The Funny 115 - The Third One

#89.  Vanilla Julia
Caramoan - episode 7

One of the trademarks of Survivor over the years has been the cold-hearted scoundrel who just sits there and wrecks everyone behind their back in confessionals every week.

From The Robfather in Marquesas, who pretty much invented this archetype

To Sandra, who pretty much just hates everyone

To Jonny Fairplay, who may have been the meanest of all

It has been a custom over the years for there to be some loudmouth who does nothing but sit there and talk shit.

Hi, remember me?

"I think Brandon is a parkakafrakerworf."

And then there's THIS asshole

But it wasn't until Survivor: Caramoan that we got maybe the most unlikely shit talker of them all.

Yes, you know who I am talking about.

I can only be talking about...


Yes, John Cochran.  The most unlikely Survivor player of them all.

At one time, this guy tried to pull a Boston Rob and start roasting everyone.

Ginger is his middle name

If you don't remember the one and only time Cochran actually sat there and tried to say something mean about someone, let me go back to the seventh episode of Survivor: Caramoan.  Where Cochran pulls out a bizarre confessional about Julia that, for some reason, everyone seems to remember.  This was without question one of the most highly requested quotes that people wanted me to put on the Funny 115.

No, not that one.  

Let's get to the scene.

It is the seventh episode of Caramoan, and at the moment the Bikal tribe is made up of six members.  

There are four favorites on the tribe, and two fans.

The four favorites are Dawn, Phillip, Cochran, and Corinne

And the two fans are Julia and Michael, aka "The Gay"

At this point the voting strategy should be obvious, right?   I mean, when it's four against two, the four usually just pick off the two.  You just pick the one who you don't want around, and you get rid of them.

You'd think that would be obvious.

But then again, this season involves Phillip, so at that point then nothing is obvious.

You see, Phillip is lobbying to keep Julia.  He likes having her around, even though she doesn't really add anything to anything.  But then again, he's Phillip, so maybe that's why he likes having her around.  Maybe he prefers interacting with her bland pleasantness.

Pleasant.  Dull.  Unthreatening.

Corinne, on the other hand, is lobbying for them to keep The Gay.

The Gay

So basically this is what it has come down to as we get to the vote at the end of the seventh episode.   Corinne is fighting to keep The Gay, and Phillip is fighting to keep Julia.  And at one point they very nearly come to blows, since Phillip refuses to give in to Corinne, and Corinne refuses to vote out an ally who is sparkly and sassy.

It gets so bad that the four favorites start to splinter over who they are going to vote out next.

"Well maybe we could just vote Corinne out."

"Phillip is beyond awful.  If this was the real world I would kick his ass."

"Corinne has committed several foo paws.  She doesn't deserve to have the code name 'The Nutcracker.'"

"Phillip, you tubby lunchbox.  You're just an amoeba.  Give me my Gay."

It gets so heated that there is poor Cochran stuck in the middle, shocked by the level of immaturity and ridiculousness that is flying around him.  Which, if you think about it, is actually pretty amazing considering he has already been on a tribe with Coach and Brandon.  You'd think he would be used to this.

But here's Cochran, stuck in the middle of two immovable sides.  

He knows full well that the favorites shouldn't be cannibalizing themselves, but what can you do?


It was never like this in my ORG

And this is where we get his most famous confessional in Caramoan.

Phillip and Corinne are beyond disgusted with one another

The fates of Julia and The Gay hang in the balance

And it is up to the Cardigan Slayer to explain what is going down tonight

Like I said, this might be the one and only time John Cochran has ever actually tried to be mean to someone.

First off, he praises The Gay.   Even though he is on the bottom of the numbers, Cochran says Michael is relatively skilled at Survivor and he knows how to play the game.

dot dot dot hmmmm

And then... we get to the Julia part.

Becky rages

"Julia, on the other hand, is such a non-entity out here."

"I'm tempted to say that she has, like, a vanilla personality."

"But I feel like that would be doing a great disservice to the flavor vanilla."

"I mean, people actively seek out vanilla flavored products."

"Children clamor to get a vanilla ice cream cone."

"Nobody's clamoring for anything Julia flavored."

"...except for Phillip."

And guess what?  

At the end of the day, guess which forgettable bland dairy product wound up being voted out?


For now, Corinne is a happy girl

At least, until she goes home at the next vote

P.S.  Cochran's "vanilla" confessional is without question one of those scenes that everyone tends to remember from Caramoan.  It's also something that almost always shows up any time you see an interview with Julia or Cochran.  Any time there is an interview with Julia, someone will ask her what she thought about being called vanilla (spoiler: she hated it).  And any time there is an interview with Cochran, he will go out of his way to apologize to Julia since, as I mentioned before, it is the one and only time he ever really let his Inappropriate Cochran freak side run wild when he was doing a confessional on Survivor.  He knows that he crossed the line, and he feels awful about it.   Which is hilarious, in a way, considering what a minor insult it is to be called "vanilla."   Only on Survivor would an epithet that benign wind up causing so much controversy.

Of course that doesn't mean I'm above making fun of it

More than once

Okay, last time.


P.P.S.  Here is Cochran apologizing for the vanilla confessional in a recent AMA he did on Reddit.

"Since you brought up Julia, I will say I do feel a little bad that that's the reputation she has as a result of my interview. Especially because I think about gathering your family around the TV to watch your boot episode, and then seeing you have some schmuck making fun of you. It’s pretty awful. I mean, truthfully, the vanilla stuff was more me playing with a pretty hackneyed joke structure for my own amusement than any sort of meaningful deconstruction of Julia’s identity. Don’t get me wrong: that doesn’t make it any less rude or regrettable, and it's entirely my fault that that interview is what her Survivor experience has been reduced to for a lot of people. But it’s kind of like how a "Yo mama" joke isn’t really some incisive, penetrating psychological analysis about the worth of someone’s mother. Anyway, I got along with Julia quite well on the island. I remember we sang a duet version of a Beatles song together one night in the shelter (“I Need You,” if you’re curious). And she’s obviously hyper-accomplished and doing amazingly impressive things IRL, so there’s no question that she’s got plenty of people clamoring for her flavor. Not lame at all!"

P.P.P.S.  Cochran isn't exaggerating, by the way.  If you don't know what Julia does for a living, check out this link.  She is easily one of the most accomplished young people ever to have been cast on the show.  I also doubt she really thinks about Survivor all that much.

She is also a very popular and successful motivational speaker

Here she gives a lecture about soft serve

P.P.P.P.S.  Oh yeah, remember how I said there are those legendary characters on Survivor who love to just sit around and talk shit about everyone?  Well there's one big example who is coming up on the Funny 115 who I haven't talked about yet.  Get ready for her...

** Thanks to Aaron Conn for the Sims 4 Brad Culpepper picture **

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