Posts Tagged ‘caleb bankston’

‘Survivor’ Castaway Caleb: Gervase & Tyson ‘Weren’t Being 100% With Us’

December 5, 2013

'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. And, we’re inducting three members into the “Survivor: Hall of Fame” starting Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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Caleb Bankston and the Alabama Roll Tide have a lot in common. They were both heavy favorites to win a title, they were both only a few steps away from that final championship round, and they both came up a little short.

But, that shouldn’t negate how well they played all season. Alabama proved once again that they’re a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron while Brad Culpepper learned that Caleb is not to be underestimated at Tribal Council.

I spoke to Redemption Island’s latest victim the morning after his elimination and had a chance to ask him about Colton’s affect on his game, his alliance with the Coconut Bandits, and all of this season’s Tribal Council shockers…

Gordon Holmes: Alright, I hate to start this off on a bad note…
Caleb Bankston: That’s fine.
Holmes: But…my father went to Auburn University…
Bankston: Don’t say it!
Holmes: My sister went to Auburn University…
Bankston: Don’t!
Holmes: My brother-in-law went to Auburn University…
Bankston: (Sighs)
Holmes: So, on their behalf, I’m saying to you a tiny, respectful, “War Eagle.”
Bankston: That hurt. Let me tape my wrists back up. You just slit them. (Laughs)
Holmes: I’m glad we have that ugliness out of the way.

Holmes: At Redemption Island you called out the Utah and Philadelphia-based players for lying. But, it seemed like you and Hayden were making moves on them first.
Bankston: (Gervase) pointed that out, but I’m not sure if that’s 100%. The way everything shakes out, you don’t know who’s making the moves first. We felt like they weren’t being 100% with us. We felt like Monica was a little closer to them then they’d made it out to be. Were they playing us? Should we get them? Maybe we verbalized it first. But, it didn’t feel like I was doing bad to them, because I thought they were going to do it first.
Holmes: Why do you think they targeted you before Hayden?
Bankston: I want to think it’s because maybe I was a bigger threat than Hayden. Maybe because of my Tribal Council with the Brad vote. And Gervase had made the comment that he couldn’t read me. They’d be talking, and Hayden called me out on it. He said, “It’s hilarious watching you talk to Tyson and Gervase about a plan because you’ll just nod your head.” And I said, “That means I’m down with it.” And he said, “Well they have no idea that you’re down with it because you’re just kind of silent.” Well, if I don’t have anything to say, I don’t have anything to say. So maybe they couldn’t see where I was standing.

Holmes: You mentioned the Brad vote. And my understanding from most of the Survivors I’ve talked to is you almost always know who you’re voting for when you go to Tribal. That didn’t seem like the case when you sent Brad packing. What was the tipping point that switched your vote?
Bankston: You know, Jeff has a way with his questions. He knows what to ask, when to ask it. And he asked a question saying, “Caleb is by himself. Should you cut him loose now? Why should you keep him?? It was so easy for them to come up with a case for getting rid of me. So I thought, this isn’t going down this way. I’m going to control my own fate. Something clicked. The weather changed. Something was different. Something was off. But I was originally voting for Ciera that night.
Holmes: So you’re saying that Jeff Probst is not to be trusted?
Bankston: (Laughs) He’s a sly fox.

Holmes: I feel like Ciera did the same thing. Her early comments made it seem like she was solidly in Tyson’s camp. Any idea what was said that made her switch it up?
Bankston: I think she was already thinking about it. Gervase picked Tyson and Monica to share his reward. He didn’t pick the new girl who need assurance. He couldn’t not pick Monica because she’d get paranoid all over again. So, maybe she had it in her mind. And when they were pushing that she was number four, she didn’t realize that she wasn’t in the hierarchy above Monica.

Holmes: When Colton left the game, he said it was because he knew you’d have taken his place at Redemption Island. At the time, did you understand that that was Colton’s motivation?
Bankston: No. When we got back home I asked him, “Why didn’t you give me any kind of insight? I didn’t know who to trust.”  I didn’t know if he was working with somebody. It turns out that he and Monica were closer than I thought. I would’ve tried to pull her closer and smooth over the Brad thing. But when he sat in my lap and we had our moment, he said he couldn’t do it. He said he was a changed person since the last time he played, but he felt like he was headed down a road he didn’t want to go down. And I said, “If you feel like you’re going to be broken by this, go home. Don’t risk it. I’d rather you leave on day seven, than have a broken Colton.” I wish he’d told me, but I was glad we got to say what we did.

Holmes: Marissa paid the price for Gervase’s smack talk. Colton had a rough run of it out there. He rubbed some of the members of Galang the wrong way. Did you experience any positives or negatives from your association with Colton?
Bankston: I didn’t. Walking up on the beach with the new players, they all gave me a chance. They all got to know me. They’re like a lot of people who say, “I don’t get it, I don’t get you and Colton.” And so, they would hear me talk about him. And as time went by they understood what it was about us that worked. I was able to make my own mark. I think Katie said, “I wonder if Caleb’s mean deep down and he’s just putting on a front. “ But Ciera took up for me and said, “No, Caleb’s too sweet. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.”
Holmes: You’d have to be the best actor in the world to hide meanness under your sweet demeanor.
Bankston: I appreciate that.
Holmes: You mentioned that people don’t get you and Colton. I’m a big believer that you don’t really choose who you click with, who you fall in love with.
Bankston: You don’t. My last boyfriend, I was in a relationship with him for three and a half years. You think you love somebody, and then something happens. Maybe this isn’t what you thought it was. With Colton there’s never been that. We’ve been together for four years and it’s been happy every day. I love waking up next to him. I love going to bed next to him. He’s the one I look forward to talking to every day. Besides you today.
Holmes: See! Too sweet. No meanness hiding under there.
Bankston: (Laughs) You can’t choose who you love. If you could and you did what everyone wanted you to do, I’d be marrying a woman in October. Everybody loves Colton. All my family and my friends. He’s stolen a lot of my really good friends. I don’t think they’re my friends anymore. They’re his friends and I’m just Colton’s boyfriend.
Holmes: He can’t be trusted. He steals friends.
Bankston: He does! The dogs love him. I was the favorite, but now they love him more.

Holmes: Alright, word association time. We’ll start with Monica.
Bankston: Paranoid.
Holmes: Tyson?
Bankston: Sly.
Holmes: Hayden?
Bankston: Bro.
Holmes: Ciera?
Bankston: Sneaky.
Holmes: Katie?
Bankston: Sweet.
Holmes: Laura M.?
Bankston: Flirt.
Holmes: Tina?
Bankston: Grandma.
Holmes: Aras?
Bankston: Really, really tall.
Holmes: Vytas?
Bankston: Sweetheart.
Holmes: Gervase?
Bankston: Sporty.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Colton.
Bankston: The love of my life, dude.

Holmes: If things had gone your way and you’d had a Tadhana final four, I’m thinking you and Hayden would have been in the driver’s seat. What would’ve been your argument for the jury to pick you over the others?
Bankston: I would use the Brad Culpepper vote because that was definitely my big move. I’d play the fact that coming in with Colton we had the deck stacked against us because of his reputation. I’d separate myself from him and show that we’re two different people and play two different ways. I’d play to my likability, I got along with everybody. I did a lot around camp.

Holmes: Caleb, this has been great. Thanks a ton for your time.
Bankston: Can I get a “Roll Tide” before you go?
Holmes: I can’t say that. I’ll be disowned.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

‘Survivor’ Castaway Colton & Caleb: ‘There’s No Excuse for What I Said’

September 5, 2013

Colton Cumbie and Caleb Bankston (CBS)

Quick Note: I had a chance to sit down with all twenty of the “Blood vs. Water” competitors before the game began. I’ll be posting exclusive interviews with each pairing in the days leading up to the September 18th season premiere. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for those interviews, behind-the-scenes exclusives, and more…

Name: Colton Cumbie
Age: 22
Relationship to Significant Castaway:  Caleb’s Fiancé
Previous Season:  “Survivor: One World” – medically evacuated on day sixteen due to illness.
Current Residence: Collinsville, Alabama
Occupation: Student Teacher

Name:  Caleb Bankston
Relationship to Significant Castaway:
Colton’s Fiancé
Current Residence: Collinsville, Alabama
Post Office Manager/Farmer
Personal Claim to Fame: 
Shooting a 12-point buck on my first deer hunt.
Pet Peeves:
People who don’t put down their cell phones.

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Gordon Holmes: Colton, you had a rough run of it last time. You were evacuated due to a medical issue…
Colton Cumbie: The reception when it aired wasn’t the greatest.
Gordon: Also true.  I don’t know if “Survivor” has ever had such a universally reviled villain before. Maybe Jerri Manthey. What’d you learn from that whole experience?
Colton: I would get tweet after tweet, Facebook messages, even Caleb got messages. My mom would get phone calls in the middle of the night. She got a call from the police department because someone had said that I had been found beaten.
Caleb Bankston: But it was nothing local. Everybody we came in contact with in person was nice. They wanted an autograph and a picture.
Colton: I think it’s easier to be hostile behind a computer screen.
Gordon: Dawn Meehan just went through this after voting out Brenda Lowe.
Colton: Yeah. But, the remarks I made…there’s no excuse for what I said about Leif (Manson).
Gordon: The Bill (Posley) stuff seems to be what sticks with people.
Colton: The Bill stuff was the big ka-bang. The worst of the worst. The Leif stuff was jokes. The Christina stuff was strategy. And the Bill stuff was the worst. That’s where I crossed the line because I just didn’t like him as a human being and that’s never OK.

Gordon: It must’ve been awful for you Caleb, having someone you love become the object of such anger.
Caleb: It was a little unsettling, he’d call me upset. He’d tell me about what he’d read online. I’d tell him, “Shut the computer off. Nobody’s going to bother you. And if they do, I’ve got a rifle up on the mantle.”
Gordon: The best defense against a harsh tweet is a rifle in the face.
Colton: I’m not worried about my personal safety, just my self-esteem. And I guess my self-esteem did need some degrading.
Caleb: But, it’s easy to do that behind a computer screen.
Colton: My initial instinct was to go on defensive, but you can’t win that way. If 50,000 people tweet you and say, “You’re a horrible person, you’re a racist,” then obviously I did something wrong. I need to take a step back. I need to take responsibility. I think people can change. I think America likes to see people punished.
Gordon: I think America likes to forgive. You look at the steroid issue in baseball. The guys that have gotten it the worst are the guys who denied it. Andy Pettitte confessed and people quickly forgot about it. How important is it to you to change people perceptions of you?
Colton:  I’m in a different place now. I’m really happy. I have extreme peace going into this game. “Survivor: One World” didn’t change me, but it was the catalyst for the things that changed me; the tweets and things that happened with my family. If it hadn’t been for Caleb and my mom and me being a strong person, it could’ve ended up so much worse. I could’ve easily given everyone the middle finger and said, “This is how I am.” But that’s not who I want to be. He (Caleb) is why I want to be a better person.

Gordon: Alright, Colton…tell me about this guy.
Colton: This is my fiancé Caleb. He is pretty much my rock in life. When they approached me about doing this and sent me a few options, I said, “No, you have one option. One or none.” He’s really the only person that I’m really close with that could even survive the elements. Also, he grounds me. He makes me want to be a better person. Last time when I played, I think that I was strategically sound enough to get far, but I don’t think I would have ever won. I think that him being here will help my mind stay in the game.
Gordon: Caleb, Colton is a huge “Survivor” fan. He dominated Rob Cesternino’s “Survivor Jeopardy.” How familiar are you with this mess he’s gotten you into?
Caleb: I know a little bit about what I’m getting into. I’ve always been a fan of the show, but not as much as Colton. He makes me sit down for dinner and watch. I’m more of a woods type of guy. I camp out, I go fishing. He likes fish, I don’t really like fish. I’ll eat it…
Colton: You rarely do seafood at all. He’s like a steak guy.
Gordon: I haven’t seen many cows wandering around…
Colton: I’ve seen chickens.
Caleb: I’ll eat it, but we always have a freezer full of beef.
Colton: I think he would have done really well in one of the early seasons when it was actually about survival. I think Russell (Hantz) is where it changed because it’s not really about who can survive, you can take Natalie Tenerelli all the way to the end. No offense. Or Phillip Sheppard. It’s more of a social game now.
Caleb: Like “The Australian Outback” was one of my favorites. It was a survival game.
Colton: One could even argue that Jenna Morasca changed it. Because up until her, pretty much everyone who won was pretty good at survival. There were some rough and tough characters.

Gordon: How long have you guys been together?
Colton and Caleb: Three years.
Gordon: Caleb, what’s it like when you guys fight?
Caleb: Usually, it’s me saying, “You’re right and I’m wrong.”
Gordon: Where can I get one like you?
Caleb: (Laughs) We usually don’t fight that much. We’ll argue over stupid stuff. What our kids are going to do.
Colton: Stupid stuff, like I’ll say, “Our daughter will be Miss Alabama.” And he’ll say, “If she wants to play softball, she can play softball.”  And I’ll say, “She can play softball if she wants, but she’s going to be a softball-playing Miss Alabama!”
Gordon: You’re going to be like a “Toddlers and Tiaras” dad. You’re going to be hitting the glitz pageants.
Colton: (Laughs) Like “Dance Dads.”

Gordon: This is the first time we’re seeing “Survivor” with pairs. What strategies have you two discussed?
Colton: You’re going to say this is a dumb answer, but you just don’t know. I know one person. I don’t know how this is going to shake out.
Caleb: We could hit the beach and not know what Probst is going to throw at us.
Colton: He could be on one side and I could be on the other.
Gordon: Usually when the press comes out here we know what the big twists are. We’re flying blind right now.
Colton: Really? It’s that locked down?
Gordon: Yeah.
Colton: That’s crazy. They didn’t even show a real preview at the finale.
Gordon: So, what are your best guesses as to what’s going to happen?
Colton: I think they don’t like to confuse America. As a viewer, I would say what would be easiest for everyone to follow is to divide us Survivors vs. our loved ones. There will be a lot of potential for drama. I think the reaction to someone’s loved one at the next challenge when they see their loved one is voted off is going to be phenomenal television.
Caleb: Or when they see their loved one has made it.
Colton: Also, I think a lot of the loved ones are going to be shepherded by their Survivor, so it’d almost be like ten people walking around with two votes. I don’t think that’d be phenomenal television. But as a player that’s what I want because I want him by my side the whole time.

Gordon: Anyone you’re hoping to align with?
Caleb: There are some familiar faces.
Colton: I’m super nervous because people are showing up out of nowhere. I’m like, “Are Elisabeth and Tim Hasselbeck going to drop in at any moment?”

NOTE: This interview was conducted right after the cast learned that Candice and John were joining the game.

Gordon: Is there anyone you’re wary of?
Colton: I’m wary of everyone! I don’t know how they feel about me. Especially those two that just showed up.
Gordon: Do you recognize them?
Colton: (Laughs) Yes. Have you met me?
Gordon: Sorry. Probably the most insulting thing I could say to you.
Colton: She’s a mutineer. In her defense it was to go back to her original tribe. But then again in “Heroes vs. Villains” she did it again. She’s not very approachable.
Caleb: And we’ve been smiling at everyone.

Gordon: Coach (Wade) was the master at turning people’s negative preconceptions about him into a strength. They’d seen him on TV as wacky Coach, then when he met them he was able to say, “Come meet the real me.” Is that something that could work in your favor?
Colton: I hope so. I hope they don’t realize that I’m good at the game. I hope they just remember me as the deplorable human being who convinced people to go to Tribal Council. I hope they don’t know that I’m really good, and I hope Monica doesn’t inform them. I want everyone’s thought process to be; nobody will vote for him. He’s the perfect person to take to the end. I think that gives me an opportunity for people to let their walls down. If I can get someone to think I’m a good goat, I think I can use my negative reputation to my advantage.
Gordon: Is it your hope to clean up your reputation a little while you’re out here?
Colton: I’m not coming back to put on a persona. I’m not going to say, “I’ve changed! I’ve changed!” I’m going to let them see for themselves. I’m going to walk the walk and talk the talk.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

Don’t miss the special 90-minute premiere of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET.

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