“Survivor” contestants face many hardships, from tropical storms to living with strangers, but some of the most difficult things they face are the challenges.
As tribes or individually, players compete in challenges to win immunity or rewards and further themselves in the game. Challenges test players on mental strength, physical strength, or both and they are often grueling. Here is the scoop on 10 of the most brutal “Survivor” challenges!
There are spoilers ahead!
10. Blindfold Challenges
Whether the blind are leading the blind, or a designated caller is shouting instructions, the blindfold challenges are always intense. Survivors wear blindfolds and have to navigate obstacles or follow directions from their tribe-mates.
Overall, challenges involving blindfolds almost always result in bumps and bruises for contestants forced to compete without their sight. For viewers, these challenges are often quite funny to watch as contestants bump into one another or trip over obstacles, but for “Survivor” players it is no doubt painful and frustrating.
9. Sumo at Sea
In this highly physical “Survivor” challenge, strength will prevail. Contestants rely only on their physical strength to beat their opponent in a sumo-style match, while their tribe-mates watch from the sidelines. Since they compete on a floating platform, the sea water also adds an extra slippery element to the combat and the players have to work harder to keep their footing.
8. Will It Go Round
In this next challenge, contestants balance on a beam while holding a wheel and spinning a ball inside it. As the challenge continues, they must balance on more narrow sections of the beam. So, not only do their arms quickly tire from keeping the ball rolling around the wheel, but also it becomes more difficult to balance.
“Survivor” challenges like this are clearly exhausting because they require focus, balance, and endurance. The subtle arm motions in this challenge will make you very tired very quickly, but one wrong move will cost you the win.
A frequent final immunity challenge, this requires both concentration and speed. Using only one hand, contestants must drop a ball into a metal chute, catch it as it drops out the bottom, and start the cycle over again. As the challenge progresses, more balls are introduced and contestants have to keep perfect timing or else lose everything. Also, they have to make sure that they are fast enough and restart each ball before the next one drops out of the chute.
This challenge is very intense because while contestants are trying to keep their focus, they can easily lose track of a single ball and so that one mistake will cost them everything.
6. Chimney Sweep
In this next challenge, contestants stand between two walls with their feet perched on two small footholds. In timed increments they step down to smaller footholds. Once on the smallest hold, they remain for as long as possible.
Like so many “Survivor” challenges, this one depends upon the contestants’ physical endurance as well as their mental strength. The small footholds are no doubt painful, but when immunity is on the line contestants will push themselves to the limit.
5. Sea Legs
This challenge requires balance and strength in the battle for immunity. Contestants must balance on floating triangular platforms, adjusting to smaller footholds until one person is left standing.
Not only does this challenge test participants’ ability to balance, but it also tests their adaptability because the ocean water is rocking the platform.
4. Keep on Your Toes
This “Survivor” classic is a fan-favorite challenge! Contestants stand in a frame, and must stand on a beam and keep a block pressed between their head and the top of the frame. In order to keep pressure on the block to keep it from falling, they must stand up on their toes.
Lauren O’Connell from “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” fainted while competing in this challenge, which highlights just how exhausting it truly is. If contestants lessen the pressure on their block for an instant, it will fall and cost them immunity.
3. Splash Back
For this increasingly painful challenge, contestants are holding on to a rope while leaning over over water. As the challenge continues they are lowered closer to the water, which changes the angle of their body and makes holding on to the rope all the more difficult.
In a challenge that requires whole body strength and a strong grip, there is no doubt that players return to camp completely exhausted.
2. Uncomfortably Numb
This next challenge is another “Survivor” classic! Players must stand on a very narrow perch whole also holding on to a handle behind their head. If they let go of the handle or if their feet come off the perch they are out.
Fans will remember one of the show’s more iconic instances of this challenge from the “David vs. Goliath” season. After 2.5 hours, the final two participants fighting for immunity were Christian Hubicki and Alec Merlino. While Alec, the greater physical threat, was desperate for immunity, Christian’s mental strategy earned him victory.
Christian famously began talking. He monologued for several hours to help keep focus until Alec was too irritated and exhausted to continue. Alec stepped off the perch and Christian won individual immunity.
1. By Any Means Necessary
This extremely physical challenge has seen several versions, but each one is absolutely brutal. Contestants are fighting tooth and nail to secure an object and bring it back to their tribe, earning a point for their team. This challenge has taken place in the water, where contestants are fighting for rings, or on land where contestants are fighting for sandbags.
Most notably, in Heroes vs. Villains, two members from each tribe raced to dig up and retrieve a sandbag and several contestants sustained injuries. In the first round, Hero Stephanie LaGrossa’s shoulder was dislocated shortly after Villain Courtney Yates cheered, “Break her shoulder!” Also, fan-favorite Rupert Boneham’s suffered a broken toe.
There is the scoop on the top 10 most brutal “Survivor” challenges! Do you think they are worth playing for?
Now it’s time to rewatch your favorite moments! Cuddle up on the couch with a Survivor blanket, your favorite drink or a glass of wine, your favorite Survivor top and some cozy socks, and start watching.