Blind Leading the Blind (also known as Tiki Towers, Palanquin Slalom, Flip Out, Blind Cube Crisis, Four on the Floor, Love is Blind, Blind Build, Blind Rage, Money Roll, Seers and Doers, Smoko, Family Ties, Ow Pairs, Haulin' Oats, Collar Blind, Blind Faith, and Sir Duke) is a recurring Survivor challenge.
One castaway from each tribe would work as a caller, directing their blindfolded tribemates in collecting items spread out in a field and returning them to their tribe's designated area. Once all of the items have been gathered, a second portion of the challenge (typically a puzzle) would occur. The first tribe to complete this portion of the challenge would win.
The challenge first appeared in The Australian Outback for reward in the form of Doritos and Mountain Dew. Nick Brown was the caller for Kucha, while Jerri Manthey was the caller for Ogakor. First, the blindfolded tribe members must place two logs between a sawhorse. Then, they must switch a pair of traps, one on the table, the other in the water. Next, they must grab a bucket and fill it with water. Then, they must place the water in a larger bucket. When the large bucket overflows, they must then place the picnic basket on the table with a barrel of Mountain Dew. In a close race, Amber wandered aimlessly allowing Kucha to narrowly defeat Ogakor to win reward.
In Marquesas, the caller (Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien for Maraamu and Gabriel Cade for Rotu) would guide their blindfolded members to find 14 tiki pieces scattered around the field. Once they have all 14 tiki pieces, they will take off their blindfolds and assemble the four tikis correctly. Maraamu took the lead after Gabriel had a difficult time spotting a final piece for Rotu, allowing Maraamu to win their first challenge and the right to raid Rotu's camp.
In Thailand, Tanya Vance for Chuay Gahn and Penny Ramsey for Sook Jai acted as callers for their respective tribes, while the rest were blindfolded. The blindfolded tribe members carried the caller in a palanquin. Under the caller's commands, the tribes navigated a figure of eight course, both going in opposite directions. Along the way, the caller would untie several bags hanging from seven stations. The first tribe to come back would win a lantern and fishing supplies. In a close race, Chuay Gahn took the early lead, but Sook Jai managed to catch up and win the challenge.
In The Amazon, JoAnna Ward was Jaburu's caller, while Butch Lockley was the caller for Tambaqui. The callers must guide their blindfolded tribemates, who are divided into three pairs, to 30 giant puzzle pieces. Once all 30 pieces have been collected, the tribe members must remove their blindfolds and complete the puzzle. Tambaqui fell behind early due to Butch's ineffective communication with his tribemates, allowing Jaburu to easily finish and win a jar of fishing bait as reward.
In All-Stars, this challenge was seen in the background when Jenna Morasca quit on Day 9. When this challenge was finally played on Day 12, Alicia Calaway was the caller for Chapera, Richard Hatch was the caller for Mogo Mogo, and Jerri Manthey served as the caller for Saboga. The callers must guide their blindfolded tribemates to 15 puzzle pieces. Once all 15 pieces have been collected, they must remove their blindfolds and complete a cube puzzle. Although Chapera collected their pieces first, Saboga were the first to finish their puzzle, followed by Mogo Mogo, sending Chapera to Tribal Council.
In Vanuatu, the caller (Lea Masters for Lopevi and out Scout Cloud Lee for Yasur) must guide three groups (each tied together, in two pairs and one group of three) to retrieve twelve pairs of puzzle pieces both on land and in the water, then work to assemble three puzzles on a set of scaffolding. Lopevi managed to collect their puzzle pieces first and extended their lead after Scout failed to spot a pair in the water, allowing them to assemble the puzzles and climbed the scaffolding first, winning immunity and flint, and sending Yasur to Tribal Council.
This challenge would be used again on Day 30 when the final seven had to direct their blindfolded loved ones through a course to find three bags of puzzle pieces. Once the loved ones found all of the bags, the loved ones and castaways had to solve a puzzle. Ami Cusack, Chris Daugherty, Julie Berry, Scout Cloud Lee, and Twila Tanner all managed to reach the puzzle with their loved ones, with Ami and her girlfriend, Crissy, completing the puzzle first to win Ami immunity.
In Guatemala, Brooke Struck for Nakúm and Gary Hogeboom for Yaxhá served as the callers for their tribes. The blindfolded castaways must collect nine bundles of materials needed to construct an archeological tent, while the callers must guide three groups of tribemates (blindfolded and in two pairs and one group of three). After collecting all bundles, the blindfolds can be removed and the tribe must assemble the tent. After assembling, the tribe must go back to their tribe mat. Yaxhá collected their pieces first, but quickly stumbled as they built their tent, giving way for Nakúm to win reward.
The challenge was used again in Fiji. Michelle Yi served as the caller for Moto, while Lisi Linares served as the caller for Ravu. The caller must guide one blindfolded member at a time down a field to smash one of five hanging skulls with a Fijian war club, grab the tiles that fall out, take them to the puzzle solving station, and run back. Once all five sets of tiles are on the station, the entire tribe must run down the field to the puzzle solving station and arrange the pieces to form a two-word phrase (Cannibal Isles). At any point, the caller can be switched out with another tribe member. During the challenge, Alex Angarita switched out with Lisi, while Boo Bernis switched out with Michelle. Moto held onto a small lead throughout the challenge and won immunity, sending Ravu to their sixth Tribal Council.
In Micronesia, the challenge was used as a Reward Challenge. Two callers for each tribe (Eliza Orlins and Kathy Sleckman for Airai and Cirie Fields and Tracy Hughes-Wolf for Malakal) would direct four blindfolded members who would push a large money stone through a forest course. Along the course, the money stone would crush four tiles that would reveal a pair of smaller money stones. Three tribe members would then use these eight stones to solve a rotating cog puzzle. Although the tribes were evenly matched throughout the course, Malakal pulled away during the puzzle making part of the challenge and won reward.
In Tocantins, the challenge was used as a Reward Challenge. The tribes will form up into three pairs. The caller (Joe Dowdle for Jalapao and Debbie Beebe for Timbira) must guide the blindfolded players though a maze to get three buckets. Once they reach a water tower, they must fill the bucket with water. Then, they must return to start and empty the water into a container, raising a flag. Then they must repeat the process with corn. Timbira struggled to locate their buckets and fell behind early on, allowing Jalapao to easily win, with Timbira failing to fill even one container.
In Heroes vs. Villains, James Clement served as the caller for the Heroes, while Jerri Manthey was the caller for the Villains. The callers must guide their blindfolded tribemates, who would be teamed up in pairs, to 10 puzzle pieces. Once all 10 pieces have been collected, the entire tribe must work together to complete a cube puzzle. Although the Heroes were the first to collect all their puzzle pieces, they again struggled to complete a puzzle, allowing the Villains to win immunity and sending the Heroes to their fourth Tribal Council.
In Nicaragua, Tyrone Davis was the caller for Espada, while Brenda Lowe served as the caller for La Flor. Using only verbal commands, the caller will direct their tribemates, divided into pairs, to collect 10 items scattered around a field. Once all 10 items have been collected, the caller will direct one pair out to find a set of keys, which will unlock a chest. The first tribe to get their chest and all ten items back to the start wins reward and immunity. La Flor used the Medallion of Power, giving them a two-item head start and ultimately giving them the win, sending Espada back to Tribal Council.
In Redemption Island, the callers (Rob Mariano for Ometepe and Stephanie Valencia for Zapatera) would guide their tribemates though a maze to collect four bags filled with coffee beans and puzzle pieces. The callers must use the pieces to spell out a phrase (The sweet taste of victory). The first tribe to do so wins reward and immunity. Ometepe collected all their bags first, allowing Rob to solve the puzzle before Stephanie, sending Zapatera to Tribal Council.
In South Pacific the tribes would be separated into pairs and dressed to resemble twins. One set of twins will be callers (Jim Rice and John Cochran for Savaii, and Coach Wade and Rick Nelson for Upolu), while the other two sets of twins will collect bags of masks. Once all four bags are collected, one set of twins will empty the bags and, using only their sense of touch, will pair up the masks into matching pairs. The first tribe to get it right wins reward and immunity. Both tribes were relatively even until Cochran struggled with the rope management for his tribe, allowing Upolu to surge ahead and win, sending Savaii to Tribal Council.
In One World, the callers (Bill Posley for Manono and Sabrina Thompson for Salani) would have to direct their paired up tribemates to five stations. At the stations, the castaways would have to pull a lever, releasing an overhead bucket of water and a bag of puzzle pieces. Once all the bags were collected, the caller would have to solve a puzzle. The first tribe to complete the puzzle would win immunity. Manono took a huge lead heading into the puzzle after Salani had difficulty communicating. However, Salani was able to catch up and narrowly beat Manono in solving the puzzle, sending Manono to their first Tribal Council.
In Cagayan, the challenge was used as a Reward Challenge. One member of each tribe (Cliff Robinson for Aparri, Tasha Fox for Luzon, and Alexis Maxwell for Solana) would act as a caller while two other blindfolded tribe members would navigate the course to retrieve five items and a flag, eventually working with a third blindfolded tribemate to hoist the items up to the caller's platform. Throughout the challenge, the Luzon and Solana tribes were neck-and-neck, while Aparri constantly trailed. However, after Solana won the challenge, J'Tia Taylor struggled with hoisting Luzon's flag, resulting in Aparri catching up and eventually placing second.
In Worlds Apart, the challenge was reused in the same form as the Cagayan version as a Reward Challenge, with the callers being Sierra Dawn Thomas for Escameca, Carolyn Rivera for Masaya, and Joe Anglim for Nagarote, guiding their blindfolded tribe members to retrieve four items and a flag. During the challenge, Escameca member Kelly Remington was hit by a falling platform, causing the challenge to be halted so that she could be treated by the Medical Team. When the challenge resumed, Nagarote finished first, followed by Masaya, winning both tribes reward.
In Cambodia, the challenge appeared as an Immunity Challenge using the same design as All-Stars and Heroes vs. Villains. Jeff Varner was the caller for Angkor, Kimmi Kappenberg was the caller for Bayon, and Kass McQuillen was the caller for Ta Keo. The tribes were even throughout in collecting the 16 pieces, during which, many injuries suffered by members of each tribe. Bayon finished their puzzle first, closely followed by Ta Keo, winning them both immunity, and sending Angkor back to Tribal Council.
This challenge reappeared in Millennials vs. Gen X as a Reward Challenge. One caller per tribe (Jay Starrett for Ikabula, Figgy Figueroa for Takali, and Michelle Schubert for Vanua) would guide three blindfolded tribemates to retrieve four bundles of puzzle pieces. One tribe member would then solve the puzzle while still being blindfolded and guided by the caller. Takali collected all their puzzle pieces first, followed by Ikabula, as Vanua struggled with communication. However, Vanua came from behind to complete their puzzle first, with Ikabula finishing second.
This challenge appeared once again in Game Changers as the fourth Immunity Challenge, where only the first-placing tribe would win immunity, and the two tribes that lose the challenge will be sent to a Joint Tribal Council. The callers were Brad Culpepper for Mana, Jeff Varner for Nuku, and Cirie Fields for Tavua. The blindfolded castaways were attached by pairs, and had to retrieve three bags, each containing one ball. After that, they had to navigate these balls to the center of a table maze. Once a tribe member succeeded to put one ball at the center of the maze, they could not help their tribemates anymore for the remaining balls. Though Nuku had a big lead heading into the table maze, Tavua quickly caught up and, in a tight race at the table maze for the last ball, Jeff mistakenly dropped the ball for Nuku, while Andrea Boehlke successfully got the last ball in the slot, winning Tavua immunity.
This challenge appeared again in Ghost Island following the second Tribe Switch. One caller from each tribe (Desiree Afuye for Malolo, Domenick Abbate for Naviti, and Wendell Holland for Yanuya) had to lead their tribemates, who are divided into two pairs, to three bags of puzzle pieces. Once they had all three bags, the caller would lead their tribemates to a puzzle station and lead two members of their tribe in solving the puzzle while still blindfolded. Malolo had a sizeable lead heading into the puzzle, while Yanuya fell behind after Wendell forgot to bring one of their bags. However, Wendell managed to lead Yanuya to finishing their puzzle first, while Desiree struggled to communicate with her blindfolded tribemates, allowing Naviti to finish second, sending Malolo to Tribal Council.
- This challenge is the most frequently used recurring challenge, having been used 23 times over the course of 22 seasons.
- Vanuatu is the only season where the challenge appeared as an individual challenge. It is also the only season where the challenge appeared twice.
- Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien, Shii Ann Huang, Ami Cusack, Jerri Manthey, Rob Mariano, Coach Wade, Joe Anglim, Stephen Fishbach, Cirie Fields, Ozzy Lusth, Andrea Boehlke, Sarah Lacina, and Zeke Smith have all won this challenge multiple times.
- Jerri and Cirie served as the caller each time they competed in the challenge.