Outwit, outplay, outlast ... out-nerd?
When John Cochran first showed up on "Survivor: South Pacific," he was a pale, unathletic megafan who didn't want to take his shirt off (for fear of looking like a "pathetic twerp" in front of the ladies).
Now, in his second season, Cochran is one of the five remaining players -- and a heavy favorite to win the $1 million and title of sole survivor. In fact, he's the only person left whose name has yet to be written down. As Stephen Fishbach, runner-up on "Survivor: Tocantins," wrote on People.com, Cochran has executed "a smart game with good decisions. In some ways, his game most resembles that of Sophie, who won his original season of South Pacific -- just with funnier confessionals. Can Cochran win, too?"
Fans certainly think so:
If he does manage to triumph in Sunday night's finale, it'll definitely be an underdog story for the ages. Check out five things to know about the possible "Survivor" winner:
1. He wrote a thesis on "Survivor."
At Harvard Law School, Cochran wrote a paper comparing the American jury system to the "Survivor" jury system -- and won a Dean's Scholar Prize.
See Cochran at the start of the South Pacific season talking about his strengths and weaknesses:
2. He doesn't have a job yet...
Maybe Cochran is banking on that $1 million prize, but he still hasn't landed a post-law-school gig.
"The summer is when law students get summer associate positions, and that's where you end up working after you graduate," he told the Fairfax Times. "But I've spent two summers doing reality television in lieu of getting a job, so that's probably why I don't have a job yet."
3. …or a girlfriend.While Cochran says he's "getting better" at talking to women, he's still very much single.
4. He's a huge Beatles fan.
Cochran has loved the iconic band since he was about 10, when his father played "I Am the Walrus" on the car radio. "I'm almost as obsessed over the Beatles as I am 'Survivor,'" he told Xfinity TV. "Not quite, though. The hierarchy of things in my life goes: 'Survivor,' Beatles, then I guess food."
5. He really, really loves "Survivor."
Cochran used to hand out newsletters with "Survivor" recaps in high school. "My senior yearbook photo is me wearing three buffs: one around my head, two on my arms, and a 'Survivor' T-shirt," he said. "And my quote just said, 'The tribe has spoken.' So, I'm a lunatic about 'Survivor.'"
Cochran's mom on how her son's gameplay has changed from the previous season he participated in:
The finale of "Survivor: Caramoan" airs Sunday, 5/12 at 8 PM on CBS.
- Arts & Entertainment