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Survivor: Cochran Proves Himself as Malcolm Plots Victory

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Cochran Proves Himself as Malcolm Plots Survivor Victory

Originally posted 03/28/2013 09:05AM

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

"It's usually not the strongest person that wins. The more pathetic you look and act usually seems to get you pretty far in the game."
– Tyson Apostol, Survivor: Tocantins

Wednesday night on Survivor, we finally saw the Cochran we'd been waiting for.

When Cochran was cast in South Pacific, he seemed like a hilarious super-fan who would be great at strategy and funny in confessionals.

Then he fell on his face. Almost literally.

Cochran never found his footing with his tribe, and his anxious humor only isolated him further.

On Wednesday, however, Cochran proved he could joke hard and play hard. He kept Phillip and Corinne placated while they had one of the stupidest arguments in Survivor history (whether or not to throw a stray vote at Michael). In his confessionals, he rolled his eyes at the ridiculousness.

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Credit: CBS (2)
Who's Playing the Best Survivor Game Post-Swap?

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Good Survivor Strategy Emerges Post-Swap

Originally posted 03/21/2013 07:20AM

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

"I listened and I observed."
– Denise Stapley, winner, Survivor: Philippines

Maybe it's Stockholm Syndrome, but I really believe there's an undercurrent of good strategy this season on Survivor. It's been drowned out by larger-than-life characters like Shamar, Brandon and Phillip bellowing their cris-de-coeur up and down the Philippine jungle.

Underneath that clamor, though, smart people are making good decisions. We finally saw a glimmer of it on Wednesday's episode, when Corinne gave us a peek of what's going on behind the scenes.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Brandon Hantz Suffers Sad Mental Breakdown on Survivor

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Brandon Hantz's Sad Survivor Meltdown

Originally posted 03/14/2013 09:15AM

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

"This is like a constant battle for me – good/evil, good/evil – and I really want to do good."
– Brandon Hantz, Survivor: South Pacific

Wednesday's episode of Survivor may have been my least favorite in the show's 13-year history. Brandon Hantz, of the Louisiana Hantzes, had a complete mental breakdown. He threatened people's safety and poured out the tribe's rice. It was gripping viewing, no doubt. But it was also very sad.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Survivor: Fans Only Hope Is for Favorites to Succumb to Infighting

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Survivor's Fans Only Hope Is Favorites's Infighting

Originally posted 03/07/2013 09:45AM

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

"If there's a merge coming up, we need strong members. But we also need loyal members."
– Stephen Fishbach, Survivor: Tocantins

What a blowout. Wednesday on Survivor, the Fans continued their epic losing streak. They lost the reward. They lost immunity. The Fans are losing so badly, they lost their biggest member to an errant dust particle.

Who could ever have imagined that putting 10 veterans of a game against 10 newbies would be a blowout? The Fans' only hope now is that the Favorites succumb to infighting.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/Landov (2)
Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Is Sherri Channeling Sandra Bullock on Survivor?

UpdatePosted 02/28/2013 02:15PM

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Is Sherri Channeling Sandra Bullock on Survivor?

Originally posted 02/28/2013 11:55AM

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

"People are so dumb in this game. I mean, they talk way too much."
– J.T. Thomas, Survivor: Tocantins

Does Sherri remind anybody else of Sandra Bullock? I don't just mean the physical resemblance.

Last week, Sherri pulled off The Blind Side, wresting control of the Fans tribe from the Cool Kids. This week, things have gotten Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

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Is Sherri the Best Player on a Crazy Season of Survivor?

Survivor

UpdatePosted 02/21/2013 02:45PM

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Sherri Biethman May Be the Best Player on Survivor

Originally posted 02/21/2013 09:15AM

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

"When you're out here playing this game, your mind does crazy things."
– Amber Brkich, Survivor: All Stars

What would happen if we turned the inmates of an insane asylum loose on an island and asked them to play Survivor? In Survivor: Lunatic Island, we finally get our answer. They break down in tears. They channel their relatives – living and dead. They create elaborate fantasy worlds to cope with the extreme conditions.

The Favorites this season were cast for their erratic behavior – and they're delivering. So Brandon had a meltdown? Brandon's in a continual state of melting down. Dawn started weeping? Her code name, "True Grit," has to be ironic.

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Credit: CBS (2)
Survivor Contestant Makes History – Not in a Good Way

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs About Season Premiere of Survivor: Caramoan

Originally posted 02/14/2013 09:10AM

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

"I should've trusted my instincts from the beginning."
Francesca Hogi, Survivor: Redemption Island

Oh, Franny – no! Survivor: Caramoan premiered Wednesday night with naïve fans and vicious favorites. After an action-packed episode of alliances and counter-alliances, Francesca became the show's first-ever double-first-boot.

"I did make Survivor history," she says.

There's something wonderful about the Fans vs. Favorites concept. You have these wide-eyed baby giraffes stumbling with eager awkwardness up the Caramoan sands. Then there's this squad of MMA fighters who've turned to cannibalism.

The fans ooh and aah at their tribe flag, and fight about how to make fire. Reynold, Allie, Hope and Eddie make a cool-kids alliance and gaze at their perfect reflections in the surf. The jilted girls back at camp make an alliance. Nobody has the numbers. This would be amateur hour on a normal season.

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Credit: Rob Kim/Landov
'Bring On the Crazy!' Why Survivor's Worst Will Make Great TV | Stephen Fishbach

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Show's Worst Players Will Make Survivor: Caramoan Great

Originally posted 02/13/2013 10:15AM

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

"Survivor's not meant to be a comedy routine."
– Cochran, Survivor: South Pacific

Here's a riddle for you: What do a zombie, a flip-flopper and two train wrecks have in common?

They're all part of a new cast of "favorites" on Survivor: Caramoan (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET on CBS), the new season that matches 10 new competitors against some of the worst players in the show's history. Game on?

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Credit: Rob Kim/Landov; Startraks
How Denise Stapley Won Survivor: Philippines

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: How Denise Stapley Won Survivor

Originally posted 12/17/2012 02:30PM

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

"You need willpower, strength, integrity, intelligence and a little bit of luck."
– Ethan Zohn, winner, Survivor: Africa

"Everyone loves an underdog story," Malcolm said earlier this season. On Sunday night, Survivor: Philippines came down to one big question: Who was the underdog that was telling the story?

Two sets of underdogs were dog-fighting for dominance. Mike Skupin and Lisa Whelchel were tails among lions: outcast at the bottom of Tandang, the dominant tribe. Malcolm Freberg and Denise Stapley were heads among sheep: leaders of Matsing, a tribe that every week went to the slaughter.

Through great play and good luck, Denise emerged as the alpha – winning the title of Sole Survivor, the $1 million prize and the Final Fishy.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS (2)
Survivor: All About Lisa Whelchel's End-Game Strategy

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs About Lisa Whelchel's End-Game Survivor Strategy

Originally posted 12/13/2012 11:45AM

"You're going to want to show that either you were the top villain or the top hero or the top something. You're going to want to show you had the gameplay to get you there, and you even turned on your own to get you there. That is the game."
– Rupert Boneham, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

Oh, Lisa. I don't know why week to week I let you toy with my heart the way you do.

Almost every episode, Lisa announces her Survivor coming-out. She's been passive – but she's finally ready to take control of her destiny and make a big move. Tonight. Seriously. Right now.

Except it never quite comes together. The wrong person wins immunity or the right person makes a heartfelt appeal. "I could've played a great game," Lisa told her brother last week, channeling Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront.

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