Caleb Ondus Bankston was a contestant from Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
He was the fiancé and Blood vs. Water partner of One World contestant, Colton Cumbie. Their romance sparked confusion among fans, as Caleb was perceived as Colton's polar opposite. Whereas Colton was highly despised for his controversial statements, Caleb was generally liked, but just as devious.
Retrieved from CBS.com
Name (Age): Caleb Bankston (26)
Tribe Designation: Loved Ones
Relationship to Significant Castaway: Colton's Fiancé
Current Residence: Collinsville, Ala.
Occupation: Post Office Manager/Farmer
Personal Claim to Fame: Shooting a 12 point buck on my first deer hunt.
Inspiration in Life: My momma and dad. They built a small five acre farm into a large cattle/chicken operation and have helped me more than I deserve or could ever return. They are very hard working and focused people and they have taught me how to be a man.
Hobbies: Riding horses, working with my dogs and hunting/fishing.
Pet Peeves: People who don't put down their cell phones.
3 Words to Describe You: Hard-working, hard-headed and outdoorsman.
If You Could Have 3 Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why? 1) My duck call. 2) My camouflage Alabama hat. 3) A gallon of sweet tea.
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: JT because we both farm, we are both tough and can do just about anything. We aren't stupid just because we talk slow.
Reason for Being on Survivor: Showing America how farm boys from Alabama do things.
Why You Think You'll "Survive" Survivor: I can definitely outlast anybody and I won't have any enemies.
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole Survivor: I am very good at working with my hands, really good at figuring things out and problem solving.
What Does It Mean to You to Play Survivor with Your Loved One? Survivor made Colton realize a lot of things he didn't know about himself. Some things were good and some were not so good. He grew so much from that experience and I wish I could have been there to experience it with him. When we learned it was a possibility that we could play Survivor together, I jumped at the chance because as much as he grew as a person from the first time playing, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that our relationship could withstand anything and it would only be strengthened through Survivor. However, on a selfish level, I wanted to help show America what love looks like because it doesn't matter whether it is between two men, two women, or a man and woman. Love is love and I love Colton.
Despite being Colton Cumbie's loved one, Caleb's strategy going into this game was fairly different. He was a friendlier and helpful presence in camp life and rather than leading an alliance, he allowed Brad Culpepper to take that role. Caleb was happy to go along with Brad's all-male alliance, capitalizing on Laura Boneham's exit on Day 1 which created a 5-4 male majority on Tadhana. Caleb remained in a good position early on, which was the opposite of Colton's experience on Galang. Caleb was disappointed to see Colton quit the game because of that on Day 7, to which Colton apologized and stated that Caleb had a much better chance to win the game than he did.
After John Cody's blindside, strategy and paranoia ramped up on Tadhana and as Brad continued to take criticism for the tribe's vote outs at the Redemption Island duels, he began looking for ways to avoid that in a future vote. Since Caleb was the only one left on the tribe without a loved one in the game, he became concerned that Brad would target him. These suspicions were justified in Caleb's mind when Brad told the guys to vote out Ciera Eastin and then stayed behind to talk to Ciera and Katie Collins. Brad did, in fact, use Caleb's name as the decoy vote, although he intended to still vote out Ciera. However, Brad's inconsistent answers to Jeff Probst's questions at Tribal Council was enough for Caleb to take matters into his own hands. He openly targeted Brad, asking Ciera and Katie to do the same and left the offer open to his allies Vytas Baskauskas and Hayden Moss. This initially forced a 3-3 tie between Ciera and Brad, but Vytas flipped in the revote to send Brad to Redemption Island.
Although the move was successful and it appeared Caleb was the swing vote going forward, Vytas no longer trusted Caleb fully. Tadhana finally caught a break from Tribal Council in part due to Caleb's contributions in the Immunity Challenge. The tribe switch followed where Caleb remained on Tadhana with Ciera and Hayden, and gained Aras Baskauskas, Tyson Apostol, and Gervase Peterson from Galang. Tadhana was now much stronger than Galang and won the remaining challenges before the merge, though Tyson did approach the original Tadhana members about blindsiding Aras when the opportunity came. That opportunity arrived when the tribes merged, where players without their loved ones still in the game Tyson, Caleb, Hayden, Gervase, and Monica Culpepper formed an alliance. Unaware of this, Aras and Vytas thought the plan was for original Galang and their loved ones to target Laura Morett, who was already voted out but had returned from Redemption Island. This allowed Caleb's alliance to recruit Laura M. and her daughter Ciera to have the majority votes needed to blindside Aras on Day 21.
After this alliance systematically eliminated most of the minority, Caleb and Hayden started thinking about turning on Tyson as he was calling the shots. With four first-time players remaining (Caleb, Ciera, Katie, and Hayden) against three returning players (Monica, Tyson, and Gervase), it seemed like a feasible move. However, Ciera warned Tyson about the plan. When Tyson confronted Caleb, Caleb realized that Ciera leaked the plan so he switched his target to Ciera in an attempt to save face. However, Tyson decided Caleb was a threat to his longevity in the game so his alliance plus Ciera voted Caleb out 4-3 on Day 29.
Caleb competed against Laura M. and Tina Wesson in Redemption Island the next day, where he called out Gervase and Tyson by saying "a man's word is a man's word: in the South it means something and in the game of Survivor, in Utah and Philly, it just doesn't mean as much." In the duel, Caleb made good progress on his house of cards, though his stack was slanted. This proved costly as it crashed down with 30 seconds left in the duel. Despite the futility of the situation, Caleb did not give up and tried to rebuild quickly to no avail. Upon his elimination, Jeff Probst commended Caleb on his efforts, his work ethic, and his ability to deal with Colton. Despite Caleb's earlier comment, he stated he had no hard feelings as he walked out of the game. This proved true at Final Tribal Council where he voted for Tyson, the main contributor to his elimination, to become Sole Survivor.
|Caleb's Voting History|
|5||Tadhana Tribe Immune|
|6||Tadhana Tribe Immune|
|7||Tadhana Tribe Immune|
|Voted Out, Day 29|
|12||On Redemption Island|
|Eliminated, Day 30|
^1 In "One Armed Dude and Three Moms", the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Brad and Ciera, forcing a revote. Caleb did not change his vote on the revote.
- On June 24, 2014, Caleb was killed in a work-related accident. He was working for the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham, checking on something between two train cars. According to the coroner, Caleb accidentally fell off when a derailment occurred. The funeral was held at Crossville Memorial Chapel. The internment was at DeKalb Memory Gardens. Caleb and Colton had planned to marry in October 2014.
|Survivor: Blood vs. Water Castaways|