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Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: This Game Isn't About Trust

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: This Game Isn't About Trust

Originally posted 10/17/2013 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

"I'm out here playing for one million dollars. Never trust me.
– Russell Hantz, Survivor: Samoa

You knew the second that Laura Morett started talking about how much she trusted Aras, she was in trouble. "Aras is someone that I completely, explicitly trust in this game," she said. I don't think I felt that way about anybody, ever, in my 39 days of Survivor – and I honestly doubted Laura M. felt so certain about Aras, either. More likely, she was trying to convince herself that everything was hunky dory. Deep down, she knew she was in danger.

The episode started at Tadhana, where Vytas was confronting trust issues of his own. Caleb shocked everyone with his vote flip: Vytas didn't trust the guy anymore, but he did need to woo him back to the dwindling 5 Guys alliance – which was down to just three guys. It was almost embarrassing, the way the once-Machiavellian Vytas extolled the virtues of Caleb's perfectly exfoliated skin. Caleb basked in the praise – but did he believe it?

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS(2)
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Caleb Takes Down King Culpepper

Celebrity Blog

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Caleb Takes Down King Culpepper

Originally posted 10/10/2013 11:15AM

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 played a lousy strategy game, because I didn't hide well."
– Tom Westman, Survivor: Palau

The King is dead. Last night on Survivor: Blood vs. Water, Caleb Bankston unseated tribe monarch Brad Culpepper. At Tribal Council, Culpepper hinted that Caleb could be a possible target since he had no connections on the other tribe. In response, Caleb announced, "I'm gonna write Brad's name down" – and encouraged his allies to do the same.

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Credit: CBS (2)
Survivor Contestant Quits – Again!

Survivor

UpdatePosted 10/03/2013 09:30AM

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: A Quitter Quits Again

Originally posted 10/03/2013 08:40AM

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

"Everybody with an immunity idol is considered dangerous."
– Andria "Dreamz" Herd, Survivor: Fiji

Well, Jeff Probst – this is what happens when you cast a quitter. He quits again.

Wednesday on Survivor: Blood vs. Water, Colton Cumbie decided seven days in the game was too much for his delicate constitution. Things weren't going perfectly according to plan, so he had a hissy and walked out. Na Onka and Purple Kelly in Nicaragua lasted 28 days. Osten on Pearl Islands lasted 19. Colton isn't just a quitter – he's the quittiest quitter.

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Credit: Rob Kim/Landov
Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Plots, Schemes and One Unusual Exit | Stephen Fishbach

UpdatePosted 09/26/2013 01:05PM

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Plots, Schemes and One Unusual Exit

Originally posted 09/26/2013 11:15AM

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. 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

"In this game or out of this game, that's all I've got. It's who I am."
– Rupert Boneham, Survivor: All Stars

Are Caleb and Colton the most polar opposite couple in Survivor: Blood vs. Water? In the universe? Stoic, hard-working Caleb shut his mouth and slipped into Culpeppper's "5 Guys" alliance. Meanwhile Colton, after a half-hearted attempt to sell America on his story of redemption and growth, pouts and plots.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS(2)
Survivor's Big Twist Delivers: Two Families Destroyed!

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach's Survivor Blog: Blood vs. Water Delivers

Originally posted 09/19/2013 11:30AM

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. 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 don't have to trust someone to have an alliance with them. You just have to have the same interests. You could hate someone's guts, but if you could help them get farther and they could help you go farther, hey, we've got an alliance."
– Burton Roberts, Survivor: Pearl Islands

I told you Blood vs. Water would deliver! One episode in, and we've already seen two families destroyed. Will Candice ever forgive her husband John for not taking her place on Redemption Island? Will Marissa ever come to terms with being voted off first because of Uncle Gervase's gloating? And will this season leave in its trail a waste of human wreckage and misery?

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS(2)
Everything You Need to Know About the Survivor: Blood vs. Water Premiere

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Previews Survivor: Blood vs. Water

Originally posted 09/18/2013 03:30PM

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. 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

"My alliance was really my family at home. There was never a day I wasn't loyal to my family."
– Dawn Meehan, Survivor: Caramoan

"I'm not here to make friends!" is such a reality TV cliché, it's spawned its own Youtube clip reel. But what happens if your friends are on the show with you?

Survivor: Blood vs. Water premieres Wednesday, matching returning players against family members and loved ones. If the jaded chatter on Twitter and Facebook is any indication, people aren't too psyched about the twist. I'm holding out hope.

Bringing family members into the game could expose raw emotions and precipitate subtle calculations. What do you do when your loved one is voted off? Suck it up – or hulk out?

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS (2)
Why the Right Person Won Survivor

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: The Right Person Won Survivor

Originally posted 05/13/2013 02:15PM

"What I have to do is focus on the positive, visualize success, and just get these negative thoughts out of my head."
– John Cochran, Survivor: South Pacific

Cochrowned! On Sunday, Survivor super fan John Cochran swept the challenges and swept our hearts. More importantly, he swept the jury votes, becoming the third winner in Survivor history – after JT and Earl – to shut out his opposition. Congratulations, Cochran! You win a million bucks and the final Fishy!

When the season started, I thought Cochran was DOA. He was physically maladroit, he was a known backstabber and his skin blistered on exposure to sunlight.

But the politics of the Favorites tribe favored him. Phillip, Andrea and Dawn wanted to work with him while they settled old vendettas. Cochran served as therapist to a group of volatile players.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS (2)
Survivor: Dawn's Misstep Turns a Loyal Ally Into a Bitter Juror

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Dawn's Misstep Turns a Loyal Ally Into a Bitter Juror

Originally posted 05/09/2013 10:45AM

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.

"You're here to win, so why take chances?"
– Brenda Lowe, Survivor: Nicaragua

What Survivor: Caramoan lacks in brains, it makes up for in tears. What this season has missed in strategy, it's delivered in breakdowns. I joked early on that this cast of Looney Tunes would lead to a daffy season. Has there ever been a final six more prone to bug-outs?

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS (2)
Stephen Fishbach Blogs: How Cochran's Blindside Left Andrea Out

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: How Cochran's Blindside Left Andrea Out

Originally posted 05/03/2013 04:30PM

"It's a little hard to be living with people for 32 days and have these relationships and what you think is trust, and then find out they've been lying to you the entire time!" - Andrea Boehlke, Redemption Island

We've been waiting for this moment all season. With antagonists Malcolm and Reynold twirling their mustachios from the jury bench, the remnants of Stealth R Us have to turn on each other. For 33 days, the Favorites have coasted in their easy majority, kept in lockstep by Phillip's relentless drumbeat. With only seven players left, who will take the reins?

The episode came down to an amicable power struggle between Cochran and Andrea. Cochran wants to protect his bestie Dawn and ensure he's part of every alliance. Andrea wants to keep her boy toy Eddie and take out the adorable Brenda.

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Credit: CBS (2)
How One of Survivor's Most Dynamic Players Got the Boot

Survivor

UpdatePosted 04/25/2013 06:00PM

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: How One of Survivor's Most Dynamic Players Got the Boot

Originally posted 04/25/2013 11:00AM

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.

"There's no reason to give people a reason to get rid of me."
– Malcolm Freberg, Survivor: Philippines

Goodbye, bro. After 25 straight episodes of Survivor, we finally say farewell to Malcolm Freberg, one of the season's most dynamic characters. Malcolm proved you don't have to be crazy to make the show fun. He was strategic without being robotic; physical without being muscle-brained; charming without being smarmy.

He was the complete Survivor package. So why's he going out in ninth place?

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