‘Survivor’: John Cochran Wishes CBS Offered Post-Show Assistance

Survivor’s John Cochran remains one of the show’s most legendary and well-liked players. Cochran appeared twice on the CBS franchise, first competing without success on Survivor: South Pacific. Cochran came back for Caramoan, where he became one of only two competitors to win a unanimous vote from the jury. Despite fans’ fondness for the player, he’s decided he’s not coming back to the show. What’s more, he’s revealed that he still receives hate mail to this day, and wishes that CBS would do more to assist players after Survivor airs.   

Sole ‘Survivor’ John Cochran explains why he’s not coming back 

'Survivor' star John Cochran
Survivor star John Cochran | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

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Survivor star John Cochran may be one of the most well-liked players in the show’s long history, but he’s had his fill of the show regardless. When Winners at War was announced, many wondered if Cochran would return for the season. Even Jeff Probst wanted him back.

“I can tell you that of all the people we wanted, I would say Cochran is the only one that would have been on the list [where] if he had said yes would probably have a spot on the show,” Probst informed Entertainment Weekly in 2020.

However, John Cochran turned Survivor down, and decided not to return. During a more recent chat with EW, he revealed that he’s sticking to his guns on that decision. However, it has nothing to do with the show itself — he’s just got other stuff to do instead. 

“[I]t’s not out of a diminished love for the show (which is best enjoyed when you’re able to watch it purely as a fan and not as someone eyeing up competition while plotting a return appearance),” he explained.

“I was a law student on summer vacation the last two times I played; doing it now would be significantly more disruptive to my job and nervous system. And, in any case, I’m at peace with and truly grateful for how my Survivor journey ended: hugging Debbie on a boat in episode 5 of Game Changers.”

The ‘Survivor’ star receives hate mail 

Andrea Boehlke and John Cochran of Survivor
Andrea Boehlke and John Cochran of Survivor | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

While Survivor star John Cochran is one of only two individuals to win a perfect game, he still receives hate mail from disgruntled fans. He says it can get pretty insulting, but that it’s lost its impact on him over time. 

“I certainly didn’t anticipate that, almost ten years after first playing, I’d still receive many messages every week explaining what an ugly, spineless coward I am,” he told EW.

“The insults eventually lose their impact just through repetition, but remain an unpleasant, persistent toothache in your inbox. And I know I can’t be anywhere close to getting the worst of this stuff compared to other contestants,” Cochran added.

John Cochran wants CBS to help more

John Cochran and Debbie Wanner of Survivor
John Cochran and Debbie Wanner of Survivor | Jeffrey Neira/CBS via Getty Images

In the end, the Survivor contestant says it’s up to CBS to step in and make sure that castaways are given support after the show ends. 

“I guess my main suggestions for change would be with an eye towards better preparing contestants for what to expect and how to handle the scrutiny and criticism they’ll receive when the show airs,” Cochran explained.

“Even though signing up for a reality television show carries with it the assumption of the risk that you’re going to deal with online haters, I know I wasn’t ready for the sheer quantity, intensity, and longevity of the haterade.”