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House of Cards

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House of Cards
4606011580 84109c063fRussell and Jerri competing in Heroes vs. Villains.
Recurring Survivor Challenge
Description: A recurring skill challenge
Appearances: Gabon
Heroes vs. Villains
Redemption Island
South Pacific
Caramoan
Blood vs. Water

House of Cards (also known as Teeter Tower) is a recurring skill and balance challenge in Survivor. It debuted in Survivor: Gabon as the Final Immunity Challenge, and was reused in Heroes vs. Villains, Redemption Island, and Blood vs. Water. A variation of the challenge was introduced in South Pacific and Caramoan.

Rules

Each competitor begins the challenge with 150 to 200 wooden tiles. Using the tiles, they must build a house of cards up to certain height. The first person to reach this target height would win. However, if there is a specified time limit, the person with the tallest house of cards when time expires would win.

The Teeter Tower variant complicates the challenge by requiring contestants to build the house of cards with one hand, while using the other hand to steady a platform on which the tower is built.

History

This challenge was first used in Survivor: Gabon as the Final Immunity Challenge. In this case, each person had 200 tiles and had 30 minutes to reach ten feet. The person who reached ten foot mark first or whoever had the tallest house of cards after the time was up would win immunity and a spot in the finals. Bob struggled in the challenge, unable to build a stable house of cards. Sugar built a tall house of cards, but its instability caused it to fall at the last minute. Matty built a stable house of cards seven feet tall. In the end, Susie built the tallest house of cards, at eight feet tall, within 30 minutes and won immunity.

This challenge later reused in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains as an Immunity Challenge. In this case, there was no time limit, and contestants had 150 tiles. Russell and Jerri got an early lead and it ultimately came to down them. In the end, Jerri edged out Russell when he ran out of cards in his hand and she won immunity.

This challenge was also used in Survivor: Redemption Island as a duel between MatthewMike, and David. The rules for that duel was that contestants had 150 tiles to build an eight foot tall house of cards. Mike had a steady house of cards with Matthew right behind him. Mike's house of cards however, threatened to collapse at the eight foot mark, allowing Matthew to finish first. Mike was able to finish his house of cards, eliminating David from the competition. As soon as Mike was finished, his house fell down immediately.

A small variation of this challenge was also used in Survivor: South Pacific. Also known as Teeter Tower, the final five would place their hand on a very uneasy balance beam that would flatten a table. While holding the balance beam down, the contestants would build a house of cards. Contestants Ozzy and Sophie had to rebuild their houses twice due to their usage of all tiles. Frustrated, Sophie attempted to convince Albert into dropping his stack, which he refused to do and Jeff Probst told her castaways were not allowed to receive help from other castaways. Eventually, Ozzy caught up to him and made it into the final four.

The Teeter Tower variant reappeared in Survivor: Caramoan. This was originally a Immunity Challenge, but it was changed to a Reward Challenge due to Erik's evacuation. After many attempts and the towers falling down repeatedly, Cochran was able to reach the target and win a advantage to the Final Immunity Challenge.

In Survivor: Blood vs. Water, the challenge was used as a Redemption Island duel. The contestants had to stack a tower eight feet high in thirty minutes. If after 30 minutes the contestants couldn't stack a tower 8 feet high, the winner would be whoever had the highest tower. Laura M. completed her house of cards after 27 minutes to come in first. Caleb was leading against Tina by almost 2 feet as time was expiring, but with seconds left to go, his tower collapsed and Tina, stopped building, in fear of her tower also collapsing. Tina counted the time until the challenge ended, and when the time ran out, Caleb ended up being eliminated.

Winners

Episode Challenge Type Winner
Gabon
Say Goodbye to Gabon
Individual Immunity
(Final Immunity)
S17 susie t
Susie Smith
Heroes vs. Villains
Jumping Ship
Individual Immunity S20 jerri t
Jerri Manthey
Redemption Island
Rice Wars
Duel S22 matthew tS22 mike t
Matthew & Mike
South Pacific
Loyalties Will Be Broken
Individual Immunity S23 ozzy t
Ozzy Lusth
Caramoan
Last Push
Individual Reward S26 cochran t
John Cochran
Blood vs. Water
Rustle Feathers
Duel S27 lauram tS27 tina t
Laura M. & Tina

Gallery

Trivia

  • 4 women and 4 men have won this challenge.
  • Redemption Island and Blood vs. Water are the only times this challenge has been won by more than one person.
  • This challenge is the first (and only) individual Immunity Challenge that three-time returning player Jerri Manthey has won.
  • The challenge appeared in all seasons to feature the Redemption Island twist.
  • When this challenge was used as Teeter Tower, only returning players have won.
  • Every time the original variant was used, a woman won if one was participating. Conversely, a man won every time the Teeter Tower variant was used.
  • This challenge, along with Snag, Drag and Bag and Jail Break are the only challenges to appear in every season featuring Redemption Island.
    • It is the only one of the three to not appear as a duel in all of these seasons.

References

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