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Survivor Wiki

Tamara "Tammy" Leitner is a contestant from Survivor: Marquesas.

Tammy was a key member of the dominant Rotu Four, in which she was often regarded as John Carroll's second-in-command. However, after Zoe Zanidakis betrayed their alliance, Tammy was quickly pushed to the minority. After losing the final seven Immunity Challenge, Tammy became the third member of the jury.


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Born in San Diego, Calif., Tammy Leitner currently works as a crime writer in Mesa, Arizona. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master's degree in journalism from Boston University in Massachusetts.

Leitner has earned multiple Arizona and New York state awards for crime reporting, including one for a first-person account of the time she spent behind bars "doing time" with the same criminals she wrote about for a Corning, New York, newspaper. She received an Arizona Press Club Award for coverage of legendary mob informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano's arrest in Arizona. She has covered Nelson Mandela's Congressional Gold Medal ceremony, Hillary Clinton's Senate run and, most recently, the Arizona angle on the terrorist attacks (two of the hijackers learned to fly at a Scottsdale flight school and one lived in Mesa).

Proving she'll do anything to get a story, Leitner once burst into a burning building and, in another instance, worked as a member of a NASCAR pit crew. In 1999, Leitner was honored by the City of Scottsdale, Arizona, for saving a drowning man. She is currently writing a true crime book about a serial rapist who evaded police for 16 years during a multi-state spree.

Leitner's hobbies include running, biking, lifting weights, kickboxing, camping, photography and traveling. She is engaged to Mike, her boyfriend of four years, and likes to spend time with her beloved 140-pound Newfoundland, Bacchus. Her birth date is July 3.[1]


Tammy Leitner was placed on the Rotu tribe. Everyone was shocked when they received no food or water. Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien annoyed everyone when she wanted to build a fire desperately. The next day, the tribe was amazed when they discovered their water source was a pair of beautiful waterfalls. They got happier when they discovered Taro was growing at the falls. Things got better when John Carroll made fire. At the first challenge, Rotu won when Maraamu got their torch in the water. This would be the start of Rotu's winning streak. Despite constantly winning, Rotu had very little food and Kathy still rubbed everyone the wrong way. Rotu reduced Maraamu to five members.

Everyone was dumbfounded when a tribe switch took place. Tammy stayed on Rotu with John, Robert DeCanioZoe Zanidakis, and Gabriel Cade. Kathy, Neleh Dennis, and Paschal English moved to Maraamu and Rob MarianoSean Rector, and Vecepia Towery moved to Rotu. As usual, Rotu won the challenge. Things did not change for the better when Maraamu won the Reward Challenge, granting them the right to loot Rotu's camp. This would cripple Rotu at the next Immunity Challenge, where the tribes had to build an S.O.S. Signal. The lack of materials cost Rotu the win, sending Tammy to her first Tribal Council. Tammy joined John's Alliance when she swore on his mother. The quartet made Gabriel their first victim, because he was apathetic about the game. The downhill spiral continued when Rotu lost a challenge for a picnic lunch which Jeff said Rotu won at first, but Maraamu protested about an error they noticed. At the waterfall, John discussed with Tammy and Robert about throwing the challenge to eliminate Boston Rob, but Tammy put her foot down and refused to throw the challenge. Fortunately for Boston Rob, he led Rotu to victory at the Immunity Challenge.

The tribe got Tree Mail, saying that they had to pick a representative. They chose Rob, while Maraamu chose Kathy. When Rob returned, he brought back the Maraamus with him. They confirmed that the tribes had merged. At the first Tribal Council, The Rotu Four disposed of the scheming Rob. Neleh and Paschal supported the alliance. However, at the Immunity Challenge, the alliance knocked out the alliance outsiders in the intended order they were supposed to go; this included Paschal and Neleh. Tammy eventually beat out Robert for immunity. The challenge caused the duo to turn on The Rotu Four, blindsiding John with Zoe also voting out John for reasons best known to herself. Tammy was viewed by the new alliance as John's second-in-command and slated next to go. To add insult to injury, Zoe distanced herself from her alliance to the point of saying that she wasn't aligned with Tammy or Robert and told Tammy she never liked her. At the Reward Challenge, Tammy was paired with Vecepia, but they lost to Paschal and Sean. Tammy won immunity, which included knocking Zoe out of the challenge. At tribal, Zoe was voted out unanimously 7-1 with Tammy and Robert voting against her. In spite of the numbers, Tammy refused to back down until her name was called at Tribal Council. Robert was planning to ensnare a pig, while she won immunity, keeping them both in the game. However, things didn't go as planned because Robert won immunity. In a last ditch effort to save herself, Tammy and Robert tried to persuade Sean and Vecepia to join them to eliminate Neleh from the game. Though tempted by the offer, they feared that the duo would throw them under the bus. Tammy was voted out of the game in a 5-2 vote, becoming the third member of the jury.

At the Final Tribal Council, Tammy started by saying she was going to do anything to win but the finalists made her feel guilty. She viewed both women as hypocrites for their use of religion as guilt-free deception, adding they were the biggest liars. Tammy scolded Vecepia for constantly flipping alliances and backstabbing Kathy, who she felt was the most deserving person to win. She scolded Neleh for getting greedy and sending the Rotu Four to the jury. Tammy finished her speech by congratulating the finalists for lying, manipulating, and deceiving better than she did. In the end, she gave her jury vote to Vecepia who won in a 4-3 vote.

Voting History

Episode Tammy's
Voted Against
1 Rotu Tribe Immune
2 Rotu Tribe Immune
3 Rotu Tribe Immune
4 Rotu Tribe Immune
5 Gabriel -
6 Rotu Tribe Immune
7 Rob -
8 Sean Individual Immunity
10 Zoe Individual Immunity
11 Vecepia Kathy, Neleh,
Paschal, Sean, Vecepia
Voted Out, Day 30
Voted for
Sole Survivor


  • Tammy has 19 Rocky Mountain Emmy nominations and won 6 of them to her credit as a crime reporter.
  • Now, Tammy is an accomplished athlete and a member of PowerBar Team Elite. She finished first in her division at the 2007 Subaru Women's Triathlon in San Diego, second to Survivor: Marquesas castmate Gina Crews in the celebrity division of the 2006 Nautica Malibu Triathlon, third in her division at the 2008 Las Palomas triathlon and fourth in her division at the 2007 Santa Barbara Triathlon.
  • On January 9, 2010, Tammy attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • Tammy is now a contributor at MSNBC.


  • Tammy's luxury item was a picture of her fiancé and her pet dog.
  • Tammy is the first contestant from Arizona.


Survivor: Marquesas Castaways
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