03:14 PM EDT 04/15/2015
Originally posted 09/25/2014 10:50AM
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.
"Your ability to connect with idiots who can't process things properly is a large part of what this comes down to."
– John Fincher, Survivor: Samoa
On Wednesday's season premiere of Survivor: San Juan Del Sur, a long-standing debate was settled once and for all. Which reality show is harder, The Amazing Race or Survivor? When Jeff Probst snuffed the torch of Nadiya, you could see the entire story on her face: This game of strategy, endurance, and social skill had bested a former all-star player from the Race – aka, Who Can Find the Best Cab?
Originally posted 09/24/2014 01:30PM
Although Survivor is entering its 29th season, Jeff Probst clearly remembers every one of the 442 contestants, and can pull obscure trivia out of the air.
His excitement about the reality show is unwavering – impressive, considering that it debuted during the Clinton administration. "Every single season is a different show," he tells PEOPLE. "We're constantly reinventing ourselves."
But sometimes, ideas are recycled. 2013's Survivor: Blood vs. Water was such a compelling season that producers are doing it again, casting pairs of contestants with some sort of existing relationship – married couples, siblings, dating pairs, parent-child. The result, Survivor: San Juan Del Sur, premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
What would Probst, 52, do if he were competing against his wife? The longtime host weighed in on that and more.
Originally posted 05/21/2014 02:15PM
For a show in its 28th season, Survivor has proven itself to be shockingly resilient.
The newest installment, Survivor: Cagayan has been one of the most engrossing seasons in years – and the viewers have noticed. Ratings have spiked, and the show regularly beats American Idol in its time slot.
But it all comes to an end on Wednesday night when the show crowns its latest winner. Unlike previous seasons, each member of the final four could make an argument to win the game.
Originally posted 03/10/2014 07:30AM
When the Beauty tribe lost the immunity challenge on day 8 of Survivor: Cagayan, Brice Johnston knew he was likely to be voted out.
Although he tried to sway two other contestants to his side, he believed that they ultimately felt too threatened to join forces with him.
After splitting the vote, the other contestants voted for him in a tiebreaker, making him the third person to leave the game. The 27-year-old social worker from Philadelphia talks about surviving monsoons, smelling "funky" and why he won't remember his fellow castaways' names.
Originally posted 02/26/2014 02:25PM
The familiarity of Survivor has always been reassuring. The immunity challenges. The tribal councils. Jeff Probst's cargo shirts.
But Probst and his fellow producers like to mix it up – sometimes with better results than others. After the success of Survivor: Blood vs. Water, they had to come up with another twist to keep viewers engaged. For Survivor: Cagayan, which premieres on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET) on CBS, they decided to split the 18 contestants into three tribes: Beauty, Brains and Brawn.
Probst tells PEOPLE that the twist worked beautifully. He breaks down what we can expect – and which tribe he'd rather be on.
Originally posted 12/15/2013 11:00PM
Survivor: Blood vs. Water pitted returning players against their loved ones in a gut-wrenching series of blindsides and big moves. Sunday night, the show crowned this season's winner.
Keep reading for results.
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.
Originally posted 12/08/2013 03:35PM
Colton Cumbie is one of the most infamous Survivor contestants in recent history but it was his fiancé Caleb Bankston who outwitted, outlasted and outplayed longer than his returning loved one.
After Cumbie, 22, chose to quit the CBS reality competition for the second time earlier this season, Bankston, 26, was left to fend for himself on Survivor: Blood vs. Water until he was eliminated last Wednesday.
But while most contestants are interrogated by host Jeff Probst about their gameplay after being eliminated, Probst was more interested in how Bankston could be in a relationship with a Cumbie, who received death threats because of his actions during his first season on the show.
Originally posted 11/21/2013 11:05AM
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
"You can't let these emotional things distract you too much out of the game. You have to keep your focus." – Laura Morett, Survivor: Samoa
So Ciera blindsided her mom. Wow.
Originally posted 11/18/2013 08:45AM
Jeff Probst has hosted Survivor for 27 seasons, but there are still twists and turns that keep him on his toes.
This season – entitled Survivor: Blood vs. Water – pitted former Survivor contestants against their loved ones for the first time in the CBS reality competition's 13-year history.
"It is one of the best seasons we've ever had," Probst tells PEOPLE in an exclusive video. "[The twist] has added more layers and more emotion to the show than I think we ever had."
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