'Survivor: Caramoan': And the Winner Is...
SPOILER ALERT: The following story reveals the winner of "Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites."
After 39 days, two medical evacuations, one impromptu tribal council, and multiple blindsides, 25-year-old John Cochran was named the winner of "Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites" and scored a $1 million prize.
The Harvard Law student beat out Dawn Meehan, the 42-year-old mother of six adopted kids, and 41-year-old fast food entrepreneur Sherri Biethman.
Host Jeff Probst called Cochran "maybe the most unlikely winner ever." Indeed, as Probst noted, when the underdog and self-proclaimed "Survivor" nerd first played in the "South Pacific" season, his skin burned nearly instantly. He also hesitated to take off his shirt for fear of humiliation and was derided by tribemates as weak.
But the second time around, Cochran had mastered the social and physical sides of the game. He won several challenges, including the crucial final immunity competition. But it was his careful strategizing that helped him become sole survivor. One of the game's ultimate fans, Cochran boasted of watching every episode, recapping the show in a high school newsletter, and even writing a Harvard thesis on the "Survivor" jury system.
Whatever he said in his thesis must've been right -- he earned the jury's votes. In the reunion show, Cochran called the win "a dream come true."
To the 13-year-olds out there dreaming of playing on "Survivor" (as he once did), Cochran advised, "You have to be calm without being complacent, and be vigilant without being paranoid."
Though he will graduate this year from Harvard, Cochran told the audience that he isn't planning to become a lawyer; he hopes to write. "I have a gift for gab," he said. And for all the ladies out there -- "I'm single!"
The finale featured the twists and turns that made this season a thrilling roller coaster ride. Almost immediately, Erik Reichenbach collapsed and was forced to leave the game by medical staff. "In what's been a completely unpredictable season, this is another first," Probst mused.
With just four players remaining, a reward challenge granted one a big advantage in the immunity challenge. Cochran won the advantage and used it to win the final immunity competition.
Watch the reward challenge:
Watch the immunity challenge: