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Terry Deitz is a contestant from Survivor: Panama and Survivor: Cambodia.

A former Navy Pilot, Terry is credited with his discovery of the Hidden Immunity Idol and five consecutive individual immunity wins in Panama, which allowed him to navigate the post-merge competition with ease before being voted out a day short of the Final Tribal Council.

The second time he played in Cambodia, he focused on improving his social game, but was pulled from the game due to his son's heart condition.


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Terry Deitz was born and raised in Matawan, New Jersey, by his mother, Peggy and father, George. He has three brothers, Mickey, Skip and Tommie, and one sister, Pegi.

Deitz attended St. Joseph's Grammar School in Keyport, New Jersey, where he played little league baseball, football and basketball. He was also an avid swimmer and a member of the dive team. He then attended St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, New Jersey, where he earned 11 Varsity letters in football (quarterback), baseball (catcher) and wrestling. He received All County and All Conference awards and made All-State Baseball 1st Team. In addition, he was Varsity Captain for three sports.

From 1978 to 1982, Deitz attended the United States Naval Academy. While there, he played four years of Varsity Division I baseball. In 1982, he was ordered to the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier as a Ship's Officer in the Weapons Department, where he handled ship's defense systems. He was also Officer of the Deck qualified, which enabled him to run the ship for the Captain on a four-hour watch rotation.

In 1984, Deitz was ordered to the US Navy flight school in Pensacola, Florida, where he learned to fly a Navy T-34 turbo prop. He earned jet grades and was sent to Meridian, Mississippi for T-2 and T-A4 advanced jet training. After he obtained his Navy wings, he was ordered to NAS Miramar in San Diego, California, for training in the F-14 Tomcat. In 1986, he began flying the F-14. In 1987, he was a pilot with the Fighter Squadron-51 (Miramar/Deployed on the USS Carl Vinson CVN-70).

Deitz met his wife, Trish, six days before his last six-month cruise. They had three dates, and then he went away for six months. They eventually married on October 5, 1991.

From 1990-1992, Deitz conducted shore duty as an F-14 Instructor pilot. In 1992, married life with family aspirations triggered his decision to leave the active duty Navy.

He was honorably discharged from active Navy and entered Navy reserve. He was then hired by American Airlines as a commercial pilot. In 1994, he and his family moved from San Diego to Simsbury, Connecticut to be able to fly out of New York and Boston. While employed as a commercial pilot, he was also hired by the Naval Reserve Logistics Squadron-52 where he flew the DC-9 worldwide out of the Navy air station in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. He was later promoted to Commander and eventually retired in April 2001.

Deitz presently resides in Simsbury, Connecticut with Trish and their children, Kayla and Daniel. He continues to fly with American Airlines, piloting the Airbus A300. His birth date is October 10, 1959.[1]

Name: Terry Deitz
Season 12
Survivor: Panama
Current Age: 55

Hometown: Simsbury, CT[2]



Being 46 years of age at time of play, Terry was placed on the La Mina, a tribe which consisted of older men. Terry was selected to run the first challenge, he was the first person to find an amulet and got flint for his tribe. He formed a bond with fellow tribe member Dan Barry as both share an history of aeronautics. Both men, along with Bruce Kanegai, worked hard at camp, leaving Shane Powers feeling left out. At the first Immunity Challenge, La Mina placed second, keeping them safe from Tribal Council.

On Day 4, the four tribes integrated into two. Terry got the orange buff and was the captain of the new La Mina. His first selection was Sally Schumann. At the next Immunity Challenge, the new La Mina tribe won, keeping them safe. They also won the Reward Challenge and the right to exile a member of the new Casaya tribe. La Mina chose to exile Bruce to demoralize the opposing tribe. However, Casaya bounced back and won the next immunity. Although Ruth Marie Milliman was considered the physically weakest, the men of La Mina eliminated Misty Giles for her poor performance and possibly having the Hidden Immunity Idol. Casaya went on a winning streak, and they chose to exile Terry twice. During his time on Exile Island, he found the idol. La Mina managed to break Casaya's streak temporarily, but Casaya won a joint Reward/Immunity Challenge on Day 15. Casaya chose to exile Sally, which would also abstain her from the vote. With the intended target immune, Terry joined Austin Carty and Nick Stanbury in ousting Dan.

On Day 17, the tribes merged into the Gitanos tribe and the former La Mina was outnumbered 6-4. Terry tried to get Bruce, Shane, Cirie Fields, and Danielle DiLorenzo to flip. The Casaya Alliance, however, held strong and targeted Terry, but he won consecutive immunities, keeping him safe. However, he had no choice but to watch his fellow La Mina Alliance members Nick, Austin, an Sally be voted out. At the final six, Terry tried to get Courtney Marit under his wing. After winning immunity again, Terry targeted his rival Aras Baskauskas and believed he was going home. However, Cirie started noticing Terry aligning with Courtney. Viewing this as Terry getting insurance for the Final Two, Cirie arranged for Courtney's elimination.

On Day 33, Terry tied a record when he won his fifth individual Immunity Challenge in a row and Shane was voted out to prevent Terry from aligning with him. When returning from camp later that night, Cirie left her torch on the ground, causing Terry to trip over it causing an argument between the two, but Aras defended Cirie telling Terry it was simply an accident. At the final four, Aras won the Reward Challenge. Despite Terry's protests, Aras chose to bring along Cirie, automatically exiling Terry and Danielle. Danielle decided to align with Terry and conspire to eliminate Aras, though this plot was foiled when Aras won immunity. Despite Danielle's pleas, Terry refused to give her the idol, meaning its powers had gone to waste, forcing Danielle to face Cirie in a fire-making tiebreaker at Tribal Council, which Danielle narrowly won. On Day 37, Terry won an advantage at the Final Immunity Challenge. Despite that, Terry was the first to fall in the challenge, with Danielle winning immunity. Despite teaching Danielle how to make fire, Danielle did not hold her end of the deal and voted out Terry, making him the seventh and final member of the jury.

At Final Tribal Council, Terry gave his vote to Aras, likely in retaliation for Danielle's betrayal.

At the live Reunion Show, host Jeff Probst polled the jury on who would have voted for Terry had he made it to the final two instead of Aras and 5 of the 7 jurors raised their hands, meaning he would have won if he and Danielle made it to the Final Two.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 La Mina Skull Crush Reward No 1st
4x4 Immunity No 2nd
2 A Reptile Dysfunction Reward No Won
Anchor Management Immunity No Won
3 Cross Fire Reward No Won
Battle Dig Immunity No Lost
4 Puzzle Paranoia Reward No Lost
Sea Level, Tree Level Immunity No Lost
5 For Cod's Sake Reward No Lost
Buried at Sea Immunity No Won
6 In-Cog-Neato Reward/Immunity No Lost
Tribes Merged, Day 16
8 Gitanos Vampire Bats Immunity Won
9 Rock the Boat Reward Lost
Ups and Downs Immunity Won
10 Get Hooked Reward Won
Marine Memory Immunity No Won
11 Voo Doo Reward Lost
12 The Key of Sea Reward1 Won
Hold Your Own Immunity Won
13 Second Chance Reward Won
Vertigo Immunity Won
14 Station By Station Reward Lost
Puzzle Dig Immunity Lost
15 Wall to Wall Reward Won
Balance of Power Immunity Lost
Voted Out, Day 38
^1 This was a two-part Reward Challenge. The members of the team that won the first part of the challenge were eligible to compete in the second part for another reward.

Episode Terry's
Voted Against
1 La Mina Tribe Immune
2 La Mina Tribe Immune
3 Misty -
4 Ruth Marie -
5 La Mina Tribe Immune
6 Dan -
8 Shane Individual Immunity
9 Aras Individual Immunity
10 Aras Individual Immunity
11 No Tribal Council
12 Aras Individual Immunity
13 Aras Individual Immunity
14 Cirie -
15 Ineligible Danielle
Voted Out, Day 38
Voted for
Sole Survivor


Terry was one of twenty castaways chosen by the public to compete on the "Second Chance" season, Survivor: Cambodia.

Terry was initially placed on the Ta Keo tribe. After hitting the beach, he along with Kelly Wiglesworth, Vytas Baskauskas, and Woo Hwang set up camp, forming an "old-school" alliance. After losing the first Immunity Challenge, Ta Keo had to go to Tribal Council immediately. At Tribal Council, Terry, along with the old-school players, voted for Abi-Maria Gomes for her volatility, but Vytas was voted out after Jeff Varner and Peih-Gee Law sided with the new-school players. After Vytas' elimination, most of the tribe laughed at Abi-Maria for her behavior, resulting in her feeling alienated. However, Terry comforted her because he felt bad for her and thought that this would improve his social standing within the tribe. After losing the next Immunity Challenge, Shirin Oskooi and Spencer Bledsoe became the targets for their strategic prowess. Terry, along with the others, split their votes between Shirin and Spencer, and Shirin was voted out.

On Day 7, a tribe switch occurred. Terry and Kelley Wentworth remained on Ta Keo, but were joined by original Bayon's Ciera Eastin, Joe Anglim, Kass McQuillen, and Keith Nale. Terry and Kelley were in the minority, though Ta Keo won the next three Immunity Challenges. However, the other five aligned together and Kelley constantly threw Terry under the bus behind his back. On Night 13, host Jeff Probst came to the Ta Keo camp and told Terry that his son Danny had been hospitalized and that his wife and the doctor wanted him to come back, pulling him from the game. Terry informed his tribemates that he was leaving and they all gave him a hug and wished him luck.

Months later, after Terry returned home, Danny received a successful heart transplant. Terry revealed during the live Reunion Show that Danny is doing much better.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Ta Keo The Marooning Reward No Won
Quest for Fire Reward/Immunity No Lost
2 Yank Yer Hank Reward/Immunity No Lost
3 Draggin' the Dragon Immunity No 1st
4 Stomp-ede Reward No 2nd
Blind Leading the Blind Immunity No 2nd
5 In the Barrel Reward Yes 1st
Air Raid Immunity No 2nd
Evacuated, Day 13

Episode Terry's
Votes Against
1 Abi-Maria -
2 Spencer -
3 Ta Keo Tribe Immune
4 Ta Keo Tribe Immune
5 Ta Keo Tribe Immune
6 No Tribal Council
Evacuated, Day 13


  • Terry hosted a Modern Marvels episode detailing the last flight of F-14 Tomcat before its retirement.[3] It first aired on November 1, 2006.[4]
  • On January 9, 2010, Terry attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • In November 2019, Terry attended the wedding of Joe Anglim and Sierra Dawn Thomas.[5]


  • Terry is the first castaway to reside in Connecticut at the time of filming.
  • Terry is the first castaway to find a Hidden Immunity Idol on Exile Island and the first to find one and not use it before it expired.
  • Terry was the only member of the original La Mina tribe to reach the merge and never be a part of the rival Casaya tribe.
  • Terry and Cirie Fields are the only castaways from Panama to reach the merge and only be affiliated with two tribes: their original one, and the merged Gitanos tribe.
  • Terry won the most individual Immunity Challenges in Panama, with five.
  • Terry set the record for the most post-merge challenges won in a single season, with 9. This was later tied by Mike Holloway.
  • Terry is the first of two castaways to be eliminated with the only vote cast against them throughout an entire season. He would be followed by Sandra Diaz-Twine on Winners at War.
  • Terry is the last male contestant to be eliminated in third place.
  • Terry was initially cast on Micronesia, but was cut when it was decided to go from an "All-Stars" season to a "Fans vs. Favorites".[6][7]
  • Terry was considered for Blood vs. Water with his daughter, Kayla as his partner, but was cut.[8]
  • Terry is the first returning player that came from either incarnation of La Mina.
  • Terry is the oldest castaway to compete on Cambodia.
  • Both times Terry played, he played with one of the Baskauskas brothers. A similar coincidence happened with Monica Padilla playing with one of the Morett women, and Troyzan Robertson playing with one of the Culpeppers.
  • Terry is the first person to be evacuated for a non-medical reason.
  • On a video Terry posted on Facebook congratulating Survivor on reaching 500 episodes, he revealed that his favorite Survivor moment was when Tom Westman killed a shark in Palau and that it inspired him to apply.


Survivor: Panama Castaways
S12 aras t
S12 austin t
S12 bobby t
La Mina
S12 bruce t
S12 cirie t
S12 courtney t
La Mina
S12 dan t
S12 danielle t
S12 melinda t
S12 misty t
S12 nick t
 Ruth Marie
S12 ruthmarie t
S12 sally t
La Mina
S12 shane t
La Mina
S12 terry t
S12 tina t
Survivor: Cambodia Castaways
Ta Keo
S31 abimaria t
S31 andrew t
S31 ciera t
Ta Keo
S31 jeff t
S31 jeremy t
S31 joe t
S31 kass t
S31 keith t
Ta Keo
S31 kelley t
Ta Keo
S31 kelly t
S31 kimmi t
S31 monica t
Ta Keo
S31 peihgee t
Ta Keo
S31 shirin t
Ta Keo
S31 spencer t
S31 stephen t
S31 tasha t
Ta Keo
S31 terry t
Ta Keo
S31 vytas t
Ta Keo
S31 woo t