The Final Immunity Challenge is a key individual Immunity Challenge in Survivor.
Held on Day 38 (Day 41 in Survivor: The Australian Outback, Day 37 in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng), it is the last Immunity Challenge of the season and guarantees the winner a seat at the Final Tribal Council. It also gives the winner an advantage in selecting their opponent/s for the Final Tribal Council. This is particularly true of seasons featuring a Final Two, as the challenge winner is the only person to cast a vote at Tribal Council.
Beginning in Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, instead of being immune from the vote, the winner would be given the choice of who among the three remaining castaways to bring to the Final Tribal Council. The remaining two castaways would then compete in a fire-making challenge for the last spot in the Final Three.
The challenge type has varied throughout the series' run. In the early seasons, it is typically an endurance challenge, requiring the contestants to literally outlast the competition. As the series progressed, the Final Immunity Challenge has varied between tests of physical skill and dexterity.
In Borneo, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hands on a Hard Idol. It required contestants to hold on to the tribal Immunity Idol while standing on a small log. Richard Hatch dropped out of the challenge first, assuming both competitors would not vote him out. Kelly Wiglesworth ultimately outlasted Rudy Boesch to become the first winner of this challenge. She voted out Rudy at the following Tribal Council.
In The Australian Outback, the Final Immunity Challenge was Fallen Comrades. It required contestants to answer questions about previously eliminated contestants. After Keith Famie started to fall out of the challenge, it came down to Colby Donaldson and Tina Wesson. After Tina answered the final question incorrectly, Colby was declared the winner of this challenge and had his fifth Immunity Challenge win in a row. He voted Keith out at that following Tribal Council, which ended up being a million dollar mistake.
In Africa, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hard Idol. Ethan Zohn dropped out of the challenge first after 2 hours and 26 minutes when he lost his balance. After 3 hours and 20 minutes, Lex van den Berghe dropped out due to stomach pains, granting Kim Johnson immunity. She voted out Lex at the following Tribal Council.
In Marquesas, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hard Idol. When Neleh Dennis told Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien that her shirt was falling down, Kathy tried to fix her shirt, causing her to lose her balance and drop out of the challenge. Almost instantly, Vecepia Towery struck a deal with Neleh; Vecepia would lose the challenge intentionally if Neleh promised to take her to the Final Tribal Council. Neleh accepted the deal, winning immunity, and voted out Kathy at Tribal Council.
In Thailand, the Final Immunity Challenge was Slip Through Your Fingers. The challenge required castaways to hold a Thai pose while holding coins between their fingers. When they ran out of coins, they were out of the challenge. After 12 minutes, Jan Gentry lost the challenge, quickly followed by Clay Jordan, meaning Brian Heidik won the challenge. He eliminated Jan at the next Tribal Council.
In The Amazon, the Final Immunity Challenge was Will Power. The challenge was held at Tribal Council and it required contestants to stand on a tiny plank holding the headdress that they had created earlier (now attached by beads to a collar around their necks) above their head for as long as possible. Feeling that both Jenna Morasca and Rob Cesternino would take him to the Final Tribal Council, Matthew von Ertfelda intentionally lost the challenge. Jenna outlasted Rob and won immunity. She cast the sole vote to eliminate Rob at Tribal Council.
In Pearl Islands, the Final Immunity Challenge was Set Adrift. The contestants had to balance on a pontoon for as long as possible, using only their hands and legs for balance. Sandra Diaz-Twine lost her balance first. Jon Dalton then tried to make a deal with Lillian Morris; if she dropped out of the challenge, Jon would take her to the Final Two. Lillian rejected the offer and eventually managed to outlast Jon. She voted out Jon at Tribal Council.
In All-Stars, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hand on a Hard Idol. Jenna Lewis unknowingly lifted her foot off the platform first, resulting in her losing the challenge. Rob Mariano later tricked Amber Brkich into touching the Immunity Idol, which meant that she lost the challenge. Rob eliminated Jenna at Tribal Council.
In Vanuatu, the Final Immunity Challenge was Ready, Aim, Don't Fire. The castaways were required to stand on a platform holding a bow and arrow in a warrior pose. Any castaway who fell off the platform or released their arrow was eliminated from the challenge. Scout Cloud Lee dropped out of the challenge first. Chris Daugherty outlasted Twila Tanner to win immunity. He voted out Scout at Tribal Council.
In Palau, the Final Immunity Challenge was Bob-Bob Buoy. The castaways were required to each grab onto a navigational buoy and hang on while the buoy sways from side to side. The last player left hanging on would win. After over 5 hours, Katie Gallagher dropped out of the challenge. The challenge went on for 11 hours and 55 minutes, making it the longest challenge in Survivor history. Eventually, Ian Rosenberger made a deal with Tom Westman. Ian would step down if Tom promised to take Katie to the Final Tribal Council. Tom agreed and won the challenge, marking his fifth Immunity Challenge win. At an impromptu Tribal Council, he honored his ally's request and verbally voted out Ian.
In Guatemala, the Final Immunity Challenge was Wobbly Boots. It required the castaways to use two thin ropes to help them get onto a board sitting on a very tiny fulcrum joint, making it hard to balance, then last as long as they could without touching the platform beneath the board. After one hour, they had to drop a rope, then let go of the second after 30 minutes, at which point neither hand could touch any part of the challenge setup. After standing there for one hour, the castaways let go of the first rope, causing Stephenie LaGrossa and the other castaways to lose their balance and lean on the vertical log near the setup. After Rafe Judkins touched the setup by accident, Danni Boatwright outlasted Stephenie to win the challenge. At Tribal Council, she voted out Rafe.
In Panama, the Final Immunity Challenge was Balance of Power. Castaways were required to start on the largest of a series of floating platforms. Every fifteen minutes, the castaways would move to the next smaller platform. As the platforms got smaller, it would get tougher for the castaways to maintain their balance. Only their feet could touch the platform. If their hands touched the platform or they fell off, they were eliminated. After proceeding to the third platform, Terry Deitz started having trouble keeping his balance and fell. After Aras Baskauskas made a deal with Danielle DiLorenzo, she won the challenge and betrayed Terry by voting him out at Tribal Council.
In Cook Islands, the Final Immunity Challenge was Self Destruction. It required castaways to stand on a platform that would decrease in size every fifteen minutes until, after one hour, their footholds were less than half the size of a postcard. Becky Lee was the first to drop out of the challenge. After coming near the one hour mark, Yul Kwon decided to stop squatting, which made him lose balance and fall. After a hard-fought challenge, Sundra Oakley dropped out, letting Ozzy Lusth win his fifth challenge in a row. At Tribal Council, Sundra and Becky competed in a fire-making tiebreaker to decide who would go to the Final Tribal Council. When Sundra ran out of matches, Becky was able to start a fire and beat her, eliminating Sundra.
In Fiji, the Final Immunity Challenge was Hanging by a Thread. It required castaways to lie on a platform over a pool holding a handle, while water spilled out of a barrel overhead. Starting at a 35° angle, it would increase by 5° every five minutes. The last one hanging would win. Cassandra Franklin was the first to drop out of this challenge at the 45º mark, quickly followed by Earl Cole. After some time, Yau-Man Chan dropped out, allowing Dreamz Herd to win. At Tribal Council, Dreamz infamously betrayed Yau-Man with the truck deal, not giving his individual Immunity Necklace, and Yau-Man was voted out.
In China, the Final Immunity Challenge was Broken China. The contestants were required to stack porcelain dishes on a long, wobbly balancing arm. The more dishes they stacked and the longer they must hold them, the more difficult it got to keep them stable. Once a dish fell off the balancing plate, they were out of the challenge. Todd Herzog and Courtney Yates dropped out nearly at the same time quickly in the challenge, leaving it up to Amanda Kimmel and Denise Martin. After Denise tried to make a deal with Amanda, she refused and said she wanted to win it fairly. After being told to add a small bowl, both women took different approaches, and it paid off to Amanda, since Denise's stack fell, allowing Amanda to win immunity. Denise was then voted out unanimously at Tribal Council.
In Micronesia, the Final Immunity Challenge was The Ball Drop. In this challenge, the castaways were required to hold a long wooden cylinder which was cut into different sized segments. On the center segment, a notch has been cut for a metal ball to rest on. The castaways would have to hold up the segments by squeezing them between two handles. Every five minutes, a new round would start where the castaway would have to add two additional segments between the handles. After the cylinder was nine segments long, the final round would last as long as the castaways held out. The castaway who held up their segments the longest without allowing the ball to drop from the center segment would win. Parvati Shallow dropped her ball first. The challenge reached the final round, with Amanda Kimmel and Cirie Fields still in the running. Despite being a nurse and needing steady hands for her profession, Cirie dropped her ball, meaning Amanda won immunity. She voted out Cirie at Tribal Council.
In Gabon, the Final Immunity Challenge was House of Cards. In this challenge, the castaways were required to build a house of cards by using 200 wooden tiles. The first castaway to build a house of cards 10 feet (3.0 m) tall would win. If after 30 minutes, no castaway had built the house of cards to over 10 feet, the castaway with the tallest house of cards would win. Bob Crowley, who had been dominating in Immunity Challenges, struggled, unable to build a stable house of cards. Matty Whitmore, Sugar Kiper, and Susie Smith were all able to make tall structures. However, Sugar's tower fell at the last minute. After 30 minutes, Susie's structure was the tallest, at 8 feet, which meant she won the challenge. Matty was eliminated after losing a fire-making tiebreaker to Bob at Tribal Council.
In Tocantins, the Final Immunity Challenge was Simmotion. The challenge required the castaways to drop a ball into a metal chute. The ball traveled down a spiraling metal track and exit out of one of two points. A turnstile gate in the middle of the track rotated, causing the balls to alternate exiting out of the two exits. The castaways had to catch the ball and drop the ball back into the chute at the top. Every few minutes, an additional ball was added to the track. If a ball exits the track and is not caught, the castaway would be eliminated from the challenge. To make the challenge more difficult, each castaway had one hand tied behind their backs. Erinn Lobdell was eliminated from the challenge first. After four balls were simultaneously going through the track, Stephen Fishbach dropped his ball, giving J.T. Thomas immunity. At Tribal Council, he eliminated Erinn.
In Samoa, the Final Immunity Challenge was Over-Extended. In this challenge, the final four were required to place a small wooden statue on top of a pole. At regular intervals, they added another piece of the pole to make the pole longer, making it harder to keep the statue on the pole. When their statue fell off, that person was eliminated. Mick Trimming dropped out first, followed almost immediately by Natalie White. The challenge came down to Brett Clouser and Russell Hantz. Eventually, Brett dropped his pole, giving Russell immunity. At Tribal Council, Brett was eliminated.
In Heroes vs. Villains, the Final Immunity Challenge was Blind Maze. This challenge required the castaways to navigate through a maze while blindfolded. The first castaway to retrieve four necklaces at stations within the maze and then find the Immunity Necklace at the exit would win. Sandra Diaz-Twine fell out of the challenge early. This challenge came down to a very close finish between Jerri Manthey, Parvati Shallow, and Russell Hantz. Russell edged out Jerri and Parvati by meters to win the challenge. At Tribal Council, Jerri was voted out.
In Nicaragua, the Final Immunity Challenge was Balancing Point. This challenge required the contestants to balance a sword on a shield with one hand. With their other hand, they stacked unevenly sided coins on the handle of the sword. As the stack of coins got higher, it would get more difficult to balance. When the stack fell, the contestant was out of the challenge. Holly Hoffman and Chase Rice dropped out of the challenge first, leaving Fabio Birza and Sash Lenahan to compete. Fabio ultimately won the challenge. Holly was voted out at Tribal Council.
In Redemption Island, the Final Immunity Challenge was Meso Maze. The challenge required the castaways to race through a maze to collect four bags of puzzle pieces at four different stations. Once all four bags were collected, the castaways raced to the top of a pyramid and assembled a word puzzle. Natalie Tenerelli and Phillip Sheppard quickly fell behind. Ashley Underwood and Rob Mariano started working on the puzzle segment of the challenge at the same time. The two helped each other in the puzzle, but Rob eventually finished the challenge first and won immunity. At Tribal Council, Ashley was eliminated.
In South Pacific, the Final Immunity Challenge was Lei of the Land. The contestants were required to race through a giant flower-shaped obstacle course to collect five bags of puzzle pieces. They then used those pieces to solve a puzzle. Sophie Clarke managed to finish her puzzle first, beating Albert Destrade, Coach Wade, and Ozzy Lusth. At Tribal Council, Ozzy was voted out.
In One World, the Final Immunity Challenge was Operation Balance Build. The castaways had to attach a small wooden bowl to a prong at the end of a long pole to maneuver it through a metal structure mounted on a spring to increase the difficulty. Once they have the piece through the structure, they have to set it at the top. The first castaway to stack all ten bowls on top each other would win. Kim Spradlin beat Chelsea Meissner, Christina Cha, and Sabrina Thompson to win immunity. At Tribal Council, Christina was voted out.
In Philippines, the Final Immunity Challenge was The Ball Drop. In this challenge, the castaways were required to hold a long wooden cylinder cut into segments. On the center segment, a notch has been cut for a metal ball to rest on. The castaways would have to hold up the segments by squeezing them between two handles. Every five minutes the castaway would have to add two additional segments between the handles. Malcolm Freberg won an advantage for this challenge on Day 37, but he was still the first person out of the challenge. Denise Stapley was the next person out of the challenge. Michael Skupin outlasted Lisa Whelchel and won the challenge. At Tribal Council, Malcolm was eliminated.
In Caramoan, the Final Immunity Challenge was Vertically Challenged. The challenge required the castaways to race up a three-story tower to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces tied to a post and then slide down a slide. Three puzzle piece bags needed to be retrieved before the castaways could start on their puzzle. The first castaway to assemble their puzzle would win. John Cochran, who won an advantage the previous day, already had his puzzle bags untied, although the impact was not too significant as Cochran found himself trailing Dawn Meehan and Sherri Biethman at certain points. However, Cochran used his advantage to beat Dawn, Sherri, and Eddie Fox to win the challenge. At Tribal Council, Eddie was voted out.
In Blood vs. Water, the Final Immunity Challenge was Rise To It. The castaways would race through an obstacle course and a water slide to retrieve six bags of puzzle pieces, two at a time. They would then use the pieces to solve a puzzle which would give them clues to solve a combination lock. The first castaway to unlock the combination lock and raise their flag would win. Tyson Apostol won the challenge, beating Gervase Peterson, Monica Culpepper, and Tina Wesson. At Tribal Council, Tina was voted out.
In Cagayan, the Final Immunity Challenge was Roundabout. The castaways had to race out into a maze with turnstiles (most of which move freely, while some could not move, blocking the path) where they had to collect four medallions. Once they had all four medallions, they then had to use them to open a chest, inside of which were puzzle pieces in the form of wooden cogs. Once the puzzle was put together, they had to turn the cog raising a flag. The first castaway to raise the flag would win. Woo Hwang beat Kass McQuillen and Tony Vlachos. At Tribal Council, Woo stayed true to his ally and voted out Kass.
In San Juan del Sur, the Final Immunity Challenge was Temple of the Dog. Each person raced down a tower via a fireman's pole and slide. They then maneuvered through a series of obstacles collecting bags of puzzle pieces along the way. Once they had their first three bags of puzzle pieces, they raced up the tower via a stairway and dropped off their bags at the top. Then they raced back down to get the remaining two bags. They then headed back to the top of the tower and used all their puzzle pieces to solve a puzzle. When their puzzle was complete, three pieces would be missing. The shapes of those missing pieces revealed the three numbers needed to solve a combination lock. The first person to get it right and raise their flag won. Jaclyn Schultz beat out Keith Nale and Natalie Anderson in a tight race to win immunity. Due to her injured leg, Missy Payne did not compete in this challenge. At Tribal Council, the three women voted out Keith.
In Worlds Apart, the Final Immunity Challenge was Final Four-Titude. The castaways had to untie knots to open a gate and then raced up a huge tower. When they got to the top, they would retrieve a key and then fly down a giant waterslide. They would then make their way through a multi-level obstacle course where they would use the key to release a bag of puzzle pieces. They would drop the bag on a table and head back up the massive tower to retrieve the next key. Once they had collected all three keys and bags, they would use the pieces inside to solve a lighthouse puzzle. The first person to finish their puzzle won the challenge. Mike Holloway won the challenge, beating Carolyn Rivera, Rodney Lavoie Jr., and Will Sims II in a close challenge. At Tribal Council, Rodney lost to Carolyn in a fire-making tiebreaker.
In Cambodia, the Final Immunity Challenge was Simmotion. Kelley Wentworth became the first to lose the challenge, essentially costing her the game. Tasha Fox was next to drop out. In the end, it was a tight competition between Jeremy Collins and Spencer Bledsoe. After Spencer's fumble, Jeremy won the challenge. At Tribal Council, Kelley was voted out unanimously.
In Kaôh Rōng, the Final Immunity Challenge was Gimme Three Steps. The final four raced out into the ocean to retrieve a key. They then used that key to unlock a set of stairs back on the beach at the bottom of a tower. At the top of the stairs, they would find a second key, which they used to unlock a ball attached to a rope back in the ocean. Next, they used the ball to drop a ladder back on the beach, which would get them to the second level of the tower. At the top of the ladder, they would find a third key, which would release a pole in the water. They used the pole to knock off a bag of puzzle pieces on a perch above their head. Finally, they would go back to shore, climb the three levels of the tower, and use the puzzle pieces to solve a three-level puzzle. The first person to finish would win immunity. Michele Fitzgerald came from behind to beat Aubry Bracco, Cydney Gillon, and Tai Trang. At Tribal Council, Aubry beat Cydney in a fire-making challenge.
In Millennials vs. Gen X, the Final Immunity Challenge was Operation Balance Build. After the time limit of 30 minutes, Hannah Shapiro and Ken McNickle had the same number of bowls stacked, with ten. With Adam Klein and David Wright out of the challenge, a tiebreaker round of 5 minutes was then held, which Ken won with seven bowls stacked to Hannah's six. At Tribal Council, David was unanimously voted out.
In Game Changers, the Final Immunity Challenge was Final Four-Titude. Sarah Lacina had a huge lead, but Brad Culpepper quickly caught up and pulled ahead of her when she struggled to untie her third and final bag. Brad quickly assembled his puzzle, winning immunity, beating Sarah, Tai Trang, and Troyzan Robertson. At Tribal Council, Tai was unanimously voted out.
In Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, the Final Immunity Challenge was You Shook Me. The castaways had to stack letter blocks on a wobbly platform and spell out "Heroes", "Healers", and "Hustlers" to win. Chrissy Hofbeck beat Ben Driebergen, Devon Pinto, and Ryan Ulrich to win immunity and a note saying that she would choose one of the others to join her in the Final Three, while the other two would compete in a fire-making challenge for the final spot. At Tribal Council, Chrissy chose Ryan to join her in the Final Three, and Ben defeated Devon in the fire-making challenge, eliminating Devon.
In Ghost Island, the Final Immunity Challenge was Stacked Up. While standing on a wobbly balance beam, castaways had to stack six sets of balls between sets of stands using a fork. Domenick Abbate was the first to lose his stack, followed by Laurel Johnson. As Wendell Holland was about to place his final ball, his stack fell, giving Angela Perkins the lead before her stack fell as well. This allowed Domenick to catch up and eventually win immunity. At Tribal Council, Domenick chose Laurel to join him in the Final Three. Wendell then defeated Angela in the fire-making challenge, eliminating Angela.
In David vs. Goliath, the Final Immunity Challenge was Simmotion. Angelina Keeley was the first to drop one of her balls, followed by Mike White. In the end, Nick Wilson beat out Kara Kay to win immunity. At Tribal Council, Nick chose Angelina to join him in the Final Three, and Mike defeated Kara in the fire-making challenge, eliminating Kara.
In Edge of Extinction, the Final Immunity Challenge was Let There Be Rock. Castaways had to stack blocks on the ledge of a rocking walkway and spell out "Final 3" to win. Gavin Whitson and Rick Devens failed to get a hang of the challenge and repeatedly dropped their stacks. Julie Rosenberg initially took the lead, but dropped her stack, allowing Chris Underwood to catch up. Though Julie raced to catch him, she dropped her stack one final time, allowing Chris to eventually win immunity. At Tribal Council, Chris chose to give up immunity to Julie and allow her and Gavin to enter the Final Three, then defeated Rick in the fire-making challenge, eliminating Rick.
In Island of the Idols, the Final Immunity Challenge was You Shook Me. The castaways had to stack letter blocks on a wobbly platform and spell out "Island of the Idols" to win. While Lauren Beck and Tommy Sheehan struggled placing their blocks, Noura Salman beat out Dean Kowalski to win her third immunity. At Tribal Council, Noura chose Tommy to join her in the Final Three, and Dean defeated Lauren in the fire-making challenge, eliminating Lauren.
- Hands on a Hard Idol is the most frequently used Final Immunity Challenge, having been used four times.
- Amanda Kimmel, Rob Mariano, and Russell Hantz are the only castaways to have won the Final Immunity Challenge twice. Of those three, Rob is the only one not to have done it in back-to-back seasons, and the only one to be crowned Sole Survivor.
- Brian Heidik was the first winner of the Final Immunity Challenge to also become the Sole Survivor.
- Seventeen winners of the Final Immunity Challenge (43.6%) have gone on to become the Sole Survivor (random chance would dictate a 38.2% win rate for Final Immunity Challenge winners).
- They are Brian Heidik, Jenna Morasca, Chris Daugherty, Tom Westman, Danni Boatwright, J.T. Thomas, Fabio Birza, Rob Mariano, Sophie Clarke, Kim Spradlin, John Cochran, Tyson Apostol, Mike Holloway, Jeremy Collins, Michele Fitzgerald, Nick Wilson, and Chris Underwood.
- In the Final Two format, the Final Immunity Challenge winner has become the Sole Survivor six times and the runner-up nine times.
- In the Final Three format, the Final Immunity Challenge winner has become the Sole Survivor eleven times, finished in second place ten times, and finished in third place three times. Three of the second-place finishers (Dreamz Herd, Michael Skupin, and Ken McNickle) finished joint second with another finalist.
- Men have won the Final Immunity Challenge more often than women, at 23 to 16.
- Kim Johnson is the oldest contestant to win the Final Immunity Challenge.
- Fabio Birza is the youngest contestant to win the Final Immunity Challenge.
- Kaôh Rōng is the only season to not hold the Final Immunity Challenge on the penultimate day of the season, and is the only season to hold a non-tiebreaker challenge after the Final Immunity Challenge.
- Chris Underwood is the first contestant give up immunity after winning the Final Immunity Challenge.