Rudolph "Lightning" Jackson was a camper, and one of the finalists of Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, as a member of the Toxic Rats. He later returned as a contestant for Total Drama All-Stars, as a member of the Villainous Vultures.
Lightning is an ultra-competitive jock who values winning above everything else. He is very vain and egotistical, constantly referring to himself in the third person and often shown kissing his biceps. He is also quite selfish and always puts his own interests above everyone else's. Such an example is when he betrays Cameron on the agreement they make in Eat, Puke and Be Wary because he was slowing him down. Another is when he was more focused on winning in the finale than rescuing the others from the dangerous mutant animals, which had accidentally been unleashed into the stadium. Lightning is actually very good at sports, showing he can somewhat back up his boasting. However, despite his athletic prowess and physical strength, he isn't very smart and is quite stubborn. For example, in Evil Dread, he is adamant about digging wherever he wants, even shoveling up Lake Wawanakwa to find pieces located on the beach. Lightning also possesses an inability to recognize the genders of contestants like Jo and Cameron, even if they tell him otherwise. This lack of intelligence makes him easily manipulated by contestants such as Jo and Scott.
Lightning first appeared in Bigger! Badder! Brutal-er!, where he pushes Mike and Zoey to flex his muscles when he is introduced by Chris. When he is one of the first to make it to Chris, he is put on the Toxic Rats, suggesting that the team name should be changed to "Lightning Squad". Having a super competitive drive that he does causes him to get extremely frustrated with others when they do not perform up-to-par in challenges, as he complains about his team, declaring that he should be on a team of his own, and even to the point where he will aggressively chase others to attack them. His dislike for his teammates continues to grow as Sam continues to perform poorly, Brick's alarm disturbs him, and Dawn "steals" his protein powder. Lightning's intelligence, however, is the opposite to his physical skills where he made even the simplest of mistakes such as calling Jo a boy and Cameron a girl.
After Jo gets transfer to the Toxic Rats, the two of them decide to team up for most of A Mine Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, though Lightning's lack of intelligence and constant referring to her as a boy gets on Jo's nerves. When Brick is separated from the team, Jo plants seeds of doubt about him into Lightning. Due to his superiority complex, Lightning agrees to help Jo vote off Brick after their team loses. With only him and Jo left in the Toxic Rats, the two double their efforts in The Treasure Island of Dr. McLean, though they spend more time arguing with each other than progressing with the challenge. The two finally win the challenge despite Lightning being attacked by mutant alligators.
Upon reaching the merge, Lightning and Jo continue to team up for a while during the first two challenges. Things seem to be going well between the two of them, until Jo betrays Lightning, using him to distract Fang. Fueled by revenge, Lightning is able to get the mutant shark to help him with the promise of taking him to Scott. Lightning is able to tag all the locations but due to a misunderstanding, Chris overrules his victory, disappointing Lightning as he wanted to use his reward to vote off Jo. Lightning continues to hold a grudge towards Jo in Up, Up And Away In My Pitiful Balloon. Seeing how Jo treated Cameron, Lightning is able to persuade Cameron to stand up for himself. Lightning is the first to enter the zeppelin and confronts Heather for stealing the million dollars. However, Lightning is able to gain the advantage after feigning innocence. The two fought over the case but Lightning quickly escape the ship after Cameron crashes into it. That night, Lightning is finally able to vote off Jo with Cameron's help. Before taking the Hurl of Shame, Jo finally calls out Lightning for not knowing that she is a girl. The discovery of her true gender shocks Lightning.
With only three other contestants left, Lightning continues to be on his own. He becomes a prime candidate for an alliance mate by both Scott and Cameron and unknowingly agrees to join both. After failing the cooking challenge, Lightning and Cameron team up for a brief moment with Cameron being able to remove their tracking collars. Later, Lightning decides to help Cameron back in order to claim victory for himself. Unknowingly, Cameron has hopped onto his back and carries him all the way to the finish line and wins the challenge when Lightning backs up against the pole. Furious with Cameron stealing what he felt was rightfully his, Lightning vows revenge, even beating up a punching bag resembling Cameron to vent out his anger in The Enchanted Franken-Forest. Though Lightning has the full map, his fail the assemble the pieces correctly and end up running around the island instead towards the goal, even tripping over Ezekiel along the way. Despite this, Lightning manages to win the challenge, securing a spot in the final two. Although he could eliminate Cameron, Lightning chooses Zoey instead, vowing to destroy Cameron in the finale.
In Brain vs. Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown, Lightning's determination to win the season increases after seeing his father betting all his championship rings. Not wanting to disappoint his father, Lightning vows to win. Lightning receives little support from the eliminated contestants, with Jo (albeit begrudgingly) being his only supporter. For the challenge, Lightning creates a crude armor out of scrap scraps of metal and a pot for a helmet and arms himself with a mannequin legs with spike. Lightning and Cameron battle evenly, with Lightning's stronger attributes against Cameron's power armor. When the mutant creates run amok, Lightning begin to gain the upper hand, using Cameron's desire to save his friends to his advantage. Just as Lightning is about to claim victory, Cameron uses his remaining power to turn Lightning into a human magnet. With his armor magnetize, all metallic objects are pulled towards him. To make things worst (for him), he is struck by actual lightning, with his club acting as a conductor. The resulting injuries turns Lightning's hair white and he fell to the ground the same time with Cameron. Cameron was declared the winner, to which everyone cheered. When Chris gave him the money, Cameron thanked him and decided that he didn't need the money for his bubble anymore, since surviving the season proved that he didn't need such protection anymore for the rest of his life. Thus, he decided to reward the entire cast for helping him make it this far, and announced that he would split the million dollars with everyone else, later laughed at Chris in the end.
Lightning returns in Heroes vs. Villains as one of the competing contestants for the new season and is placed on the Villainous Vultures. Lightning is the first person to dive off the cliff and easily retrieve a key. On the way to the Spa Hotel, Jo tries to convince Lightning that the two of them should be allies since they are the strongest member in their team. Once they reach the Spa Hotel, the key does not work, which frustrate Lightning. His team later wins the challenge thanks to a returning Alejandro. At the elimination ceremony, Chris asks a volunteer from the Vultures and Lightning immediately come up, believing that Chris is giving out a special prize. Instead, Lightning is required to stay at Boney Island where he had a chance to find the McLean-Brand Chris Head hidden there.
In Evil Dread, while Lightning is away for exile, Jo starts a campaign to eliminate Lightning, arguing that he is too strong of a contestant. Lightning returns to the Camp Wawanakwa before the challenge starts. While he fails to find the idol, Lightning believes that he can continue the competition without it. Throughout the challenge, he spends most of his time admiring his muscles as well as boasting about his greatness. Lightning digs up the most puzzle pieces but miscounts the amount found, angering Jo and the rest of the Vultures, and destroys the puzzle which ends up costing his team the challenge. At the elimination ceremony, he and Jo are at the bottom two, but he is shocked to find out he was the one eliminated. He is flushed away before being able to curse at Jo. In the exclusive clip, the Flush of Shame sends Lightning to France, though he believes he is in Germany. A nearby mime tries to warn him to swim away but Lightning is unable to understand him and mistakenly thinks that the mime wanted Lightning to show him his muscles. As he is about to flex, a swan boat carrying Blaineley and Bruno rams him from behind.
Despite being eliminated in the previous episode, Lightning is mentioned several times by Heather and Jo in Saving Private Leechball. While Heather is angry that voting Lightning off was a bad idea, Jo denies it, stating that he was useless. During the challenge, however, Jo begins to have second thoughts after finding out that she is the last member of her team standing. To her surprise, Lightning has left her a pre-recorded message for Jo before he left, taunting her that eliminating him was a bad idea.
Lightning is mentioned in Zeek And Ye Shall Find by Cameron who realizes he can no longer trust anyone and is now a lone wolf, making him the "new Lightning."
In The Final Wreck-ening, Lightning can be seen in one of the balloons. However, he floats away along with the rest of the contestants before an intern can get him down.
Lightning's design was almost completely unchanged in body shape and design. The only clear difference is that his shirt was originally light blue and had no designs on it, but has changed to being dark blue with several yellow and white stripes on the sleeves and in the middle of the shirt. He also didn't have his Lightning bolt necklace until his confirmed design. His hair was shorter, his earring was a darker color, and his legs appeared to be shorter than his current design. Also, in the original character lineup, his name was actually spelled "Lightening."
- View this video for Lightning's audition tape.
Both Lightning and Cameron's audition tapes contain reused audio from their first confessionals, with Lightning's being a combination of two of his confessionals. However, Lightning's, in particular, is rather strange because he speaks as if he is already on the show. Throughout the clip, he is sitting on a tackling dummy in a football field. He says that Chris should have let him be a team of one and that he's used to carrying his teams back home, but they know how to play the game. He adds that his fellow contestants are "a bunch of losers" and that if Chris is trying to make him look bad, he can think again. He says he never gives up or surrenders, and ends his tape exclaiming, "Sha-Lightning!"
- Lightning is the second contestant overall (and the first male contestant) in Total Drama to win in the United States but not in Canada, the first being Heather.
- Lightning is one of the few characters who possess more than one main design, with his original design with brown hair, and his later design with white hair. Other characters include Heather, Ezekiel, Mike, Geoff, Dakota, Sierra, Scarlett, and Staci.
- Lightning is the second newcomer to have a conflict with one of the veterans with the first being Cameron who had a conflict with Izzy.
- Lightning is one of six contestants who are known by their nicknames, the others being DJ, Blaineley, B, Samey and MacArthur.
- Lightning, Chef Hatchet, Justin, Cameron, B, Leonard, and Ryan are the only males to have prominent lips.
- According to Fresh TV, Lightning is one of the ten contestants whose full name has been revealed (Rudolph Jackson, with "Lightning" being a nickname), the others being Alejandro, Blaineley, Brick, Cameron, Cody, Dakota, DJ, Harold, and MacArthur.
- Lightning is the only one whose full name has been revealed by a staff member, not via the show.
- Lightning is the second contestant in Total Drama history to win the reward of choosing who will be eliminated next, as he did so in The Enchanted Franken-Forest, with the first being Scott.
- Lightning is the first male runner-up of a season in Canada.
- Lightning is one of the three contestants who compete in Total Drama All-Stars to never be in a relationship of any sort at any point in the series. The others are Cameron and Jo.
- Counting Owen's ending, Lightning is the only contestant to become the highest ranking member of his team in a season, and then become the lowest ranking member of his team in the next.
- However, in Gwen's ending, he is the second person, as in her ending, Gwen was the highest ranking member of her team but the lowest in Total Drama Action.
- Lightning is the only member of the Toxic Rats who made it to the merge that did not change teams.
- According to Refresh blog, Lightning had a friend nicknamed Thunderbolt, but they stopped being friends because they were tired of people yelling "Mamma Mia." Their names and "Mamma Mia" is a reference to the song Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
- According to Lightning's Total Drama: Revenge of the Island biography, his favorite colors are yellow and blue.
- Also stated in his biography, Lightning's favorite food is protein shakes.
- Segments of Lightning's speech in his audition tape is an extract of a confessional he did in Bigger! Badder! Brutal-er! and another in Truth or Laser Shark.
- This explains why, in his audition tape, he speaks as if he's already on the show.
- Lightning has trouble telling the difference between some contestants' genders.
- Lightning's favorite movie, "The Splat and the Curious," is a reference to the 2001 street racing action film, Fast and the Furious.
|Interactions with||Cameron | Jo|
|Finalist of Total Drama: Revenge of the Island|
|Zoey||Brain vs. Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown with Cameron||N/A|
|Eliminated from Total Drama All-Stars|
|Toxic Rats teammates|
|B | Brick | Dakota | Dawn | Jo | Lightning | Sam | Scott | Staci|
|Villainous Vultures teammates|
|Alejandro | Cameron | Courtney | Duncan | Gwen | Heather | Jo | Lightning | Scott|