“Survivor” super fan Dawn Meehan had been applying to be a contestant on “Survivor” since season two of the show aired. After ten years of applications and hoping and waiting she finally got the call and appeared on “Survivor: South Pacific” – but it was a rough transition. Expectations were high for Meehan, and the reality of the game and its mental exhaustion took a toll on her. Meehan was part of a tribe that consisted of a lot of young, strong, boisterous and scantily clad youths whom she was struggling to fit in with. It wasn’t until she overcame her initial shock and emotions that Meehan began to dry her tears and find her stride in the game, but when she did, she was fantastic. If it wasn’t for Cochran’s flip in alliances Meehan could have done some major damage in the game.
Meehan is a mothering figure by nature. She is a Mormon who adopts kids and takes care of others. You can imagine her wearing an apron and placing freshly baked pies on an open window. However, now that Meehan has is returning for “Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites” she says you can expect her to be a much different player – which begins with no more tears. “How lucky am I?” says Meehan about her chance to return to the game she loves. “When you’re with other previous players, obviously talk turns to would you play again. And if the opportunity came up I would be grateful, but I didn’t want to be one of those people that was just pursuing it — okay, I need another cupcake. One wasn’t enough. And so it was crazy to me that it came about.”
Meehan says that she prepared differently for her “Survivor” experience this time, and she is going in with not only a clear mind-set, but a stronger physical presence. “All the culture shock is gone. And oddly enough, I came home from that finale and my husband said, “Let’s get ready for a Tough Mudder run,” and we started training really intensely. And he jokingly would say, “This will be great because if you ever get to play again, you’ll be in shape because you’ve been working on this other goal.” And so now it’s sort of like if you’ve taken a test twice, you come to the second test a lot more calm. So I do feel good that way.”
Meehan also acknowledged that she made some rookie mistakes last time and she doesn’t intend to let other players make all the strategic decisions for her in round two. “What I do think I need to do is I need to be more strategic and more willing to take risks and make decisions and get other people on board with what I think needs to happen. I always had a good read on what was happening in our game but I’m not sure I was doing enough with the information, and in order to win this game, you have to make the decisions and be willing to risk it.”
The new season of “Survivor” will be bringing back a few familiar faces for Meehan, namely, Cochrane and Brandon from her original season. Meehan feels that this will prove to be an advantage for her. “I think it’s good for us.” she says, “I think it’s good for us in that the relationship the three of us had in our game was fairly good at different stages in the game so there is room for us to work together. But I think as far as the other people in the game, they’re going to think, we have to break that up. So in that way, I’m moderately nervous about it. I also look at it and feel like Brandon played a big part getting Cochran to move over to Upolu so I’m not sure that I have the same bond with Cochran that Brandon does. So I’m going to have to watch the two of them to see.”
Meehan says she plans to play the game “lukewarm” at the beginning, and that being a middle person and “not going too hot or too cold” will be a big strategy of hers.
Did you watch Meehan when she was on “Survivor: South Pacific”? Which returning player are you most looking forward to watching on “Survivor: Caramoan”?