Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Domino Effect (also known as Backed Up, High Step and Stack, and High Step Back) is a recurring challenge from Survivor. It debuted in Survivor: Gabon and has since re-appeared in Redemption Island, Blood vs. Water, Kaôh Rōng, Game Changers, and Winners at War.


Castaways must stack all of their blocks like a line of domino tiles on an angular beam while avoiding tripwires that would topple the blocks that were already stacked. Once all of the blocks have been properly stacked in such a way that they were evenly spaced to topple like dominoes that would reach the end of the beam, the castaway would start a chain reaction which would trigger a mechanism that will release a ball rolling to a bowl, releasing a flag/breaking a tile. The first castaway to raise their flag/break their tile would win.

In Kaôh Rōng, Game Changers, and Winners at War, the challenge was slightly modified so that the beam was now straight, and with the obstacle below the beam being a wooden frame that, when shaken, would cause the blocks to fall. Contestants were only allowed to carry one block at a time, unlike in previous iterations where they could carry as many as desired. The first castaway to topple their blocks like dominoes to the end and ring a gong would win.


United States[]

This challenge debuted in Gabon as an Immunity Challenge with an additional first round where castaways would race across a series of balance beams carrying three bags of blocks. The first two castaways to bring all three of their bags would go to the final round, along with Corinne Kaplan, who had bought a Challenge Advantage from the Survivor Auction that allowed her to bypass the first round. In the final round, a race between Corinne, Ken Hoang, and Matty Whitmore to topple all their blocks resulted in Corinne and Matty's blocks failing to reach the end, while Ken's managed to do so, giving him immunity.

In Redemption Island, the challenge was used as the second Redemption Island duel. From this point onwards, the first round in Gabon is no longer used, with the challenge immediately starting with the block portion. In the end, Matt Elrod beat Russell Hantz in, permanently eliminating Russell from the game.

In Blood vs. Water, the challenge returned as the second Redemption Island duel between Candice Cody, Marissa Peterson, and Rachel Foulger. Instead of tripwires, trip bars were now installed at the foot of each beam. Candice easily won the duel, keeping herself alive. After over 45 minutes in the intense heat, Marissa finally beat Rachel, eliminating Rachel from the game.

In Kaôh Rōng, the challenge appeared as an Immunity Challenge in a slightly altered form. Several castaways had difficulty stacking their blocks as they tripped on the wooden frame obstacle, allowing Julia Sokolowski to topple all of her blocks first, winning immunity.

In Game Changers, the challenge was again used as an Immunity Challenge and used the same iteration as in Kaôh Rōng. In the end, the challenge came down to a race between Andrea Boehlke, Michaela Bradshaw, Sarah Lacina, and Sierra Dawn Thomas. After quickly re-stacking her blocks, Andrea managed to topple all of her blocks first, winning immunity.

In Winners at War, the challenge was once again an Immunity Challenge using the same iteration as in Kaôh Rōng. Prior to the challenge, Nick Wilson anonymously played a Challenge Disadvantage against Ben Driebergen, requiring him to stack 30% more blocks on a 30% longer beam. Despite this, Ben, Michele Fitzgerald, Sarah Lacina, and Tony Vlachos were all neck and neck, with Michele ultimately pulling out a clutch immunity win.


Heroes v Villains introduced a new variant of the challenge. The four competing members of the Fa'amolemole tribe would stand within a circular table suspended by three cables. They must place their tiles through a specific window, rotating the table so as to place more tiles around the table. As the table is rotated, the tension in the cables builds, so the castaways must stabilize the table with one hand and stack their tiles with the other. The first person to knock down all their tiles wins. Matt Sharp narrowly defeated Simon Mee by seconds to secure his third individual Immunity Challenge victory.

A new variant of the challenge appeared at the final seven of Titans v Rebels. Each castaway had to hold a ring bearing a weight as they stacked their dominoes; if the weight dropped, it would knock over their blocks. On her third attempt at toppling her stack, Kirby Bentley secured her second Immunity Challenge win, narrowly beating out Rianna Bowley to prevent a near-certain elimination.


New Zealand[]

South Africa[]

In Philippines, the final four competed in the challenge for a spa retreat. The Araw tribe not only had to race against each other, but beat the gusts that constantly toppled each castaway's row of dominoes. In the end, Tom Swartz won his third individual challenge, the spa retreat, and a new Huawei P20 phone.

United Kingdom[]


Episode Challenge Type Winners
Australian Survivor (2017)
Episode 23
Individual Reward/Immunity AUS4 michelle t
Michelle Dougan
Champions v Contenders (2019)
Episode 22
Individual Immunity AUS6 luke t
Luke Toki
All Stars
Episode 6
Tribal Reward AUS7 ak tAUS7 brooke tAUS7 david t
AUS7 flick tAUS7 jacqui tAUS7 locky tAUS7 mat t
AUS7 moana tAUS7 phoebe tAUS7 tarzan t
Blood v Water
Episode 20
Individual Immunity AUS9 mark t
Mark Wales
Heroes v Villains
Episode 21
Individual Immunity AUS10 matt t
Matt Sharp
Titans v Rebels
Episode 20
Individual Immunity AUS11 kirby t
Kirby Bentley

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Episode 13
Individual Immunity FRS20 mathilde t
Mathilde Chevalier
Episode 12
Individual Reward FRS21 romain t
Romain Delaroche
L'Île des Héros
Episode 13
Individual Immunity
(Sudden-Death Challenge)
FRS24 claude t
Claude Dartois
La Légende
Episode 7
Re-entry Duel FRS27 ugo t
Ugo Latriche
FRS27 clemence t
Clémence Castel
Le Feu Sacré
Episode 15
Individual Immunity FRS29 Frédéric t
Frédéric Khouvilay

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Episode 13
Individual Reward NZS2 tess t
Tess Fahey

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Episode 15
Individual Reward ZAS6 tom t
Tom Swartz

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Survivor U.K. (2023)
Episode 13
Individual Immunity UKS3 christopher t
Christopher Haul



  • Every first-time player to win this challenge was the youngest person of their gender on their season.
  • Aubry Bracco, Michele Fitzgerald, Sarah Lacina, and Tai Trang are the only contestants to have competed in this challenge twice. Michele won once, while Aubry, Sarah, and Tai lost both times.


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