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Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Blindsides and Double-Crosses

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Blindsides and Double-Crosses

Originally posted 03/19/2015 08:10AM

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.

"Most of the time you kinda need that social component. So when you don't win, someone's got your back – and they can take you to the end." –Brett Clouser, Survivor: Samoa

Survivor is truly a social game.

You can have all the great strategic ideas in the world. But none of it matters if you whistle out of tune or don't know how to apologize.

Wednesday night's Survivor was a testament to the importance of self-awareness and self-control. It turns out you can't curse, insult people's religion or walk around with your junk out and still win a game of influence and social politics.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS/Getty(2); Jemal Countess/Getty
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: A 'Gimme' Elimination and ... Monkey Sex Stories?

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: A 'Gimme' Elimination and ... Monkey Sex Stories?

Originally posted 03/12/2015 01:45PM

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.

"When people have the same problem, it's easy to bring them together." –Malcolm Freberg, Survivor: Caramoan

It's a rare gift on Survivor when a vote is a gimme.

When you're competing on the show, every vote seems punctuated by a question mark. Do you keep the challenge beast who's in the other alliance? Do you hold on to your loyal ally who's annoying everybody around you?

Thank the blogging gods for that confusion. That ambiguity is what gives me something to analyze and critique every week.

But, as a contestant, it's frustrating to know that your shot at a million dollars could be riding on one arbitrary decision.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS/Getty(2); Jemal Countess/Getty
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Good Naked, Bad Naked and a 'Classic Overplay'

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Good Naked, Bad Naked and a 'Classic Overplay'

Originally posted 03/04/2015 10:00PM

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.

"I will do what everybody feels most comfortable doing. I don't care what that is." –Todd Herzog, Survivor: China winner

People on Survivor just want to feel safe.

Before you ever hit the beach, you've suffered months of preparation.

You've passed the grueling gauntlet of casting, where you are assessed against a dozen people who look vaguely like you.

You have trained – swum, sprinted and Crossfit WOD-ed until you had nothing left to snatch.

You have bid adieu to your work and said au revoir to your family.

So when contestants enter the game, they really want to stay there. They want safety and security.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: A Treacherous Alliance and a White Collar Crime

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: A Treacherous Alliance and a White Collar Crime

Originally posted 02/26/2015 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.

"This game is about who you are. Your character is your strategy." –Rafe Judkins, Survivor: Guatemala

Survivor is back for another season of terrible liars, over-attached creeps, self-aggrandizing loudmouths – and a couple of smart gamers.

The big twist this season is that contestants are divided into three tribes: White Collar, Blue Collar, and No Collar. White Collars make the rules; Blue Collars follow the rules; and No Collars break the rules and give uncomfortably long hugs.

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Credit: Timothy Kuratek/CBS(2); Monty Brinton
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: How the Sole Survivor Won the Game

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: How the Sole Survivor Won the Game

Originally posted 12/18/2014 10:20AM

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.

"So I did what I had to, I made huge moves, I dug around for the idols to make sure nobody else had them, and I won challenges when I absolutely had to. Everything I did was strategic, nothing was out of malice, and I'm here – day 39 – because Rachel made that sacrifice." – Tyson Apostol, Winner of Survivor: Blood vs. Water

In a humdrum season, we actually have a great winner.

On Survivor's season finale Wednesday, Natalie Anderson plotted and finessed her way to a million dollars and the title of sole survivor.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS/Getty
Survivor: Jon Learns the Limits of Trust – as Natalie Shines

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Jon Learns the Limits of Trust – as Natalie Shines

Originally posted 12/11/2014 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.

"I'm not gonna trust anybody. But to a certain point, you have to."
– Jeff Varner, Survivor: Australia

Trust is a mysterious thing – in Survivor, as in life.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS/Getty
Survivor: Natalie Makes an Odd Choice, and What's Up with Jon?

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Natalie Makes an Odd Choice, and What's Up with Jon?

Originally posted 12/04/2014 09:50AM

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.

"It's always that same question: Who can I trust the most?"
– Russell Hantz, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

You guys, help me make up my mind. What do we think of Jon Misch?

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Lightning Misses Twice for Broadway Beaux

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Lightning Misses Twice for Broadway Beaux

Originally posted 11/27/2014 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.

"I think there's a direct correlation between opening your big fat mouth and the idol having to get played."
– Reynold Toepfer, Survivor: Caramoan

Poor Josh and Reed. Have there ever been two such near-misses in Survivor history?

At the merge, Josh had been set to lead his majority alliance to victory. He had orchestrated the perfect blindside of Jeremy – until Julie quit the game and the Meat Brothers alienated Jaclyn. Within three days, Josh went from the strongest strategist to the mayor of Ponderosa.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS/Landov (2)
Survivor: A Shocking Twist Turns the Season Upside Down

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: A Shocking Twist Turns the Season Upside Down

Originally posted 11/20/2014 10:25AM

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.

"Someone flips over that quickly to our side, it's just as easy to flip-flop back."
– Jerri Manthey, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

Wednesday night's episode of Survivor presented us with two shocking possibilities.

Could San Juan del Sur turn out to be a good season? And could Jon Misch actually be a good strategist?

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Credit: Timothy Kuratek/CBS/Landov
Survivor: Was Julie's Walkout the Worst Quit Ever?

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: One Terrible Decision, and One Shocking Walkout

Originally posted 11/06/2014 11:40AM

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.

"Once the merge happens, then the game starts. This is when Survivor really becomes Survivor."
– Hayden Moss, Survivor: Blood vs. Water

Is Julie's quit even worse than Na Onka's?

In Survivor: Nicaragua, Na Onka Mixon set a new benchmark for bad Survivor behavior. She stole food, talked trash and quit the game with a clear path to the finals.

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