Chinese Zodiac Symbols (also known as Flashback, Living Color, and My Poor Brain) is a recurring mental challenge of Survivor. The challenge debuted in Survivor: China, and has since reappeared in Nicaragua, Redemption Island, Blood vs. Water, Cagayan, and San Juan del Sur.


Played in a series of rounds, the host will show the castaways a list of symbols or colors. When the host has finished, the castaways must show the same symbols/colors that were presented to them in the order that was previously shown. Showing the wrong symbol would result in the castaway being eliminated from the challenge. The last contestant remaining would win.


In Survivor: China, prior to the challenge, players that did not want to participate were able to partake in a feast of cheeseburgers, french fries, and drinks for as long as the challenge continued, or until the food runs out, whichever occurred sooner. Todd, Denise, Courtney, and James accepted the offer and sat out. At the challenge, Jeff called out to the castaways a series of Chinese zodiac animals. Then, the contestants must each stab the corresponding symbols with a knife on a solving board in the correct order. Get one symbol wrong and they're out. Last one remaining wins. Erik was first out, followed by Amanda. Frosti answered the final question incorrectly and Peih-Gee won immunity.

In Survivor: Nicaragua, Jeff shown a series of symbols that the castaways should show back in order. Brenda was the last one left and won immunity.

In Survivor: Redemption Island, the challenge was used right after Ralph left Tribal Council. Boston Rob outlasted Ashley and Steve to win individual immunity.

It reappeared as the first individual Immunity Challenge in Survivor: Blood vs. Water right after the tribes merged into Kasama. Vytas Baskauskas outlasted his brother Aras to win immunity.

In Survivor: Cagayan, the challenge was used for immunity. This time the castaways were shown a series of colored tiles, which they then had to repeat back to Jeff. It eventually came down to Tasha FoxLJ McKanas, and Tony Vlachos. Tasha had the correct tile, giving her the win.

In Survivor: San Juan del Sur, the challenge was again used for immunity. The contestants were shown a series of symbols on a cube and had to replicate the symbols. Jeremy Collins outlasted everyone else to win immunity.


Episode Challenge Type Winner
"Just Don't Eat the Apple"
Individual Immunity S15 peihgee t
Peih-Gee Law
"Running the Camp"
Individual Immunity S21 brenda t
Brenda Lowe
Redemption Island
"A Mystery Package"
Individual Immunity S22 rob t
Rob Mariano
Blood vs. Water
"Skin of My Teeth"
Individual Immunity S27 vytas t
Vytas Baskauskas
"Bag of Tricks"
Individual Immunity S28 tasha t
Tasha Fox
San Juan del Sur
"Wrinkle in the Plan"
Individual Immunity S29 jeremy t
Jeremy Collins



  • This challenge has only appeared as an individual Immunity Challenge.
  • In seasons featuring Redemption Island, this challenge was won by men. In seasons not featuring Redemption Island, this challenge was won by minorities.
  • Boston Rob was the only contestant to win the challenge as a returning player, and the only contestant to win both this challenge and his season.
  • Every contestant who won this challenge on their original season returned for a second season. Of the first time contestants who won, Brenda was the only one whose return season wasn't Cambodia.
  • Every contestant voted off at the subsequent Tribal Council made it to the final round of this challenge.


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