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Did Utah 'Survivor' Dawn Meehan win $1 million?
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

SPOILER ALERT!!! If you don't want to know who won "Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites," STOP READING NOW!!!

••••

Maybe Dawn Meehan never had a chance to win "Survivor." The BYU English professor who lives in South Jordan certainly had zero chance when she went up against John Cochran in Sunday's season finale, when he sailed to victory and the million-dollar prize.

Cochran won the final immunity challenge and got to determine which two competitors he would take to the final tribal council. The goal is to take the two others you have the best chance of beating, and he chose correctly when he took Meehan and Sherri Biethman. To all appearances, they were no challenge at all.

Host Jeff Probst read five of the eight jury votes, and all five were for Cochran. Which would seem to indicate all eight votes went his way.

In attempting to convince Cochran she would be easier to beat, Meehan said, "I think I've done a pretty good job of maligning myself with most people on the jury."

Yeah, well, that and all the paranoia and crying jags and hugging and kissing contestants in what seemed glaring plays for their favor.

And, not unlike a lot of reality-show contestants, there was a certain amount of self-deception in her reasoning.

"No one else but me made these decisions this time," she insisted. And she tried to argue that she was a co-strategist with Cochran, but members of the jury looked at her with incredulity.

Viewers of the show saw Meehan following first Phillip Sheppard and then Cochran. She never made a big move, and was known much more for her emotional outbursts than for anything approaching strategy.

And there didn't seem to be any love for her among jury members.

"You can't be warm mother of six who stabbed people in the back," said fellow contestant Malcolm Freberg, And the subject of her paranoia and frequent tears came up more than once.

She did argue that she was playing a game. And that backstabbing is part of the game. Which is absolutely correct.

But, she said, "I feel like I'm my own worst enemy."

Well, maybe not. Cochran was clearly her worst enemy.

Meehan was her own second-worst enemy.

— Scott D. Pierce

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