03:37 PM EDT 11/21/2014

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Stephen Fishbach

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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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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: Is Honesty the Best Policy After Serial Lying?

Survivor

UpdatePosted 03/27/2014 03:00PM

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Is Honesty the Best Policy After Serial Lying?

Originally posted 03/27/2014 11:00AM

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.

"This game is fun, and I like keeping it fun." – Todd Herzog, Winner, Survivor: China

Has anybody ever had more fun playing Survivor than Tony?

His big strategic moves may be harebrained. To prove his honesty, he confesses how much he lies. His tattoo makes him look like he's always wearing an Affliction shirt. But by God is he enjoying himself out there, whether he's plotting a scheme or putting his foot in his mouth.

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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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