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Survivor Wiki

John Martin Cochran[1] is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Caramoan. He originally competed on Survivor: South Pacific.

A superfan of the series, Cochran asked that he be referred to by his last name (acknowledging that host Jeff Probst refers to series favorites as such). In South Pacific, he struggled with his social game as he found himself on the outs of the Savaii tribe. This, combined with Coach Wade's persuasion, caused him to betray his tribemates following the merge. However, his decision did not gain him any leverage as he was eventually voted out. He ultimately finished in 8th place after losing the Redemption Island duel to his tribemate Ozzy Lusth.

Caramoan saw Cochran emerge as a dominant force, surprising many with his challenge performances and, through his management of several volatile personalities, exerting nearly uninterrupted strategic control over the game. He made use of Phillip Sheppard as a figurehead for the Bikal tribe and the Stealth R Us alliance while controlling the shots with long-term undetected ally Dawn Meehan. Together, they organized the late-game blindsides of power players Andrea Boehlke and Brenda Lowe, which paved the way for both to make the Final Tribal Council. By a unanimous vote, Cochran accomplished his dream of becoming the Sole Survivor, completing one of only two perfect games in Survivor history.


Retrieved from

Name (Age): John Cochran (24)
Tribe designation: Savaii
Current residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Harvard Law Student
Personal claim to fame: I won the Dean's Scholar Prize at Harvard Law for an essay I wrote on the Survivor jury system. It was one of the few times in my life where my personal interests and academic obligations coincided perfectly.
Inspiration in life: My family.
Hobbies: Guitar, trivia and studying the music and history of The Beatles.
Pet peeves: People who think or act like they are smarter than they actually are and people who don't have a sense of humor.
3 words to describe you: Neurotic, insecure and brilliant.
Survivor contestant you are most like: I have some of the humor of Rob Cesternino, the candor of Jonathan Penner and the intelligence of Yul Kwon.
Reason for being on Survivor: My respect and admiration for Survivor and my desire to make it even better. My secondary motivation is to experience some adventure and excitement in my life during a time when I otherwise feel like I'm on autopilot.
Why you think you'll "survive" Survivor: I have a strong sense of humor that can defuse tense situations and an ability to listen to conflicting viewpoints and devise a rational compromise that is satisfying to all parties involved. I also have a slender frame that doesn't take up much space in a crowded shelter.

Why you think you will be the Sole Survivor: I understand other people and how they function. Sure, I'm bright and have an extensive knowledge of Survivor, but none of that does any good unless you're able to figure out the reasons why other people do the things they do. Not only can I do that, but I'm also confident that I can leverage their desires and motives in a way that best serves my game.[2]

Name (Age): John Cochran (25)
Tribe Designation: Bikal
Previous Season: Survivor: South Pacific – 13th castaway voted out/5th Jury Member
Current Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Harvard Law Student
Personal Claim to Fame: Flipping on my tribe, being reluctant to take off my shirt on day one of Survivor: South Pacific.
Inspiration in Life: My Family – for supporting and putting up with me.
Hobbies: Beatles music, guitar and Survivor.
Pet Peeves: Self-entitlement and lack of a sense of humor.
3 Words to Describe You: Brilliant, insecure and neurotic.
If You Could Have 3 Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why? 1) Frisbee – It's fun and doubles as a dish. 2) Cards – To pass the time. 3) Sketchpad – I like to doodle!
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: I have the humor of Rob Cesternino, the intelligence of Yul Kwon and the candor of Jonathan Penner.
Reason for Being on Survivor: I love Survivor! I've watched it, talked about it, studied it, written about it and dreamt about it for half my life.
Why You Think You'll "Survive" Survivor: I'm too passionate about Survivor to let harsh elements, starvation, sleep deprivation and abrasive tribe mates deter me from lasting all 39 days.

Why You Think You Will Be the Sole Survivor: Having played once before, I know the sorts of mistakes I'm susceptible to making. I didn't win the last time I played and I have no desire to repeat history. I still know more about Survivor than virtually anyone else who's ever played the game. Now I feel more mentally and psychologically prepared to put my theoretical knowledge of the game into practice.[3]


South Pacific

Believing that host Jeff Probst calls his favorite contestants by their last names, "superfan" John insisted he should follow suit. Jeff accepted the proposition and challenged him to live up to it. Despite knowing game theories, Cochran found himself unable to use them, and came across as socially awkward and physically unable. After Savaii lost the inaugural Immunity Challenge, Ozzy Lusth perceived him as the weakest member of the tribe, but was saved when tribemate Semhar Tadesse was voted out for her poor performance at the Immunity Challenge.

Cochran would continue to find himself on the outs of the tribe, but formed a close friendship with Savaii tribemate Dawn Meehan. Cochran also began becoming more of a provider for Savaii, despite Savaii's de facto leader Ozzy already doing most of the food collecting. At their next Tribal Council visit, Cochran was once again spared over the much weaker Mark Caruso, who was blamed for the loss despite Cochran being in charge of rope management during the Immunity Challenge. However, Cochran received a vote from Jim Rice, who was wary of the possibility of Mark really having a Hidden Immunity Idol. Cochran's odds in the tribe would soon increase after Jim recruited him to help blindside Elyse Umemoto, Ozzy's closest ally, after losing the Day 15 Immunity Challenge. The tribe lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 17, and the tribe as a whole told Cochran he was leaving, and that if he beat Christine Shields Markoski, he would come back into the game as a hero. However, Ozzy saw it as too risky after having a dream and introduced his new plan: "The Trojan Horse," where he asked to be voted out so that he could beat Christine, allowing the on the outs Cochran to make the merge. Ozzy gave Cochran his Hidden Immunity Idol for safekeeping just in case he lost, but would ask him to return the idol if he did return.

Savaii wanted Cochran to become the double agent and gather intel from the Upolu tribe at the merge. Cochran, however, having notions of being "bullied" by his former Savaii tribemates, flipped over to the Upolu tribe during a talk with Coach Wade. At Tribal Council, it came down to a 6-6 tie between Upolu's Rick Nelson and Savaii's Keith Tollefson. However, when the tie votes came back, the Savaii tribe was stunned after realizing someone flipped, causing Keith to leave 6-4. Cochran admitted that he flipped to Ozzy and said that he would state his reasoning later. Jim called him a "coward," but Brandon Hantz came to his defense.

Cochran immediately became Savaii's number one enemy, with Whitney Duncan calling him "disgusting." Nevertheless, Cochran maintained his allegiance to the Upolu tribe, helping to take out Ozzy, Jim, Dawn, and Whitney at the following Tribal Councils, finding themselves competing each other at Redemption Island, with Ozzy successfully defeating them all. With no common enemy left, it had become clear that Cochran would be the first player out, since he was the last Savaii member remaining. Cochran didn't win individual immunity, but he pleaded his case to stay to the Upolu tribe members. However, it was not enough, as Cochran ended up leaving in a 5-2 vote (Edna Ma being the only player to vote with him).

At Redemption Island, Cochran was doubtful that he would stand a chance against Ozzy in the duel, but Ozzy falsely assured Cochran he had a chance (Ozzy believing he could blow out Cochran in the duel). Much to Ozzy's surprise, Cochran came close to winning in the duel after being far behind Ozzy. However, Ozzy managed to continue his Redemption Island winning streak, permanently eliminating Cochran from the game. Cochran left the game having enjoyed every moment he spent in it and glad that he put up a fight against Ozzy, despite his expected defeat.

At Final Tribal Council, as a juror, he cast his jury vote for Coach, but Coach lost to Sophie in a 6-3-0 vote.

Voting History

Episode Cochran's
Voted Against
1 Semhar Semhar
2 Savaii Tribe Immune
3 Mark Jim
4 Savaii Tribe Immune
5 Elyse Elyse, Ozzy
6 Savaii Tribe Immune
7 Ozzy Ozzy
8 Rick;
9 Ozzy Jim, Ozzy
Jim -
10 Dawn -
Whitney Whitney
12 Rick Albert, Brandon,
Coach, Rick, Sophie
Voted Out, Day 30
13 On Redemption Island
Eliminated, Day 31
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "Double Agent", the vote ended with a 6-6 tie between Keith and Rick, forcing a revote. Cochran changed his vote to Keith on the revote.


Cochran returned as a Favorite for Survivor: Caramoan. In the opening Reward Challenge, he was paired with Francesca Hogi against Fans Matt Bischoff and Laura Alexander. Laura taunted him saying "You think you can handle me?". Cochran retorted saying, "You would be surprised at what I could handle". Francesca scored the point for the Favorites and they eventually won the challenge. After the Favorites (Bikal) got to their camp, Cochran reformed an alliance with Dawn Meehan, promising that he would not betray her again. Over the next few days, Cochran developed a gigantic sunburn, which made him look kind of like a tomato (per the suggestion of his tribe mates saying such a thing, and Brenda Lowe even compared him to a little pregnant lady because of his limitations from the sunburn). At Tribal Council, Cochran and Dawn became the swing votes, since the alliance of Francesca targeted Andrea Boehlke, and Phillip Sheppard's Stealth R Us targeted Francesca. In the end, Cochran and Dawn sided with Phillip's alliance, sending Francesca home 6-4.

After Francesca's elimination, the Bikal tribe started dominating challenges. During this time, Phillip dubbed him the "Intelligentsia Attaché". Cochran enjoyed the rewards that Bikal won and overall was just glad to be in the game, stating that "everyday is Wednesday night at 8 pm", referring to when Survivor episodes air on CBS. A minority alliance member, Brandon Hantz became resentful of Phillip. Fearing Brandon's wrath, Bikal requested to go to Tribal Council. An impromptu Tribal Council was facilitated by Jeff Probst in which everyone verbally voted out Brandon unanimously.

On Day 14, a tribe switch occurred. Cochran stayed on Bikal with Corinne Kaplan, Dawn, and Phillip. The tribe received Fans Julia Landauer, Matt, and Michael Snow, from Gota. The new Bikal was out-muscled by the new Gota and lost. Cochran noticed Matt and Michael's friendship and successfully turned the vote against Matt. Bikal lost the next two challenges because of Phillip. Phillip tried to explain that he threw the challenges, but Cochran saw through his bluff. The Favorites split the votes between Michael and Julia in case one had an idol, but neither had one. Cochran decided to vote out the relatively mundane Julia (who Cochran initially described as "vanilla", but rescinded that comment as it would be "an insult to the vanilla flavor") over Michael and his budding friendship with Corinne.

On Day 20, the tribes merged and the former Gota moved to Bikal beach. When the first Immunity Challenge was hinted to be a gross food eating contest, Cochran decided this was the challenge for him to win. Cochran barely beat out Malcolm Freberg for individual immunity. Everyone was okay with this as him winning immunity was unlikely. Cochran heard from Dawn that Corinne was planning Phillip's blindside. Cochran relayed the information to Phillip who decided to send Corinne home. Cochran stayed with the Favorites and voted out Corinne. He also followed Andrea's plan to vote off Michael to avoid a Hidden Immunity Idol. Dawn lost her retainer and threatened to pull out of the game unless she found them. Brenda helped Dawn retrieve them, but the incident caused Cochran to view Dawn as volatile. After Reynold Toepfer won immunity, Stealth R Us decided to split the vote between his allies, Eddie Fox and Malcolm. But Malcolm shocked everyone by pulling out two idols and using them, blindsiding Phillip. At the Survivor Auction, Cochran bought a letter from home and more importantly, an advantage at the Immunity Challenge. The advantage was useful as it helped him outlast the physically stronger Eddie, giving him his second individual immunity. After a split vote, Malcolm was voted out for having a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol.

At the next Immunity Challenge, Andrea won immunity. Reynold was the intended target, but Andrea started lobbying for Brenda's elimination for she was to easily win if she were to make to the Final Tribal Council. The alliance ultimately split the vote against Eddie and Reynold, resulting in the latter's elimination. Andrea wanted Brenda gone even with Eddie vulnerable. Cochran and Dawn chose to vote against the original target, Eddie. Andrea was blindsided when Sherri Biethman chose to vote her over Brenda and Eddie. Brenda won the Loved Ones Challenge and gave up her and Dawn's right to spend time with their loved ones to the other four. Although he was grateful for having to spend time with his parents, Cochran noted that likability is a liability and deemed Brenda the biggest threat to win the game. Dawn won immunity and Cochran asked her and Sherri to vote Brenda out. Sherri readily agreed but Dawn was conflicted after all Brenda had done for her. In the end, Cochran's plan came to fruition and Brenda was blindsided, leaving her devastated. While returning to camp, Erik Reichenbach collapsed. The medics deemed him unfit to continue, leaving everyone in shock. The Day 37 challenge was changed to a Reward Challenge due to Erik's evacuation. After a long competition, Cochran won the advantage to the Final Immunity Challenge. After the Rites of Passage, the Final Immunity Challenge commenced. Cochran's advantage was that he didn't have to untie any bags of puzzle pieces. Because of that, Cochran had a lead. The lead evaporated when he had trouble with the puzzle, allowing Sherri and Dawn to catch up. Cochran ultimately won the Final Immunity Challenge. After wondering who would be easier to beat, Cochran honored his alliance with Dawn and voted out Eddie.

At Final Tribal Council, most of the jury scolded Sherri for riding coattails and even some of them avoiding talking to her. Dawn, on the other hand, was castigated for her emotional breakdowns and questionable gameplay ethics. Because of the negative attention Sherri and Dawn received, as well as his overall (social, strategic, and challenge) balanced and respected game, the jury gave all of their votes to Cochran, making him the 26th person to win the title of Sole Survivor and the second person to play a "perfect game."

Voting History

Episode Cochran's
Voted Against
1 Francesca -
2 Bikal Tribe Immune
3 Bikal Tribe Immune
4 Bikal Tribe Immune
5 Brandon -
6 Matt -
7 Michael;
8 Corinne Individual Immunity
9 Michael -
10 Malcolm2 -
11 Malcolm;
Individual Immunity
12 Eddie -
Eddie -
13 Brenda -
14 Eddie Individual Immunity
Jury Votes
for Cochran
Andrea, Brenda, Eddie, Erik,
Malcolm, Michael, Phillip, Reynold
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In "Tubby Lunchbox", the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Julia and Michael, forcing a revote. Cochran changed his vote to Julia on the revote.
^2 In "Zipping Over the Cuckoo's Nest", Malcolm used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Cochran's vote against him.
^3 In "Come Over to the Dark Side", the vote ended with a 3-3-3 tie between Andrea, Malcolm, and Reynold, forcing a revote. Cochran did not change his vote on the revote.




Preceded by
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Denise Stapley
Sole Survivor Titleholder
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John Cochran
Succeeded by
Blood vs. Water
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Tyson Apostol
Survivor: South Pacific Castaways
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Survivor: Caramoan Castaways
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