Dawn Meehan discusses her 'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' experience (Part 2)
By Reality TV World staff, 05/22/2013
Dawn Meehan finished tied for second place with Sherri Biethman during the live portion of Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' finale broadcast on CBS from CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA.
Dawn, a 42-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT, and Sherri, a 41-year-old fast food franchisee from Boise, ID, finished behind winner John Cochran -- who, with Dawn, previously competed on Survivor: South Pacific and returned this season as "Favorites" -- in the season's final jury voting results. Sherri entered the game as a "Fan" and newbie player.
Cochran received every single vote from the jury members comprised of previously-eliminated castaways and therefore won Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites and walked away with the $1 million grand prize.
During a recent conference call with reporters, Dawn talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor experience. To read what she had to say, click here. Below are some additional highlights from her call.
But did you possibly anticipate the kind of brutal reaction you got from her on social media and such?
Dawn Meehan: No, you know, I thought so much about it because even to the extent [of the finale night] when I think either a reporter or Cochran -- someone was saying, "I've never seen someone have to apologize for voting someone out like on the live show." He goes, "I'm floored." I'm pretty sure it was Cochran.
And that's when I started thinking, "Gosh, I did just play a game." The thing is, I understood that it hurt her, and I'm an emotional person -- and you can see that -- so obviously those decisions were, like, they take a toll on me and they're ones that I made kind of against the grain. It's not comfortable for me.
But I didn't anticipate it. I think it's just an unfortunate thing. It was unfortunate at the end for me just because I felt like it personally kind of made the whole experience seem really Jerry Springer, I don't know.
I don't know. It was just so bizarre as it was happening. It was so weird to me at 39 days, I was so down on my weight and I hadn't slept and I was almost delirious. And so, it was a really bizarre moment in the game. I mean, I guess it'll go down in history as kind of like a pretty unusual thing.
I didn't watch it. I did hear people clap when it happened, like they were like glad, so that part was a little uncomfortable for me. But you know, the thing that I've talked about is how the show has great medical support and a psychologist, and I've obviously gotten to know her really well (laughs) as a result.
And she and I have just come to this kind of conclusion that there's probably something to do with the fact that I play a really feminine game and also that I'm a mother and it really hurt people to see someone try to be both caring and yet still kind of play this hardcore game.
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And so, what my husband always tells me is, "You and Cochran made the same decisions. Cochran stabbed people in the back. You stabbed them in the front. And that really is personal." It just hurt them, you know? And it's hard to forgive that when you're getting ready to choose who wins a million dollars.
But I did my best and I didn't get voted out no matter how much I cried. (Laughs) So I am proud of the fact that I went to the end with the two people I went with. I'm very appreciative, so it's all good.
The first time you played the game, Cochran famously betrayed your alliance. What made you early on feel like you could trust him this time around?
Dawn Meehan: I think because I knew that he had trusted me before, that he did tell me, "Hey, I'm planning on flipping. Do you want to flip with me?"
So we have this really -- I wish they would've shown more of this -- I know there's only so much you can show -- but we have this really bizarre relationship where we're capable of kind of saying, "Well, what's in the best interest of your game?" Okay well, "What's in the best interest of your game? Is there a compromise? Who deserves it? Who's worked harder?"
We had this really weird collaborative process where he'll say, "Okay, you blindside Brenda. That's going to definitely hurt your chances. I need to blindside Brenda." So it's kind of fascinating, but we did that in South Pacific, we just weren't in a position of power. So we couldn't do -- we couldn't make any moves, we could just talk about them.
So I always knew I could trust him. It was, you know, he betrayed the tribe, but I don't feel that he ever really betrayed me just because he always told me what was going on. And that's how we played this time.
Do you feel like it gave you some sort of edge in the game, the fact you had known Cochran previously along with Andrea Boehlke and Phillip Sheppard? Corinne Kaplan hinted in some of her exit interviews that she thought that gave some players an unfair advantage whereas she hadn't played with anyone previously.
Dawn Meehan: I think that any time you have previous exposure or bond with someone, for sure, it has both benefits and limitations. I mean, we also played with [Brandon Hantz] and that really ended up not benefiting Brandon. It didn't benefit [Francesca Hogi].
So I totally see that, like if I had played the game and Corinne had someone from [Survivor:Gabon] like [Marcus Lehman], then I can see -- I would for sure be thinking, "Ugh, they've got to be separated."
What surprises me is that no one separated us. I mean, I had no contact with Cochran after my finale until we went to this game. We really weren't close. We were close on the island, but I mean, I'm a 40-year-old mother of six and he was a college student.
So aside from an occasional email saying, "Hope you're doing well" -- so yeah, I'm floored that no one separated us. We worked very hard to keep ourselves not really closely aligned, like physically.
During a recent conference call with reporters, Dawn talked to Reality TV World about her Survivor experience. To read what she had to say, click here. Above are some additional highlights from her call. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.