Around The Bend (also known as Rope-a-Dope, Connecting With Loved Ones, Brains and Brawn, The Bottom Line, Tangled Up in Blue, and Don't Call It a Comeback) is a recurring challenge of Survivor.
The castaways will be attached to a rope that is tangled around several fences and poles that they must jump over and climb through in order to untangle it and make their way to the finish.
The challenge debuted in Guatemala as the final eight Immunity Challenge and was split into two rounds. In the first round, the castaways had to traverse through three obstacles, with the first four to finish moving on to the final round. In the final round, they had to traverse through a three-level high obstacle course to win immunity. Cindy Hall, Jamie Newton, Rafe Judkins, and Stephenie LaGrossa all made it to the final round, with Rafe edging out Cindy to win immunity.
In Tocantins, the challenge was used as the final nine Immunity Challenge and followed the same format as Guatemala, with the first three to finish the first round moving on to the final round. Brendan Synnott, J.T. Thomas, and Tyson Apostol made it to the final round, which Brendan led from the start, only for Tyson to overtake him right at the end, winning Tyson immunity.
In Heroes vs. Villains, this challenge was used as a Reward and Immunity Challenge before that night's Double Tribal Council where the castaway who finished first in each tribe would win immunity and compete against the winner of the opposing tribe for reward. The Immunity Challenge was a truncated version of the original variation's first round, which Candice Woodcock won for the Heroes and Rob Mariano for the Villains. In the final stage, which used the same three-level stage as the original variation, Rob won the reward for the Villains.
In One World, this challenge was used as a Reward Challenge for the Family Visit. The castaways and their loved ones would be tethered together and competed on a similar obstacle as used in the first round in Heroes vs. Villains. Kat Edorsson and her cousin Robby barely beat out Kim Spradlin and her sister Beth to win reward.
In Philippines, the challenge was used as the final seven Immunity Challenge and was divided into three rounds. As Abi-Maria Gomes had bought a Challenge Advantage in the Survivor Auction, she went straight to the last round. Before each round, host Jeff Probst asked a question. If the castaway answered incorrectly, they would have to carry a purse weighing 5% of their body weight. The first round was the same variation as the first round in Heroes vs. Villains. The second round featured a new stage which required castaways to traverse through bamboo poles while attached to a rope. In the final round, the castaways, no longer attached to a rope, had to untie a series of rope gates on a three-level obstacle course. Well-rested and without any weight, Abi-Maria breezed through the stage and defeated Carter Williams and Jonathan Penner to win immunity.
In Millennials vs. Gen X, the challenge was once again used as a Reward Challenge for the Family Visit. Castaways would have to traverse several hitching posts both in shallow water and on the beach. In a race between David Wright, Hannah Shapiro, Jay Starrett, Ken McNickle, and Zeke Smith, Jay edged out the others to win reward.
In Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, the challenge was used as a Reward Challenge, returning to a variation similar to the one used in the first round in Guatemala. This time, however, the castaways competed in pairs, and would have to unclip themselves after getting through the obstacle and attempt to land five rings onto a target. In a close race between the three pairs, the yellow team of Chrissy Hofbeck and Devon Pinto managed to land their rings onto their target first to win reward.
In David vs. Goliath, the challenge was used as the third Immunity Challenge, modified for tribal use. In the first stage, one member would have to traverse a fence obstacle similar to the first round in Heroes vs. Villains. In the second stage, three members would would have to work together untangle three ropes. In the third stage, two members would use the ropes to lasso and pull in a platform on which the last two members would build a pyramid puzzle. David and Goliath were neck-and-neck in the challenge, but David ultimately edged out Goliath in finishing their puzzle to win immunity, sending Goliath to their first Tribal Council.
In Edge of Extinction, the challenge was used as the second Edge of Extinction re-entry duel. Castaways would have to first traverse a fence obstacle similar to the first round in Heroes vs. Villains, then untangle a knotted rope gate and build a rope bridge. Finally, castaways would have to untie a bag of balls, then maneuver two balls through a table maze and land them in the slots in the table maze as done in the Paddle Out challenge. Aurora McCreary, Chris Underwood, and Joe Anglim all managed to land their first ball, with Chris then edging out Aurora and Joe in landing his second ball to win, earning him a spot back in the game and resulted in the permanent elimination of Aurora, Joe, Aubry Bracco, David Wright, Eric Hafemann, Julia Carter, Kelley Wentworth, Reem Daly, Ron Clark, and Wardog DaSilva.
In Winners at War, the challenge was again used as the second Edge of Extinction re-entry duel, using the same variation as Edge of Extinction, with the exception of digging up a rope rung instead of a knotted rope gate. In addition, Natalie Anderson, Parvati Shallow, Wendell Holland, and Yul Kwon all bought a Challenge Advantage that allowed them to skip the fence obstacle. Natalie bought a further two advantages, which allowed her to skip the rope rung dig and having one-third of her rope bridge already completed, respectively. In a race to land the last ball between Natalie, Wendell, and Tyson Apostol, Natalie managed to land hers first, allowing her to re-enter the game, permanently eliminating Parvati, Tyson, Wendell, Yul, Adam Klein, Amber Mariano, Danni Boatwright, Ethan Zohn, Jeremy Collins, Kim Spradlin-Wolfe, Nick Wilson, Rob Mariano, and Sophie Clarke.
"Eating and Sleeping with the Enemy"
"The Biggest Fraud in the Game"
|Heroes vs. Villains
"It's Gonna Be Chaos"
"Hell Hath Frozen Over"
|Millennials vs. Gen X
"About to Have a Rumble"
|Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
"The Survivor Devil"
Chrissy & Devon
|David vs. Goliath
"I Am Goliath Strong"
|Edge of Extinction
"I See the Million Dollars"
|Winners at War
"It All Boils Down to This"
The following trivia counts the Heroes vs. Villains iteration of the challenge as a win for all members of the winning tribe, despite only one member winning immunity.
- Adam Klein, Coach Wade, Danni Boatwright, David Wright, J.T. Thomas, Kim Spradlin-Wolfe, Nick Wilson, Parvati Shallow, Rob Mariano, and Tyson Apostol have all competed in this challenge at least twice.
- Tyson has competed in it three times. He won twice and lost once.
- Coach, Parvati, and Rob have won once and lost once. Rob also won the immunity portion of the Heroes vs. Villains challenge.
- All others lost this challenge both times.
- Ben Driebergen and Denise Stapley have been present for this challenge twice, but did not compete in it on Winners at War, as it was used as the second Edge of Extinction return challenge in that season.