The challenge producers on Survivor certainly earn their paychecks because that show puts on some impressive competitions in which the castaways compete for rewards and/or immunity. But there are some we haven’t seen in a while that we would really like to see again.
Here are our top five challenges we would like to make another appearance, ranked from least to most, even though “least” is a misnomer because we’d love to see all of these come back to the show.
Also, while there isn’t any single endurance competition we miss more than others, we do long for the days when they went for hours and hours — one went almost 12 hours. Now that is an endurance competition.
5. Rock n Roll
This challenge was first seen on season three, Survivor: Africa, and we remember it being absolutely brutal as the castaways had to navigate a huge boulder through an obstacle course. Even though the tribes weren’t rolling an actual boulder around, the show-constructed fiberglass boulder was still incredibly heavy and unwieldy. It was a total teamwork challenge that reappeared on Survivor: Gabon, the 17th season of the show. We haven’t seen it since and we would love to see it again.
4. Supply Dump
This was the very first challenge of Survivor: Palau, the 10th season of the show and it’s the only time it ever appeared, but we remember it being such an incredible dilemma for the tribes. The setup was that the tribes were navigating an obstacle course and at various checkpoints, they had to decide whether to leave or take heavy, cumbersome, yet essential survival supplies along the course with them. But the catch was they only got to keep what they carried IF they won immunity. So do you take more and slow yourselves down, or take just a few things and try to be the fastest? It was a conundrum. Honestly, the more recent seasons just don’t force the castaways into the types of situations the old-school seasons used to.
3. The Q&A Challenge
This challenge is almost always used as a reward challenge. It was only the immunity challenge in season six, Survivor: Amazon. But either way, it’s a devious social challenge where the castaways privately fill out a questionnaire about their tribemates. Then the questions are posed to the group and people have to guess who got the most votes. THEN whoever got the question right could chop a rope attached to a battering ram or torch and after three chops, the person whose ropes were gone would be eliminated. So it had the element of asking tough questions, finding out how your tribemates think/feel about you, and then getting to choose who gets eliminated from the challenge. Brutal.
This challenge appeared eight times in the first 29 seasons but has not been seen since season 29, Survivor: Blood vs Water and it needs to make a comeback.
2. The Auction
This is another great mental challenge where castaways are given money to bid on food or luxury items or strategic advantages and they have no idea when the auction will end. It appeared 11 times in the first 20 seasons, then five times in the next 10 seasons (21-30) but has not been seen since in seasons 31-40. Bring back the auction!
1. Gross-Food Eating Challenge
This challenge is not for the faint of heart, but it was always super fun to watch. In the early days, it was a staple. It appeared in 12 of the first 20 seasons. But since season 21, it has only appeared four times, last taking place on season 36, Survivor: Ghost Island. Bring back the gross-food eating challenge, please. Who wants balut?!