Janu Tornell is a contestant from Survivor: Palau.

She is known for quitting to save another contestant, Stephenie LaGrossa, and as the first castaway sent to Exile Island.


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As a child, Janu Tornell never aspired to be a showgirl. Tornell's Cuban-born mother, Maria, was a famous showgirl in Havana, but Tornell did not find her calling until many life experiences later and considers her mother one of her greatest inspirations for overcoming the hardships of life, including a successful battle with cancer. Tornell is equally inspired by her father, Juan, as he always told her that every experience in life gives you endurance.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tornell attended Valley High School. She then spent time in Spain before moving to Los Angeles. She attended Los Angeles Valley Community College before moving back to Las Vegas to finish her studies and pursue a career as a showgirl. In 2004, after 20 years, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She most recently worked as the lead showgirl for a major Las Vegas hotel, performing two shows per night, six days per week. She also models. Tornell was previously employed as a restaurant manager, waitress and administrative assistant. Additionally, she was named 1989 Miss Nevada USA and was first runner-up in Miami's 1990 Miss Nuestra Belleza competition.

In her spare time, Tornell enjoys traveling, scuba diving, swimming, body surfing, reading, rock climbing and watching foreign films. She describes herself as honest, fun, outgoing and strong-minded. She is fluent in Spanish, Italian, French and English. Her hero is Audrey Hepburn for her talent, goodwill, beauty and her ability to be most beautiful to the least fortunate.

Tornell is an active member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.[1]


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Voting History

Janu's Voting History
Episode Janu's
Voted Against
1 Koror Tribe Immune
2 Koror Tribe Immune
3 Koror Tribe Immune
4 Koror Tribe Immune
5 Willard -
6 Koror Tribe Immune
7 Koror Tribe Immune
8 Koror Tribe Immune
9 Stephenie Coby
10 No Vote
Quit, Day 27
Voted for
Sole Survivor


  • On January 9, 2010, Janu attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.


  • Janu is the first castaway in Survivor history to be sent to Exile Island.
  • Janu is the lowest-ranking woman from Koror.
  • Janu is the first player to quit at the jury stage of the game.
  • Janu is the only player to quit specifically to save another player.
  • Janu is the first player to quit and still have her closing speech aired.
  • Janu has won the most challenges out of anyone who has quit the game, with 12.
  • Janu's fellow Koror tribemate Coby Archa named his adopted daughter after Janu.
  • Coby Archa claims that Janu was considered for Micronesia, but was not chosen.[2]
  • Janu is responsible for the inclusion of NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn on the jury upon quitting in Nicaragua. Jeff Probst explained that "We had set a precedent. We let Janu stay on the jury so we let NaOnka and Purple Kelly on the jury as well".[3]


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