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Vecepia Towery

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Vecepia Towery
S4 Vecepia Towery
Contestant Profile
Born: December 9, 1965 (1965-12-09) (age 51)
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Occupation: Office Manager
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Tribe(s): Maraamu
► Rotu
Finish: Winner
Alliance(s): Maraamu Alliance
Outsiders Alliance
Challenge Wins: 4
Votes Against: 2
Days Lasted: 39

Vecepia "Vee" Towery-Robinson is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Marquesas.

Vecepia is known as the first African-American Sole Survivor. Due to Maraamu's early losing streak and a tribe shuffle that put more odds against her, Vecepia flew under-the-radar and often flipped between alliances to further herself in the game. Despite being accused of being a "holyroller" and duplicitous, her quiet strategy earned her the title of Sole Survivor.


Retrieved from

Born in Portland, Oregon, Vecepia "Vee" Towery attended Grant High School and Portland Community College before receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services with minors in Sociology and Psychology from Troy State University in Alabama.[1]

Towery currently works as an office manager for a software development company. A former member of the United States Air Force, Towery spent several years in Soesterberg, The Netherlands, while on active duty. She was assigned to the 32nd Security Police Squadron and was the base D.A.R.E. and Crime Prevention Officer. She was awarded the base Airman of the Year honors and inducted into the United States Air Forces Europe Sports Hall of Fame in the first year of its conception. She finished her Air Force career in the Reserves stationed in Portland, Oregon; Montgomery, Alabama; and Marietta, Georgia. After leaving the military, Towery worked as an administrative assistant, information specialist and events coordinator/executive secretary.

Towery enjoys dancing, basketball, volleyball, and tennis, working with young girls and writing poetry.

Towery currently resides in Hayward, Calif. with her husband, Leander, and his dog Kunta. Her birth date is Dec. 9.


Vecepia started out on the Maraamu tribe, which faced a power struggle between its leader-figures and the workers. This lack of unity heavily reflected on challenges, which sent them to Tribal Council three times in a row. Towery, as one of the subordinates, joined the alliance of Rob Mariano, Sean Rector, and Sarah Jones to overthrow the odd Peter Harkey and Patricia Jackson, who were the tribes weakest member and answered to Mariano's arch-rival, Hunter Ellis, who was voted out next. Being fellow African-Americans of Christian faith, "Vee" and Sean formed a close bond.

On Day 10, the tribes were switched. This transferred Vecepia, Rob and Sean to the rival Rotu tribe. The minute they moved to Rotu, it was clear that Vecepia, Sean, and Rob were on the outs of an already established "Rotu Four" alliance of John Carroll, Zoe Zanidakis, Tammy Leitner, and Robert DeCanio. Vecepia had the best chance of the three because of her ability to form bonds with her new tribe mates and by flying under the radar. However, when Rotu lost the Day 15 Immunity Challenge, the two pacts banded together to eliminate the lone floating Rotu member, Gabriel Cade, who was accused of being untrustworthy and apathetic towards the game. After Gabe's elimination, Vee, Rob, and Sean were left at the mercy of the Rotu Four, but got spared when they won the Day 18 Immunity Challenge, entering the merge with seven members, as opposed to Maraamu's paltry roster of three. Vecepia had began to play for herself from the merge on and, in doing so, she voted out her ally Rob on Day 21 when he was deemed as the biggest strategic threat.

The Rotu Four became overconfident that they would run the game by making the others believe there was no alliance, until a rather revealing Immunity Challenge on Day 18. The challenge, which would require players to remove tribe mates from the challenge until one remained, left Vecepia and the other non-Rotu Four members in particular trouble when the Rotu Four systematically eliminated them, thus realizing the alliance. The other outsiders were her only allies and remaining original Maraamu tribe mate Sean, Neleh Dennis, and Paschal English, who shared a father-daughter-like relationship, and the unaligned Kathy. As a solution, the five formed a new alliance, dethroning the Rotu Four's leader, John, after a 6-3 vote. For reasons best known to herself, Zoe also voted for John.

The new alliance would then systematically vote out Zoe, Tammy, and Robert at the next three Tribal Council's, leaving the alliance of five to battle among each other, thus returning to their former sub-alliances. Vecepia & Sean and Neleh & Paschal both vied for Kathy's vote. Ultimately, Kathy sided with Neleh and Paschal, both of whom she had been with since her days as a Rotu member and as a member of the new Maraamu. The three voted for Sean because of his grating, vocal personality.

On Day 37, Vecepia won the next Immunity Challenge, leaving Kathy, Neleh, and Paschal vulnerable. Anticipating that Neleh and Paschal would never vote each other off, Vecepia and Kathy enforced a tie vote. When the tribe agreed they wouldn't change their votes, Jeff Probst intervened by handing a bag of rocks to Kathy, Neleh, and Paschal, stating that whoever gets the purple rock will be eliminated. Paschal, who received no votes at that Tribal Council, or at any point of the game, drew the unlucky rock, sending him home. His elimination led to an all-female battle between Vecepia, Neleh, and Kathy.

At the Final Immunity Challenge, after Kathy dropped out, Vecepia seized the opportunity to strike a deal with Neleh. She would give immunity to Neleh, if Neleh promised to take her to the Final Two. Neleh agreed, and Vecepia gave immunity to Neleh. That night, Neleh fulfilled her promise, and Kathy was disposed of.

It was revealed on Day 39 that Vecepia had made the move to betray Kathy because she felt that Neleh had been riding coattails, and the jury members would see that as well and not respect such a strategy. At the Final Tribal Council, several jury members castigated both Vecepia and Neleh for hiding behind religion despite their duplicities (Vecepia for betraying Kathy the night before, and Neleh for betraying the Rotu Four and only starting to play the game on Day 24). One particular comment came from Tammy who found both of them to be hypocritical as both were religious followers and would boast ethics, morals and integrity but would then lie and deceive to get ahead in the game. Paschal however didn't castigate either and said he felt both of them were deserving for the win, was proud of both of them and would be proud to have them as his daughters.

When the final vote came in, Vecepia would receive votes from Sean, Tammy, Robert, and John, proclaiming her as the fourth Survivor winner, as well as the first African-American Sole Survivor.

Voting History

Vecepia's Voting History
Episode Vecepia's
Voted Against
1 Sarah -
2 Patricia -
3 Hunter -
4 Rotu Tribe Immune
5 Gabriel -
6 Rotu Tribe Immune
7 Rob -
8 John -
10 Zoe -
11 Tammy Robert, Tammy
12 Robert Individual Immunity
13 Neleh -
14 Neleh Individual Immunity
Ineligible -
Jury Votes
for Vecepia
John, Robert,
Sean, Tammy
Sole Survivor, Day 39


  • Vecepia returned to her normal life after winning and has generally stayed out of the spotlight. She resurfaced once briefly in 2004 when the birth of her first child was the subject of the TLC documentary A Baby Story. Vecepia now goes by her husband's surname, "Robinson."
  • In Summer of 2009, Vecepia, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"[2]
  • On January 9, 2010, Vecepia attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.


  • Vecepia's luxury item was a notebook of poetry she wrote.
  • Vecepia, along with Sean Rector and Rob Mariano are the first contestants to be on a tribe with every castaway on their season. They were followed by Denise Stapley in Survivor: Philippines, Kelly Wiglesworth and Spencer Bledsoe in Survivor: Cambodia, and Aubry Bracco and Michaela Bradshaw in Survivor: Game Changers.
  • Vecepia was the first woman to celebrate her birthday during the game. This happened during "The Princess".
    • Coincidentally, Richard Hatch was the first man to celebrate his birthday during the game, and like Vecepia, he went on to win.
  • Vecepia was the first African-American woman to win an individual Immunity Challenge.
    • Vecepia would become the first African-American to win individual immunity multiple times. The next time this would happen would be 15 seasons later in Survivor: Samoa when Jaison Robinson won two consecutive Immunity Challenges.
  • Vecepia became the series' first African-American finalist and later the first African-American winner. Earl Cole would become the first African-American man to accomplish this ten seasons later in Survivor: Fiji.
    • Vecepia is also the first African-American to win a reality show.[3]
    • Vecepia is the only African-American to win the title of Sole Survivor without receiving all of the jury votes. Earl and Jeremy Collins both won their seasons in an unanimous jury vote.
  • Vecepia was the first Sole Survivor to win multiple individual Immunity Challenges.
  • She is the first Sole Survivor to win against someone of her own gender at Final Tribal Council.
  • Vecepia became the first winner to win against someone who started on the opposing tribe.


Preceded by
S3 ethan t
Ethan Zohn
Sole Survivor Titleholder
S4 vecepia t
Vecepia Towery
Succeeded by
S5 brian t
Brian Heidik

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