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Caleb Bankston

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In Memoriam: Caleb Bankston
Survivor: Blood vs. Water castaway Caleb Bankston died in a work-related train accident on June 24, 2014, at age 26.
Caleb Bankston
S27 Caleb Bankston
Contestant Profile
Birth Date September 27, 1987[1]
Died June 24, 2014 (age 26)
Hometown Collinsville, Alabama
Occupation Post Office Manager/Farmer

Blood vs. Water

Tribe(s) Tadhana
Placement 9/20
Alliance(s) Five Guys Alliance
Singles Alliance
Challenge(s) Won 3
Vote(s) Against 4
Day(s) Lasted 30

Caleb Ondus Bankston was a contestant from Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

He was the fiancé and Blood vs. Water partner of Colton Cumbie, who originally competed on Survivor: One World. Caleb is known for causing the fall of Brad Culpepper, who was the leader of the dominant alliance of the Tadhana tribe.

Caleb passed away on June 24, 2014 after a work-related railroad accident.[2]


Name (Age): Caleb Bankston (25)
Tribe Designation: Tadhana
Relationship to Significant Castaway: Colton’s Fiancé
Current Residence: Collinsville, Alabama
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.
Three 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: J.T. Thomas 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.

Survivor: Blood vs. Water

Voting History

Caleb's Voting History
Episode Caleb's
Voted Against
1 Laura B. -
Marissa -
2 Rachel -
3 No Tribal Council
John -
4 Brad;
5 Tadhana Tribe Immune
6 Tadhana Tribe Immune
7 Tadhana Tribe Immune
8 Aras -
9 Vytas -
Tina -
10 Laura M. -
11 Ciera Ciera, Gervase,
Monica, Tyson
Voted Off, Day 29
12 On Redemption Island
Eliminated, Day 30
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^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 at the revote.



On June 24, 2014, Caleb was working for the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham  checking on something between the two train cars. According to the coroner Bill Yates, Caleb accidentally fell off when a derailment occurred.[3][4] The funeral was held at Crossville Memorial Chapel. The burial was in the DeKalb Memory Gardens.[5] Caleb and Colton were supposed to get married on October 2014.


  • Caleb lost 23 lbs (10.5 kg) during his time in Survivor: Blood vs. Water
  • Caleb is the youngest contestant, and first LGBT contestant, to die.[6]
  • Caleb is the third U.S. Survivor alumnus to die, following Jenn Lyon and B.B. Andersen.
    • He is the first castaway whose death was not related to cancer.
  • Caleb shares his birthday with Shamar Thomas.
  • The first time Caleb received votes, he was voted out.


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