Move over Sue and Kelly, there's a new Survivor feud brewing ? this time between 72-year-old Rudy Boesch and talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell. At a homecoming bash ? dubbed Rudypalooza ? in Virginia Beach, VA, Boesch revealed that he was appearing on The Rosie O'Donnell Show next Tuesday "to find out why she doesn't like me."
A Rosie rep confirmed that Boesch is scheduled to be a guest on Tuesday's Survivor-themed season premiere, but added that the host has no vendetta against the grumpy old man. "I don't think she's expressed any kind of negative feelings towards him at all," the spokesperson tells TV Guide Online. "[Besides], we've been on hiatus since June. We only aired one show after the first Survivor and she didn't say anything about Rudy specifically. So whatever he's perceiving as animosity, I don't know where he's getting that information from."
The former Navy SEAL received nothing but love Tuesday night when more than 10,000 well-wishers turned out at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base to welcome him home. Boesch received the star treatment, arriving via helicopter and appearing onstage to chants of "RU-DY! RU-DY!" "Now I know how Elvis felt," he quipped, before receiving accolades from a local Navy SEAL and the key to the city from the mayor.
Then fans got what they came for: Rudy, unapologetic and uncensored. "Twenty years ago who would have thought I would be friends with a queer?" he told the overwhelmingly military audience, referring to his Survivor co-conspirator, Rich Hatch. He then added: "I rubbed suntan lotion on his back, but that was three days before I knew he was queer."
Boesch reiterated an earlier comment that he did not plan to stay in touch with his fellow castaways. "To this day [we] are not all best friends." A member of the audience wondered whether cannibalism was ever discussed on the island, to which he quipped: "[I thought], before I eat a rat, I'll eat one of those girls."
The one-liners, never for a minute appearing rehearsed, flowed from Boesch as if he was back on Pulau Tiga. When a local news anchor asked him to explain the process for getting on Survivor, he remarked that after responding to an ad in the paper he was a shoo-in. "They had a queer, a lesbian, a doctor and a lawyer," he said, "so they needed one normal person and that was me."