Another season of Survivor is over and the winner of the Survivor Caramoan has been announced! But were they the best player? Did any other player deserve to make it further than they did? And who was completely underrated and completely overrated? Well we sit down and give each contestant a grade in the official SURVIVOR OZ – SURVIVOR CARAMOAN REPORT CARD! We guarantee some contestants parents will be glad to see their reports whilst others will be hiding them on the way home!
(CONTAINS SPOILERS – If you haven’t seen the finale of Survivor Caramoan and don’t wish to know the final result, do not click below!)
BEN’S GRADE: C-
JARRYD’S GRADE: F
BEN’S THOUGHTS: It was bound to happen wasn’t it? It just seemed to be fate. And for that it’s really hard to see. But Francesca created a little slice of history by becoming the first ever two time first booted player. Does that make her the worst player in the history of Survivor? Far from it. I actually don’t think she is a bad player at all. But circumstances beyond her control really put her on the back foot once again. Sure Survivor is a game of luck, and sure she maybe played a ‘bit too hard’ early once again. But why shouldn’t she? It’s not her fault she is out there with Phillip and Andrea once again. It just seemed a very cruel thing (as Brandon said) to get her gone first once again.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: I’ve got no time for Francesca when it comes to Survivor. Bringing back a first boot was always going to cause some controversy amongst fans and when Francesca was once again the first to be sent packing, there was definitely some uproar. I am still at a loss of why they bought back such a useless player! She was first to go last time, there was nothing good about her! Her game hadn’t changed this time around, she tried to play to hard to early, targeting her old enemies from Redemption Island. Francesca’s tally of day in Survivor begin at six, (she spent three days at Redemption Island), and now stands at nine. Why the producers wasted a spot on Favourites tribe on her instead of brining back someone else who deserved to be on this season will be a question asked by many for years to come.
Alexandra “Allie” Pohevitz
BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: E
BEN’S THOUGHTS: The first of the ‘three blondes’ to go, Allie seemed to have the most game out of them all. Post game she showed just how smart and strong she is, and it’s a shame we never really got to see her. Aligning yourself in a group of four and thinking you are at the top when you are in a tribe of ten was a bit of a silly move, but she dealt the cards that were given her and it wasn’t to be. Has proven herself a popular contestant outside of the game, it’s just a shame CBS and the editors don’t seem to care for her. Could’ve gone very far had circumstances been different.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Pre-game, I thought Allie had potential. She was a huge fan of the show, she wanted to play hard and would do whatever it took to win. So for Allie to go out the way she did, I was disappointed. She dug her own grave by joining up with the “cool kids”, believing they would be able to control the tribe in an isolated, four person alliance. I think Allie is a lot smarter than she came across this season and I don’t think she deserves the bad name she has been getting at all. Her boot could have contributed to Gota’s demise. Her physically ability seemed to easily out way Hope, Julia and Laura and Sherri wasn’t exactly an asset in challenges; had Allie been given a lifeline in favour of sending Hope, Laura or Shamar home first, and not isolated herself from the tribe, she could have gone a lot further in the game.
BEN’S GRADE: D-
JARRYD’S GRADE: E
BEN’S THOUGHTS: It’s hard to comment on Hope as we literally saw none of her. From what we did see though, I was very glad as there was no doubt she was this seasons eye candy. A beautiful woman who was painted alongside the younger hot guy of Eddie, and served as the first of many ‘potential mates’ for Mr.Fox. But what else was there from her? From what we were allowed to see, not a whole lot. I’m sure she has potential, and I’m sure she could’ve made it far similar to a Chelsea or Natalie T, but alas it wasn’t to be. You robbed us CBS!
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: First off, Hope got a terrible edit. I’m a bit old fashioned but I loved the days when we knew a bit about everyone. Poor old Hope got very little, she was made out to be the ‘young pretty girl who was in love with Eddie’ which I thought was pretty rough. Game wise, she wasn’t that good. Socially she would have done okay if she didn’t isolate herself with the “cool kids”, however her physical and strategic game was lacking. She needed to push harder to get Shamar out in her boot episode instead of staying true to her boys. If the Fans had gotten their act together and outplayed the Favourites, I think Hope could have been taken along for the ride and could have easily gone onto become the new Natalie Tenerelli.
BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: F-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Why do military people on Survivor always struggle? Do the editors have a thing about making people from the military do well or just portraying them in a different light? For sure, Shamar wasn’t a good player of the game, but I liked him. He was entertaining. And I was hoping that he would pull through and prove to us it was all an ‘act’. Sherri had him in his pocket and had the fans had a few more wins then who knows? He could’ve been a perfect goat to take to the end. But in what turned out to be one of the lamest injuries in the history of the show (and it seems like it wasn’t even related to his eye, we were just made to believe it was) Shamar was gone before anything more could be seen. I say bring him back!
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Everything I said about Shamar pre-game I take back… the guy was a complete idiot! He might have been the biggest guy on the island but he also had the smallest idea of how to play the game. How the Fans put up with his rubbish for ten days is utterly beyond me because I would have wanted him gone after ten hours of living with him. In saying that, from a viewers perspective, he was interesting, but after two or three episodes I was over him. He had absolutely no strategy at all, his social game is probably one of the worst we’ve ever seen and physically, he didn’t shine for a struggling tribe. The entire “quit saga” was a joke and I’m glad he was sent packing when he was because anyone who is considering quitting after a week doesn’t deserve to be there.
BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: D
BEN’S THOUGHTS: I don’t have much really to say on Laura. She seemed nice from what we saw of her, but once again being part of the ‘three blondes’ it was hard to really get a grasp on what she was about or what her strategy or anything else in between really was. And that was not her fault at all. How different things would’ve been if her, Allie and Hope were on a winning tribe which actually got some screen time. Instead of the ‘three amigos’ we could’ve had the ‘three blond bombshells’ and I think that would’ve been a lot better to watch if you ask me!
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: There was something about Laura that I just didn’t like. I’m not sure what it was but I was never a fan of her and didn’t want to see her go very far in the game. Physically she was terrible and I think the Fans realised this far too late. Socially, she seemed awkward to me and reminded me a lot of Cochran in South Pacific. Strategically she surprised me, I didn’t think she would be a key figure in an alliance like she was. She was an okay player but I just couldn’t find a reason to like her and I think a large factor in that is that she sucked in challenges. If she had been on a dominate tribe, (Koror, Moto, Tandang), her physical ability wouldn’t have been an issue and she would have only had to worry about her strategic and social game, resulting in a better finishing position in the game.
BEN’S GRADE: E
JARRYD’S GRADE: F-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Oh Brandon. I think I was probably the only person excited to see you back and you blew it. It was such a shame, because you could’ve redeemed the Hantz name. But no, I think you just made the last appearance of a Hantz in Survivor, much to the delight of most of the superfans. Strategically, there wasn’t a lot there. I think the fact you aligned yourself with fellow immunity ‘giver upper’ Erik was cute, and your relationship with Dawn had potential if you hadn’t lost your temper. But again, it wasn’t to be. Shame not to see you at the reunion to at least explain yourself though, you deserved that much.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Lets be realistic, Brandon only returned because his last name is Hantz. The guy was on the verge of a nervous breakdown during his time on South Pacific so it’s no surprise he lost his marbles on this season and went completely crazy. I have no doubt that there was a lot more of his outburst that they decided not to show and there is no need to say that his social game sucked – like nephew, like uncle? Physically, he is a beast but Brandon has never had his head screwed on correctly so playing Survivor wasn’t going to help. He probably put the final nail in the coffin for anyone in the Hantz family to ever return to Survivor.
BEN’S GRADE: C-
JARRYD’S GRADE: C
BEN’S THOUGHTS: I think Matt had huge potential. He was like Rupert with the voice of Chris Daugherty. But unfortunately as we see so often in this game, Survivor is a game of chance and circumstance, and the circumstance didn’t work your way with the switch. Again, it’s a case of ‘what could’ve been’ for Matt, and I think had he made it a couple of episodes further we could’ve had a potential future returnee. Having said that now, I think it is unlikely we will ever see that beard again on our screens.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: I didn’t like or dislike Matt, he was just there, doing whatever he did. To me, he was that player that went home before the Merge who didn’t really do that much to deserve to stay and who didn’t really do anything to deserve to go. Physically he seemed capable and his social game seemed to be his strength because he was well liked. Strategy wise I’m not sure what he really did; he joined up with Michael and they joined the Sherri/Laura alliance. Other than having some of the best facial hair we’ve seen, all I remember about him was his fight with Shamar on Day One.
BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: E
BEN’S THOUGHTS: I liked Julia pre-game based purely on the fact she is a race car driver. But unfortunately after the game I can’t say much about her as we didn’t see her! She was labelled as ‘boring’ by some, but is that fair from the viewer on somebody we didn’t see? Once again she faces the CBS editor curse which seemed to follow so many fans this season (and a few favourites) so again, the potential I’m sure was there but we just didn’t get a chance to ever see it.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Cochran described Julia perfectly, she’s boring. If Julia had got to the end and won, I would have lost a lot of faith in the game considering that three seasons earlier, somebody equally as boring, (Sophie), won. Julia suffered from “Purple Kelly syndrome” this season and quite frankly, it’s not hard to see why. She basically had no attributes to offer at all; her physical game didn’t stand out, strategically she relied on others and socially she was terrible because nobody could stand how boring she was. She pretty much epitomizes my view of a useless player.
BEN’S GRADE: B-
JARRYD’S GRADE: C
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Why does everyone claim Corinne made a move ‘too early’? This is what is beyond me. Is this not a game where moves need to be made, and she is at the merge with a chance to really make a big move? What else is she meant to do? I applaud her for it, and it really could’ve been the opposite and could’ve put her in a massive position for later in the game. It just wasn’t to be. I definitely think despite her not finishing as high, she improved on her first time around, and it was a shame not to have her on the jury. Corinne on the jury is an automatic win if you ask me.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: I honestly don’t understand why Corinne has the reputation as one of the biggest villains in Survivor history. For me, if you don’t make big moves and tell people how it is to their face, you’re not a villain. All Corinne did to earn the title is bad mouth a handful of people in confessionals and tell Sugar what the entire world was thinking. This time around, the same thing happened. She bad mouthed Phillip, didn’t vote him out when she had the chance, then she got voted out herself because she tried to make a big move to early. Socially, she seems to only bond with those she likes, physically, she can hold her own but I think her strategic game, in both this season and Gabon is severely overrated.
BEN’S GRADE: C
JARRYD’S GRADE: C+
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Michael had potential. I seem to be saying that a lot don’t I? But I think he did. We saw a flush of ‘strategy’ from him early, and I thought he was going to live up to my predictions of a John Carroll type player. But he fizzed out unfortunately, and again it wasn’t to be. I think him and Sherri would’ve been a great alliance to go all the way, and had it been a season filled with new players it quite possibly could’ve happened. I just guess the snow didn’t settle in Caramoan.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Good old Snowy. I think I had a soft spot for this bloke shortly after he jumped off the boat and stacked it. I think he was a very interesting character and a lot different to what I expected. Socially, he was fine, everyone liked him. Physically, he did okay but strategically I think he was a good player. He was an ‘individual thinking’, something very important in Survivor. Despite the fact that he didn’t get much of a storyline, I wouldn’t mind seeing him again because I think he could offer a lot to a season if the circumstances were different. If the Tribe Switch hadn’t taken place and his alliance had gone on to dominant the Fans tribe, I think he could have placed a lot higher than he did.
BEN’S GRADE: A+
JARRYD’S GRADE: A-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: This is going to cause some controversy, but I will almost say that Phillip Sheppard played the best game in season 26. Laughing at me now? Well hear me out. The guy pulled a complete 180 from Redemption Island. Gone was his ‘annoying’ way of just sucking up to one player and going along with what they said, fighting with everyone and battling it off with crabs. Instead we had a mastermind, creating alliances, distracting people with nicknames and keeping everyone in check. He was seen as a threat, and even in his pink underwear, people paid attention to him. Was he annoying? Did he get too much screentime? Perhaps. But I enjoyed every single moment of it, and think he could’ve won. I know a lot of people say he wouldn’t have won in the jury, but if his post game claims of him ‘putting it all on as an act’ were true, it would’ve been a masterful strategy that could’ve pulled off one of the most perfect wins the game had ever seen. The way he was voted out should go to prove just how strong he was. It took two hidden immunity idols and an immunity necklace to oust him, and had that not worked out for the three amigos, I’m quite certain ‘the specialist’ would need to rename himself ‘the millionaire specialist’ for his books sequel.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: I don’t care if you don’t like Phillip, he played a very good game and there’s no denying that he learnt a lot from Boston Rob in Redemption Island. I’m not going to argue the fact that he can be annoying, but it was pretty hilarious when he was creating nicknames for the tribe, doing his workout routines with logs and challenging Cochran to arm-wrestling contests. His social and physical games were fairly solid however it was his strategic game that I loved the most. It was great to see such a maligned character in Redemption Island to be able to develop his game; from sticking feathers to his head to connect with his great-grandfather and starting wars over rice containers to creating multiple key alliances and being at the top of the food chain, it was great to watch.
BEN’S GRADE: C-
JARRYD’S GRADE: B
BEN’S THOUGHTS: I think Malcolm lost it a second time round and he disappointed me. So close to walking away with the money in Philippines, he royally screwed himself by turning the tides on his alliance after the merge and then was stuck with two people who had gone through so many of their nine lives it was only a matter of time before he was sent home packing. So often compared to Ozzy, I think the comparisons will stop now given that Ozzy brought challenge strength everytime he played, whereas Malcolm turned on his ‘Colby’ for his second time around and really disappointed in the physical side of things. He is extremely popular though, so I’m sure it won’t be too long till we see him back for a third time.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: I think Malcolm struggled big time playing back-to-back and wasn’t even close to performing better than he did last season. Not only physically did it take a toll but mentally I think he was a little off – To quote Malcolm, it appeared that he had “lost his swag”. His performance is challenges this season was fairly disappointing compared to the form he was in last season. Socially, he played well but strategically he was lacking that ‘killer instinct’ that worked so well for him last season. Going against his original alliance so early into the Merge was an interesting decision and I never saw the benefit of giving away his Idol to Eddie; he would have been better off to try to forget an alliance and go solo, try and win Immunity and use the second Idol as a safety net, similar to Terry Dietz.
BEN’S GRADE: C+
JARRYD’S GRADE: B-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: To me Reynold was the Troyzan of this season. He was in a ‘good position’ for about 5 minutes in the game and then it all fell apart. Having said that, Troyzan was in a good position for maybe 15 minutes in One World, but that’s besides the point. Reynold had a bit of cocky swagger to his game, and I don’t mind that. And the fact he survived time and time again showed that he maybe could’ve pulled a Danni or Chris off if he had of gone on a bit of an immunity streak. But again, wasn’t to be. Bring him back though I say.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: For me, Reynold was one of the most polarising characters this season; you either loved him or hated him. I’m still not sure where I stand because I respect his game but can’t stand his arrogance. Physically, he’s one of the best players of recent years, he was dominant in pre-merge challenges and was always up there for Individual Immunity. Strategically, I think he knew how to play the game and how he wanted to play but he just lacked the resources to do that. Socially… not so good, I always found him to have a “I’m better than you” attitude when we saw him interacting with people not in his alliance. I think he was probably the best Fan this season, despite having some obvious flaws. He has many similarities to Ozzy, which will probably make him a “Survivor love child”, so I can definitely see him returning again in the future should the opportunity arise.
BEN’S GRADE: B+
JARRYD’S GRADE: A-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: If you had of told me half way through this season that I would be giving Andrea anything higher than a D, I would’ve laughed at you. But I have to give her credit, as she surprised me a great deal on her second time around. To me she was one of these players that surprised me to even see her a second time around, but she improved so much on her first time that she could’ve nearly won had Phillip lasted a bit longer. She was socially smart, strong in challenges and even had some strategy going on when she wasn’t so wishy washy. The strangest thing too happened post Caramoan: I find myself liking Andrea! No disrespect to her at all before the game, but I was never a big fan and could never understand this ‘cult’ following she had. But time does funny things to me, and with time, I would go as far as saying I’m an Andrea fan!
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Andrea’s game turned sour when Phillip was sent packing after Malcolm changed the game by playing his Idol’s. If that didn’t occur, I honestly believe Andrea would have been in the Final Three. In my book, she played a fantastic all-round game; she was strong physically, her strategic game was second only to Cochran and socially she was well liked. Andrea’s downfall was a result of losing her closest ally, (Phillip), and not having that one person for her to fully trust; which wasn’t the case for Cochran and Dawn. I was super impressed to see her shine this season after she was overlooked in Redemption Island – she played a great social game, getting “in” with he Zapatera members and was strong in challenges. Not playing the Idol at Tribal Council was a disappointing way to go out but I still rate her very highly for what she was able to achieve this season.
BEN’S GRADE: F
JARRYD’S GRADE: E
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Is it possible to give a lower grade than an F? By far the worst player this season and reputation wise I think even worse for her performance at the final tribal council. From what we did see of Brenda, there was nothing there. She showed a bit of cute every now and then, a smile and a bit of a cheerleader in the background, but given we went around 7 or 8 episodes without a confessional goes to show just what purpose she brought to this season. Then, through a 5 minute scene of finding Dawn’s teeth we are then expected to fall for her being super sweet and nice and then feel ridiculously hurt for her when she is stabbed in the back. Sorry to say folks, not buying it. She could’ve refused to find the teeth, let Dawn quit and show some strategy. But nope. Let’s just play along with it and expect a contestant on Survivor to not want to win the game. How disgusting of Dawn (and the other two who were involved) to want to win a million dollars and not just hand it to you on a plate! Tribal council as I said, was terrible. Disgusting. And just pure evil. Had she voted for Dawn to win, I wouldn’t be as scathing. But it was completely uncalled for and a humiliation for Dawn just to help Brenda and her ego slightly. Why we saw her back in the first place is beyond me, and the fact she managed to disappoint more a second time around goes to show why she shouldn’t have been brought back in the first place. And the fan love over her? Wow. I’m lost for words.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Easily the biggest let down of the season, Brenda’s game was a complete joke. After proving a strong threat in Nicaragua, I expected to see something very similar this time around; instead, we didn’t see her at all! She tried to play the ‘under the radar’ style of game and didn’t reveal to much, which I can’t stand. She was lucky to survive as long as she did after voting against majority in the first Tribal Council of the season. Physically, she was a threat but strategically and socially she was poor and the only reason she was voted out was because she was liked by everyone. Her Jury speech was great, exactly how I was expecting to see her play during the season and I loved how she treated Dawn at the Final Tribal Council after Dawn broke the bond the pair had created. As for all the love she is getting from the fans, it’s only because she’s an ex-cheerleader and some people believe her to be hot.
BEN’S GRADE: B
JARRYD’S GRADE: B+
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Erik didn’t play a bad game, and I think had he not been medically evacuated he had every chance to win a million dollars. People say he ‘didn’t do much’, but I think he played a very similar game to the way he played in Micronesia and that just works for him. He was strong in challenges, liked by his tribe and never really a threat to be voted out. It was a shame to see him go the way he did, and especially given we didn’t even get a proper explanation as to why he left, it was very disappointing. Would love to see him play a third time and prove once and for all how capable he is of playing Survivor.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: I love Erik. He’s gone from the naïve young guy from Micronesia who gives up Immunity to the under the radar, medically evacuated, level headed guy in Caramoan. Getting evacuated from the game at any stage is tough, but to leave on Day Thirty-six is just pure heartache. Given what happened last time he played, I felt so sorry for Erik; he deserved a Hero exit. Game wise, I was pretty disappointing in his challenge performance post-merge, he didn’t even look like going close in any of them, apart from the one that he won. Socially he did nothing to offend anyone and strategically I think he was playing a decent game, not set in any alliances and just voting in the way that benefitted him. I also loved his Jury speech, he must have been shattered to leave the game so late and to see Sherri sitting on the other side would have infuriated anyone.
Edward “Eddie” Fox
BEN’S GRADE: B-
JARRYD’S GRADE: C
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Eddie was like Reynold, mixed with a bit of Brett Clouser and a tiny bit of Adam Gentry. I think he was great, and had he made it one more immunity he probably could’ve won. And I think walking away with fourth he should be very happy. The ladies love him, the men love him and hell I think even CBS love him. But again for Eddie it wasn’t to be. Not only did he finish fourth, but he was the highest placed male fan, so that’s nothing to be ashamed of either.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Eddie was just… there. I don’t respect Eddie’s game at all because he did nothing but prove he wasn’t a threat. Strategically, he had no idea what was going on a majority of the time, physically, for his size and the way he talked himself up, he was pretty pathetic, which caused him to rely on everyone liking him to keep him around. In other words, he was this season’s Carter, (Survivor Philippines), with some different attributes. The “flirt game” he tried to play with Hope and Andrea was painful to watch because he came across as a loser. Whilst I don’t have anything against Eddie, I’m glad he didn’t find his way into the Final Three because if he had won, it would have destroyed a highly strategic season.
BEN’S GRADE: B+
JARRYD’S GRADE: D
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Sherri was brilliant this season, and it’s such a shame that not everybody could see that. She dominated her time on the fans tribe, and had they won a bit more, she could’ve dominated the game. She played her cards right after the merge and did the best thing to get herself in the majority alliance, and it worked by getting her all the way to the end. Very harshly treated by the jury, it would’ve been a completely different story had there been a few more fans on the jury who could talk up the way she played in the first ten or so days. I honestly think she had some massive potential to be a Kim Spradlin esque player, and I think she deserved a vote or two at the end. Would love to see her return.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: If Sherri had played the way she did in the first ten days, (give or take), of the game for the entire thirty-nine days, I would have given her my utmost respect. Instead, her game was thrown on it’s head at the Tribe Switch and she was forced to flip and be loyal to the Favourites. I understand that she had no choice but she could have tried to make a move against them instead of just doing what she was told. Being a follower like she was when she had shown earlier on that she had game is just disappointing. To cap it off, Sherri believing that she actually had done something in the game and that she deserved her place in the Final Three was laughable. However, not even her opinions of herself were as bad as her performance at the Final Tribal Council; that was just embarrassing.
BEN’S GRADE: A
JARRYD’S GRADE: D+
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Dawn was fantastic this season and the fact she didn’t walk away with a few jury votes shocked the hell out of me. She has unfairly walked away from this season as the number one villain, and I really think that people need to take some perspective from her move and how she played the game. No longer was she the ‘typical older woman’ who just bowed down to everyones needs and went along with it because she was ‘nice’, she brought game, strategy and smarts as well as physical strength to really prove what she could do when challenged. Sure her friendship and alliance with Cochran was key in getting her far too, but Cochran also relied just as much on her loyalty to get him to the end. The only thing that surprised me about Dawn is that she didn’t act out some revenge on Cochran for his move on South Pacific. I think she would’ve made several people from her original season happy had she done that, and quite possibly could be a millionaire right now. I want to see her back for a third attempt to prove all her haters wrong!
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Coming into the season, I wasn’t a fan of Dawn. I don’t think she deserved to return especially when compared to Holly Hoffman – who would have filled the “older woman role” on this season. Her constant crying and paranoia was enough to drive anyone insane and then you add in her love for everyone and the fact that she apologised for everything she did in the game… I have even less respect for her game. Just to be clear, I have nothing against her personally and think all the hate she copped after the Brenda betrayal was harsh, however, I think her game was very overrated this season. I saw her more as an asset to Cochran, who used the relationship she made to gain the information he needed to make moves. Physically, she was never much of a threat and despite her strategy to vote out “anyone with a different last name”, I don’t think she was willing to make the crunch decisions when they needed to be made without freaking out.
BEN’S GRADE: A+
JARRYD’S GRADE: A
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Say what you will about the game he won, Cochran was outstanding. So many people picked him as a pre-season favourite to win and he lived up to expectations by learning from his mistakes, improving on everything he did wrong in South Pacific and waltzing to victory. Was it one of the most dominant wins in the history of the show? One could argue that. No votes against him all season and then a unanimous vote at the end goes to show his dominance, but add a bitter jury and a few unlucky moments for other dominant players and there is your element of luck for him. Jeff Probst clearly is a fan, and the ‘underdog’ winning is of course a great story. He isn’t the first superfan to win of course. Look back on Todd in China, or even Kim in One World and you have your superfans there. But given this was a guy who wouldn’t take his top off in South Pacific, was bullied and ridiculed in his early days and then in his later days for his ‘backstab’ of his old tribe, it’s a great fairytale to see him walk away with a big fat bank account.
JARRYD’S THOUGHTS: Cochran played a great game and it was great to see him get the recognition he deserved by claiming all eight Jury votes. Coming out of South Pacific, Cochran was seen as the “skinny nerd who flipped”, who then went onto be voted out by the players he helped. Sure, it doesn’t look great, but it’s important to remember that the people he betrayed also saved him when they decided to spare him in favour of Elyse; so keep in mind it was partially Savaii’s fault that he flipped. You can’t deny that he was memorable enough to return and being a huge fan it was always going to be interesting to see if he could put his knowledge into action. His physical ability has unbelievable at times this season and I really enjoyed his story of self-growth. Strategically he was great. It didn’t appear like he was making a lot of the decisions but he certainly had a huge say in what was going to happen. Socially, he improved out of site and it was good to see him relax and not worry about his “stereotype” and just be himself. Finally, I couldn’t talk about Cochran and not mention how funny he was this season… because ninety-five percent of his confessional had me laughing.
Do you agree with our report card? Who did we get right? Who did we get wrong? Comment on this post to let us know your thoughts! Remember you can read our episode recaps and download our recap interviews with some of your favourite former contestants here