Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Teresa Wright "T-Bird" Cooper is a contestant from Survivor: Africa.

Emerging as one of the memorable early castaways in the series' history, Teresa was largely likable. Despite the majority alliance's respect towards her, Teresa was eliminated as the final member of her alliance.


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Teresa Cooper was born a fraternal twin (to her brother, Don) and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.

Cooper is a 20-year veteran flight attendant for a major airline, for whom she flies as a German qualified speaker and also as an international flight coordinator. She is a certified real estate agent, and works full time as a recruiting and sales representative for a cosmetic company. A former aerobics instructor, Cooper is a competitive runner. She has participated in marathons, half marathons and 10Ks, including one while she was 9 months pregnant.

For the past 13 years, Teresa Cooper has lived in Jackson, Georgia on a 161-acre farm with her husband, Brian, and two children, Tyler, 9, and Ellie, 5. Besides running, Cooper's other hobbies include investing in real estate, biking with her children and studying the German language. She describes herself as energetic, loyal and driven. Her birth date is May 5.[1]


Teresa initially had a rough start. Despite the Samburu tribe's early winning streak, tensions arose at camp, where her fellow older members complained about the younger members' laziness. This created two conflicting voting blocs. When Samburu lost their first Immunity Challenge, the alliances held, thus enforcing a 4-4 tie between Teresa's ally Carl Bilancione and younger alliance member Lindsey Richter. Carl lost the tiebreaker, and Teresa, along with Frank Garrison and Linda Spencer, were put in a death row situation, with Linda going next after losing another Immunity Challenge.

Teresa and Frank found themselves in serious trouble for being on the outs, though things changed after a game-changing event on Day 13. After receiving a strange Tree Mail instructing them to send three members "on a quest," Silas Gaither (the ringleader of the younger alliance) sent the two remaining elders and himself. When they met Jeff Probst, together with Boran's representatives, things turned on its head when Jeff swapped their tribe affiliations, thus sending Teresa, Silas, and Frank to the rival Boran tribe. Upon meeting their new teammates, Teresa immediately approached Kim Johnson, Ethan Zohn, and Clarence Black to eliminate Silas in exchange for swearing loyalty with Boran. She pleaded to purposefully lose the next Immunity Challenge in order to have an opportunity to oust Silas. Teresa's plan came to fruition when Silas was blindsided in a unanimous vote. Still bitter about the Younger Samburu Alliance's mistreatment of them, Teresa informed Kim J. about Lindsey's previous votes, with the latter then informing her former tribemate Kelly Goldsmith about it before a Reward Challenge. Lindsey eventually paid the price because of the valuable information.

During the first post-merge Immunity Challenge which required endurance, Clarence and Teresa were the only ones left. An exhausted Clarence confessed to Teresa that he no longer wanted to participate in the challenge, though begged her to not vote him out. Teresa promised not to vote for him. Clarence stepped down after six hours, giving Teresa the first individual Immunity Challenge win. Using this as leverage to turn the Borans on each other (given that the original Samburu members were in a precarious position, having a 6-4 deficit over Boran) she kept her promise. At Tribal Council, she voted for Lex van den Berghe, though Clarence was still eliminated, with the eight other Moto Maji tribe members voting against him. After Tribal Council, Teresa's vote became the center of controversy, as Lex was trying to track down who voted against him. With Lex not suspecting her at all, Teresa decided to keep the "mystery" for herself, while Lex mistakenly accused Kelly for the incident, causing her demise. After the vote, the game evened again between the two former tribes. Despite this, the ex-Samburus still failed to come together as a solid alliance by still turning on each other. This left them being systematically eliminated, leaving Teresa as the only former Samburu come Day 34. Knowing she was next, Teresa stirred some conflict when she attempted to turn Lex on Tom and revealing to the former about the "mystery vote" he received. Lex was stunned, but thanked her for being honest. Despite the last-minute hustle, the ex-Borans stayed strong, leading to Teresa's elimination (and Samburu's apparent extinction) on Day 36.

At the Final Tribal Council, Teresa asked the finalists if they would take back anything that they have said. Kim J. said that she regretted accusing others of the mystery vote. Ethan said that he regrets accusing Frank of the mystery vote. Teresa thanks the finalists for their answers. Teresa deemed Ethan as more deserving, and she voted for him.

Voting History

Teresa's Voting History
Episode Teresa's
Voted Against
1 Samburu Tribe Immune
2 Samburu Tribe Immune
3 Lindsey;
4 Silas -
5 Silas -
6 Boran Tribe Immune
7 Lex Individual Immunity
9 Lex -
10 Brandon -
11 Frank -
12 Lex -
13 Tom Ethan, Kim J.,
Lex, Tom
Voted Out, Day 36
Voted For
Sole Survivor

^1 In "The Gods Are Angry", the vote ended with a 4-4 tie between Carl and Lindsey, forcing a revote. Teresa did not change her vote on the revote.


  • Teresa worked at CBS Atlanta following her elimination.[2]
  • In early 2002, Teresa, along with all of her Africa castmates appeared on Late Show with David Letterman where they would present the top 10.[3]
  • Teresa has since divorced Brian and on April 16, 2016, Teresa got remarried to Glenn Carroll.[4]
  • Teresa currently hosts Talking With T-Bird on Rob Has a Podcast.[5]


  • In a discussion with Rob Cesternino on Twitter, Teresa revealed that she appeared as a contestant on the CBS game show Card Sharks in 1987.[6]
  • Teresa is the first contestant from the state of Georgia.
  • Teresa's luxury item was a lucky bullet necklace.
  • According to Teresa, her fellow Samburu tribemates called her "Tina" earlier in the game.[7] In response to this, Teresa asked her tribemates to call her "T-Bird".[8]
  • Teresa is the first out of many women to win the When It Rains, It Pours challenge.

Teresa's publicity photo for the voting of the Cambodia cast.

  • Teresa is the highest-placing member of the original Samburu tribe.
  • Teresa is the first woman to win the first individual Immunity Challenge of the season.
  • Teresa is the only Samburu member to win individual immunity.
  • Teresa was considered for All-Stars, but did not make the final cast.[9]
  • Teresa was one of 32 contestants eligible to be selected to compete on Cambodia,[10] but was not chosen in the final vote. This makes her the only pre-All-Stars candidate that wasn't chosen to return.
    • Teresa's exclusion from Cambodia surprised many of the castaways who were chosen to compete. Kass McQuillen even picked Teresa as her choice for the winner of Cambodia while Peih-Gee Law thought it was Teresa who was chosen instead of her when it was announced only one of three women (Peih-Gee, Teresa, and Stephanie Valencia) had been chosen to compete.[11]


Survivor: Africa Castaways
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 Kim J.
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 Kim P.
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