08:04 PM EDT 12/18/2014

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Stephen Fishbach

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Is This the Worst Lie in Survivor History?

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: One Bad Lie Destroys a Castaway's Game

Originally posted 10/02/2014 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.

"You can lie to me, you can fool me, you can deceive me. Don't insult my intelligence."
– James Clement, Survivor: Micronesia

Lying on Survivor is a fine art. You drop a hint here and a tease there and let people's imaginations run wild. The greats of the game fib their way to victory. In Heroes vs. Villains, Sandra dropped a "Sandra bug" into Russell's ear, convincing him that Coach was plotting his ouster. On Survivor: Cagayan, Tony pretended he had an idol for every occasion.

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Credit: Erik Reichenbach Comics
Survivor Returns with a Shocker

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: A Surprise Exit on the Very First Night

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?

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tony Vlachos Outsmarted Them All

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tony Vlachos Outsmarted Them All

Originally posted 05/22/2014 11:25AM

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 don't have any regrets."
– Colby Donaldson, Survivor: Australia

Tony Vlachos won the million dollars on the finale of Survivor Wednesday, along with the title of Sole Survivor, and most importantly – the final Fishy. His victory capped off a season he dominated with big moves and flashy gameplay. Thanks to Tony, Survivor: Cagayan will go down as one of the top seasons in the history of the show.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Survivor Blog: Tony Votes Out His Closest Ally

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tony Votes Out His Closest Ally

Originally posted 05/15/2014 10:55AM

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 have to weigh out your options at the end, and things aren't always as clear as they seem."
– Kim Spradlin, winner, Survivor: One World

Did Tony just make a brilliant move or a terrible one? I truly have no idea.

Just when you thought he was going to whip out an idol and save Trish, Tony instead turned on his top ally and voted her out. It happened so fast, you might have missed it. I did when I first watched the episode.

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Credit: CBS
Survivor Blog: Kass Creates Chaos

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Kass Creates Chaos, Chooses a Side

Originally posted 05/08/2014 01:30PM

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 have to check yourself out, emotionally, or you're not gonna make it in this game. – Chelsea Meissner, Survivor: One World

In the war between reason and emotion, which wins?

We all fall somewhere on the scale from cerebral Spencer to erratic J'Tia. What's made this season of Survivor so compelling is that we have a cast of smart, strategic players – many of whom are also out-of-control hotheads.

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Survivor Blog: Tony Vlachos Flips the Game on Its Head

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Tony Vlachos Flips the Game on Its Head

Originally posted 05/01/2014 06:50PM

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 plant that little seed in their head, in their little brain. And then it grows, and it's called a Russell seed. It takes over their whole mind."
– Russell Hantz, Survivor: Samoa

Tony Vlachos's initials aren't TV for nothing.

The crazed cop has made Survivor: Cagayan one of the best seasons of all time. On Wednesday night, he once again turned on his alliance and flipped the game on its head.

Tony decided that a women's alliance was brewing, and voted out benign Jefra. That left fan favorite Spencer still in the hunt for a million dollars.

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Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Trish Puts On a Show

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Trish Puts On a Show

Originally posted 04/24/2014 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.

"An alliance is easier said than done."
– Kelly Wigglesworth, Survivor: Borneo

We finally had a coming-out episode for the season's secret strategist on Wednesday night's Survivor. Oh sure, Tony found his super idol, Tasha won immunity, and Spencer pontificated grandiloquently.

But the real mastermind in a season filled with big players and giant reversals may be one of the least ostentatious and most overlooked. No, I don't mean Jefra – she's got the strategic chops of cardboard. I mean Trish: she of the annoying laugh and the uncomfortable jokes about her masculinity.

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Credit: Erik Reichenbach
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: Erik Reichenbach
Survivor: All About Spencer's Emotional Roller Coaster | Survivor, Stephen Fishbach

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: All About Spencer's Emotional Roller Coaster

Originally posted 04/10/2014 03:00PM

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.

"Even when you're hungry as heck, hot as heck, emotions are high, you've gotta remember to keep that character cool. Like Cool Hand Luke. Just keep it cool."
– Brian Heidik, winner, Survivor: Thailand

Survivor has really been an emotional roller coaster for poor Spencer. One minute, he's exulting in the highest highs, contorting his body in jubilation like he's just won the Game of Thrones as he celebrates a challenge win or an idol clue. The next minute, he's stomping his feet like his brother was a guest at the Red Wedding.

Wednesday night on Survivor, we got to see Spencer at his best and his worst. On the one hand, he was subtle and calculating like the chess master he is. On the other, he was abrasive and angry like the young kid he also is.

The episode starts with the tribe coming back to camp and Spencer is pissed. Kass has just flipped on his alliance, and suddenly what seemed like a sure path to the final six now looks like a trail to the jury bench.

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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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