both starting tribes had to vote a player out of their tribe to head immediately to Redemption Island. Laura was voted out of her tribe, but a twist allowed each voted-out player to have their loved one sub in and head to Redemption Island instead.

What resulted was Rupert immediately offering up his game for the one he loves, Laura, so that she can have her time to shine on the all-returnee tribe. He was then eliminated in the first Redemption Island duel in 20th place, while Laura’s inability to play the social or strategic game properly saw her voted out as the final pre-merge player, saving Vytas from an inevitable end.

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The Amazing Race is not like Survivor when it comes to survival aspects and competing against others, but there are strategic, social and teamwork dynamics found in both. With players driving around the world in foreign countries not knowing where they’re going, not getting on each others’ nerves is a huge step up for those who support each other well.

The way Rupert shows his undying love for Laura shows that this team will not be swayed as a pair, as they are probably the least likely to argue with each other about who has to perform which challenges or when they need to ask for directions. Happy husband, happy wife; happy race.

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Something that Rupert cannot handle, however, is those that “betray” him in any way. Teams often get lost trying to find the next station in a leg of the race and may ask others they see for help. If Rupert and Laura see anybody avoid helping them out or giving them wrong directions, it’s not inconceivable for Rupert to blow up in their faces about it.

Furthermore, The Amazing Race has challenges throughout called Detours (two challenge options in which both players must choose one to complete) that often precede U-Turns. Teams have two to three opportunities a season to make another team complete both challenges of a detour, putting them at a considerable disadvantage.

Just imagine Rupert’s reaction if he was U-turned. “WHO U-TURNED ME? WHO THE F— U-TURNED ME?”, he would yell into the void, akin to his heated island moment in Pearl Islands. Laura is a bit more nurturing and forgiving, as she showed in Blood vs. Water that she cares so much for others that she will give them the respect in knowing they would be voted out.

The season’s teams know how lovable Rupert is, but seeing the other Survivor teams compared to how close the Big Brother and The Amazing Race teams are in terms of knowing one another, Rupert and Laura are on the outs. Corinne and Eliza are likelier to get closer with Chris and Bret as well as the other teams, as Rupert and Laura are the oldest team in this competition.

Finally, we need to talk about the physical aspect of this game. The Amazing Race involves a lot of running and a lot of competitions, and most other teams are either athletically fit or athletically capable of running around cities up and down blocks. Rupert’s last individual Immunity Challenge win came 15 years prior to filming, and I’m concerned about the longevity of the oldest team in the game.

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Though I’m sure Rupert and Laura Boneham will be entertaining during their run in The Amazing Race, their winning chances are slim to none, especially with some of the more aggressive, dynamic All-Star teams competing in a game they know and the Bonehams coming in as strangers.