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
Kelly Wiglesworth
"The Final Four: No Regrets"
Individual Immunity
(Final Immunity)
S3 kimj t
Kim Johnson
"The Sole Survivor"
Individual Immunity
(Final Immunity)
S4 neleh t
Neleh Dennis
"The Sole Surviving All-Star"
Individual Immunity
(Final Immunity)
S8 robm t
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.


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