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Jodi Hersey Jodi Hersey
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Alabama farmer loses chance to win Survivor'

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Caleb Bankston Caleb Bankston

The conditions on 'Survivor' didn't bother Caleb Bankston a bit. This farm boy from Alabama admitted he is used to hard work and the heat. However, his strategy and loyalty were both put to the test early in the season when his fianc, former 'Survivor: One World' contestant Colton Cumbie, outright quit the game. But Bankston was able to recover from that drama quickly and make an even bigger move in the game when he successfully knocked out one of this season's most recognizable players - former NFL player Brad Culpepper. I recently spoke with Bankston about his time on the show and whether or not he's upset about now being part of the 'Survivor' jury.

The Maine Edge: Are you bummed you're part of the jury?

Bankston: No, I'm not bummed at all. It kind of digs at me that Ciera decided this week to flop back, but I don't really have any regrets about it. I'm happy to have gone as far as I did.

TME: You made some big moves. One of them was vocalizing in the middle of tribal council, "I'm voting for Brad Culpepper." Do you wish you had made as bold as a move as that one a little sooner to get Tyson out [of the game]?

Bankston: In hindsight I think our chance to blindside Tyson was the night Laura M. went home. I think we should've used Laura M. to get Tyson out then, and my final three would've stayed the same -  me, Hayden and Ciera. 

TME: Earlier in the season when Colton quit, did that surprise you?

Bankston: It did surprise me that he would quit the game he loved so much, but at the same time when they separated us I knew it was going to be bad on him. But him potentially getting voted out because of his reputation preceding him, I would've met him at the gate at Redemption Island and said, 'Go take a seat.' I think him quitting actually saved me from going home early and him just following behind me.

TME: I couldn't help but notice you were the only player out there in that heat wearing boots. How miserable was that?

Bankston: They were insulated boots too. I work outside all the time on a farm. I love being outside, and it's hotter in Alabama than anyone else because of the humidity, so I was used to it. I didn't feel any effects because of the weather or hunger. I got thirsty at times, but I was content.

TME: What did you crave the most out there?  

Bankston: Sweet tea. That's all I wanted was sweet tea. 

Caleb is now the third member of the jury that will ultimately decide who becomes this season's winner. 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' airs every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on CBS.


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