‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ interview: Colton Cumbie on Jeff Probst, if he quit ‘One World’ (exclusive)

He's back -It’s typical that on “Survivor,” the most-discussed moment happens at the very end of the episode when you see Jeff Probst snuff your torch. However, last night it came early courtesy of Colton Cumbie’s out-of-nowhere decision (at least per the editing) to quit the game, leading host Jeff Probst to pretty much publicly berate him in front of all to see.

Was that sort of treatment justified, and did Colton really quit a game in “Survivor: One World” that he seemed to be in a good place during before he was sent out by medical? These were just a small sample of topics covered when we chatted with him this afternoon.

CarterMatt – I asked you when you were out last time what the reaction was to you since you were removed from the game, so I’ll do the same thing here. What has it been like this time around? Has it been even crazier?

Colton Cumbie – No, I’ve actually had a lot more support this time, which I’m really shocked and pleasantly surprised about. So thanks Probst, for being an a***ole … I mean, obviously there are people who are upset.

I don’t think there are as many people who are upset in that you didn’t say anything offensive this time, though you did quit. But with that, I know you are a huge fan of this game and that you think about everything. I don’t know for sure why you made the move, but I’m guessing that it had something to do with Caleb.

Absolutely. My ultimate decision to pull myself from this game was all about ‘how can I best win this game without winning it myself,’ and that was Caleb. If i voluntarily leave, I take the target off of him. The people that were single in the game, they are going to be the ones who are the ones to watch, because they don’t have to watch out for anyone other than themselves.

And how much was Redemption Island a factor? Caleb seems like a great guy, and he’d be one of those people who would want to go and do that challenge instead of you.

That’s exactly it. I knew that if I went in, it would not be a question of ‘let’s talk about this.’ It would not be like Tyson. Tyson actually let Rachel dictate and say ‘I don’t want you to do this, and here’s why’; Caleb would come down and I knew I would be an emotional wreck and it’s not easy to communicate at that point. I think he would see ‘there’s no way that Colton is going to be able to do this duel, and I’m going to be in his place.’ I didn’t want him to be in that position.

So what were the emotions like in your head when you were leaving, or is there anything that Caleb said to do that we didn’t get a chance to see?

The reason that I got up and ran over there is because Jeff, in his tirade, he went over to Caleb and said ‘what’s the deal, do you feel like people judge you because of being with him?’ And Caleb was like ‘I don’t really care. I couldn’t care less. He’s my whole world and I love him more than anything and he’s going to be the other dad to my kids.’ And that’s when I got up and ran over there, and I said ‘listen, you can win. I can’t win, and that’s what this comes down to. If I leave right now, I take the target off of you.’ And then he said ‘You can’t go home. you can’t go see your mom … You have to stay here.’

It was really funny because when I got up, I guess he thought that I wanted him to come, and he was like ‘no, I’m going to say.’ And I was just like ‘what, were you not listening?’. (Laughs.)

Since you’ve brought him up a couple of times here, let’s talk Probst. He’s been hard on quitters before, but he was pretty vicious with you with the ‘One World’ stuff about you supposedly quitting, which was a little surprising because you were in a good spot on that show when you left. Let’s just get this right: You were evacuated from the game. They pulled you. Right?

Right. And somewhere, Probst has determined that means I quit the game. I was not given the option. I was begging to stay, but medical said ‘you have to go.’

The one thing that I don’t really get about the season is this: I thought that there was a good chance that you would be voted out when Candice was, just because of what happened last time and you being judged for that. But they kept you. Why keep you then, and then suddenly decide to not trust you later?

Well I think Candice’s problem was that she was late for the game. Literally. (Note: Read about what he is talking about here.) I could’ve been in a good position on my tribe. I completely own the fact that it was my fault I was in the position I was in because when I first got there, Tina came to me and asked to be in an alliance. I was like ‘sure,’ because I already had Monica, Aras was going to work with us, and then we needed a fifth. That was originally going to be Kat, but it got switched to Gervase.

What I started witnessing was that Aras had deals with everyone. He was sneaky, and trying to use that whole ‘you don’t drink my Kool-Aid and meditate’ approach that was really getting on my nerves. I started calling him out to people and saying that ‘this is what’s happening,’ and that ended up putting me on the outs.

We’re going to have our other chat with Rachel Foulger posted soon, but if you click here, you can see all of our news, reviews, and analysis from the “Survivor” world. We’ve also got some more updates to the right.

Photo: CBS

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