7. John Cochran
Second season: Caramoan
Everyone remembers Cochran’s first outing in South Pacific where he was an awkward mega Survivor fan and was targeted frequently by his tribe in the pre-merge portion of the game. They were mean to him and as a result, when it came time to flip at the merge and join the Upolo majority, he did just that, which cost him the game.
Cochran returned for Caramoan where he controlled things nearly from the jump, cut people before they could cut him, and played Survivor‘s second only perfect game with his victory. For a Survivor super fan like Cochran to live out his dream and win the game is a cool storyline and that’s why his second outing was so special for him.
For some reason, Cochran isn’t considered a top tier winner, but he showed why he should be right up there in his second season and even won immunity challenges along the way. He went from the flipper in his first season to one of the more dominant winners in his second go of it. Not too bad for the Harvard grad.
6. Cirie Fields
Second season: Micronesia
Cirie is easily one of the most popular Survivor players of all-time and despite not having won a season, she’s still a name everyone remembers even though she first played in 2006. Cirie’s second crack at Survivor came in Micronesia and we all know what she was able to accomplish that season.
Cirie was a key member of the Black Widow Brigade and helped take everyone out one by one. She was the one who came up with the idea for Natalie to convince Erik to give up the immunity necklace and somehow it worked. The reason Cirie didn’t win Micronesia was because it was a surprise Final Two and not a Final Three as the previous three seasons had been.
Even though she didn’t win, Cirie cemented her legacy in her second time out, returning for both Heroes vs Villains and Game Changers. She was popular after Panama, but Micronesia really showed us what Cirie could do strategically.