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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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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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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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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS (3)
Why Survivor's 'Three Amigos' Will Go Down in History

Survivor

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: How Survivor's 'Three Amigos' Took Out Their Boss

Originally posted 04/18/2013 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.

"Early on in this game, I made myself the villain."
– Phillip Sheppard, Survivor: Redemption Island

Oh lucky day! The Specialist has been neutralized!

In a way, all of us has a Phillip to face. For some, shyness might be their Phillip. For the Three Amigos, their Phillip is an overbearing former federal agent (?), who wants to vote them off Survivor.

But as sure as their names are Malcolm, Eddie and Reynold, on Wednesday the Amigos conquered their own personal Phillip – who also happened to be the actual Phillip!

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS (2)
Stephen Fishbach: Is Dawn Survivor's 'Most Fearsome Assassin'?

Survivor

UpdatePosted 04/11/2013 05:30PM

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Is Dawn Survivor's 'Most Fearsome Assassin'?

Originally posted 04/11/2013 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.

"Everybody tells me all the time how much they believe me, how much they trust me. Were these guys paying attention the first 32 days?" – Rob Cesternino, Survivor: The Amazon

Has Dawn Meehan hoodwinked her entire tribe? The kindly mother of six adopted children has somehow become Survivor: Caramoan's most fearsome assassin. She lures her prey into a false sense of security – and then, she strikes!

On Wednesday's episode, yet another alliance fell victim to the poison stinger of the weeping Meehan. Malcolm, who somehow isn't on the outs even after his failed coup last week, is nonetheless determined to destroy his position in the majority alliance. He rallies lothario Eddie, sexually ambivalent Michael and exuberant golden retriever puppy Reynold for another putsch.

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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
Survivor: Corinne Snatches Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Survivor

UpdatePosted 04/04/2013 07:00PM

Stephen Fishbach Blogs: Corinne Snatches Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Originally posted 04/04/2013 01:00PM

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 I told everyone to their face what I said behind their back, I wouldn't be playing a very good game, would I?"
– Corinne Kaplan, Survivor: Gabon

Corinne Kaplan was in a perfect position – or so it seemed.

She was a day one founding member of the Stealth R Us alliance. She had a side alliance with Michael Snow (whose sexual orientation we may never learn). Then her partner Malcolm approached her about a secret pact with the Bros from Gota. Now Corinne was part of a plot that could unseat her longtime antagonist Phillip and take control of the entire game.

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