Debra "Debbie" Donato Wanner is a contestant from Survivor: Kaôh Rōng and Survivor: Game Changers.

Throughout her time in Kaôh Rōng, Debbie was known for her eccentric personality and her comical professional history, about which she made wide-ranging, seemingly improbable claims. She became an early power broker within the Chan Loh tribe, and eventually joined the Dara Women's Alliance after the merge. However, after several of her tribemates, particularly Aubry Bracco, became uneasy about Debbie's reliability in the game, Aubry orchestrated her blindside.

Returning in Game Changers, Debbie was seen to be unstable, especially after an early explosion with Brad Culpepper. However, she used others' perception of her to her advantage by downplaying her strategic acumen. She came to the fore after the merge and was the main architect of Ozzy Lusth's blindside with the aid of her Extra Vote advantage. However, she became overconfident in the unity of her ascendant Power Six alliance, and was stunned by a blindside at the very next Tribal Council after Sarah Lacina defected from the alliance.


Retrieved from

Name (Age): Debbie Wanner (49)
Tribe Designation: Brains
Current Residence: Reading, Penn.
Occupation: Chemist
Personal Claim to Fame: Being the first in my family to graduate college, learning was always valued, but not formal education. My family was/is dysfunctional, to put it mildly.
Inspiration in Life: I just adore Tia Torres of Pit Bulls and Parolees - talk about Survivors!
Hobbies: Working out (hiking and running), flying, snowmobiles, horses, boating, playing piano, rescuing Boston terriers and tortoises, juggling and reading, especially American and Roman history.
Pet Peeves: The idolization of garish, repugnant and supercilious people-like the Kardashians; pets as fashion accessories; apathy-don't just talk about doing it, do it and help make the world a better place.
3 Words to Describe You: Relentless, erudite and Spartan.
If You Could Have 3 Things on the Island What Would They Be and Why? Chanel No. 5 as I know how bad we will all smell, dental floss because I love clean teeth and it has multiple uses and a big stuffed Boston terrier.
Survivor Contestant You Are Most Like: Coach. Period.
Reason for Being on Survivor: Money, because poverty sucks and money equals power to a point. Also, I relish an adventure.
Why You Think You'll "Survive" Survivor: I have military training in summer and winter survival, shelter building, fire making, food procurement, torture training and a superior will to survive. Plus, I'm fun too! I'm a card carrying member of the Reading Juggler's club, so I'll teach them how to juggle.
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole Survivor: Like Hannibal Lecter, I have good manners and am pleasant company. However, that doesn't mean I won't scramble your brains. One million dollars means freedom, which is priceless to me. I'll give up, let go, surrender- when I'm dead![2]

Age: 51
Hometown: Reading, PA
Previously played on: Season 32: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty, Finished 9th
How have you changed since the last time you played? For all the magic and mystery in playing Survivor, I'm more patently aware of how people can see and hear the exact same event/conversation and have widely different opinions/reactions/interpretations of said event. I'm making a concerted effort to view situations through other people's minds and eyes.
What skills do you bring to Survivor that will make you a useful member of the group and what skills have you been learning since you last played? I'm a worker around camp and was—and will—be a contributor; do what you can to make camp as hospitable as it can be, given the savagery of the environment and the fierce competition. When it comes to voting someone out at Tribal, I want to keep in mind just one thing: any name but mine will do just fine.
What are you most proud of from the last time? For all its strange alchemy and upheavals of emotion, energy, and stomach, I enjoyed it all with exuberance and an ability to laugh and forgive myself and others.
What, if anything, do you most regret? Not making more of an effort to reach out to Scot and Jason. Everyone and anyone can be an ally, if only for one vote.
How will you play differently this time? Attempt to reach out to as many people as possible while still maintaining sincerity and decency. I know we are just playing a game, but attachments happen, and feelings really do get bruised. If I'm going to lie, I hope not to be too much of a wanker about it. Keep the lines of communication open to all and try not to let slights, injustices, real or imagined, get to me. Perhaps gain 10 lbs, as well; foraging for food often uses more energy than we got from finally eating it. Survivor is EXHAUSTING, mentally and physically, I'd like to keep a mental picture of many rescued animals, safe and happy, to remind me of why I'm playing again.[3]


Kaôh Rōng

It took a while for Debbie to settle in to her original tribe (Chan Loh), but she successfully gathered the more quirky members Aubry Bracco, Neal Gottlieb, and Joe del Campo to align against the overconfident duo of Liz Markham and Peter Baggenstos, resulting in the former's blindside on Day 8. On the Day 9 Reward Challenge, Debbie got overheated and needed medical attention, though she was able to recover.

Following a swap on Day 13, Debbie and Neal found themselves in a struggle for power against To Tang for vital swing votes Gondol members Nick Maiorano and Michele Fitzgerald. All plans were forced to be put on hold for a long time as Debbie's tribe won every Immunity Challenge after the swap and Neal's evacuation cancelled Tribal Council right after the merge. Neal's evacuation initially seemed to prompt Gondol to side with Brawn, but To Tang member Cydney Gillon wanted to make a move against the men who were trying to control the game. The women plus Joe succeeded in voting out the overconfident Nick. Finally back in a power position, Debbie wanted to control her alliance. Aubry became frustrated with Debbie because not only did she fail to consider that minority alliance members Scot Pollard or Kyle Jason might have an idol, but also that their ally Julia Sokolowski was trying to play both sides. This frustration eventually lead to Aubry, Michele, Julia, and Cydney targeting Debbie. At Tribal Council, Debbie along with Joe voted for Scot, but she was blindsided as Michele, Aubry, Cydney and Julia voted against her, sending her home 4-3-2.

At Final Tribal Council, despite seeming closer to Aubry throughout the game, she voted for Michele to win the title of Sole Survivor, which she did in a 5-2-0 vote.

Voting History

Debbie's Voting History
Episode Debbie's
Voted Against
1 Chan Loh Tribe Immune
2 Chan Loh Tribe Immune
3 Liz;
4 Chan Loh Tribe Immune
5 Chan Loh Tribe Immune
6 Chan Loh Tribe Immune
7 No Tribal Council
8 Nick Nick
9 Scot Aubry, Cydney,
Julia, Michele
Voted Out, Day 24
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^1 In "The Circle of Life", the vote ended with a 2-2-2 tie between Aubry, Liz, and Peter, forcing a revote. Debbie did not change her vote on the revote.

Game Changers

Despite being more known for her personality than her strategic gameplay, Debbie planned on playing aggressively out of the gate. She had no qualms with pretending to be Cirie Fields' ally although in reality, Debbie was one of many Nuku members prepared to vote Cirie out first had Nuku lost a challenge. Before that happened, Debbie swapped into the Mana tribe along with original tribe members Tai, Sierra, and Brad. Handed a tribal majority of 4-2, Debbie stuck with her original tribe as opposed to a potential Kaôh Rōng alliance with herself, Tai Trang, and Caleb Reynolds. After voting out Caleb, Debbie once again feigned loyalty to the outsider, Hali Ford, with the intent of voting her out later. That plan would be delayed when Jeff Probst announced that Mana and Nuku tribes would vote out a single person from either tribe. Debbie's tribe succeeded in that Tribal Council thanks to Tai's Hidden Immunity Idol. After Debbie's poor performance in the following Reward Challenge, she had a breakdown and lashed out at Hali and Brad Culpepper, but more so towards the latter. This caused the rest of the tribe to be concerned with her and put Debbie in danger. Despite Debbie's rage reappearing briefly, Mana won their first Immunity Challenge as a tribe on Day 13.

The second swap initially seemed like a bad draw for Debbie as drew the package that had no buff and was subsequently sent to Exile Island. However, not only was Exile Island on a boat filled with food, but Debbie was also visited by fomer two-time castaway and Survivor: Caramoan winner John Cochran, who gave her an opportunity to talk strategy, as well as an Advantage Menu between a fake Hidden Immunity Idol Kit, an Extra Vote, and a challenge advantage for her tribe at the next Immunity Challenge. She selected the Extra Vote due to it being the most certain of the three advantages. Debbie observed the Nuku Tribal Council and joined the tribe once Sandra Diaz-Twine left. Despite her absence, Debbie immediately joined the Nuku majority that had a sole Mana target in Jeff Varner. When Varner outed Zeke Smith as transgender, Debbie adamantly supported Zeke and scolded Varner, and joined the Nuku tribe in unanimously voting Varner out.

Debbie began the merged portion in the game by playing up her kooky persona in the rewards so no one would target her. All the while, she mended relationships such as with Brad in order to solidify a majority alliance. Debbie orchestrated perhaps her biggest move of the game on Day 24 when Sierra Dawn Thomas informed her that Zeke was the easy target. Debbie brought up the idea of blindsiding Ozzy Lusth, the biggest challenge threat left in the game. With only the certainty of five of her allies, she decided to use her extra vote advantage. Although technically not necessary due to Cirie and Zeke's stray votes and Sarah Lacina siding with Debbie's alliance, the advantage use sealed Ozzy's fate. After having successfully pulled that move off, Debbie became the outspoken and upfront leader of the majority and got cocky. After Troyzan Robertson won immunity on Day 26, Debbie was certain her alliance would succeed in eliminating Andrea Boehlke. However, Sarah and members of the minority alliance started to become frustrated and annoyed with Debbie, and began formulating a plot against Debbie. Despite Sierra promising Sarah a final 3 with themselves and Debbie, Sarah joined Andrea and Cirie's alliance in voting out Debbie 6-5.

At Final Tribal Council, Debbie declared her intention in campaigning for Brad's victory, and she told Sarah she had no respect for her game because she was willing to win at all costs. She cast her vote for Brad which helped him finish 2nd as Sarah received 7 votes and became Sole Survivor.

Voting History

Debbie's Voting History
Episode Debbie's
Voted Against
1 Nuku Tribe Immune
Nuku Tribe Immune
2 Caleb -
3 Malcolm -
4 Mana Tribe Immune
5 On Exile Island1
6 Jeff -
7 Hali -
Ozzy +
8 Andrea Andrea, Aubry, Cirie,
Michaela, Sarah, Zeke
Voted Out, Day 26
Voted For
Sole Survivor

^1 In "Vote Early, Vote Often", Debbie was not placed on a tribe at the tribe switch and was sent to Exile Island, granting her immunity from Tribal Council.
^2 In "There's a New Sheriff in Town", Debbie used an Extra Vote advantage, allowing her to vote twice at Tribal Council.



  • Debbie was the oldest woman to compete in both of her respective seasons.
  • A running gag in Kaôh Rōng consisted of the occupation descriptions in Debbie's chyron changing for every confessional, including "chemist," "civil air patrol captain," "electronics expert," "waitress," and "part-time model".[5][6]
  • Debbie lost 13 lbs. during her time on Kaôh Rōng.[7]
  • Debbie is the first castaway to find an Advantage Menu.
  • Both times Debbie competed, she became the third member of the jury.
  • Debbie was the lowest placing member on both of her alliances.
    • In addition, both of the highest placing members became the Sole Survivor.
  • Debbie lost 1.5 lbs. during her time on Game Changers.[8]


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