Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Hands on a Hard Idol (also known as Hard Idol) is a recurring Immunity Challenge that originated in Survivor: Borneo.


Keeping one hand on the Tribal Immunity Idol at all times, contestants would have to keep their balance while standing on a small log. If at any point a contestant takes their hand off the Idol, falls off the log, or raises their foot, they would be eliminated from the challenge. The final player left holding onto the Idol would win.


The challenge first appeared as the Final Immunity Challenge of Survivor: Borneo. Richard Hatch dropped out of the challenge first assuming both competitors would not vote him off. Kelly Wiglesworth ultimately outlasted Rudy Boesch to become the first winner of this challenge.

When it reappeared in Survivor: Africa, 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.

The challenge was again used in Survivor: Marquesas. When Neleh Dennis told Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien her shirt was falling down, Kathy tried to fix her shirt, causing her to lose her balance and drop out of the challenge. Straight away 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.

The challenge appeared four seasons later in Survivor: All-Stars. Jenna Lewis unknowingly lifted her foot off the platform first, resulting in her losing the challenge after two hours and twenty three minutes. Rob Mariano later tricked Amber Brkich into touching the Immunity Idol which meant she lost the challenge and Rob won the challenge after three hours and eleven minutes.


Episode Challenge Type Winner
"The Final Four"
Individual Immunity
(Final Immunity)
S1 kelly t.png
Kelly Wiglesworth
"The Final Four: No Regrets"
Individual Immunity
(Final Immunity)
S3 kimj t.png
Kim Johnson
"The Sole Survivor"
Individual Immunity
(Final Immunity)
S4 neleh t.png
Neleh Dennis
"The Sole Surviving All-Star"
Individual Immunity
(Final Immunity)
S8 robm t.png
Rob Mariano



  • This challenge has only been used as the Final Immunity Challenge.
  • Coincidentally, all of the challenge winners finished as runner-up of the season where they won the challenge.
  • Rob Mariano is the only male contestant to win this challenge, and the only contestant to win this challenge and later become Sole Survivor.
  • In its first two appearances, the eventual Sole Survivor dropped out of the challenge first. In its last two appearances, the eventual Sole Survivor dropped out of this challenge second.


Recurring Challenges
A Bit Tipsy · A Crate Idea · A Leg Up · A Numbers Game · Air Raid · Angry Chair · Around the Bend · 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 · 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 · Domino Effect · Draggin' the Dragon · Dragging the River · Drop A Log · Dulcimer Stomp · End of the Line · Fallen Comrades · Fast Fire · Faulty Towers · Fauxconut Bowling · Fire and Water · Fire Fighter · 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 Love · Jungle Relay · Kamikaze · Keel Hauling · Keep It Up · Keep on Your Toes · 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 · 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 · Pyramid Scheme · Q and A · Quest for Fire · Race to Shore · Ram-Ball On · Rescue Mission · Rice Race · Rise and Shrine · Rock Bottom · Rock n' Roll · Rod Screw-It · Roll With It · Roller Ball · 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 · Station By Station · Step on Up · Stomp-ede · Strung Out · Sumo at Sea · Survivor Auction · Survivor History · Survivor Pentathlon · Survivor Quiz Show · Swahili Scramble · Swing Break · 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 · 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