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Monday
May132013

Cochran Wins "Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans Vs. Favorites"

CBS(NEW YORK) -- Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans Vs. Favorites came to an end Sunday night, with a returning favorite, 26-year-old Harvard Law School student John Cochran, being named "Sole Survivor."

Aside from the Washington, D.C., native and Survivor: South Pacific veteran winning a million bucks, his fellow castaway Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, Calif., won $100,000 for being voted by fans as the Sprint Player of the Season.

The show began with Erik Reichenbach, who had been feeling unwell, medevaced out of the game because of low blood pressure.

With four players remaining, Cochran, Eddie Fox, Dawn Meehan and Sherri Biethman, the show's ultimate outcome hinged on its final two challenges. The first had the players building a stack of blocks above a red line, using a pulley to steady their blocks, with a key reward -- an advantage in the final immunity challenge -- hanging in the balance.

Cochran won the reward, but it wasn't revealed until the immunity challenge what it was. The immunity challenge had the players run up a staircase, fetch a bag of puzzle pieces, slide back down, and build a puzzle representing fire when all the bags were collected.

Because Cochran won the reward, he was immune from having to untie the bags, saving him time.

Cochran got off to an early lead because of his reward, but began to lose momentum. He eventually pulled off the win, and final immunity.

During tribal council, Edward "Eddie" Fox, a 23-year-old fireman and EMT from New Jersey, was the first to fall, and the last member to join the tribal jury.

In their opening statements to the jury, Dawn was confident, stating she knew she'd try to take Cochran to the end. Sherri was nervous, mentioning her business acumen in the real world, and got tongue-tied as she tried to relate the two. However, she explained she was able to successfully see her fellow castaways as work colleagues, given that she made it to the final three.

Cochran also admitted to being nervous, yet stated that his making it to the final three was a culmination of a 13-year "obsession" with the show that started in high school, and continued as he wrote a final paper in law school about Survivor.

During the jury's questioning session, Phillip flamed Dawn for her constant drama, and commended Cochran for playing a strategic game. Erik took a shot at Dawn for being disloyal, and tried to diss Sheri for being a "seashell on the beach" in that she did nothing to earn her position. Sherri dismissed his criticism by telling him to sit down for "talking down" to her.

Michael showed enmity towards Dawn, as did many, and asked her why she's seen as a villain. Conversely, he asked Cochran why the jury didn't seem to be seeing him that way. Cochran offered that if he wasn't dramatic Dawn's therapist on the show, she might not have been that far.

Brenda brought some drama of her own: admitting she was completely betrayed by Dawn, she demanded Dawn remove her fake bottom teeth. The exchange related to an earlier installment in which Dawn lost her dental plate in the water, and told Brenda she'd quit the show if she couldn't find it. Armed with a diving mask, Brenda found the teeth -- and thought she'd found an ally for the rest of the show. However, Dawn stabbed Brenda in the back, so Brenda wanted Dawn to take her teeth out to show the jury what Brenda saw. Dawn complied, under duress.

The reveal of the final vote took place in front of a live audience, with Cochran winning with five straight votes, nabbing the $1 million.

The winner admitted he probably came out on top because he learned to embrace his geeky nature -- something that he thinks hamstrung him the first time around on Survivor.

Meantime, Malcolm was named the Sprint Player of the Season, earning him a $100,000 check.

Host Jeff Probst also teased the 27th season of the CBS reality show, which kicks off in September and will be called Survivor: Blood Vs. Water.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio