EW: You’re sitting there at final Tribal Council and Brenda pressures Dawn into removing her teeth. How much of you was loving that strictly for the fact that you locked up another vote, and how much of you was hating it for the pure humiliation for humiliation’s sake that Brenda put Dawn through?
COCHRAN: That thing in particular I did not get any pleasure from. Brenda could have said some nasty stuff and I was pretty sure that I was going to get Brenda’s vote. I didn’t care for the whole demand from Brenda. Dawn’s act, even though it was a betrayal and was a slightly emotionally charged betrayal, the mechanism was still something that was built into the game. What Brenda was demanding was like, “I want you to humiliate yourself,” and I didn’t care for that. And it was a little bit unpleasant because we’re watching this backstage and you can hear the live studio audience and they were kind of cheering when that happened. And I found it gross. I’m not saying I hold anything against Brenda now, but I didn’t like that. I certainly didn’t get a thrill out of it. I certainly did get a thrill that she was getting torn apart, but not that. I felt like I was watching somebody have a nightmare. I didn’t like it.
EW: Let’s talk about the individual challenges. Four wins, although you know I’m putting asterisks on two of them for the advantages you had.
COCHRAN: I know, I know, I know.
EW: But, that said, you performed very well and definitely seemed to have a lot more confidence this time around.
COCHRAN: Yeah, I didn’t undergo any sort of physical transformation this time around, but I was just a nervous wreck last time. Especially pre-merge, being worried I was going to get screamed at my by tribemates or whatever, which just made me perform worse. Even the ones I didn’t win this time, there were some where I performed somewhat competently in, like that one where the water was going over our faces. But I realize there are asterisks next to a couple of those victories.
EW: How much did your mom Arlene get on you for sounding cocky in your confessional interviews.
COCHRAN: She didn’t mind the cockiness. She’s more concerned about sunburn and her own appearance on the show. We got to watch the Reunion show where I run into the crowd and I’m hugging her and my grandmother, and all she would say is “Look at my freakin’ disgusting white hair! Look at my stupid ugly, white hair in the crowd!” And I’m like “Nobody is looking at that. No it is not disgusting, crappy white hair, mom. And happy Mother’s Day.” The cockiness? She realizes that’s me joking around. I’m a compulsively self-deprecating person. The egomaniac stuff is kind of acting.
EW: Be honest: How bummed are you that didn’t win Fan Favorite? Beaten by Malcolm and Brenda!
COCHRAN: I knew I wasn’t going to win. My prediction after that Brenda episode was that she might actually win it. It bothered me a little bit that I wasn’t mentioned, but I was fine with it. I was less affected by it than I thought I was going to be. I was happy for Malcolm though, as bizarre as it is for me to say that. He made a lot of cool, theatrical, fun moves and the season was better for it, even if they weren’t the best strategic moves. So he deserves it.
EW: What’s more exciting, winning Survivor or doubling your Twitter followers in one night?
COCHRAN: OH MY GOD! This is remarkable stuff, right? I’m at 95,006 and right now! It’s unreal! I’m so giddy about this. And I’m just refreshing every so often.
EW: Well Probst hooked you up this time with the Twitter question and you got your handle in there and everything.
COCHRAN: He got pissed off. I looked at his face when I said that and he kind of bristled a little bit. but whatever.
EW: So look, you brought up the writing thing last night. You think this is the right time to make an official announcement about your first writing gig?
COCHRAN: Well, I did mention on the Reunion show that I’m kind of disenchanted with the law thing and don’t want to be a lawyer, but do think I could potentially be a good writer. So I’m very thrilled to announce that after speaking to Dalton Ross, I’ve decided I’m going to be the Big Brother recapper for Entertainment Weekly‘s website EW.com. It’s a big commitment. I’ve become somewhat of a Big Brother fanatic given last season. I thought last season was really fantastic, so I’m excited. I’m excited to flex my writing chops a little bit and I hope people enjoy it. I’m really looking forward to it.
EW: So are we. And give my regards to the Zingbot. Finally, how upset are you that you did not receive an oversized novelty check?
COCHRAN: Yeah! Sophie got the little crappy check that I got. Denise goy the little crappy check that I got. But Kim got to go on The Talk and get a big foam oversized check! Not only that, but my check has a typo on it! My home address is spelled wrong. I know that’s not a deal breaker, but c’mon! I’m a little bit bummed out about it. I’d like to get the big foam check. I want to know what the deal is! I’m really indignant right now.
Check out an exclusive deleted scene from last night Survivor finale below. Also make sure to read Dalton’s full finale/reunion recap. as well as his exit interview with Dawn Meehan, who talks all about Toothgate, and his chat with Erik Reichenbach, who slams the “farce” of a reunion show. And for more Survivor scoop all year round, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.