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Shoulder the Load

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Shoulder the Load
Stacey Powell holds weight in South Pacific.
Recurring Survivor Challenge
Description: A recurring endurance challenge
Appearances: The Australian Outback
Pearl Islands
South Pacific

Shoulder the Load (also known as Water Torture) is a recurring endurance challenge that originated in Survivor: The Australian Outback and was modified and used in later seasons.


When originally used in The Australian Outback, 1 man from each tribe was chosen to be the designated water bearer who would hold weight in water from the other tribe until the weight became too much to bear.

Starting in Pearl Islands and since, three members from each tribe will have a pole across their shoulders. Each round, weight (20 lbs.) will be added to that pole. The decision about which tribe member gets the weight will be made by the other tribe. When the weight becomes too much to bear, the tribe member will drop the pole and be out of the challenge. Last person left standing wins reward or immunity for their tribe.

Starting in Tocantins, a requirement was added that 2 men and 1 woman must compete in this challenge. This requirement was kept for South Pacific.


In its debut during Survivor: The Australian Outback, Michael and Colby were the two designated water bearers. After time elapsed they were both carrying approximately 400 lbs. of water, where soon Michael's pole snapped in half. The two went into a tiebreaker in which Colby won for his tribe, Ogakor.

Andrew and Ryan O. won this challenge for Morgan when it reappeared in Survivor: Pearl Islands.

Taj won this challenge for Jalapao for reward in Survivor: Tocantins.

Dawn won this challenge for Savaii, this challenge was for reward and immunity most recently in Survivor: South Pacific.

Total weight when dropped Who held this weight Total weight when dropped Who held this weight
240 lbs. S23 jim tS23 brandon t 220 lbs. S7 rupert tS18 jt t
S18 brendan t
180 lbs. S23 keith tS23 albert t 160 lbs. S7 osten tS7 christa t
S7 andrew t
140 lbs. S7 shawn tS7 ryano tS18 joe t
S18 tyson tS23 stacey tS23 dawn t
100 lbs. S18 taj tS18 debbie t


Episode Challenge Type Winner
The Australian Outback
"Trust No One"
Tribal Reward S2 amber tS2 colby tS2 jerri t
S2 keith tS2 maralyn tS2 mitchell tS2 tina t
Pearl Islands
"Me and My Snake"
Tribal Immunity S7 andrew tS7 darrah t
S7 osten tS7 ryano tS7 tijuana t
"The Strongest Man Alive"
Tribal Reward S18 joe tS18 jt tS18 sandy t
S18 spencer tS18 stephen tS18 sydney tS18 taj t
South Pacific
Tribal Reward/Immunity S23 cochran tS23 dawn tS23 elyse t
S23 jim tS23 keith tS23 ozzy tS23 whitney t




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