Terry Deitz

S31 Terry Deitz

S12 Terry Deitz

Contestant Profile
Born: October 10, 1959 (1959-10-10) (age 58)
Hometown: Simsbury, Connecticut
Occupation: Pilot
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Tribe(s): La Mina
Finish: 3/16
Alliance(s): La Mina Alliance
Challenge Wins: 15
Votes Against: 1
Days Lasted: 38
Tribe(s): Ta Keo
Finish: 15/20
Challenge Wins: 6
Votes Against: 0
Days Lasted: 13

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

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

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


Retrieved from

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]

Season: Survivor: Panama
Previous Finish: 3rd Place
What will you do differently this time around? "I'm very excited to get the opportunity to play this game again. What would I do differently? I would play a more strategic game and balance much better!"



Terry Deitz, being 46 years of age at time of play was placed on the La Mina 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. Terry bonded 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 Immunity Challenge, the older men 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 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. The tribe chose to exile Bruce to demoralize the opposing tribe. However, Casaya won the next immunity. Although Ruth-Marie Milliman was considered the physically weakest, the men of La Mina targeted Misty Giles for her poor performance and the possibly having the Hidden Immunity Idol. Unfortunately, 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. Casaya chose to exile Sally which will 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 and the former La Mina was outnumbered 6-4. Terry tried to get Bruce, Shane, Danielle DiLorenzo, and Cirie Fields to flip. The former Casaya, however, held strong. They targeted Terry but he won consecutive immunities, however he had no choice but to watch his fellow La Mina members 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. 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. 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. Terry won an advantage at the Final Immunity Challenge. Despite that, Terry was the first to fall in the challenge. Despite teaching Danielle how to make fire, Danielle did not hold her end of the deal and voted out Terry, making him the 7th 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, 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.

Voting History

Terry's Voting History
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 Off, 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 a part of the Ta Keo tribe. After hitting the beach he along with Kelly Wiglesworth, Woo Hwang, and Vytas Baskauskas set up camp. 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 minus Jeff Varner and Peih-Gee Law voted for Abi-Maria Gomes for her volatility, but Vytas was voted out. After Vytas's elimination, most of the tribe laughed at Abi for her behavior and this resulted in her being alone and crying. However, Terry comforted her because he felt bad for her and thought that this will improve his social game. After losing the next Immunity Challenge, Shirin Oskooi and Spencer Bledsoe became the targets. Terry along with the others split their votes between Shirin and Spencer, and Shirin was voted off. On Day 7, a tribe switch occurred. Terry and Kelley Wentworth remained on Ta Keo, but were joined by original Bayon's Joe Anglim, Kass McQuillen, Ciera Eastin, and Keith Nale. Terry and Kelley were in the minority, but Ta Keo won the next three Immunity Challenges. However, the other five aligned together and Kelley was constantly throwing Terry under the bus which he did not know. On Night 13, Jeff Probst came to the Ta Keo camp and told Terry that his son Danny is hospitalized and his wife and the doctor want him to come back. Terry tells his tribemates that he is leaving and they all give him a hug and wish him luck, and then he leaves.

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

Voting History

Terry's Voting History
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.[2] It first aired on November 1, 2006.[3]
  • On January 9, 2010, Terry attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.


Statistics of Terry Deitz
Seasons competed: 2
Days lasted: 51
Challenge Wins
Tribal wins: 12
Individual wins: 9
Total wins: 21
Tribal Council
Total votes received: 1
Exile Island
Times exiled: 4
Redemption Island
Duels won: N/A
Days spent on Redemption Island: N/A
  • Terry was the only member of the original La Mina tribe to reach the merge and never be a part of the rival Casaya.
  • Terry won the most individual Immunity Challenges in Survivor: Panama, with five.
  • Terry also holds the record for the most post-merge wins in a single season with 9.
  • Terry is the first, and thus far only, castaway from Connecticut.
  • Terry is the second castaway to find a Hidden Immunity Idol, but the first to find one on Exile Island.
  • Terry and Cirie Fields are the only castaways from Survivor: Panama to reach the merge and only be affiliated with two tribes: their original one, and the merged tribe.
  • Terry is the first castaway to have only one vote and be voted out of the game.
  • Terry is the first returning player that came from either incarnation of La Mina.
  • Terry is the oldest castaway on Survivor: Cambodia.
  • Both times Terry played, he ended playing with one of the Baskauskas brothers. A similar coincidence happened with Monica Padilla playing with one of the Morett women.
  • Terry is the second castaway to compete in seasons with 3 and 4 pre-merge tribes, with the first being Jonathan Penner, who competed in Cook Islands with 4 tribes and Philippines with 3 tribes.
  • Terry is the first person to be evacuated for a non-medical reason.
  • Terry is the second returning player, following Jenna Morasca, to leave the game due to an illness in the family.
  • 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 Survivor: Palau and that it inspired him to apply.