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Utahn, Mormon mother on 'Survivor' starts her new game strategy

Published: Thursday, Feb. 14 2013 1:15 p.m. MST

The Bikal Tribe (favorites) faces their first Tribal Council during the premiere episode of "Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites." Dawn Meehan, far right, teaches English at Brigham Young University and is a South Jordan mother.

Monty Brinton, CBS Broadcasting

The team of favorites on “Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites” found that playing the game once doesn’t automatically mean avoiding tribal council after losing the first immunity challenge.

Francesca Hogi, 38, who previously played on “Survivor: Redemption Island,” was the first player voted off the island, which also happened the first time she played the game. She was voted off with a 6-4 vote this time around.

But the tribe of previous players started forming and re-forming early alliances and second-guessing what other players were doing.

Dawn Meehan, 42, a Brigham Young University English professor and mother of six, initially formed an alliance with Hogi and 23-year-old Andrea Boehlke, who also played on “Survivor: Redemption Island” and planned to include three others. She was later pulled into an alliance with Phillip Sheppard, 54, also from “Survivor: Redemption Island.”

She also talked to 25-year-old John Cochran, who played with her on “Survivor: South Pacific.” Cochran, who had a severe sunburn by the second day, was a little skeptical of what Meehan’s initial reaction toward him might be as he flipped on their tribe in their game on “South Pacific.”

“I’m willing to work with her. She’s honest to a fault, unless she’s kind of reinvented herself over the past year and has decided to play a much more cutthroat game, which actually might be,” Cochran said. “The fact that she is willing to take out Fran, who she confessed she wanted to work with, indicates this is a new Dawn.”

“A new Dawn,” Cochran chuckled at his unintended pun.

Meehan, of South Jordan, said she trusts Cochran and wants to make a deal to go to the final three.

While the tribe of fans lost the initial water challenge for 20 pounds of beans and fire-making supplies, they won the immunity challenge. They had some arguments at camp over building a shelter versus making fire and started forming alliances, too.

Playing “Survivor” a second time didn’t take away Meehan’s appreciation of the game.

“Landing on this beach, it was a little surreal. I’m thinking, I’ve had this experience, I was walking on a beach and we were finding our camp,” Meehan said of when the Bikal tribe members were dropped off by a boat and walked up to the beach they would call home. “It’s definitely different as far as the island. … This is incredible.”

Meehan lives in the Founders Park 8th Ward, South Jordan Utah Founders Park Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites” airs Wednesday evenings on CBS.

Email: rappleye@desnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye

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