Colton Cumbie, a 21-year-old college student, from Alabama, may be the most vile contestant in the history of CBS’s Survivor. His overt display of classism on the episode from March 7, 2012, the fourth of the season, was reprehensible. But, his descent into the bowels of Reality filth didn’t start there. It all started four weeks ago, with the first episode.
This season’s Survivor brings us another new twist in the game; the tribal camps are positioned next to each other. In past seasons, the warring tribes lived in completely separate camps. While this traditional separation may have briefly been breached by game twists, in general, the tribes have lived apart, and had few opportunities to socialize prior to the merge. With this season’s twist, members of the two tribes, divided by gender, can not only socialize, but also strategize with their rivals. No matter how much socializing you do with the other tribe, however, you remain a functioning member of your own tribe. This means you still compete with them in challenges, and attend Tribal Council with them. As such, a smart player would show absolute loyalty to their own tribe, and keep any cross-tribe strategizing under the radar. As it happens, Colton Cumbie is not a smart player.
In the first episode of the season, Cumbie immediately defected to the women’s tribe. He spent the majority of his time with them, and publicly declared that he prefers the women’s tribe, because all his friends back home are women. In any normal season of Survivor, or any normal matter of human interaction, for that matter, this would put him at odds with his own tribe. Under these circumstances, one would expect Cumbie to have a huge target on his back after such a display. It turns out, however, that Colton isn’t the only player on his tribe lacking in the smarts. It appears to be a systemic problem with the men’s tribe. Not only have the men not targeted Cumbie, they have somehow elevated him to tribe leader.
This all culminates in one of the most shocking, and infuriating, displays in Survivor history. After an absolutely pathetic display at the immunity challenge, the women’s tribe was headed to Tribal Council, where one would be voted off. In other words, all of the men were safe for another week. That was, until Cumbie reared his ugly little head. After finding out that fellow tribe member Leif told another tribe member, Bill, that Cumbie wanted to vote him out, Cumbie declared the men should give up their immunity and go to Tribal Council. In what has to be the dumbest moves ever seen on Reality TV, the men unanimously agreed, even Bill and Leif, who were both indicated as possible targets.
What happened next, was completely disgusting. Cumbie, who had already called Bill, an African-American Stand-up Comedian, “ghetto trash,” and Leif, a little person, “munchkin” and “oompa loompa,” declared that Bill deserved to be voted out because he is “poor.” Cumbie stated, through smirks and rolling eyes, that he would never associate with someone like Bill in real life, so he didn’t think he should have to associate with him on Survivor. He also accused Bill, a military veteran, of being lazy and not having a real job. Even after spewing these revolting ideas, the men still voted with Cumbie, and got rid of Bill, a strong, intelligent player, who could have been beneficial to them in future challenges.
In plain and simple words, Colton Cumbie is a bully. The openly gay player admitted to being judged for his sexuality, and then turned around and stated that he didn’t want to be around Bill because he was “different.” At 21-years-old he has a long future ahead of him, and he deserves every bit of scorn about to come his way.