TV Watch Survivor
Don't feel bad for Joe Anglim.
When Survivor returns on Wednesday night, he'll be noticeably absent during the challenges. The rest of the tribe correctly determined that he was a threat to win the whole game and voted him out on day 31.
But Anglim, 27, will be just fine.
"Joe is athletic," host Jeff Probst told PEOPLE earlier this season. "Joe is good-looking. Women want to date Joe; men wish they were Joe. He's got a lot of skills that make him good at life, but a threat at Survivor"
Case in point: Anglim competed so hard in an immunity challenge that he passed out. That type of commitment is dangerous in the game, and he was summarily voted off.
Anglim talks to PEOPLE about his game, his close family bonds and how Survivor has affected his love life.
Disclaimer: Stephen Fishbach has been PEOPLE's resident Survivor blogger for years. He's quite popular around here.
We were excited when he was named as a possible contestant. We were thrilled when he made the final cast of the show. We were ecstatic – and a little bit surprised, if we're being perfectly honest – when he made it through the first tribal council without getting voted off.
As it turned out, Fishbach did better than anyone expected, forming solid alliances and lasting 29 days before being voted out.
Survivor is unpredictable, and Fishbach was eliminated after playing his "steal the vote" advantage? Why? Because the season's other superfan/strategizer, Spencer Bledsoe, backstabbed him.
Obviously, Fishbach has written his own blog about his elimination, but we thought it would be fun to ask him some of the questions that he didn't already address.
The last time Ciera Eastin played Survivor, she infamously voted off her own mother.
So when Eastin decided to play the game again, she knew she would be targeted early as a threat. After all, if she'll vote for her mom, she'll do just about anything.
But something funny happened on this season – everybody was a threat in some way. As a result, Eastin made it for 26 days despite being on the wrong side of the numbers after the merge.
As she scrambled to stay alive, she begged the other contestants to "just play the game." And they did: Eastin was only eliminated after PEOPLE's own Stephen Fishbach was protected by an immunity idol.
Eastin, 26, talks about her game that we didn't see – and whether she'd ever play the game again.
We'll admit it: we're suckers for the the Survivor family visit.
Contestants are often reduced to tears when they see their family members. Survivor is a cutthroat game, and it's emotional to spend even a few minutes with someone who isn't actively plotting to stab you in the back.
Richard Hatch doesn't care what people think of his naked body.
"I'm not an exhibitionist, but I don't care either, so I'm often naked. It's just the way it is," the Survivor winner tells PEOPLE of why he walked around in the buff during the premiere season of the CBS reality competition in 2000. "I don't give a crap about how people feel about how I look. But personally, I know that I'm fat."
For those who weren't watching Survivor in 2000, it's hard to understand Kelly Wiglesworth's importance to the franchise – and to reality TV in general.
It looked like the next few episodes of Survivor were going to be very predictable. Kelley Wentworth would be voted out next, followed by Ciera Eastin and Abi Maria Gomes.
There are a lot of similarities between Survivor and politics. The scheming. The backstabbing. The alliances.
So it's only natural that some contestants have entered the cutthroat world of politics after their seasons were over. Rupert Boneham was the 2012 Libertarian candidate for Indiana governor. In 2001, Mike Skupin considered a run for U.S. Senate. Jolanda Jones, the first contestant voted off of Survivor: Palau was a Houston city councilwoman.
Now another contestant is throwing her hat into the ring: Laura Morett, who competed in Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Blood vs. Water, has announced that she is running for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives.
For a show in its 31st season, Survivor has managed to keep things remarkably fresh and new.
A lot of the credit goes to host Jeff Probst and the producers, who throw in a liberal amount of twists and turns so that contestants never truly know what's coming. Over the years, we've seen tribal swaps, fake merges, hidden immunity idols and double eliminations. (We're going to pretend that Redemption Island and the outcast twist never happened.)
But sometimes, the twists are not masterminded by the producers. Contestants have come up with ingenious strategies to change the game.
Probst tells PEOPLE that the game isn't done evolving and that the second half of the season will mark a new era in Survivor history. Given the aggressive gameplay of this season's 20 returning contestants, nothing would surprise us.
Can PEOPLE's own Stephen Fishbach change up the game? In the exclusive preview above, he is plotting with Ciera Eastin to wrestle the game away from the alpha males. With her sneakiness and his strategy, it might just happen.
Below, Probst breaks down the season and tells us which players have impressed him – and which ones haven't learned from their mistakes.
This season of Survivor was always going to be an uphill battle for Kass McQuillen.