|Final Immunity Challenge|
The Final Immunity Challenge in Borneo
|Description||The last immunity challenge of a season|
The Final Immunity Challenge is a key Individual Immunity Challenge in Survivor. It is the last challenge of the season, and guarantees the winner a seat at the Final Tribal Council. It also gives the winner an advantage in selecting their rivals for the Final Tribal Council. This is particularly true of seasons featuring a Final Two, as the challenge winner is the only person to cast a vote at the Final Three.
The challenge type has varied throughout the series' run, but is typically an endurance challenge, requiring the contestants to literally outlast the competition.
In Survivor: Borneo, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hand on a Hard Idol. It required contestants to hold on to the Tribal Immunity Idol while standing on a small log. Richard Hatch dropped out of the challenge first assuming both competitors would not vote him out. Kelly Wiglesworth ultimately outlasted Rudy Boesch to become the first winner of this challenge. She voted out Rudy at the following Tribal Council.
In Survivor: The Australian Outback, the Final Immunity Challenge was Fallen Comrades. It required contestants to answer questions about already eliminated contestants. After Keith Famie started to fall out of the challenge, it came down to Tina Wesson and Colby Donaldson. After Tina answered incorrectly, Colby was declared the winner of this challenge and had his fifth immunity challenge win in a row. He voted Keith out at the following Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Africa, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hard Idol. Ethan Zohn dropped out of the challenge first after 2 hours and 26 minutes when he lost his balance. After 3 hours and 20 minutes, Lex van den Berghe dropped out due to stomach pains, granting Kim Johnson Immunity. She voted out Lex at the following Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Marquesas, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hard Idol. When Neleh Dennis told Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien her shirt was falling down, Kathy tried to fix her shirt, causing her to lose her balance and drop out of the challenge. Almost instantly, Vecepia Towery struck a deal with Neleh; Vecepia would lose the challenge intentionally if Neleh promised to take her to the Final Tribal Council. Neleh accepted the deal, winning immunity, and voting out Kathy at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Thailand, the Final Immunity Challenge was Slip Through Your Fingers. The challenge required castaways to hold a Thai pose while holding coins between their fingers. When they ran out of coins, they were out of the challenge. After 12 minutes, Jan Gentry lost the challenge, quickly followed by Clay Jordan, meaning Brian Heidik won the challenge. He eliminated Jan at the next Tribal Council.
In Survivor: The Amazon, the Final Immunity Challenge was Will Power. The challenge was held at Tribal Council and it required contestants to stand on a tiny plank holding the headdress that they had created earlier (now attached by beads to a collar around their necks) above their head for as long as possible. Feeling that both Jenna Morasca and Rob Cesternino would take him to the Final Tribal Council, Matthew von Ertfelda intentionally lost the challenge. Jenna outlasted Rob and won Immunity. She cast the sole vote to eliminate Rob at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Pearl Islands, the Final Immunity Challenge was Set Adrift. The contestants had to balance on a pontoon for as long as possible, using only their hands and legs for balance. Sandra Diaz-Twine lost her balance first. Jon Dalton then tried to make a deal with Lillian Morris; if she dropped out of the challenge, Jon would take her to the Final Two. Lillian rejected the offer and eventually managed to outlast Jon. She voted out Jon at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: All-Stars, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hand on a Hard Idol. Jenna Lewis unknowingly lifted her foot off the platform first, resulting in her losing the challenge. Rob Mariano later tricked Amber Brkich into touching the Immunity Idol which meant she lost the challenge. Rob eliminated Jenna at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Vanuatu, the Final Immunity Challenge was Ready, Aim, Don't Fire. The castaways were required to stand on a platform holding a bow and arrow in a warrior pose. Any castaway who fell off the platform or released their arrow was eliminated from the challenge. Scout Cloud Lee dropped out of the challenge first. Chris Daugherty outlasted Twila Tanner to win Immunity. He voted out Scout at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Palau, the Final Immunity Challenge was Bob-Bob Buoy. The castaways were required to each grab onto a navigational buoy and hang on while the buoy sways from side to side. The last player left hanging on would win. After over 5 hours, Katie Gallagher dropped out of the challenge. The challenge went on for 11 hours and 55 minutes, making it the longest challenge in Survivor history. Eventually, Ian Rosenberger made a deal with Tom Westman. Ian would step down if Tom promised to take Katie to the Final Tribal Council. Tom agreed and won the challenge marking his fifth immunity challenge win. At an impromptu Tribal Council, he honored his ally's request and verbally voted out Ian.
In Survivor: Guatemala, the Final Immunity Challenge was Wobbly Boots. It required the castaways to use two thin ropes to help them get onto a board sitting on a very tiny fulcrum joint, making it hard to balance, then last as long as they can without touching the platform beneath the board. Then after one hour, they had to drop a rope, then let go of the second after 30 minutes, at which point neither hand can touch any part of the challenge setup. After standing there for one hour, the castaways let go of the first rope, causing Stephenie LaGrossa and the other castaways to lose their balance and lean on the vertical log near the setup. After Rafe Judkins touched the setup by accident, Danni Boatwright outlasted Stephenie to win the challenge. At Tribal Council, she voted out Rafe.
In Survivor: Panama, the Final Immunity Challenge was Balance of Power. Castaways were required to start on the largest of a series of floating platforms. Every fifteen minutes, the castaways would move to the next smaller platform. As the platforms got smaller, it would get tougher for the castaways to maintain their balance. Only their feet could touch the platform. If their hands touched the platform or they fell off, they were eliminated. After proceeding to the third plataform, Terry Deitz started having trouble keeping his balance, and fell. After Aras Baskauskas made a deal with Danielle DiLorenzo, she won the challenge and betrayed Terry by voting him out at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Cook Islands, the Final Immunity Challenge was Self Destruction. It required castaways to stand on a platform that would decrease in size every fifteen minutes until, after one hour, their footholds were less than half the size of a postcard. Becky Lee was the first to drop out of the challenge. After coming near the one hour mark, Yul Kwon decided to stop squating, which made him lose balance and fall. After a hard fought challenge, Sundra Oakley dropped out, letting Ozzy Lusth win his fifth challenge in a row. At Tribal Council, Sundra and Becky competed in a fire making tiebreaker to decide who would go to the Final Tribal Council. When Sundra ran out of matches, Becky was able to start a fire and beat her, eliminating Sundra.
In Survivor: Fiji, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hanging by a Thread. It required castaways to lie on a platform over a pool holding a handle, while water spills out of a barrel overhead. Starting at a 35° angle, it would increase by 5° every five minutes. The last one hanging would win. Cassandra Franklin was the first to drop out of this challenge at the 45º mark, quickly followed by Earl Cole. After some time, Yau-Man Chan dropped out, allowing Dreamz Herd to win. At Tribal Council, Dreamz infamously betrayed Yau-Man with the Truck Deal, not giving his individual Immunity Necklace, and Yau-Man was voted out.
In Survivor: China, the Final Immunity Challenge was Broken China. The contestants were required to stack porcelain dishes on a long, wobbly balancing arm. The more dishes they stacked and the longer they must held them, the more difficult it got to keep them stable. Once a dish fell off the balancing plate, they were out of the challenge. Todd Herzog and Courtney Yates dropped out nearly at the same time quickly in the challenge, leaving it up to Denise Martin and Amanda Kimmel. After Denise tried to make a deal with Amanda, she refused and said she wanted to win it fairly. After being told to add a small bowl, both women took different approaches, and it paid off to Amanda, since Denise's stack fell, allowing Amanda to win immunity. Denise was then voted out unanimously at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Micronesia, the Final Immunity Challenge was The Ball Drop. In this challenge, the castaways were required to hold a long wooden cylinder which was cut into different sized segments. On the center segment, a notch has been cut for a metal ball to rest on. The castaways would have to hold up the segments by squeezing them between two handles. Every five minutes, a new round would start where the castaway would have to add two additional segments between the handles. After the cylinder was nine segments long, the final round would last as long as the castaways held out. The castaway who held up their segments the longest without allowing the ball to drop from the center segment would win. Parvati Shallow dropped her ball first, coming in third place. The challenge reached the final round, with Cirie Fields and Amanda Kimmel still in the running. Despite being a nurse and needing steady hands for her profession, Cirie dropped her ball, meaning Amanda won immunity. She voted out Cirie at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Gabon, the Final Immunity Challenge was House of Cards. In this challenge, the castaways were required to build a house of cards by using 200 wooden tiles. The first castaway to build a house of cards 10 feet (3.0 m) tall would win. If after 30 minutes, no castaway had built the house of cards to over 10 feet, the castaway with the tallest house of cards would win. Bob Crowley, who had been dominating in Immunity Challenges, struggled, unable to build a stable house of cards. Sugar Kiper, Matty Whitmore, and Susie Smith were all able to make tall structures, however Sugar's tower fell in the last minute. After 30 minutes, Susie's structure was the tallest, at 8 feet, which meant she won the challenge. Matty was eliminated after a fire-making tiebreaker at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Tocantins, the Final Immunity Challenge was Simmotion. The challenge required the castaways to drop a ball into a metal chute. The ball traveled down a spiraling metal track and exit out of one of two points. A turnstile gate in the middle of the track rotated, causing the balls to alternate exiting out of the two exits. The castaways had to catch the ball and drop the ball back into the chute at the top. Every few minutes, an additional ball was added to the track. If a ball exits the track and is not caught, the castaway would be eliminated from the challenge. To make the challenge more difficult, each castaway had one hand tied behind their backs. Erinn Lobdell was eliminated from the challenge first. After four balls were simultaneously going through the track, Stephen Fishbach dropped his ball, giving J.T. Thomas immunity. At Tribal Council, he eliminated Erinn.
In Survivor: Samoa, the Final Immunity Challenge was Over-Extended. In this challenge, the final four were required to place a small wooden statue on top of a pole. At regular intervals, they added another piece of pole to make the pole longer, making it harder to keep the statue on the pole. When their statue fell off, that person was eliminated. Mick Trimming dropped out first, followed almost immediately by Natalie White. The challenge came down to Russell Hantz and Brett Clouser. Eventually, Brett dropped his pole, meaning Russell won the challenge. At Tribal Council, Brett was eliminated.
In Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, the Final Immunity Challenge was Blind Maze. This challenge required the castaways to navigate through a maze while blindfolded. The first castaway to retrieve four necklaces at stations within the maze and then find the Immunity Necklace at the exit would win. Sandra Diaz-Twine fell out of the challenge early. This challenge came down to a very close finish between Russell Hantz, Parvati Shallow, and Jerri Manthey. Russell edged out the others by meters to win the challenge. At Tribal Council, Jerri was voted out.
In Survivor: Nicaragua, the Final Immunity Challenge was Balancing Point. This challenge required the contestants to balance a sword on a shield with one hand. With their other hand, they stacked unevenly sided coins on the handle of the sword. As the stack of coins got higher, it would get more difficult to balance. When the stack fell, the contestant was out of the challenge. Holly Hoffman and Chase Rice dropped out of the challenge first, leaving Fabio Birza and Sash Lenahan to compete. Fabio ultimately won the challenge. Holly was voted out at Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Redemption Island, the Final Immunity Challenge was Meso Maze. The challenge required the castaways to race through a maze to collect four bags of puzzle pieces at four different stations. Once all four bags were collected, the castaways raced to the top of a pyramid and assembled a word puzzle. Phillip Sheppard and Natalie Tenerelli quickly fell behind. Rob Mariano and Ashley Underwood started working on the puzzle segment of the challenge at the same time. The two helped each other in the puzzle, but eventually Rob finished the challenge first and won immunity. At Tribal Council, Ashley was eliminated.
In Survivor: South Pacific, the Final Immunity Challenge was Lei of the Land. The contestants were required to race through a giant flower-shaped obstacle course to collect five bags of puzzle pieces. They then used those pieces to solve a puzzle. Sophie Clarke managed to finish her puzzle first, beating Ozzy Lusth, Albert Destrade, and Coach Wade. At Tribal Council, Ozzy was voted out.
In Survivor: One World, the Final Immunity Challenge was Operation Balance Build. The castaways had to attach a small wooden bowl to a prong at the end of a long pole to maneuver it through a metal structure mounted on a spring to increase the difficulty. Once they have the piece through the structure, they have to sit it at the top. The first castaway to stack all ten bowls on top each other would win. Kim Spradlin beat Christina Cha, Chelsea Meissner, and Sabrina Thompson to win immunity. At Tribal Council, Christina was voted out.
In Survivor: Philippines, the Final Immunity Challenge was The Ball Drop. Malcolm Freberg won an advantage for this challenge on Day 37 but was still the first person out of the challenge. Denise Stapley was the next person out of the challenge. Michael Skupin outlasted Lisa Whelchel and won the challenge. At Tribal Council, Malcolm was eliminated.
In Survivor: Caramoan, the Final Immunity Challenge was Vertically Challenged. The challenge required the castaways to race up a three-story tower to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces tied to a post and then slide down a slide. Three puzzle piece bags needed to be retrieved before the castaways could start on their puzzle. The first castaway to assemble their puzzle would win. John Cochran, who won an advantage the previous day, already had his puzzle bags untied, although the impact was not too significant as Cochran found himself trailing Dawn Meehan and Sherri Biethman at certain points. However, Cochran used his advantage to beat Eddie Fox, Sherri, and Dawn to win the challenge. At Tribal Council, Eddie was voted out.
In Survivor: Blood vs Water, the Final Immunity Challenge was Rise To It. The castaways would race through an obstacle course and a water slide to retrieve six bags of puzzle pieces, two at a time. They would then use the pieces to solve a puzzle which would give them clues to solve a combination lock. The first castaway to unlock the combination lock and raise their flag would win. Tyson Apostol won the challenge, beating Tina Wesson, Gervase Peterson, and Monica Culpepper. At Tribal Council, Tina was voted out.
In Survivor: Cagayan, the Final Immunity Challenge was Roundabout. The castaways have to race out into a maze with turnstiles (most of which move freely, while some cannot move, blocking the path) where they have to collect four medallions. Once they have all four medallions, they then have to use them to open a chest, inside of which are puzzle pieces in the form of wooden cogs. Once the puzzle is put together, they then have to turn the cog raising a flag. The first player to raise the flag would win. Woo Hwang beat Kass McQuillen and Tony Vlachos. At Tribal Council, Woo stayed true to his ally and voted out Kass.
- Hand on a Hard Idol is the most common Final Immunity Challenge, having been used four times.
- With two appearances each, Sea Legs (under two different names), The Ball Drop, The Maze (also under two different names), and Survivor Obstacle Course (also under two different names) are the only other recurring Final Immunity Challenges.
- Prior to Survivor: Blood vs Water, no recurring Final Immunity Challenge had been won by the eventual Sole Survivor. In that season, Survivor Obstacle Course was used for the second time, allowing Sophie Clarke and Tyson Apostol to become the first two Sole Survivors to have won a recurring Final Immunity Challenge. In Survivor: Cagayan, The Maze was used for the second time, giving Rob Mariano this distinction as well.
- Coincidentally, the three Sole Survivors to win recurring Final Immunity Challenges were from the three seasons with the Redemption Island twist.
- Amanda Kimmel, Rob Mariano, and Russell Hantz are the only castaways to have won the Final Immunity Challenge twice. Of those three, Rob is the only one not to have done it in back-to-back seasons, and the only one to be crowned Sole Survivor.
- All three of these castaways participated in Survivor: Heroes vs Villains.
- Amanda and Russell are the only two Final Immunity Challenge winners to finish in third place.
- Brian Heidik was the first winner of the Final Immunity Challenge to also become the Sole Survivor.
- Only 12 winners of the Final Immunity Challenge (42.9%) have gone on to become the Sole Survivor.
- They are: Brian Heidik, Jenna Morasca, Chris Daugherty, Tom Westman, Danni Boatwright, J.T. Thomas, Fabio Birza, Rob Mariano, Sophie Clarke, Kim Spradlin, John Cochran, and Tyson Apostol.
- All Final Immunity Challenge winners who went on to become Sole Survivor have won at least three individual immunities in total, except for Danni and Tyson who won only two individual immunities.
- Males have won the Final Immunity Challenge more often than females, at 16 to 12.
- In the Final Two format, the Final Immunity Challenge winner has become the Sole Survivor six times and the runner-up nine times.
- In the Final Three format, the Final Immunity Challenge winner has become the Sole Survivor six times, finished in second place five times, and finished in third place twice. Two of the second place finishers (Dreamz Herd and Michael Skupin) finished joint second with another finalist.
- J.T. Thomas and John Cochran are the only Final Immunity Challenge winners to receive every Jury vote.
- Dreamz Herd and Russell Hantz are the only Final Immunity Challenge winners to receive no Jury votes.