'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' eliminee Caleb Bankston talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 12/05/2013
Survivor: Blood vs. Water eliminated "loved one" Caleb Bankston from the game after he lost the season's tenth Redemption Island duel during Wednesday night's twelfth episode of the CBS reality series' 27th edition.
Colton Cumbie's fiance Caleb, a 26-year-old post office manager and farmer from Collinsville, AL, lost the duel to returning castaways Tina Wesson, a 52-year-old motivational speaker from Robbinsville, NC, and Laura Morett, a 43-year-old construction company co-owner from Salem, OR.
Later in the episode, newbie player Katie Collins was forced to leave the merged Kasama tribe on Night 32 when the Tribal Council vote had come down to a tiebreaker and drawing rocks. Katie happened to pick the unlucky rock.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Caleb talked about his Survivor: Blood vs. Water experience and the crazy Tribal Council he had witnessed as a member of the jury. Below is the first half of Caleb's interview. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: How frustrating was it to sit there and see Ciera Eastin finally come to realize she was fourth in her alliance with Tyson Apostol at this week's Tribal Council instead of three days earlier when you got voted off?
Caleb Bankston: Yeah, it was kind of like, "Where was that mentality then?" And maybe it was just because -- I mean, I credit [Hayden Moss] for that, because you know, his back was against the wall and he had nowhere to go but up and nothing to lose. So, I mean, obviously maybe you can get a little more desperate and throw a better case out. So I mean, kudos to him.
Reality TV World: Were you ever tempted to shout at Ciera and point out that could have avoided the whole rock tiebreaker thing if she had just teamed up with Hayden, Katie and yourself a few days earlier?
Caleb Bankston: Oh, no, no. I'm not one to call out somebody's mistakes. I leave that to the fans. They'll do it! (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Do you think Ciera had already gone into Tribal planning or at least thinking about forcing a tie and drawing rocks, or do you think she completely changed her mind during that session?
Caleb Bankston: I think it was in the back of her mind. I don't think she had made her mind completely up until [Gervase Peterson] word-vomited all over the place and kind of stuck his foot in his mouth a couple times about -- kind of making it apparent that Ciera was No. 4.
I think that was kind of the moment when she realized, "Hey I could really -- yeah, the jury is sitting there and it would be something to see a big move and this might be my chance." So I mean, she took a shot. It didn't work out for her. [I] hate her for it, but that's just the way it goes.
Reality TV World: I was going to ask you about that. How big a role do you think Hayden's campaigning for Ciera to flip actually played in her decision to force a tiebreaker versus Gervase and [Monica Culpepper] repeatedly making careless references to her being No. 4? Besides Gervase's couple mistakes, Monica also announced "[No.] 4 is better than [No.] 6." Whom do you think deserved more credit for Ciera's flip?
Caleb Bankston: I mean, obviously they all played a role, but I think it was Monica saying it and then Hayden reiterating it a couple times, that, "Yeah, you are No.4. They just said it."
And with the ice cream Reward, I mean, instead of picking Ciera to eat -- trying to make her feel a little bit more comfortable, because Tyson was obviously solid with Gervase -- maybe that was also a poor decision. Maybe [Ciera] was already thinking, "Well, obviously he didn't pick me, so I'm not as high up on the totem pole as I thought."
Reality TV World: The way last night's episode was edited, it didn't show a lot of strong counter arguments coming from Tyson. Tyson seemed pretty quiet and didn't have much of a case to give to her other than, to sum it up, I think, "I've been loyal to you up until now." Katie also seemed quiet on her end. Was that accurate and what are your thoughts on that?
Caleb Bankston: Yeah, that was pretty accurate. I mean, Tyson, he did a lot of back-rubbing to Ciera, just kind of trying to comfort her. And it kind of seemed like a ventriloquist act.
With Tyson, it was kind of like she was just turning her head from side to side trying to make up her mind and Tyson had his hand up her back. I was like thinking, "What are you trying to do? Are you trying to give her a message by Morse code or are you trying to control what she's thinking?"
So, I don't know. I mean, maybe he just felt like, "There's no way she's got the guts to change her vote or to change the plan." It is backfiring on Tyson. You could tell that Tyson was nervous as it all got out, whenever it came down to it. The odds were in his favor. I mean, he only had a one in three shot of drawing [the white rock], but I don't think she realized those odds whenever she decided to do it.
It's funny because Gervase was sitting there saying, "Yeah, draw rocks then! Draw rocks then!" Well obviously, because you've got the necklace around your neck, you're not going home, so what do you care?!
Reality TV World: Right. I think maybe Ciera thought it was a 50/50 chance and didn't realize the odds were 2-1 in Tyson's favor [since Gervase had the immunity necklace and didn't have to draw a rock].
Caleb Bankston: Yeah, so, I don't think it was thought through, but it was a clever plan -- not a smart move, I don't think. Well, obviously it wasn't smart because it didn't work out.
Reality TV World: Right before they had to draw rocks, Jeff Probst told them that they could still avoid drawing rocks if all four of them agreed on a name, and Ciera seemed to tell Tyson and Gervase that all she really wanted them to do was make her No. 3 in their alliance instead of Monica. So were you surprised that Tyson decided to take the chance of drawing a rock instead of just telling Gervase they should just bump Monica out and make Ciera their new No. 3?
Caleb Bankston: I was! I was totally shocked, because you know, watching it back, with Tyson having an idol -- well, not in his pocket but in his crutch -- you're really taking a chance of screwing your whole game up.
I mean, yeah you've got odds, but those aren't good odds. The fact that he didn't just go ahead and flip and stuck with Monica, it turned out to be -- it was trying to be Ciera's move, but in that aspect, it was Tyson's big move to take that chance and risk it.
Reality TV World: So why do you think Tyson did that, what do you think his motivation was? Do you think maybe he didn't think he could convince Gervase to vote out Monica, or perhaps he didn't realize what Ciera was asking of him, or maybe he simply just resented Ciera? ...like he almost didn't want to give her the satisfaction of acquiescing to her gameplay at that point.
Caleb Bankston: I think he was kind of wanting to put Ciera in her place for going against his plan. I mean, there was no convincing Gervase, I don't think. I think he was set on, "I don't care. I'm not changing my plan," because this is what he was told to do or whatever.
But yeah, I think it was Tyson just not wanting to give Ciera what she was wanting, not wanting to decide with that. Because, you know, that Ciera was a wild card. She could just as easily flip and then she's really in a power spot.
With Monica gone, [Ciera's] got two on one side and two on the other, and it is her game. And so yeah, I think he just didn't want to put her in that kind of power position by giving her what she wanted.
Reality TV World: It was surprising it took so long for Ciera to realize that being No. 3 in a three-person alliance was better than being fourth in a four-person alliance, (laughs) especially given her mom Laura M. could still come back and turn [the three] into "two against two."
Reality TV World: How big a role, if any, do you think the fact Laura M. is still floating around on Redemption Island played in Ciera's strategy?
Caleb Bankston: I honestly don't think that she thought about it anymore. I think her mom was kind of off her mind, because once her mom went to Redemption Island the first time, she was already thinking that she was alone in the game.
I mean, she didn't think she was coming out or it was like she already went home. So yeah, once her mom was out of the picture the second time, I think it was all about Ciera and she wasn't thinking about anybody coming back.
Above is the first half of Caleb's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us on Friday for the concluding portion.