Survivor: Caramoan - Finale (Part 2)
The Last Push
By Ben Willoughby
May 14, 2013
I think that’s part of the reason why we’ve seen so many interviews with Cochran saying “I am a challenge machine” and “it’s lonely at the top.” It’s confidence-building practice for him. If he says it enough, it becomes true. If it’s documented on television, it becomes true. It reminds me of Phillip, who says something first, and then believes it because he says it.
The final three arrive at the last Tribal Council, and in comes the jury. Probst recaps the season of “39 days, two evacuations, one impromptu Tribal Council and lots of idol paranoia” and repeats the “power shifts to the jury” bit. Opening remarks!
Dawn is playing the “humble” card. She knows how hard everyone played and she knows she was emotional and found it very hard to be duplicitous. “I wanted to have at least one ally who i could strategize with and make decisions with, and that was Cochran... I wanted to be in control of my own game... and the hardest part, I had to give myself permission to actually play the game, in my normal life I build trust and friendships with people, I don’t exploit them, I had to come out reminding myself this is a game for a million dollars. This is football, and I have to not be afraid to tackle. I wasn’t afraid to make the hard decisions, and that’s what got us both to where we are today."
Sherri says that “you all know me as the stay-at-home mom” but then makes the big reveal that she is “a very successful businesswoman!” Didn’t they know this already? And her plan was to play the way she ran her fast-food franchises! She flubs a bit here, before explaining that she’s very nervous. Erik is face-palming. Sherri says “I had to make a lot of decisions and become very pliable” and she thinks she was able to successfully “integrate” with each person on the jury. No one is making eye contact with her because they all think she’s a weirdo.
This reminds me of what Dawn said a few episodes back about “how you can’t let the game happen to you.” Everyone thinks the game has just happened to Sherri. It would be interesting to parse why players like Sherri and Michael Skupin were so disdained by their fellow castaways at their Tribal Councils, yet Sandra has used the exact same strategy to win Survivor. Twice.
Cochran says that this is the culmination of 13 years of obsession with Survivor. He used to wear a Survivor buff while watching the show! He says it is surreal and an honor, and that he wouldn’t have believed in his wildest fantasies that he would be one of the top ten challenge performers of all time, or that someone so socially awkward and anxious would have become the tribe therapist.
Cochran continues that he is strategically proud of the game he played, and then tells a strategic lie that “I’ve seen every season of Survivor and I’ve never seen a collection of threats like this." He says that while he could not out-muscle or out-charm or even out-strategize everyone, what he did was beat people in timing. Whenever a threat emerged, he struck before he was struck down. He deceived people and was proud of it, and he wants to prove why he played the best game.