Posts Tagged ‘Colton Cumbie’

‘Survivor’ Castaway Colton – ‘I’m Probably the Most Hated Player Ever’

October 3, 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. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

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“Survivor: Blood vs. Water” has been an exercise in extremes.

They’re playing a cutthroat game against the people they love the most. The stronger, younger tribe has yet to win a challenge against the weaker, older tribe. The huge advantage a Redemption Island winner gave to her husband caused him to be booted from his tribe.

And now one week after interviewing one of the most beloved players the show has ever known, I find myself interviewing one of its most hated.

I spoke with Colton Cumbie the morning after he quit the game and had a chance to ask him about the decision he made, the berating he received from Jeff Probst, and his place in “Survivor” history…

Gordon Holmes: So…what happened?
Colton Cumbie: Well…I guess…I quit. (Laughs) What do you want to know?
Holmes: Let’s start with what made you come to this decision.
Cumbie: When they separated us, I was like, “I don’t want to be here anymore.” That was the starting point for me. I thought, I’ll tough it out, I’ll get to a swap or something. But then I kept thinking, when are they going to swap us? What ended up being the ultimate reason is I was trying to salvage Caleb’s game. That’s why I kept saying,  “I don’t know, I don’t know.” That’s why Jeff was irate with me. I wouldn’t answer his questions because I couldn’t tell him what I was thinking. What I was really thinking was; I know I’m going to get voted out. I know I’m going to walk into the arena, and have you met my fiancé? He’s like the ultimate hero.
Holmes: He is.
Cumbie: He’s going to come down, he’s going to take my place. There won’t be any discussion. He’ll convince me to go to his tribe. And these challenges are not his forte. He’s not going to win these duels. And then he’d have sacrificed his game for me. I didn’t want that. Caleb came to play for Caleb, not for me. I honestly think me leaving is going to be a kickstart for him. He realizes he doesn’t have to worry about me anymore.
Holmes: That’s the crazy things about this season is these twists are bringing up angles I’d never thought of before. You quit because you knew you’d be voted out and Caleb would put himself at risk.
Cumbie: I knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt and he’ll verify that. Whenever we saw each other again, the first thing he said was, “I’m glad you didn’t get voted out because I would have taken your place.”
Holmes: This season is crazy town with these twists.
Cumbie: Honestly Gordon, what it comes down to is bank accounts. With the couples the money is all going to the same place, with the exception of Hayden and Kat. If they stay together, maybe it will, I don’t know. But all the married couples, the couples that have been together a long time, the money is going to the same place. We only need one person at the end. A mother and a daughter…an uncle and a niece…it’s not the same. And, the longer you’re a pair in the game, you become a target. So I think for Caleb being single at this point is going to benefit him.

Holmes: I wasn’t there.  You have your story, Probst has his. A lot of people are going to read this and think you’re just saying all of this to cover the fact that you just wanted to quit.
Cumbie: Definitely.
Holmes: Either you didn’t like your tribe or it was too hot or whatever. Where’s your head as far as dealing with the inevitable fallout from all of this?
Cumbie: Honestly, I really don’t care. I’m really happy in my life. People say “quitters never win,” but have you met my fiancé? Clearly I’ve won.
Holmes: I have met you fiancé. You did win.
Cumbie: He’s awesome.
Holmes: We don’t have to debate that point.

Holmes: You are a “Survivor” mega fan. Covering “Survivor” is my job and I’m sure I don’t know the game as well as you do. I don’t have your recall of the facts. Have these experiences on the show made you hate “Survivor”?
Cumbie: A little bit. It’s the stuff we can’t talk about that makes me hate “Survivor.” The behind-the-scenes stuff that you don’t see. That’s what makes me hate it. It’s Jeff Probst standing in the arena before God and everybody saying, “I’m the main person who campaigned for you to come back and you’re just going to walk?” And then to turn around and say he never wanted me on the show.
Holmes: Being the ultimate fan, you know Probst doesn’t go easy on quitters. From Osten to NaOnka to Purple Kelly they all got some serious grief.
Cumbie: I don’t think he’s ever handled anyone like he handled me.

Holmes: As someone who knows the game extremely well, what do you think your place in “Survivor” history is?
Cumbie: I’m probably the most hated player ever, that’s a given. People despise me. And I think it’s for a number a reasons. It’s my fault. I did it. There was a fork in the road and I could have been the adorable little gay kid that everybody loves and I didn’t do it. And that’s on me.

Holmes: Did Galang just shut you down? They wouldn’t let you in?
Cumbie: Yeah, kind of. I did that to myself though. I was trying to get rid of Aras. Aras was in an alliance with everyone and it was so obvious to me. I didn’t understand why everyone was so bamboozled by him. I kept calling him Jim Jones. Everyone was drinking his Kool-Aid and following him blindly. I love Tina, I told her, “I’ve got Monica, I’ve got Tyson.” And what I should have done is kept my mouth shut. Let Kat be voted out first. Let Laura Morett be the second person. Then maybe get Monica and Tyson and Rupert’s wife and get out Aras.

Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word associatin’…we’ll start with Tyson.
Cumbie: Hilarious.
Holmes: Aras?
Cumbie: Annoying.
Holmes: Gervase?
Cumbie: Love him.
Holmes: Laura Boneham?
Cumbie: Who?
Holmes: Laura Morett?
Cumbie: Love her.
Holmes: Kat?
Cumbie: Meow.
Holmes: Tina?
Cumbie: She writes love all over herself, but the only person Tina Wesson loves is herself.
Holmes: And we’ll finish with your buddy Monica.
Cumbie: Goddess. I love her.

Holmes: I have some positives for you.
Cumbie: I’m very anxious to hear this. (Laughs)
Holmes: Three positives; you didn’t say anything racist. You didn’t say anything elitist. And you brought Caleb into our lives.
Cumbie: I appreciate that. You’re the first person who’s pointed that out. People keep saying, “The old Colton is back.” And I’m like, “Did you watch ‘One World’?” The Colton from this season is nothing like before. That Colton made people cry, he didn’t cry all the time. I feel like I have grown as a person in that regard. I have a lot more respect for people’s feelings. You can argue I lost it with Kat in the boat, but that’s because I don’t respond well to being yelled at. Kat and I talked about it immediately after it happened and then it was non-issue. You want me to enjoy the zen and the kumbaya? Then I need a plan. I’m a planner. I have my whole life planned down to a tee. I’m not a roll-with-it kind of a guy.
Holmes: Well, I know you already have planned a future Miss Alabama.
Cumbie: Really. I’ve already planned my kids. From my egg donor’s day of ovulation.

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.

Will ‘Survivor’ Villain Colton Be Invited Back? Host Jeff Probst Answers…

March 28, 2012

Jeff Probst and Colton Cumbie (CBS)

What a difference an episode makes.

Over the course of one hour, “Survivor: One World” lost its reviled bully to a medical concern, cemented a new power alliance with an idol, and brought both tribes together with a last-minute merge.

So, with all of that going on, it seemed like the perfect time to check in with “Survivor’s” 74-time Emmy-award-winning host* Jeff Probst.

*Not mathematically accurate.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: One World’

Gordon Holmes: The show just lost one of the most hated villains of all time last Wednesday when Colton Cumbie was removed from the game. Did you realize at the time how big of a bad guy was being carted off?
Jeff Probst: I had no idea how ugly Colton was being at camp. I saw one display at Tribal Council when he talked about “I have a black friend, a housekeeper, who I pay.” I didn’t realize how aggressive he was in treating people and how poorly he treated people. Colton is one of the few people I can recall where the audience just has a true dislike for. He’s different from Russell (Hantz) who you just might love to hate.
Holmes: Think we’ll see Colton again?
Probst: Russell you bring back. Colton, I don’t think you do. I can’t imagine celebrating Colton and bringing him back. But, I could be wrong on that.
Holmes: Some people love Russell, some people hate Russell. This Colton hatred seems pretty universal.
Probst: On one hand, Colton is honest. This is where he comes from, this is his truth. But, that doesn’t excuse it. And I think it would be hard to root for him to win the game ever. And I had no idea when he was evacuated how much people despised him. So, it’s always a little weird for me if I had known. Would I have had an attitude with him?

Holmes: I’m going to give you a quick compliment. Don’t be alarmed. But, I think one of your strong points is when it comes to racially charged Tribal Councils like with Bill and Colton this season or Phillip (Sheppard) and Steve (Wright) in “Redemption Island” you don’t take an attitude with people. Rather than breaking it down from your point of view and being, “You’re right” and “You’re wrong,” you seem to embrace the old writers’ adage that, “No villain ever thinks he’s wrong.”
Probst: Thanks.
Holmes: We’re twenty four seasons into this social experiment; do those put-it-all-out-there moments still excite you?
Probst: Any time somebody brings up differences in how they live or how someone looks or their race or their sexuality and they’re willing to talk about it, I get very excited. That’s the fabric of our society. That is what it’s all about, all of our differences. You think you’re right and I think I’m right and the truth could be somewhere in the middle. I don’t know, sometimes the truth is over on the left. So, I like having those discussions. It never surprises me.

Holmes: I’m at risk of having my “Survivor” press badge taken away for two reasons. First, I make Dream Teamers cry.

Note: Dream Teamers are the crack crew of talented, athletic youngsters who practice the show’s immunity and reward challenges.

Probst: Why?
Holmes: Because I beat them in challenges too often.
Probst: (Laughs)
Holmes: And second, I have no idea what’s going on with these twists. You bring out Redemption Island and my first instinct is, “There’s no way anyone can come back into the game and win.” Then it almost happens twice. A challenge goes a different way and Ozzy Lusth is a champion.
Probst: Yup.
Holmes: Matt Elrod and Andrea Boehlke could’ve been serious spoilers too. Then, you announce One World and my first instinct is, “This is great. We’re gonna have all kinds of inter-tribe mingling. I can’t wait.” Then, the exact opposite thing happens. One minute you have Michael stealing a pick axe and the next these two tribes won’t even share fire.
Probst: It’s crazy!

Holmes: What were you anticipating when the One World idea came across your desk?
Probst: We’ve talked about two tribes living on one beach for ten years. We were never sure we could pull it off. There were issues about identifying the tribes. Another concern is that it would be one big love fest and they’d make one big fire, one big shelter and we’d have this mess of twenty people living together. Fortunately, Mike decided to start stealing stuff off the bat and it was game on.
Holmes: So for the sake of one pick axe, the whole season became cutthroat central.
Probst: I never understand that. Stealing? When you need votes to win the game? How does that work long term?
Holmes: If I’m a Manono guy and I witness that? I’d put that in my back pocket and happily rat Michael out when I needed to.
Probst: You need to be on this show.
Holmes: Sign me up. The only problem there is I’m not good looking enough to be a good-looking guy and I’m not quite nerdy enough to be a nerdy guy. You need to keep the show going until I’m old enough to be the cranky geezer.

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

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