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

"Nina was the opposite of a triple threat," says the Survivor: Tocantins runner-up

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS/Getty(2); Jemal Countess/Getty

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.

So when you find someone who is bad in challenges, doesn’t fit in with the tribe, and who voted against your alliance at the last tribal council – you don’t question the Survivor fates.

Nina was the opposite of a triple threat. She was a social, physical, and strategic liability. In fact, she was quadruply dangerous because, if Nina were to make it to the merge or a swap, she could easily have coasted to the end.

Gorgeous Joe and the Girls took the layup and voted her out. Even the producers barely pretended that Will was a viable alternate boot. There was some hand-waving about his health, but it was obvious that Nina was the one going home.

Last episode, Nina had a chance to take control of her tribe with Vince and Will. But she made one wrong remark to Will, and three days later her torch was snuffed.

It’s a tough game.

White Collar

Poor Shirin.

Shirin just wanted to share her tales of monkey sex , but nobody wanted to listen.

Was anybody else reminded of the nerdy girl in high school who just couldn’t fit in? When Joaquin told her he doesn’t like her, she tried to start a discussion about why not.

But you can never debate your way into a friendship.

The Fishy this week goes to Joaquin and Tyler, who are forming a bond the classic way: by deriding everyone around them.

Joaquin was in a dangerous spot after the first episode. So’s obvious lie about the idol clue blew up in his face, and he quickly saw his top ally voted out of the game.

But Joaquin has faded into the background and bro-bonded with Tyler while Max and Shirin have made themselves bigger, nakeder targets.

When Joaquin shared his idol clue, the good faith gesture brought Tyler and him closer together.

Tyler, for his part, was able to recognize the gesture’s importance – without revealing that he actually knew the idol’s whereabouts.

Tyler is in the best position on White Collar and, along with Gorgeous Joe, in one of the strongest positions in the game.

Blue Collar

When Jeff Probst introduced the season’s twist, he said that Blue Collar people “follow the rules.”

Not this tribe.

Bossy Mike desperately needed wood and nobody could give him enough. Lindsey and Sierra were worn out from giving Mike wood all the time. Rodney would get wood, but not right when he woke up. Rodney hates morning wood.

Meanwhile, the Blue Collar tribe was so fixated on wood, they couldn’t stop shooting off at the mouth. Lindsey insulted Mike’s god. Dan insulted Rodney’s mother.

Dan has done a great job of reintegrating himself into the tribe. He can be tone-deaf in the moment, but unlike Mike he is able to see how his words affect the tribe.

A nice good tribal council would be good for Blue Collar. They could vote out the troublemakers who are stressing them out (i.e. Mike).

Sometimes you need a clean burn to encourage new growth.

But for now, the Blue Collar tribe is a tinderbox.


Survivor: Worlds Apart airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.

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