LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami) – He’s skinny, pale, non-threatening and wasn’t expected to win but John Cochran was crowned the million dollar winner of Survivor: Caramoan on Sunday night.

On his first day on the island, pasty-white John Cochran burned so badly it was painful to look at him. All season he built on the image of Cochran the geek, the beta male who could never compete with the young bucks. Except that he started winning physical challenges, mental contests, strategic tests and, on Sunday, $1 million.

In a unanimous vote from all eight jury members, Cochran was voted winner of “Survivor: Caramoan,” the 26th season of CBS’ veteran reality show.

“It feels incredible … I’m kind of speechless,” said Cochran, a Harvard law student who wrote a thesis for the college on the strategy of “Survivor.” It was Cochran’s second time on “Survivor,” after competing previously on “Survivor: South Pacific.”

Immediately after the win, he was asked by host Jeff Probst what advice he would give to players of the game.

“You have to be calm without being complacent, and be vigilant without being paranoid. It’s a constant tightrope balancing act.”

Cochran was joined in the final three by Dawn, a mother of 6 children from Utah who was known for her tears this season; and Sherri, a fast-food franchisee from Idaho.

During the live reunion show following Survivor’s finale episode, Probst revealed that Malcolm Freberg won $100,000 as the winner of the season’s “Player of the Season” home viewer vote. A record number of votes were cast for the award and 71% percent of the vote went to two people — Malcolm, who earned 36-percent of the vote and Brenda Lowe, who received 35-percent.

Brenda, meantime, was on the show via satellite from Miami. She couldn’t travel to California for the reunion show because she’s nine months pregnant.

The 27th season of Survivor features a spooky promo of red liquid dissolving in water and will be called “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” airing in September.


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