Survivor: Panama, also known as Survivor: Panama — Exile Island, is the twelfth season of Survivor. Aras Baskauskas defeated Danielle DiLorenzo in a 5-2 vote to become the Sole Survivor.


Applications were due on June 17, 2005. Around August 2005, 800 applicants were invited for an interview by CBS. Out of these 800, 48 of them were selected as semi-finalists and they were invited to Los Angeles in September 2005. From these semi-finalists, 16 were chosen the show and filming took place in November to December 2005.

The season's theme is inspired from Haitian Vodou and headhunting culture practiced in Central and South America. The Tribal Council set was a cave made out of foam. The Panamanian government insisted on preserving certain trees nearby, prompting production to build the cave around these, hiding them in the process. The candles illuminating Tribal Council can be controlled, thus enhancing the fire whenever production pleased.


  • Exile Island: After a Reward Challenge, players may banish a player from the rival tribe to Exile Island. This island, entirely separate from the existing camps, will force the banished player to fend for him/herself until the upcoming Immunity Challenge (unless stated otherwise). The player would not be left in despair, for he/she will be given clues to a Hidden Immunity Idol that is hidden somewhere on the island.
  • Rehashed Hidden Immunity Idol Mechanism: Unlike the previous season where the Hidden Immunity Idol is used like the Immunity Necklace, the mechanism of using the idol was now changed. Instead of revealing the idol before voting, the owner must draw it when he/she has enough votes to eliminate him/her. The votes cast against that player will be considered spoilt, while the person that gets the second highest amount of votes will be eliminated instead. The idol is usable until the Day 36 Tribal Council.
  • Four Tribes: For the first time in the series, the castaways were divided into four tribes of four.
  • Tribe Division: These four tribes are defined according to age and gender, thus having tribes of Older Men (La Mina), Younger Men (Viveros), Younger Women (Bayoneta), and Older Women (Casaya).
  • Tribe Switch: On Day 4, the tribes were mixed up. Viveros and Bayoneta were disbanded. Two team captains were chosen randomly and contestants were divided into the new Casaya and La Mina tribes by a Schoolyard Pick. Because of odd numbers, the last unpicked player was sent to Exile Island and was given immunity. He/she will stay there until the tribe that loses the next Immunity Challenge already finished the task of voting out one of their own. After the vote, the exiled player will join that tribe.


Contestant Tribe Affiliation Finish Votes
Original Tribe Switched Tribe Merged Tribe
S12 tina t Tina Scheer
44, Hayward, WI
Casaya 1st Voted Out
Day 3
S12 melinda t Melinda Hyder
32, Sevierville, TN
Casaya Casaya 2nd Voted Out
Day 6
S12 misty t Misty Giles
24, Dallas, TX
Missile Engineer
Bayoneta La Mina 3rd Voted Out
Day 8
S12 ruthmarie t Ruth Marie Milliman
48, Greenville, SC
Property Developer
Casaya La Mina 4th Voted Out
Day 11
S12 bobby t Bobby Mason
32, Los Angeles, CA
Viveros Casaya 5th Voted Out
Day 14
S12 dan t Dan Barry
51, South Hadley, MA
La Mina La Mina 6th Voted Out
Day 15
S12 nick t Nick Stanbury
25, Tempe, AZ
Financial Salesman
Viveros La Mina Gitanos 7th Voted Out
Day 18
S12 austin t Austin Carty
24, High Point, NC
Viveros La Mina 8th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 21
S12 sally t Sally Schumann
26, Chicago, IL
Social Worker
Bayoneta La Mina 9th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 24
S12 bruce t Bruce Kanegai
57, Simi Valley, CA
Art Teacher
La Mina Casaya Evacuated
3rd Jury Member
Day 25
S12 courtney t Courtney Marit
31, Los Angeles, CA
Fire Dancer
Bayoneta Casaya 10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 30
S12 shane t Shane Powers
34, Los Angeles, CA
Marketing Executive
La Mina Casaya 11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 33
S12 cirie t Cirie Fields
35, Walterboro, SC
Casaya Casaya 12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 36
S12 terry t Terry Deitz
46, Simsbury, CT
La Mina La Mina 13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
S12 danielle t Danielle DiLorenzo
24, Pompano Beach, FL
Medical Sales Representative
Bayoneta Casaya Runner-Up 4
S12 aras t Aras Baskauskas
24, Santa Monica, CA
Yoga Instructor
Viveros Casaya Sole Survivor 9

Season Summary

The game began with the sixteen competitors split into four tribes by both relative age and gender. They were introduced to the concept of "Exile Island" with the promise of a Hidden Immunity Idol located somewhere on it, while one person from the losing tribe at challenges would be sent to the island and given clues to look for it. After the first four days, the four tribes were merged by Schoolyard Pick with mixed genders into two tribes, Casaya and La Mina. Casaya generally proved the stronger tribe, and opted to send Terry Deitz from La Mina over to Exile Island multiple times, which gave him the opportunity to discover the Hidden Immunity Idol.

Going into the merge, Casaya was up six members to four. Since Terry won five Individual Immunity Challenges in a row, he did not use the Hidden Immunity Idol to save his former La Mina tribe members, leaving him as the sole remaining La Mina member and a perceived Immunity Challenge threat by the Casaya Alliance.

Cirie Fields later noticed both Terry and Shane Powers looking separately to take Courtney Marit, a weaker player, to the end as an assurance to win the jury's favor, convinced Aras Baskauskas and Danielle DiLorenzo to blindside the other three, and succeeded in achieving Courtney's elimination. Shane was eliminated at the next Tribal Council. At the final four, the vote came down to a fire-making tiebreaker between Cirie and Danielle with Danielle winning. Danielle won the Final Immunity Challenge and voted out Terry making herself and Aras the Final Two

At the Final Tribal Council Aras and Danielle both received lukewarm remarks from the jury, but by a vote of 5-2 Aras was awarded the title of Sole Survivor.

Episode Air date Challenges Exiled Eliminated
Finish Viewers
(in millions)[2]
Reward Immunity
1 "The First Exile" February 2, 2006 La Mina Bayoneta Misty Tina
1st Voted Out
Day 3
19.20 7.0/18
Viveros La Mina
Casaya Viveros
2 "Breakdown" February 9, 2006 La Mina La Mina Bruce1 Melinda
2nd Voted Out
Day 6
18.75 6.6/17
3 "Crazy Fights, Snake Dinners" February 16, 2006 La Mina Casaya Bruce Misty
3rd Voted Out
Day 8
16.98 6.3/16
4 "Starvation and Lunacy" February 23, 2006 Casaya Casaya Terry Ruth Marie
4th Voted Out
Day 11
14.85 5.5/14
5 "For Cod's Sake" March 2, 2006 Casaya La Mina Terry Bobby
5th Voted Out
Day 14
16.08 5.5/14
6 "Salvation and Desertion" March 9, 2006 Casaya2 Sally Dan
6th Voted Out
Day 15
15.33 5.4/N/A
7 "A Closer Look" March 15, 2006 Recap Episode N/A N/A
8 "An Emerging Plan" March 30, 2006 None Terry None Nick
7th Voted Out
Day 18
16.25 5.8/17
9 "The Power of the Idol" April 6, 2006 Aras,
Terry Austin,
8th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
Day 21
16.36 5.6/17
10 "Fight for Your Life or Eat" April 13, 2006 Bruce,
Sally, Terry
Terry Aras Sally
9th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
Day 24
15.07 5.2/17
11 "Medical Emergency" April 20, 2006 Cirie
None Terry Bruce
(No Vote)
3rd Jury Member
Day 25
16.26 5.5/18
12 "Perilous Scramble" April 27, 2006 Courtney,
Terry Aras Courtney
10th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
Day 30
17.09 5.9/18
13 "Bamboozled" May 4, 2006 Terry
Terry Danielle Shane
11th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
Day 33
17.04 5.9/18
14 "Call the Whambulence!" May 11, 2006 Aras
Aras Danielle,
12th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
Day 36
17.2 5.8/N/A
15 "The Final Showdown" May 14, 2006 Cirie
17.07 6.2/15
Terry Danielle None Terry
13th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
Day 38
Jury Vote Danielle
Sole Survivor
16 "Reunion" 12.3 4.6/N/A

^1 By not being selected on a tribe during the Tribe Swap, Bruce was sent to Exile Island. He then be placed on the tribe that lost the following Immunity Challenge.
^2 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
^3 Per Survivor rules, a fire-making challenge would be held between the tied players in case of a deadlock tie in the final four Tribal Council. The fire-making challenge would be shown in the following episode.

Voting History

Survivor: Panama Voting History
Switched Tribes Merged Tribe
Episode #: 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Voted out: S12 tina t
S12 melinda t
S12 misty t
S12 ruthmarie t
Ruth Marie
S12 bobby t
S12 dan t
S12 nick t
S12 austin t
S12 sally t
S12 bruce t
S12 courtney t
S12 shane t
Tie S12 cirie t
S12 terry t
S12 danielle t
S12 aras t
Vote: 3-1 5-2 5-2 4-2 3-2-1-1 3-1 6-4 6-3 6-2 No Vote3 3-2-1 3-1-1 2-24 Tiebreaker 1-05 5-2
Aras Melinda Bruce Nick Austin Sally Courtney Shane Danielle None Jury Vote
Danielle Melinda Bobby Nick Austin Sally Courtney Shane Cirie Terry
Terry Misty Ruth Marie Dan Shane Aras Aras Aras Aras Cirie None Aras
Cirie Tina Shane Bobby Nick Austin Sally Courtney Shane Danielle Voted out Aras
Shane Melinda Aras Nick Austin Sally Danielle Danielle Danielle
Courtney Melinda Bobby Nick Austin Sally Aras Aras
Bruce Exiled1 Courtney Nick Austin Sally Evacuated Danielle
Sally Ruth Marie Ruth Marie Exiled2 Shane Aras Aras Aras
Austin Misty Ruth Marie Dan Shane Aras Aras
Nick Misty Ruth Marie Dan Shane
Dan Misty Sally Austin
Bobby Melinda Bruce
Ruth Marie Tina Misty Sally
Misty Ruth Marie
Melinda Tina Shane
Tina Cirie

^1 Due to the odd number of players at the time of the tribe switch, Bruce, the odd person out, was sent to Exile Island, and rejoined the game as a member of Casaya, replacing Melinda and evening the tribes at 7-7.
^2 Casaya was given the opportunity to send one member of La Mina to Exile Island, making that player skip from Tribal Council. They selected Sally.
^3 Bruce was evacuated from the game due to severe gastrointestinal problems. No vote occurred for his removal.
^4 Per Survivor rules, a fire-making challenge would be held between the tied players in case of a deadlock tie in the final four Tribal Council. The fire-making challenge would be shown in the following episode.
^5 Aras and Terry did not vote as they could only vote for were each other. By virtue of winning the final Immunity Challenge, only Danielle voted.


  • In a rather interesting coincidence, all four original tribes were represented in the final four, with Aras Baskauskas, Danielle DiLorenzo, Cirie Fields, and Terry Deitz representing Viveros, Bayoneta, Casaya, and La Mina respectively.
    • A similar coincidence occurred eighteen seasons later in Worlds Apart, where each of the three starting tribes were represented in the Final Three.
  • This is the first season to have Exile Island as a season-long twist.
  • This is the first season to feature a shorter Ancient Voices intro rather than play the entire opening credits for every episode.
  • This season's eliminations occurred in a pattern. The first four were women, the next four were men, and the rest alternated between women and men.
  • Only the final three castaways won individual immunity. Terry won the first five, then Aras won the penultimate, and Danielle won the final.
  • This season ties with Cook Islands for the most starting tribes, with four.
  • This is the first season to have an episode end with a Tribal Council vote, but no elimination, as "Call the Whambulence!" ended with Danielle and Cirie preparing to start the fire-building tiebreaker, but its result was not featured until the finale.
  • This season marks the second time the youngest contestant of the season won, the first being Jenna Morasca in The Amazon.
  • This is the first season to have a contestant find a Hidden Immunity Idol at Exile Island.
  • This is the first season since Thailand to have a Tribal Council with a roof.
  • This was the last season in which the first person voted out of the merged tribe was not a member of the jury until Caramoan.
  • Despite having the same age, Melinda Hyder was placed on Casaya (the older women), and Bobby Mason was placed on Viveros (the younger men).
  • This season is one of three to have the entire final four come back as returning players in future seasons, the other two being Borneo and Cagayan.
    • As Borneo and Cagayan had other contestants return in future seasons, this is the only season to have only the final four come back as returning players.


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