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Twila Tanner is a contestant from Survivor: Vanuatu.

Known for her blunt personality, her season-long rivalry with Eliza Orlins, and controversially swearing on her son's life as leverage in the game, Twila lost the game to Chris Daugherty in a 5-2 vote.


Retrieved from

Twila Tanner was born in Osceola, Iowa, where she lived for 11 years. She eventually moved to Missouri, where she attended Marshall High School. She currently works full time for the Missouri Department of Transportation doing highway repair. She also works part-time as a custodian for Marshall Public Schools and on the weekends for Brown Construction of Gilliam, Missouri, running heavy equipment.

Tanner describes herself as hardworking, problem-solving and a good friend who enjoys riding motorcycles, horseback riding and mushroom hunting when she can find the time. She says her greatest accomplishment was being a single mom and raising her son, James, 23, who spent three years in the US Navy working in aviation hydraulics. Her hero is John Wayne, because "he always held his head high and never took crap from anyone," she says. Tanner's main motivation to be on Survivor: Vanuatu is for the challenge, while her secondary motivation is the money. She says she could be the Sole Survivor because she is "strong-willed and determined to make a better life" for herself, and possibly give her son "a jump-start in life."

Tanner currently resides in Marshall, Missouri. Her birth date is October 12, 1962.[1]


After the welcoming ceremony, it was announced that the tribes would be divided by gender. Twila Tanner took one good look at her tribe and was concerned as most of the girls look prissy and pampered. The women's tribe was called Yasur, while the men's was called Lopevi. On the way to camp, Scout Cloud Lee wanted to stop and rest for the night. Twila, along with Eliza Orlins thought the idea was stupid. Ultimately the women kept walking and made it to camp that night. In the morning, Twila worked on the shelter. She very quickly gotten annoyed with the younger women hanging at the beach. At the first challenge of the season, the women won the first challenge of the season due to Chris Daugherty's inability to cross the balance beam.

Despite the win, the tribe was still had problems. Most notably when the younger women was complaining about maggots in the food. Twila didn't care because it was food and it had been cooked. The tribe was divided Youth and Work ethic. Twila and Scout had Ami Cusack and Leann Slaby. However, Lisa Keiffer liked being with the young women. The women easily demolished the men at the Reward Challenge, once again due to a balance beamDolly Neely like both factions and didn't want to take a side. The women lost the Immunity Challenge and had to go Tribal Council. Twila was the on the chopping block until Dolly turned the vote against Leann for being under the radar. At Tribal Council, however, Dolly was the one voted out due a paranoid Eliza losing trust in her.

The next day, Mia Galeotalanza accused Twila of playing the "martyr card" based on the comments Twila made at Tribal Council. Twila didn't like that and had a huge argument with the 29-year old bookkeeper. The next challenge was for fishing gear. However the winners of would compete for individual immunity, as both tribes would go to Tribal Council. The men won the challenge. In twist, the winner of the Immunity Challenge, John Kenney would stay with the women to give one of them immunity. John divided the tribe by who voted for Dolly. At Tribal Council, John gave immunity to Ami to avoid upsetting the intended boot. Mia was voted out because Lisa flipped. Yasur would win the next two challenges.

On Day 11, two Ni-Vanuatu came to camp and asked for a chief. The tribe immediately picked Scout, being the wisest. Later before the Reward Challenge, Scout and the men's chief, Sarge Masters was asked to come forward. Everyone else had to drop their buffs. Scout placed Twila with Julie Berry, Chris, Chad Crittenden, and John. Sarge decided to make is this group Lopevi. The tribe was able to win the challenge for a trip to a local waterfall with beer and Pringles. Twila instantly hit it off with the men. She was quickly inducted into Sarge's alliance and was given a spot in the final four. Lopevi won the Immunity Challenge and the next two challenges after that. During this time, Julie claimed that Chris gave her the same deal that Sarge gave to Twila. This was a lie to get Twila on her side and it worked. Both times they saw Yasur at the Reward Challenge, they were shocked to see that Bubba Sampson and especially Lisa were voted out. Lisa was the most jarring as Twila outright Stated that she thought Rory Freeman was going to be voted out to keep the women together. Yasur won the next two challenges. The men were not cohesive as the lone outsider, John tried to get Chris, Twila, and Julie to vote out  Chad for being a threat for jury vote. John would by unanimously voted out of the game. Lopevi resumed their winning streak at the next Reward Challenge.

At the next Immunity Challenge, the tribes merged and competed for individual immunity. Twila immediately commended that they should go to the men's beach and her description convinced the women to come over. Twila competed in the second heat but lost. Sarge would beat out Eliza, Rory, and Ami for individual immunity. When they returned, a feast awaited the newly merged tribe. This included the cake won in the previous challenge and the coffee Yasur won before. The men wanted Ami out based on want Rory told them. However, Twila and Julie wanted Rory gone due to his performance in the challenge and then Ami. Ultimately the women jumped ship and voted out Rory. Twila had her reservations about flipping. At the Reward Challenge, Leann beat out Twila for the win. Later, Eliza brought a pig from Tree Mail. Twila wanted Bacon and attempted to kill the pig, despite Eliza's protests. At the Immunity Challenge, Twila and Scout were out in the fourth round and Ami eventually won the challenge. Sarge and Twila talked to each other for the first time after Rory's elimination. Sarge was angry that Twila flipped and didn't talk to him first as his word is his bond. At Tribal Council, Twila stated that she should have stayed with the men. Nonetheless, Twila voted against Sarge and he was voted out 7-1-1.

Twila was unaware of Scout's plot to blindside Eliza, even stating that Twila didn't need to know. Twila, Scout, Julie, and Leann lost the Reward Challenge. At the Immunity Challenge, Twila eventually won over Chad for immunity. Twila was unsure about voting with the men. Chad thought that was stupid due to her immunity win. In the end, Scout and Twila backed out of the Eliza blindside and voted out Chad instead. The next challenge was for a computer chat with their loved one. Twila was happy to see her son, James. When she explained she doesn't know how to type, Jeff showed her the video camera. The challenge was a memory test from the past challenges. Twila was unable to compete and the challenge was ultimately won by Eliza. Eliza's mother along with the other loved ones were actually on location, and Twila hugged her son goodbye. Twila, who was worried her position in her alliance, swore loyalty to Ami and Leann. The loved returned for the Immunity Challenge, which Ami and her girlfriend, Chrissy won. After the challenge, Leann was bothered by the fact that Chris was leaving while Eliza stayed. Leann turned the vote against Eliza. Twila used the opportunity to usurp Ami, who annoyed her with her cocky disposition. Chris was able to get in and blindsided Leann.

Twila and Scout were happy of the results of Tribal Council. Ami was very angry about the betrayal, particularly because Twila had used her son's name to gain trust. Twila told her it was her own fault before being explicitly about who was her core alliance. Based on what the Tree Mail alluded, Twila hoped Eliza would win due to being very skinny like a stick. At the Reward Challenge, Twila was trailing most of the time. Eliza would get the first-place finish and a brand new car. She was joined on the reward by Ami and Chris. Twila was thankful that Chris was there to keep Eliza straight. At the Immunity Challenge, Chris finally won his first challenge. Eliza stayed loyal to the alliance and voted out Ami. At the final five Reward Challenge, Twila made it to the final round but lost to Julie. Twila buried some plantains so they could ripen. Eliza demanded to know they were, which Twila refused to tell her.  Eliza defeated Julie in the Immunity Challenge. After the challenge, Twila saw Eliza talking to Chris. Correctly assuming they was talking about voting her out, Twila confronted Eliza about her loyalty to the alliance. The confrontation ended with Twila telling Eliza to relax because she is immune from elimination. Twila tried to get information from Chris but he just claimed that he was in the hammock. Chris, who was playing both sides, deemed it in his best interest to go with the weak Scout and the controversial Twila over the strong Eliza and popular Julie. At Tribal Council, Julie left the game.

After the vote, Eliza talked to Twila about the latter's answers at Tribal Council. It ended with both women accusing the other of being undeserving being in the final four. Twila felt that Eliza rode coattails. At the final four Immunity Challenge, Chris won. The lone male told the older women that Eliza was going out. Twila made a confessional about knowing Chris' game plan. This was true as Eliza was voted out that night. During the night, Jeff came to the camp to inform them of the Rites of Passage and they will be going to Roy Mata's grave. After the rites of passage was finished, the final three said some words of respect and each gave him and offering. Chris gave his grave the spirit stone that was obtained on day one while Twila and Scout gave the grave the scepters given by the local Ni-Vanuatu. At the Final Immunity Challenge, It came down to Chris and Twila. Ultimately, Twila slipped up and Chris won a guaranteed spot at the Final Tribal Council. Because of Scout's cheering for Twila, Chris believed that the women were taking the other to Day 39. When he talked to them, both women denied the alliance. In the end, Chris voted out Scout. On Day 39, Chris told Twila that he wasn't going to take crap from the jury and she should do the same. Twila brought into this. However, this was a ploy by Chris to remind the jury of her behavior and he wasn't going to do that. Both players were nervous and apprehensive. Twila felt she was the most deserving due to her game and not sucking up. Chris and Twila headed off to Tribal Council.

At Final Tribal Council, Twila claimed in her opening statement her goal was the million dollars to improve her life and to do anything for it. Twila was called out on using her son's name to solidify trust and then betraying the women's alliance. Twila's closing statement was that she didn't want to hurt people intentionally and her only thought was bettering her life. Twila acknowledged that the game turned herself into something she didn't like and the game played her. She apologized to the jury for her behavior. In the end, Twila lost the vote to Chris, 5-2. Twila received votes from Scout and Ami for her honest, but brutal answers over Chris' nice but apparently insincere answers.

Voting History

Twila's Voting History
Episode Twila's
Voted Against
1 Yasur Tribe Immune
2 Dolly -
3 Mia Eliza, Julie, Mia
4 Yasur Tribe Immune
5 Lopevi Tribe Immune
6 Lopevi Tribe Immune
7 John K. -
8 Rory -
9 Lea -
10 Chad Individual Immunity
11 Leann -
12 Ami -
13 Julie Eliza, Julie
14 Eliza Eliza
Ineligible -
Jury Votes
for Twila
Ami, Scout
Runner-Up, Day 39


  • She competed on Fear Factor with Jon Dalton (Jonny Fairplay). They were the second team to be eliminated.[2]
  • On January 9, 2010, Twila attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of her Vanuatu cast mates.


  • Every time Twila received votes against her, Eliza was one of them.
  • Twila was initially cast to compete on Micronesia, but was cut when it was decided to change from an "All-Stars" season to a "Fan vs. Favorites".[3][4]


Survivor: Vanuatu Castaways
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