'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' eliminee Caleb Bankston talks (Part 2)
By Reality TV World staff, 12/06/2013
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 concluding portion of Caleb's interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Do you think Gervase Peterson actually believes he would beat Tyson Apostol in a jury vote or do you think he basically thinks he has no chance to win and was just talking trash?
Caleb Bankston: No, I think that Gervase believed he could beat him. I mean, you know, whenever they returned from voting me out and [Hayden Moss] was kind of saying that, "If you go to the end with Tyson, Tyson's going to win," and then Gervase spoke up like, "I'm the one calling!..."
And I'm thinking, "Well, it doesn't look that way! But whatever." And yeah, I do really think Gervase thinks he's playing the best game.
Reality TV World: I think it came up again in Tribal as well when you and the other jury members were there. Did you discuss Gervase potentially getting more votes in the end than Tyson with the other jurors? What were their thoughts? Because from a viewer standpoint, it seems like Gervase is kind of delusional. (Laughs)
Caleb Bankston: That's exactly it. (Laughs) We felt the same way. We tried to predict, you know, being in the jury at Ponderosa, we tried to predict, "Who do you think is going home," or, "Who do you think is doing this," or, "Who do you think the Final 3 is going to be," and, "What if this happens or that happens?"
You try to make all these predictions to see what's going to happen. Ultimately, everybody was thinking, "Gervase is riding Tyson's coattails and he's playing for second or third place right now." And so yeah, we all just kind of were taking Gervase as a big joke. That's the way we kind of viewed him.
Reality TV World: Kind of like during Season 1. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: (Laughs) Everybody seemed to think that Katie could've gotten a lot of jury votes and would've been a big threat to win at the end if she had actually made it to the end. Did you agree with that or do you think they were just saying that?
Caleb Bankston: I think having her mom [Tina] potentially on the jury, you know, that kind of came up -- that if you had a "loved one" on the jury, they could kind of campaign for your votes. And so that was kind of a factor in it, and there's all these different layers to the game.
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You try to think of everything -- and you're going to miss some stuff -- but yeah, Katie having her mom there and maybe playing a sympathy card of, "Katie's so sweet and Katie's this and Katie's that," and just talking about how awesome Katie is as a person, as a gameplayer, it's just not there. And that's what I decided whenever I got voted out.
I decided, "I'm going to give it to whoever, no hard feelings [coming from] me." Whoever voted me out, that was an awesome move. I mean, that was a good move. As a fan, I thought it was great. Obviously I hated it but, you know, it was a good move on their part.
And so, that kind of weighed into my thought process of whom I'm going to give my vote to in the end and who's played the best game, who has made the biggest moves and taken the most risks and played the best.
Reality TV World: Do you still think Tyson's alliance would've turned on you if yourself and Hayden hadn't made the initial move to go after them or do you think you at least might've gotten a little bit further?
Caleb Bankston: Yeah, I think they would've. There was already kind of a rumor going around that [Monica Culpepper] was a lot closer than -- Tyson and Gervase would tell me and Hayden, "Final 4. Four guys to the end!" And we had already kind of heard through the grapevine that Monica was a lot closer than that, that she was three instead of five.
So we just decided, with that being said, we were going to go ahead and try to take it over. And that ended up being our downfall, telling [Ciera Eastin] the plan. We thought Ciera was with us and we didn't realize that Tyson had kind of thrown us under the bus on the Laura M. vote.
It's like, you know, us and Tyson had decided -- and Gervase had decided -- Laura M, and then we were actually the ones who told Ciera when she asked if it was going to be her mom. In that sense, she thought -- I mean, it was the wrong thought, it was incorrect -- but she thought that we were the ones who kind of spearheaded that.
Reality TV World: Did it bother you that Jeff Probst had to take some more parting shots at Colton after you lost the Redemption Island duel? Do you think he kind of crossed the line and was being a little rude or no?
Caleb Bankston: Yeah, I think I really wanted to put him in his place, but I thought, "My parents raised me to respect my elders," so I didn't feel like I should. So yeah, I mean, for him to question it, it's really none of his business. Who I'm with is none of his business. And I love Colton, that's it and that's the end of it. And there's nothing that he's going to say or anybody's going to say to change it.
So, it was. It was kind of like, "Go ahead and make your last try. I don't know if you think that you're opening my eyes to maybe that it's not the right relationship for me or he's the right guy," but it's like, what did Jeff know? (Laughs) He doesn't really know Colton outside of the game, so I mean, I just don't put much stock into it.
Reality TV World: It seems clear that Jeff still kind of resents the fact that Colton quit the game twice, and maybe some of it is even a "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" type of thing. What are your own thoughts on that and also your general thoughts on Colton's decisions to quit the game.
Caleb Bankston: Yeah, with Jeff, obviously he's the host of the show. He obviously wants it to do well and he's got a job to do, so whenever anybody quits -- I mean, watching the show and seeing people like [Kelly "Purple Kelly" Shinn] and [NaOnka Mixon] quit, I think, "You took somebody else's spot that might've wanted to be there."
And this season, I didn't feel that way, because you know what? If Colton hadn't been on the show, I wouldn't have been on the show. It's kind of a double whammy because I respect his decision to quit, because he had his reasons. He wanted to keep me from swapping with him at the Redemption Island duel and going home essentially because I wouldn't have done that well at puzzles.
I probably wouldn't have done that well at puzzles anyway. And so, him kind of laying himself on the line, sacrificing himself to put me further in the game, I mean, it was a respectful decision and I back him on it. I don't know if I had done the same thing, but it was a strategy in the end, I think.
Reality TV World: Have you and Colton set a wedding date yet or set any of the details?
Caleb Bankston: October 11 in Connecticut. We found a little country place that we rented out where we're going to do it. It's country enough for me but it's still upscale enough for Colton, so we made a good compromise on that... Alabama is not exactly accepting of same-sex marriages.
So yeah, we thought about Vermont, but in October, you kind of are gambling with the snow, and we both love fall -- the colors and everything -- and Connecticut just seems, that New England coastline is just going to be beautiful. We're going to try to go up to [New Jersey].
Reality TV World: How did you end up on Survivor? Was it a situation where producers wanted Colton back and you were selected off his list of possible "loved ones" to compete with, or was it something where they knew about you, or maybe Colton said he'd only do the show if he could do it with you?
Caleb Bankston: I met a few people at Colton's finale, on One World's finale, and he was asked to do a list of a couple of relatives and he gave them one name and said, "This is it. I'm doing it with Caleb or I'm not doing it at all." Then I went through the casting process and obviously they liked me enough to give us a shot.
And yeah, we kind of make a joke that Colton's like, "If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't be on the show." And I'd say, "Well, if it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have gotten a second chance to be on the show. They wouldn't have picked us." And then we say, "If it wasn't for the both of us, I wouldn't have gotten as far as I [did]." So it's kind of a give and take.
Above is the concluding portion of Caleb's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.