New Yorker Stephen Fishbach keeps 'Survivor' final four secret
By Richard Huff
DAILY NEWS TV EDITOR
Friday, May 15th 2009, 4:00 AM
New Yorker Stephen Fishbach has been walking around for months with a secret - he has made it to the final four on CBS' "Survivor Tocantins - The Brazilian Highlands."
"I think everyone has this shock. You come back and you can't really share this with people," Fishbach, a corporate consultant and writer, told the Daily News. "You've just had this intense experience and you can't really talk about it, legally. We all become introverted."
Fishbach made it into the final four after last night's episode, as long-brewing alliances paid off and Benjamin (Coach) Wade was sent home. Fishbach, Taj Johnson-George, Erinn Lobdell and James (JT) Thomas Jr. go into Sunday's final episode (CBS, 8 p.m.) with a shot at winning the million-dollar grand prize.
As every "Survivor" fan knows, however, a portion of Sunday's show is already taped, with the winner revealed live.
"You see the people reach this milestone, and you see yourself in the same position, having done really well," he said. "You feel elated. At four, the game just ramped up so much."
Fishbach, of course, can't reveal whether he makes it beyond the final four, or anything else about the game moving forward.
"I had final-two agreements with everybody," he said. "I have said to everyone, and everyone has said to me, I will take you to the final two."
That should come as no surprise. Going in, Fishbach said he was a "cutthroat player" who could manipulate himself into a win.
And at this point in the game - which was filmed months ago - the contest comes down to reading people trying to balance self-interests and figuring out who to trust.
"One of the things that surprised me is how close you become with people," Fishbach said. "Watching it, you say, I'm not going to make any bonds. But you are living with them, and it creates these intense personal bonds."
Beyond that, Fishbach said, he learned a lot about himself in Brazil.
"Actually, the most surprising thing to me was that I could do it and I could survive so well, and how resilient I was," he said. "I came from this city world - everything is delivered, if something's not right, you can fix it. No desire goes unsatiated. I was surprised how easy I could transition to spending a night in the rain."
Fishbach views going on "Survivor" as a self-contained experience, although he wouldn't rule out returning if asked.
"I had an amazing experience with this all," he said, "but I'm ready to move on."http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2009/05/15/2009-05-15_how_a_nyer_survives_the_postgame_secrecy.html