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Titlecard of Life at Ponderosa
Survivor Gameplay
Description A sequester house for eliminated contestants
Appearance(s) Survivor: Micronesia-present

This page explains the process Survivor contestants go through after they are eliminated from the game.


Immediately after being voted out, the eliminated players are whisked away from Tribal Council and are given finger foods to eat, while being interrogated by the in-game psychiatrist for debriefing as the contestant headed to the sequester house. Upon reaching the house, the player in question will undergo medical examinations and a weigh-in (to compare his/her pre-game weight and all the weight he/she lost during the game). The eliminated castaway is then allowed to socialize with the other eliminated cast members. From there on out, the eliminated player can enjoy the luxuries that are uncommon to the game of Survivor, such as eating all the food he/she can eat and sleeping on a soft bed.

The castaways that are eliminated prior to the merge are sequestered in an undisclosed location that was beyond the reach of the game, either a faraway hotel that was still within the territory where the season was being filmed, or a location outside the host country. If the castaways were to be on vacation trips, their expenses were all covered by production. While being sequestered, the evictees were still forbidden to have access to television, internet, and telephones; however, they were given a VCR and a DVD player to help alleviate boredom. Those who did not make the jury phase would be sequestered in a separate location to lessen the possibility of spoilers to circulate before the season starts.[1]

The contestants headed home in batches; the first group contained the pre-merge or pre-jury eliminees, while the second group consisted of the jury and the finalists.

After the castaways went home, the in-game psychiatrist still checked the well-being of the players.

Life at Ponderosa

You're out of the game but not exactly out of the game, you're back in the real world but not exactly in the real world.

David Murphy, Survivor: Redemption Island

Ponderosa is the name given to the place where eliminated contestants stay after being voted out of the game.

Life at Ponderosa is a web-exclusive show, chronicling the events at Ponderosa. While unavailable on mainstream television, these clips can be viewed on the CBS website (exclusively for American viewers) and the CBS channel on YouTube (for viewers outside the United States). These never-before seen footage became available since Survivor: Micronesia.[2]

Starting from Survivor: Micronesia, Ponderosa was introduced to chronicle the lives of the contestants who made it to the jury phase.

The eliminated players either stay in separate rooms, air-conditioned collapsible cabins similar to the cabins that are used by the production team at base camp, or mere tents fitted with mosquito nets.

Unlike seasons prior to Micronesia, subsequent contestants appeared to enjoy more freedom. For one, they can now watch TV, communicate with their loved ones (if the players still in the game just competed in a Loved Ones Challenge), play video games, and even cook their own food during meals. Furthermore, they are given the liberty of exploring the inhabited areas of their filming location, and can even buy souvenirs for their loved ones back home.

After getting voted off, the contestant undergoes debriefing and medical examinations before they join the other jurors after which they enjoy luxuries uncommon to the game of Survivor such as food, a shower and a bed. Scenes may also show the eliminee talking of his/her Survivor experience. This can also be an opportunity to discuss failed strategies and the possible outcome of the game with others.

After the Final Tribal Council, the finalists also get to stay at Ponderosa, though only for one night. The next day, they will have one final breakfast, then they will be escorted by the production team's vehicles, and they will be heading home.



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