December 23rd, 2017 | 7 Comments | Posted in Survivor 35 - H vs. H vs H

Jeff invites Ben’s family on stage and I’m staring at Ben’s wife’s legs. I’m not gonna lie. Smoking…

Jeff plays a recap of Ben’s moves and that means there’s another 2 minutes we won’t spend speaking to Early Outs. Sad.

Jeff clearly likes the game Ben played, and is also a fan of Chrissy’s, but then he reveals his disgust for how bad Lauren played, and then pretends Lauren’s bone-headed exit is an impetus for next season. He can’t wait any longer, he has to drop a few seconds on us. There’s a mysterious skull, and a quick clip of the words,

“One Bad Decision Can Haunt You Forever”

Whatever that means…

After the break, we’re 32 minutes into the Reunion Show and we’re finally reintroduced to all the players. Nice way to say thanks to the entire cast… Well, there’s that $15K each one gets for coming to the Reunion Show, so maybe they don’t give a crap they won’t get six seconds of airtime to say,

“Survivor has changed my life. I get recognized at the grocery store, people stop me on the street, and I’ve gotten laid like 400 times since the season aired. Thanks, Jeff, I now have a UTI!”

Jeff finally starts interviewing players and first up is Chrissy. Allow me to summarize because this is getting long, and my son has to eat dinner…

-Chrissy tells us it was a dream to play, but sometimes dreams may be better left unrealized. She lost her job to come on the show, and hasn’t gone back yet. I bet her husband is wondering when that $15K check is gonna clear.

-Ryan has a heart. And the Cowardly Lion needs some courage…

-Another minute and a half about Ben and PTSD. Okay, Survivor, we get it, you don’t care about anyone out before the merge…

-Jeff then brings 3 of Ben’s old comrades on stage to surprise him, and you can tell these guys took a lot of showers together. That’s a joke, meatheads!

-We then spend another 2 minutes on a montage of “secrets” from this season. Again. Stuff we’ve already seen. What about the other players!?

-Lauren regrets being a dumbass…

Finally, Jeff is going to reveal what S36 is. If you’ve read my column, you know I already know what it is, but let’s see how they’re presenting it. Roll the video, Jeff…

Season 36. Ghost Island! A new group of players will have the chance to reverse the curse of past mistakes.

Wait. Hold on. Why are we seeing NEW players reversing old mistakes? Why aren’t we seeing OLD players getting a chance to redeem past mistakes? Where are…

Jason Siska

And those are just the ones that pop into my head without any research. I’m sure if I typed “stupidest Survivor blunders” on Google, I’d find more. Problem is, I’m 20 pages deep into my last column and I don’t want to spend another 30 minutes doing research. So, I’m just gonna sit here and yell at people outside my window…

“Survivor, Ghost Island. That’s all they could come up with…!?”

Sure, they could have gone with Survivor: Sabotage or Survivor: Holy War, you know, keeping it relevant, but they’re gonna go with Survivor: F**k Ups, and hope for the best. Heck, they may as well call it, Survivor: Shark Jump and be done with it…

We’re back from commercial and we’re 57 minutes into the Reunion show. Great, minus credits, we have 2.5 minutes to check in on the 7 people who didn’t make the Jury. Because, you know, they were put on the show for a reason too. Looks like Survivor is going all 1% on us, and only giving a s**t about the final few players.

It just seems a little contradictory that in order to have a successful season, you need viewers to identify with players. To connect with them. But now, when we have a few moments for viewers to find out a little about these people we may have connected with, it’s like they don’t even exist. Hell, we have an Olympian, a former NFL player, and we don’t even get a close-up of any of them. Sad…

We’re back. Maybe now we can hear about Joe’s fake idol that Mike gave him at Tribal? Or that Patrick and Ali knew each other before the season began and was kept secret? Or find out how Ben found the Idol under the shelter before Mike evidently looked for it there? Any of that?

Nope, it’s “if you’d like to be on Survivor, go to CBS.f**k.s**t/casting” and “if you wanna buy props and line our pockets a little more, go to CBS.Survivor.desperate/auctionwhores.” Seriously, CBS, you have no idea who your fanbase is. We don’t give a s**t about buffs, we wanna see you respect the people YOU put on the show. But no. We’re out of time. I guess we’ll have to find out what Simone is up to by trolling her on Twitter and asking inappropriate questions about her weight… Okay, maybe that was just me…

“Thanks for your loyalty,” Jeff calls out, but it rings hollow. Any good marketing executive knows the best response to customer loyalty is to keep it personal. Survivor has forgotten that. We could have checked in on Joe to see how his parolees are receiving his time on Survivor. We could have gotten an update on what NFL players think of “crazy Alan.” We might have gotten a quick YouTube video of Ali’s boss and how she still treats Ali like crap. We could have seen how Lauren’s Beaufort, North Carolina tournament softball team is doing in the rankings.

And most importantly…is Jessica still a virgin? Does anyone remember that? Holy s**t, am I losing my mind? Has Survivor forgotten how to play to the masses? I sure hope Cole and Jessica are together, and f**k you, Jeff Probst, for not even mentioning that. Hell, you even threw Figgy and Tails a question last season after bumping uglies…

I’m clearly bitter, or drunk, or both, and feel like my time is up. I was once invested in this show. A true superfan. And with all my Television experience, I’m now drawn to the mistakes the show is making. I think it’s time to hang it up. It’s been a great 8 seasons, because you guys deserve someone less bitter. Okay, let’s get to our final essay, shall we?
My Three Cents

Well, my friends, I’ve calmed down a little. And now it’s time for me to state that “parting is such sweet sorrow.” As I mentioned last week, this is gonna be my last recap column on, which was a difficult decision to make. I gotta say there’s a part of me that wants to keep writing for you, but the time it takes is a little too much for me to dedicate to this endeavor. As I’ve mentioned, I actually have a “real job” that requires me to be totally cognizant of certain things, and showing up under slept, and hung over, every Thursday is bordering on insubordination. There are other mitigating factors that have led me to this decision…

Without going too deep into my situation, I will share a bit of why this has all come about. I feel I owe you an explanation because I know some of you may actually LIKE what they read each week and may even miss me. And while I’m sure some don’t and won’t – but why would they read me then? – I don’t mind revealing a little of what’s behind the Fish curtain.

Depending on how long you’ve been reading my recaps – it all started with “Blood vs. Water” – you might recall I had to take a season off and deal with some personal struggles. I detailed my family’s period of homelessness in the final column of S33. Reality Steve and I discussed it prior to S32, and we agreed it was more important to deal with that situation rather than writing these silly recaps. At the time, I thought I could still do it, but he was correct in saying I should focus on my family.

Let me say I was glad I took that time off – because Kaoh Rong was a snooze fest – but mostly because it gave me the time to get some things in order. There were A LOT of things that had gone wrong in my life, and it was important I focused on them at the time.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been struggling the ENTIRE time I’ve been writing these recaps. Ever since the fall of 2013 when I began writing for Steve, I’ve been struggling through a variety of things: losing my job, going broke, family getting evicted, not being able to find a job, losing my car, and ultimately, my career. However, the one thing I had through the tough times…was this Survivor column. It was the one thing that I could look forward to each week to help me forget my despair, and give back to anyone interested in reading it.

True, there were some columns better than others, but I always felt I put in the effort to make them…readable. I never “phoned it in” based on how crappy my week was going.

When I was able to rebuild my life into something resembling what I used to have – and by the way, it’s still in the process of being rebuilt – I came back and wrote again, because I really enjoyed writing. The column, despite the content and format, has helped me in ways I never expected. Emails, job applications, essays, memoranda, letters, a speech, professional correspondence, all my writing had improved. If there’s one bit of advice I can give back to you, it’s that I thoroughly encourage you to write as much as you can. You’ll see results.

I recall writing to my favorite author, a sci-fi legend named Robert Silverberg, years ago. When I mentioned to him wanting to be a writer, his advice was to “write every day, no matter what.” I truly believe that advice paid off, because I’m no longer concerned whenever I have to sit down and write anything.

However, having rebuilt most of my life and gotten my kids back into a safer environment, the one thing I couldn’t save was my marriage. I won’t go into details of what happened, and I don’t think I’ve hidden the fact I’m not happily married anymore. And that’s why I need to step away.

While I tried to hide most of that drama, I realized a lot of the real-world frustration I have about my situation is starting to seep into my writing, and that’s not fair to you, to her, or to myself. I really shouldn’t have “gone there” as much as I did, but I’ve always been an open person, and never felt the need to hide things from my readers…even personal things.

But that’s not what you want to be reading.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how I’ll feel about this decision in a few months. Maybe before Ghost Island airs I’ll have an itch that needs scratching. While I know I don’t want to write recaps anymore, I don’t think I’ll go away entirely. It’s just that way too much time is spent writing them. And my responsibilities as employee, son, brother, and dad are much more important than “Survivor blogger.”

But…I’ll still do my Rankings. I’ll still have a presence on Twitter. And maybe I’ll still have something to do on Perhaps something like,

“The 12 Most Ridiculous Things on Survivor This Week” or “The Best Bikini Moments From Last Night” or “7 Questions About Survivor.”

Or maybe nothing at all. I don’t know yet. And based on how much my situation changes over the next few months, I may reconsider a lot of things. I just don’t know…

Obviously, the tone of my recaps have changed a lot since the last election, but I don’t wanna get political any more (been WAY too much of that this season). But it definitely had something to do with all of this. Every day just seems kinda sh*tty…and rather than foisting my frustrations on you, I think I’ll take some time to cool off.

I want to say thank you to everyone who’s ever read one of my columns. That goes for Jen, ericah, thedoctor, Kate, Jack the bartender, Judy, Leah, Janet, Allyson, Alee, EJ, Patti, Gayla, and even Rick and the chick who called me a racist. Sure, why not. Thank you for spending a little (or a lot of) time with me each week and writing, commenting, emailing, or tweeting back at me. I truly appreciate it. I’m sure I missed a lot of you in that list of names, but know I’ve thought of you too over the years.

And thanks to all the Survivor alum who’ve graced me with some interaction as well. That list includes Coach, Christina Cha, Jessica Lewis, Rachel Ako, Jeff Probst, Ben LaBelle, Nick Maiorano, Zeke Smith, Joe Mena, Vytas, Sarah, Tony, Varner, Savage, Wentworth, Andrea and all the others who I’m forgetting at this moment. You really made this worthwhile by giving me a slice of credibility with my readers (or maybe that was in my head alone).

But mostly thanks to Reality Steve for providing me with the platform to offer up my own take on snarky R-rated recaps. And the freedom to write whatever I want…sans editorial. In the 4 years I’ve written for Steve, he’s never asked me to change one line, and for that, I applaud him.

True, there was that ONE TIME I had second thoughts about something I had written when a little too tipsy, but he handled it like a pro. He never criticized my writing, told me to “tone it down,” and always responded to me with honesty, clarity, and a passion for Survivor that rivals my own. I am glad I got to meet him in Vegas earlier this year, on a weekend that coincidentally ended up being very significant to me and my family. Hope we can do it again next year, Steve!

Well, I guess that does it. Sorry to have brought you a lot of “reality” instead of just “reality TV,” but sometimes we need both. Right?

I’m going to sign-off, and fingers crossed this column hasn’t become too heavy for you. I know there’s a lot of that in the world lately. I think we should enjoy the rest of the holidays, hope for a better 2018, and then look forward to another season of Survivor. We’ll see what else the future holds… Hopefully for me, a new Tonto…

“For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
The right to say the things he feels,
And not the words of one who kneels,
The record shows I took the blows…
…and did it my way!”

And maybe I should cut back on my drinking…

With all the love in my heart – and whatever’s sloshing around in my liver – I bid you,


Bryan Fischer (aka The Fish)

Twitter: @BF_TheFish
AIM: or Bryan Fischer


  1. Good luck on your future endeavors. I was kinda right. This season had some good players . Sadly it just had some awful ones too. The fact Ryan or Mike believe they deserved to win is dumbfounding. Devon, Chrissy and of course Ben played very well though. My 3 cents. No one has an issue with you having a political opinion. The issue is when you speak down to others who dis agree, having an opinion is great . Attacking those who have a different opinion not so great.

  2. Horrible writing by a middle-aged,  misogynistic,bitter, Fat,
    turd. His quiet racism did not go unnoticed.  Bravo for finally realizing this crap bf the fish churned out was NOT writing, more like ranting and complaining. Good Riddance. Take this man to the nearest AA meeting

  3. Must be a sad life you live. Simonsays how about those internet tough guys. Sorry Simon that your life is so pathetic that puffing up online is how you make yourself believe you are a man. Never have to leave moms basement and your favorite blow up doll. Just mouth of online like your opinion matters.

  4. Ricky-baby! Thanks for all your comments over the years. You were far and away, my best commenter. And I get what you’re saying about the My Two Cents essays. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t trying to preach, I just hate what I see when I look around. And booze makes me type without remorse. Apologies if I offended you. And thanks for being good posse, too. You always had my back.

    Simonspaz! I think someone needs a hug. Thanks for being so concerned, but I think I have a clearer path to happiness than you do. Maybe you didn’t get I wrote a parody column, but I’ll wait for you to look that up…

    My “quiet racism” is non-existent, because it’s called sarcasm. I believe everyone’s at the same table, which means everyone’s fair game for ridicule. If it’s black, Asian, Jewish, Latin or white, we’re all equal, meaning we’re all candidates for jokes. Some people don’t get it. Like you, obviously. And I’ll only go to AA if you’re my sponsor. If I’m gonna fix myself I can only do it with your help. You obviously know what’s best… Happy New Year, kid…

  5. Fish, great final recap! I am going to miss you and your recaps. I do hope you find a way to stay connected to the show (I like your idea of less involved Survivor articles).

    This season totally set Ben up to win. I’m okay with that. At least he had a good story AND decent game play. Chrissy even managed to sway me a little bit in final tribal. I’m upset at the reunion show. What’s the point of paying everyone to come sit on the stage if we don’t talk to anyone? That was disappointing. Also disappointing was the set up for next season. I about crapped my pants when Probst said the line about past mistakes. I was so hoping that former players would be back. How the hell are these new players going to reverse those mistakes. Sounds stupid to me.

    Good luck with everything in the future. Thanks for being you. I truly have enjoyed reading your recaps since the beginning. Take care!

  6. I m pretty hard to offend. Everyone has their own opinions. If they differ from mine so be it. Doesn’t hurt my feelings. Crossing my fingers for a good new season. I think I am following you on twitter though I never use it. Maybe I will for Ghost Island.

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