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Survivor Scramble

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Survivor Scramble
PIchallenge The challenge in Pearl Islands.
Recurring Survivor Challenge
Description: A recurring mental challenge
Appearances: Africa
Pearl Islands

Survivor Scramble (also known as Swahili Scramble, What Do You Make Of This? & Under Current) is a recurring mental challenge in Survivor.


The castaways had a word scramble with a certain number of words, all with a theme. After they solved the puzzle, the must used the intersecting letters to solve a word. First person to unscramble the word wins.


The challenge was first used in Survivor: Africa under the name Swahili Scramble. The castaways had to find twelve Swahili words, then use the letters to make a nine letter word. Lex van den Berghe had an early lead and kept it. Lex solved the word, "Avalanche", and won a Chevy Avalanche pickup truck. Lex was allowed to used the truck to deliver supplies to a local hospital.

A variation was used in Survivor: Pearl Islands; each castaway has a board with three words on it broken up by their letters: "Survivor Pearl Islands". The castaways must use the letters to form twenty new words. Words must be in English and must be spelled correctly. Plurals, proper names, acronyms, as well as the words Survivor, Pearl and Island are not allowed. If a castaway broke any of these rules, he or she would be eliminated from the challenge. The first player to form twenty words, spelled correctly, wins. Christa HastieTijuana Bradley, and Jonny Fairplay all thought they had it, but each had broken a rule, thus disqualifying them all from the challenge. Burton Roberts was initially declared as winning immunity, but he lost it when Jeff Probst realized he'd misspelled a word (he misspelled liaison as liason). Because of this, a second round was held between Darrah JohnsonLillian Morris, and Sandra Diaz-Twine. In this round, the three women had to find as many four or more letter words as possible from "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast" in one minute. Darrah found the most words and won immunity.

The challenge was reused in Survivor: All-Stars as the final five Immunity Challenge. This time, each castaway had to find the names of the seventeen starting tribes from the first eight seasons of Survivor. Amber Brkich initially had the lead and the first castaway to start unscrambling the eleven-letter word. However, Rob Mariano was not far behind. In the end, Boston Rob was the first to figure out the phrase (Chaboga Mogo, the name of the season's merged tribe) and thus won immunity.

A modified version was used in Survivor: Palau. Because Ulong was down to its last two members, Koror selected Coby Archa and Gregg Carey to compete. The tribes had to race out to a series of floating platforms, swim under them in order to collect puzzle pieces, swim back to shore, and drop off the puzzle pieces on the beach. Once they had collected all the pieces, the tribes assembled the puzzle and solved a word jumble using the pieces. They were required to find listed words in the grid, take the letters used in more than one word, and rearrange them to form a mystery three-word phrase ("victory at sea"). Koror won their seventh consecutive Immunity Challenge, sending Ulong to a unique two-person Tribal Council.


Episode Challenge Type Winner
"Truth Be Told"
Individual Reward S3 lex t
Lex van den Berghe
Pearl Islands
"The Great Lie"
Individual Immunity S7 darrah t
Darrah Johnson
"The Instigator"
Individual Immunity S8 robm t
Rob Mariano
"Neanderthal Man"
Tribal Immunity S10 caryn tS10 coby tS10 gregg tS10 ian t
S10 janu tS10 jenn tS10 katie tS10 tom t



  • Tom Buchanan is the only person to compete in the challenge twice. He lost the challenge both times.
  • Darrah Johnson is the only woman to win this challenge individually.
    • She is also the only woman to compete in this challenge and win, as only male members of Koror competed in Palau.
  • It was revealed at the Pearl Islands reunion show that the person who invented this challenge was a fourteen year old girl.

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