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Utahn in final three, but it's Cochran who wins 'Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites' (+video)

Published: Monday, May 13 2013 10:15 a.m. MDT

John Cochran was crowned Sole Survivor and won the $1 million on "Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites" finale airing live from Los Angeles Sunday, May 12, on CBS.

Trae Patton, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Utahn and Favorite Dawn Meehan was one of the final three castaways who lasted all 39 days on “Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites.” She sat next to Favorite John Cochran, with whom she was tightly aligned with, and Fan Sherri Biethman.

“I don’t think I’m going to win, but I think I’m going to be able to buy some new teeth,” Meehan said about her chances of winning before the votes were counted during Sunday evening's live reunion show.

And it was Harvard Law School graduate and longtime fan of the show Cochran who took home all of the votes host Jeff Probst counted from the eight-member jury and the $1 million prize.

But Meehan didn't escape the limelight.

Probst asked the South Jordan mother and Brigham Young University English professor about her seemingly constant emotional breakdowns.

“I have to believe that, for myself, that I had to go completely against my character in this game to vote out the people I loved,” Meehan said during the reunion show, pointing to when she helped orchestrate the vote when Corinne Kaplan was blindsided.

Probst also asked Meehan about her vote against Brenda Lowe in last week’s episode and the emotional fallout. Lowe had previously helped a very distraught Meehan find her dental retainer, which had fallen out while Meehan was swimming.

Meehan had received thousands of tweets after last week’s episode and ended up shutting down her Twitter account.

“It was extreme. … I don’t want that much negativity thrown my way,” said Meehan, whose six adopted children were sitting in the front rows of the audience. Meehan is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She also got the chance to apologize to Lowe, who joined the reunion show via satellite from Miami as Lowe is pregnant and due any day now.

The pair hadn’t talked since the shows were filmed last summer.

“Time has gone by, which really has helped," Lowe said. And she accepted Meehan’s apology with an "absolutely."

“I feel like I lost a friend and then gained one,” Lowe added.

The reunion show also included appearances by Robert Carlo "Boston Rob" Mariano from “Survivor: Redemption Island” and Rudolph "Rudy" Ernst Boesch from the first season of "Survivor."

Also, Favorite Malcolm Freberg, who essentially played two seasons back to back, won $100,000 as the Sprint Player of the Season.

Earlier Sunday evening, the final five castaways were narrowed to three during Days 36-39 of the 39-day contest.

On the walk back from Tribal Council on Day 36, 27-year-old Favorite Erik Reichenbach had a severe headache and couldn’t continue walking. He was given an IV and medically evacuated from the game.

On Day 37, the four remaining had a Reward Challenge with building a “house of cards” with wooden blocks on a platform they had to hold steady with their other hand. Cochran won the challenge, winning an advantage in the next day’s Immunity Challenge.

On Day 38, the Immunity Challenge including climbing a structure to retrieve three bags of puzzle pieces and putting together a fire puzzle. And Cochran won Immunity, but not without Meehan and Beithan coming close.

Meehan’s emotional paranoia did set in as she checked and double checked with Cochran that their alliance and loyalty that they had relied on all season was locked.

But he had Fan Eddie Fox’s vote for Meehan, and Cochran was oscillating as to who he could beat in in the final three. Once there are three remaining, the “Survivors,” the voted-out castaways on the jury, decide who gets the $1 million prize.

“I think you’re the only person out there who can beat me, so you gotta go,” Cochran said as he voted for Fox.

On Day 39, the final three received a gift of food as they spent their last day on the island.

At the final Tribal Council, each of the eight jury members had the chance to ask Meehan, Cochran and Biethman questions and most of the questions for Meehan centered around her continued emotional outbursts throughout the 39 days on the island.

“A lot of emotion had to do with how hard it was for me to be duplicitous,” Meehan said in her opening statement at Tribal Council. “I had to remind myself, this is game for a million dollars. If this is football, I had to be willing to make the tackle.”

She wanted to have at least one ally to strategize with, to control her own fate and also to give herself permission to do things she wouldn’t do in real life.

Lowe asked Meehan about the vote and for Meehan to take out her bottom teeth that were on the retainer.

Probst said that he’s leaving Monday to film the next season of "Survivor," which is “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” which will air this fall.

Email: rappleye@desnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye

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