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Around The Bend (also known as The Key of Sea, Rope-a-Dope, Connecting With Loved Ones, Brains and Brawn, Hooked Up, 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.

In Guatemala, Tocantins, and Philippines, the challenge is divided into stages, with a given number of castaways entering the final round, a three-level obstacle course.

In Edge of Extinction and Winners at War, this challenge is used as the first part of Don't Call It a Comeback and culminates in a table maze portion similar to Paddle Out.


United States[]

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 to win immunity.

In Heroes vs. Villains, this challenge was used as a Reward and Immunity Challenge before that night's Double Tribal Council; the castaway who finished first for 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 second half, 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 as done in the Tangled Up challenge. 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 resulting 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.

In Survivor 41, the challenge was used as the first part of the final eight Reward Challenge. Starting from a platform out in the ocean, the castaways would traverse a series of obstacles, maneuvering their rope along with them, to get back to shore. There, they would solve the puzzle from Star Man. Although everyone reached the puzzle stage, only Deshawn Radden and Ricard Foyé made any progress, with Ricard finishing his puzzle first to win reward.


In Australian Survivor (2017), this challenge was used as the second stage of Hooked Up. The six people who completed the first round would have to traverse a rope course to reach an end post; the first three to do so would move on to the final round. In the end, Henry Nicholson was the overall winner of the challenge.

In All Stars, this challenge was used as the first stage of the final eight Immunity Challenge. The first five people to make it to the finish will move on the next stage. AK Knight, Brooke Jowett, David Genat, Jacqui Patterson, and Tarzan Herlaar made it to the next round. Ultimately, it was David that was the overall winner of the challenge.


New Zealand[]

South Africa[]

In Maldives, the contestants had to first maneuver themselves out of a bamboo structure, with the first five contestants moving on to a stepping stone obstacle. The first three to cross the stepping stones will dig up a key that unlocks a chest to reveal a separation puzzle. Although Letshego Moshoeu was the first person to exit the bamboo structure, Tejan Pillay was the first person to get to the puzzle, but his inability to crack the puzzle allowed Sean September to pull off a clutch immunity win.

The Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X version of the challenge was used as the Loved Ones Challenge at the final five of Philippines. Werner Joubert won the challenge and got to spend an afternoon at camp with his wife, as well as a Filipino barbecue feast and a new Huawei phone; he shared this reward with Katinka Oosthuizen and her mother and Tom Swartz and his wife.

In Immunity Island, the challenge was used as the final seven Immunity Challenge. The castaways competed in a series of elimination rounds; after buying a Challenge Advantage at the auction, Tyson Zulu skipped past the first obstacle and joined the challenge in the second round. In the final round, Chappies Chapman overcame his fatigue to beat Tyson and Anela Majozi to win his second consecutive individual Immunity Challenge.


Episode Challenge Type Winners
Australian Survivor (2017)
Episode 17
Individual Immunity AUS4 henry t
Henry Nicholson
All Stars
Episode 19
Individual Immunity AUS7 david t
David Genat

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Episode 5
Duel NZS1 izzy t
Izzy Pearson
Episode 11
Individual Immunity NZS2 matt t
Matt Hancock

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Episode 9
Individual Immunity ZAS4 sean t
Sean September
Episode 14
Individual Reward
(Family Visit)
ZAS6 werner t
Werner Joubert
Immunity Island
"All in a Day's Work"
Individual Immunity ZAS8 chappies t
Chappies Chapman



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.


Recurring Challenges
A Bit Dinghy · A Bit Tipsy · A Crate Idea · A Leg Up · A Numbers Game · Air Raid · Angry Chair · Around the Bend · Back in Slack · Balancing Point · Ballin' A Jack · Barrel Bridge · Barrel of Monkeys · Basket Brawl · Better Homes and Island Living · Beyond the Wheel · Blind Leading the Blind · Blue Lagoon Bustle · Blue Plate Special · Boats, Brains & Brawn · Bone to Pick · Boulder Smash · Bow Diddley · Box Your Mind · Braille Maze · Broken China · Buggin' Out · Build It Up, Break It Down · Butch Cassidy · By Any Means Necessary · By the Numbers · Cage Against the Machine · Can't Buoy Me Love · Cannonball Run · Caught in the Web · Cell Block Sea · Challenge Pitch · Chief's Choice · Chimney Sweep · Chinese Zodiac Symbols · Choose Your Weapon · Coconut Juice · Crate Escape · Crocodile Rock · Crosswalk · Cube Crisis · Dear Liza · Dive Masters · Dizzy Gillespie · Dizzy Miss Lizzy · Domino Effect · Draggin' the Dragon · Dragging the River · Drop A Log · Drum Roll · Dulcimer Stomp · End of the Line · EOC · Eve 6 · Fallen Comrades · Fast Fire · Faulty Towers · Fauxconut Bowling · Fire and Water · Fire Fighter · Fire Starter · Flips, Flops, & Flags · Float Your Boat · Floating Puzzle · Game of Bridge · Gatecrasher · Get a Grip · Get Barreled · Get Hooked · Get Your Goat · Gimme Three Steps · Great Escape Run · Hands on a Hard Idol · Hear About It Ladder · Hot Pursuit · House of Cards · House of the Holey · Idol Hands · Jail Break · Jump Shot · Jungle Relay · Kamikaze · Keel Hauling · Keep It Up · Keep on Your Toes · Kenny Log-Ins · Kicking and Screaming · Kitty Litter · Know Your Loved One · Ladder Tree Golf · Last Gasp · Letter Hunt · Lock, Load and Light · Lock Step · Log Jam · Losing Face · Mask Match · Matchmaker · Matt Finish · Mayan Pizza · Memory · Mud Pack · Mud Slide · Muddy Waters · New School · New Tribe Member · Nut Bucket · O-Black Water · Odd Shaped Bottoms · Operation Balance Build · Out on a Limb · Over-Extended · Paddle Battle · Paddle Out · Perch · Pilfering Pirates · Piranha Feast · Pole Dancing · Pot Head · Push Me, Pull You · Puzzle Dig · Q and A · Quest for Fire · Race to Shore · Ram-Ball On · Rescue Mission · Rice Race · Rise and Shrine · Rock Bottom · Rock n' Roll · Rock the Boat · Rod Screw-It · Roll With It · Roller Ball · Rung O Star · Running Down a Dream · Sacrificial Lamb · Schmergen Brawl · Sea Crates · Sea Legs · Sea Salvage · Shipwrecked · Shoot 'n' Shuffle · Shooting Gallery · Shoulder the Load · Simmotion · Slip, Slide & Score · Slither Me Timbers · Smash and Grab · Snag, Drag and Bag · Snake in the Grass · Snake Island Relay · SOS Signal · Spear-it Hunt · Spit It Out · Splash Back · Sprung a Leak · Squared Off · Squatty Probst · Stacked Up · Stairway to Heaven · Stairway to the Stars · Star Man · Station By Station · Step on Up · Stomp-ede · Strung Out · Sumo at Sea · Super Ramp · Survivor Auction · Survivor History · Survivor Pentathlon · Survivor Quiz Show · Swahili Scramble · Swing Break · Tangled Up · Temple Transfer · The Ball Drop · The Cruel Sea · The Game is Afoot · The Gauntlet · The Home Stretch · The Maze · The Obstacle Course · This Much · Thrash, Splash & Bash · TLP O-Course · Tomb Raider · Total Recall · Troubled Water · Uncomfortably Numb · United We Stand · Vampire Bats · Vertically Challenged · Vertigo · Wall to Wall · Well Stacked · What-er Drag · When It Rains, It Pours · Wicker Flicker · Will It Go Round · Witch Hunt · Wrist Assured · Yank Your Hank · You Shook Me