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Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tony Ousts His Biggest Threat

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tony Ousts His Biggest Threat

Originally posted 04/17/2014 12:20PM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

"It just comes down to your gut. And that's scary because if you put your trust in the wrong person, you're going home."
– Gervase Peterson, Survivor: Blood vs. Water

I'm completely heartbroken!

My season-long favorite met an ignominious end Wednesday night on Survivor. Horse trainer LJ thought he was holding the reins in a six-person alliance. But "construction worker" Tony sent him out to pasture.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Survivor Blog: Of Bad Strategies and Switched Votes

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Of Bad Strategies and Switched Votes

Originally posted 04/03/2014 10:00AM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

"Don't sink everybody else and yourself because you're pissed off at one person."
– Ken Stafford, Survivor: Thailand

Holy reversals, Batman! Wednesday night's tribal council was one of the twistiest, turniest eliminations ever on Survivor. Two surprise idols were revealed! Votes were switched! A flopper flipped! It was the most bad moves in a single episode since Big Tom did his chicken dance.

You could practically see Jeff salivating at the insanity. But whence came the madness? How did Sarah – who thought she was in a "Sarah sandwich" – somehow get eaten alive?

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Credit: Erik Reichenbach
Survivor Blog: Is Losing Early Challenges a Winning Strategy?

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Is Losing Early Challenges a Winning Strategy?

Originally posted 03/20/2014 09:30AM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

"I never had numbers. I always make it to the end. I don't need no stinkin' numbers. All I need is trust. Loyalty."
– Russell Hantz, Survivor: Redemption Island

They were the best of tribes, they were the worst of tribes.

They were a tribe of wisdom, they were a tribe of foolishness. They had moments of strategy, and they had moments of idiocy.

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Credit: Erik Reichenbach
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: The Brains Team Lacks Smarts

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: The Brains Team Lacks Smarts

Originally posted 03/13/2014 09:40AM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach.

Erik Reichenbach is a
Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

"The only thing I can predict about Brandon is that he's going to be unpredictable. That gives me very little solace in this game when predictability really is everything."
– John Cochran, winner, Survivor: Caramoan

How bad is the Brains tribe at challenges? It's like the setup to a "Yo momma" joke.

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Credit: Erik Reichenbach
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tony Spins a Web of Lies

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tony Spins a Web of Lies

Originally posted 03/06/2014 12:00PM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

"Everybody here is sleeping, napping, complaining, and bitching. I came here focused. I came here knowing I was gonna suffer."
– Russell Hantz, Survivor: Samoa

In the immortal words of Eric Clapton, "Let it rain."

This week on Survivor: Cagayan, the elements stole the thunder. Rainstorms are horrible news for Survivor's waterlogged contestants. They rip through the shelter, and leave players chilled to the bone. There's a reason modern homebuilders don't often work with palm fronds and bamboo.

For those of us sitting on our couches and binging on kale chips, however, downpours bring the drama. Tempests in the sky means tempers flare at camp. And who doesn't love those montages of the players' puckered feet?

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Beauty and Brawn Beat Out Brains

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Beauty and Brawn Beat Out Brains

Originally posted 02/27/2014 11:10AM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

"There is a difference between book smarts and common sense smarts. It seems like none of my group has any common sense. Not a one of them."
– Russell Hantz, Survivor: Samoa

Is the Brains tribe the worst tribe ever?

These ersatz eggheads don't just lose challenges. They lose challenges spectacularly in jaw-dropping fiascos. They don't just make a bad shelter. They spend all day building a structure that can't support a single person. They don't just play Survivor badly. They set a new benchmark in how not to play the game.

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Credit: Art by Erik Reichenbach
Stephen Fishbach Ranks Beauty, Brains, Brawn Teams on Survivor: Cagayan

Survivor

UpdatePosted 02/26/2014 07:00PM

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Ranking the Teams on Survivor: Cagayan

Originally posted 02/26/2014 02:45PM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

"This is like the cool kids lunch table back in high school."
– Eddie Fox, Survivor: Caramoan

Survivor is like high school. The jocks ostracize the nerds. The hotties coast on big boobs and winning smiles. Cliques form quickly. If you don't maintain your finger on the pulse of what's "in," you could be "out," and voted "off."

Starting Wednesday on Survivor: Cagayan, these high school factions will fight for island dominance in tribes of Brains, Brawn and Beauty. Usually the cliques face off within a tribe. Now they'll fight as tribes.

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Credit: Erik Reichenbach
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tyson Keeps His Cool | Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tyson Keeps His Cool

Originally posted 12/12/2013 11:30AM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. This is his first season illustrating episodes of the show for PEOPLE.com. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can

"Putting up with the people is the survival part, not putting up with the elements."
– Rudy Boesch, Survivor: All Stars

Well, that was kind of … obvious? Maybe last week's on-the-rocks Survivor bender left the show with a hangover, because Wednesday night, a grouchy, tetchy episode led to a predictable end.

Hayden and Ciera tattled on Tyson for saying mean things about mommy Monica. All they accomplished was hurting poor Monica's frayed feelings. The vets stuck together, and sent Hayden to Redemption Island.

The newbies' timing couldn't have been worse. Just three days earlier, Tyson put his life on the line in the Great Rock Draw of '13, so Monica was feeling particularly grateful. Plus, Hayden never made clear how blindly following him was superior to blindly following Tyson.



Here's the thing about smack talk – it's as much a part of Survivor as Jeff Probst's hat. If you're not analyzing and ridiculing your competitors, you're not holding up your part of the bargain for being on television. When you're on the island, the producers ask you to comment on the other castaways. You expect your tribe mates are also commenting on you.

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Credit: CBS
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Contestants Draw Rocks in Shocking Tribal Council

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Contestants Draw Rocks in Jaw-Dropping Tribal Council

Originally posted 12/05/2013 10:30AM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

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Credit: Rob Kim/Landov
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: It's Hard to Know Whom to Trust | Stephen Fishbach

Survivor

UpdatePosted 11/28/2013 12:25PM

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: It's Hard to Know Whom to Trust

Originally posted 11/28/2013 11:45AM

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

"Once you flip, you're a weaker number, because you've shown that you can't be trusted in your alliance."
Lisa Whelchel, Survivor: The Philippines

Survivor is a game of big moves. Strategists know that if you want to make a compelling case to the jury, you can't just coast to the end. You have to take control.

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