John Cochran went from, as he tells it, an "annoying freak" on his first season of Survivor (South Pacific) to the Sole Survivor in his second outing, Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites, with not a single vote cast against him throughout the entire run of the latter. How'd he do it?
Survivor kicks off its 26th season Wednesday night, pitting fans against former competitors for the second time with Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites. And, according to host Jeff Probst, though the show's formula may be routine by now, this season — which gets underway with a 90-minute premiere at 8/7c on CBS —promises no shortage of drama.
"Survivor is about the players first and the twists second," Probst tells TVGuide.com. "This season delivers in a huge way. Our returning players have never let us down, and that record stands intact after this season."
"There are definitely surprises and at least one thing we have never had happen before and it's a doozy," he adds.
Our top moments of the week:
10. Best Silent Killer: When it came time for the jury to have at the final three Survivor: South Pacific contestants, the most vicious commentary of all comes from an unexpected source —Whitney — the sweet Southern belle. "Albert, you're sleazy," she says. "Coach, you used Christianity to manipulate your whole tribe. And Sophie? You're the most condescending person I've ever met." Are you sure about that, Whitney? Because that condescending person managed to snare enough votes to win.
9. Most Biting Remark: Top Chef delivers a Christmas miracle, or perhaps just a case of...
If anyone understands the importance of an immunity challenge it would have to be Sophie Clarke. As one of the final contestants left on Survivor: South Pacific, the 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, New York, was no frontrunner. But after winning the last immunity challenge of the season and ousting fan favorite and Survivor veteran Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth at the 11th hour, the game was suddenly Clarke's to win. We caught up with Clarke right after she beat out Benjamin "Coach" Wade and baseball coach Albert Destrade for the grand prize of $1 million to find out what she was thought her chances of winning were after the final tribal council, how the show changed her life and why she would return to Survivor in a heartbeat.
[SPOILER ALERT: The following story reveals the winners of Survivor: South Pacific.]
As Survivor's 23rd season came down to its final four, it was Coach and Ozzy, two Survivor veterans — and two of the games fiercest competitors — as well as Albert and Sophie.