By the Numbers is a recurring challenge involving delicate balance in Survivor.


The members of each tribe line up on a very narrow balance beam. One tribe member at a time, they must move across the beam and around the other tribe members. The person crossing can only touch one member at a time. If two people touch at once or a member falls into the water, they must start all over. Once a member reaches the platform, the next person may proceed. The tribe who gets all their members across first wins.


The challenge was first used in Survivor: Vanuatu, for reward. The Yasur tribe was easily able to defeat the Lopevi tribe and win the challenge, earning themselves blankets and pillows.

In Survivor: Fiji, Moto and Ravu competed in this challenge for reward. Despite originally trailing, Moto developed a strategy which involved having the member kneel down, allowing them to cross with relative ease. This would allow Moto to pull off a victory and earn fish, rice, spices, and a king-sized bed with sheets, pillows, and blankets. This is the only season where the challenge was administered to tribes with both male and female members.

The next time the challenge was used was in Survivor: One World for immunity. While the Manono tribe made decent progress, the Salani tribe had communication problems early on, which were aggravated by Kat Edorsson unnecessarily jumping into the water. By the time Monica Culpepper was able to come up with a plan to get the women across, the Manono tribe won immunity.


Episode Challenge Type Winner
"Burly Girls, Bowheads, Young Studs, and the Old Bunch"
Tribal Reward S9 ami tS9 dolly tS9 eliza t
S9 julie tS9 leann tS9 lisa t
S9 mia tS9 scout tS9 twila t
"Let's Just Call Jeff on the Jeff Phone"
Tribal Reward S14 alex tS14 boo tS14 cassandra t
S14 dreamz tS14 edgardo tS14 gary t
S14 liliana tS14 lisi tS14 stacy t
One World
"Total Dysfunction"
Tribal Immunity S24 bill tS24 colton tS24 jay t
S24 jonas tS24 leif tS24 matt t
S24 michael tS24 tarzan tS24 troyzan t



  • This challenge has been used in two seasons with the Battle of the Sexes format.
  • Every tribe to win this challenge shares several similarities:
    • Every tribe had nine members at the time.
    • Every tribe had to sit out people to accommodate the other tribe, one of whom was the oldest contestant of the season.
    • Every tribe had not lost a challenge up to that point.


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