‘Survivor’ Power Rankings: Tocantins Finalist Stephen Fishbach

The Rules: Each week a member of our “Survivor” All-Star team and your beloved “Survivor” recapper Gordon “Truth Seeker” Holmes will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the two combatants will earn. For example, if Jerri is voted out this week, Fancast’s “Survivor” All-Star Team will receive 5 points and Gordon will receive 3 points. At the end of the season, the person (or team) with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.

Last Week: Samoa’s Ashley Trainer won one for the All Stars as she had Amanda in spot six while I had her in spot three. The current score is All Stars 91, Team Gordon 111.

Alright, before the man Coach dubbed “The Wizard” squares off against the man Coach dubbed “The Truth Seeker,” let’s take a minute to check in with the “Survivor: Tocantins” runner up Stephen Fishbach…

Gordon Holmes: What’ve you been up to since coming back from the Brazilian Highlands?
Stephen Fishbach:
Since I’ve come back from Brazil, my biggest achievement has been returning to a normal physical condition. I also have a small media consulting company, and I do corporate speechwriting as well. My interests include candlelit dinners, long walks on the beach, and watching “Survivor.” Check out my blog about “Survivor” strategy at www.people.com/stephen.

Gordon: Are you enjoying ‘Heroes Vs. Villains’ so far?
Yes! This may be my favorite season ever. It’s been a wonderful mix of genius moves and mind-blowing idiocy. I think I’m enjoying the spectacular flame-outs even more than the blindsides or idol play.

Gordon: Russell Hantz has been partly responsible for getting some of your favorite people booted out of the game. What do you think of him? How would you have handled him?
I can’t hate on Russell for knocking out JT and Courtney. After all, he sent them both to Ponderosa where they formed the Dragonz. If I were out there, I would have found 19 hidden immunity idols and given one to everybody but him. You’ve gotta fight fire with fire.

Gordon: Where do you stand on the great “JT giving Russell the idol” debate? Was it a stupid move, a risky gamble, or something else?
Definitely a risky gamble. I would much rather have gone out in a blaze of glory than fizzled out like Amanda. Which is worse – making a big move trying to put yourself in a prime position to win, or laying down and dying? JT ends up looking bad because it’s easier to point to a move than a non-move and say “that was a mistake.” Look at someone like Danielle – she’s riding coattails and will probably get to the endgame, but she can never win. You have to play to win, and sometimes that takes you out early.

Stephen Fishbach’s Picks
All-Star Team’s Current Score: 91

parvati #1 Parvati: Parvati has an amazing ability to form friendships with the people she’s eliminating. If given a choice between her and Russell, undoubtedly the jury will vote for her. Her problem now may just be overconfidence. Hiding the idol from Russell may have secured Danielle as an ally, but it also antagonized the puppetmaster.
russell(2) #2 Russell: Russell is actually in a better strategic position than Parvati. He has his alliance with Danielle and Parv – but Jerri is more loyal to him, and now he has a side deal with Candice. Even if things go sour, he’s guaranteed to find enough hidden immunity idols to at least make the finale. The only reason he’s my number two is that I don’t think Russell can win. Too many people just hate him.
sandra #3 Sandra: Sandra is like a “Survivor” freedom fighter running an insurgency against Russell. She strikes from the hills and then disappears into the night. Her poker face at tribal council and ability to swallow her long-term goals for short-term necessity are truly impressive.
rupert #4 Rupert: It’s been a rough season for Rupert – but since the merge, Golden Age Rupert has returned! The Hero who talked too much about the Women’s Alliance now is bluffing Probst in Tribal. The problem for Rupert is that his awakening may have come too late.
jerri #5 Jerri: Could Jerri Manthey actually win “Survivor?” If the iconic villainess made it to the end against two dislikable players, she might just get some jury votes. Jerri’s challenge will be explaining what moves she made herself.
danielle #6 Danielle: Danielle’s probably safe for a few more votes and could make it to the final tribal. But I think Danielle has the least chance to win of anybody. In a season of superheroes, she’s just a sidekick.
colby #7 Colby: Colby showed last week that his heart’s just not in the game anymore. The only reason he may stick around is that he isn’t a threat.
candice #8 Candice: There’s a difference between jumping alliances and flip-flopping. By trying to navigate between two groups, Candice has pissed off both of them. Now the Heroes will want nothing to do with her, and Russell doesn’t need her anymore.

Gordon Holmes’s Picks
Gordon’s Current Score: 111

russell(2) #1 Russell: I think Russell has reached the point where keeping him around as a possible jury opponent is valuable. He may rule the (We’ve got immunity idols coming out the) Yin Yang tribe now, but I can’t see the jury voting to give him the million dollars he’d like and the “Sole Survivor” title he needs.
danielle #2 Danielle: Did you see Danielle snap when Amanda swiped her immunity clue? She’s got some fight in her. I doubt people like her or respect her game enough to vote for her, but she’s definitely in this for the long haul.
jerri #3 Jerri: Flying under the radar in the dominant alliance is a sweet place to be. If she can get to the finals the million-dollar check is as good as hers. That is, unless the other players recognize that and boot her beforehand.
parvati #4 Parvati: Could the Queen of Samoa go all the way? I think people are starting to realize that she’s going to be tough to beat in front of a jury. Anyone who witnessed her double-idol maneuver has to be impressed by her game play.
candice #5 Candice: Candice jumped from the sinking Heroes ship, but she didn’t do it in a manner that would impress her new Villain buddies. She still has time to maneuver, but the clock is ticking.
rupert #6 Rupert: I can almost see Russell preparing his victory speech where he tells the world how he got rid of “Survivor” legends like Rupert, Boston Rob, and Colby. I assume he’ll say something like, “I’d like to thank my Dumb A## Girls Alliance, myself, and the dozens of hidden immunity idols that made this moment possible.”
colby #7 Colby: I’m pretty sure Colby has checked out of the game at this point. I know he’s the all-American good guy, but he gave Danielle the clue over his alliance-mate Amanda for no good reason. It’s like he just wanted them to be quiet so he could watch the rest of the movie.
sandra #8 Sandra: Now that Candice is on board with the Villains, Sandra’s days are probably numbered. If she hadn’t let her Russell hatred get in the way of her “Anyone but me” strategy, she could have made it to the end.

More “Survivor” Fun: Check out my Exit Interview with Amanda Kimmel and find out Who Former Survivors Picked as the Worst Villain of All Time.

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