Chris Daugherty defeats Twila Tanner to win 'Survivor: Vanuatu'
By Reality TV World staff, 12/13/2004
In the end, Survivor: Vanuatu's women won the gender battles but lost the war. Or at least called a truce.
Benefiting from several eliminated female contestants' ability to look past his gender and recognize his strong gameplay, Chris Daugherty the 34-year-old highway construction worker from South Vienna, Ohio, defeated Twila Tanner, the 41-year-old highway repair worker from Marshall, Missouri, to emerge as Survivor: Vanuatu's ultimate survivor and $1,000,000 winner during last night's season finale broadcast on CBS.
Sitting around the campfire, Eliza and Twila once again locked horns, this time regarding Twila's Tribal Council comments that she didn't feel Eliza deserved to be in the competition's Final 4. After her argument with Twila ended, Eliza refocused her frustration on the loyalty of her ally Chris, doubting whether their alliance still stood given that Chris voted to oust Julie. Annoyed at her comments, Chris explained that allying with Julie "wasn't the answer" to Eliza's desire to ensure that neither Twila or Scout made it to the game's Final 2 -- and that his vote for Julie had nothing to do with their alliance.
"That's never changed. What I did today was for our alliance, you'll see," Chris reassured the 21-year-old pre-law student from Syracuse, New York. "Have I ever lied to you? Julie was a 'playa' Eliza... a 'playa.'" "Ye of little faith, why don't you put just a little bit a faith in the person you aligned with, huh?"
Upon assembling for Day 37's Immunity Challenge, the foursome discovered that they would be competing in what host Jeff Probst termed Survivor's "first ever" vertical maze. With the challenge requiring lots of climbing to complete the retrieval of ten lettered tiles that would then have to be assembled to form a two-word phrase, Scout, the 59-year-old rancher and knee replacement recipient from Stillwater, Oklahoma, fell behind quickly, leaving Twila, Eliza, and Chris to compete for the prized immunity. Twila jumped out to the early lead, however Chris eventually overtook her and quickly unscrambled the phrase "final three" to win immunity and ensure his place in Survivor: Vanuatu's final threesome.
Returning to camp, Chris reused the successful strategy that he'd utilized prior to Julie's Tribal Council eviction, separately assuring Twila and Scout that he was going to be voting for Eliza and assuring Eliza that he would be voting for Twila. Remarkably, Eliza appeared to fall for the same rouse twice in two days. "I'm lucky enough to be in the Final Four with someone who I feel I can put all of my trust into... neither one of us is going to vote against the other person," she confided to the camera.
At Tribal Council, Eliza discovered that despite Chris' "faith" comments, her doubts over his loyalty were well warranted. Teaming together with Scout and Twila, Chris voted Eliza out of the game and onto the seven person jury that would ultimately determine the game's $1,000,000 winner.
After being visited by Jeff early in the morning of Day 38, Chris, Twila, and Scout gathered for Survivor's final immunity challenge -- an endurance challenge requiring the contestants to stand on two wooden posts while holding a loaded bow and arrow in a warrior pose. The last contestant to neither touch the ground or release their arrow would win immunity and the opportunity to determine their Final 2 opponent.
Less than thirty minutes into the competition, Scout once again was the first to drop out of the challenge, leaving Twila and Chris to compete in the crucial final immunity. With Twila declining to take Chris up on his offer to take her to the Final 2 if she allowed him to win immunity, the competition raged on (much to the joy of a Twila-supporting Scout.) A few minutes past the one hour mark, Twila lost her balance and released her bow enough to pierce its paper marker, giving Chris his second straight immunity victory.
Recognizing that Twila was not as well liked as Scout, Chris decided to vote out Scout, leaving Twila to join him in facing the final jury that now counted Scout as its seventh and final member. Apparently cognizant of her upcoming fate, Scout was unsurprised by the decision, going as far as to tell Jeff that "I feel extremely good about both of these people... there can't be a bad outcome in this game" before Chris even cast his vote.
After spending one final night alone at camp, Chris and Twila returned to Tribal Council for the game's final jury voting. Showing that his smart gameplay hadn't ended with Scout's ouster, Chris appeared remorseful and apologetic for his deceptive actions, hoping that his responses would convince those that he had betrayed to award him their vote. Twila was less apologetic -- once again apologizing for swearing on her son's name, but otherwise largely insisting that she did what she needed to do and remained true to herself.
In the end, Chris might have been, as Scout termed it, in "bullshit up to his ears," but his strategy succeeded, with both Eliza and Julie -- the women he flat-out lied to and voted out on consecutive days -- both forgiving his betrayal enough to give him their votes. Together with the votes of Leann Slaby, Chad Crittenden, and Lea "Sarge" Masters, their decision placed Chris' name on five ballots to Twila's two -- making Chris Survivor: Vanuatu's sole survivor and $1,000,000 winner.