Kidnapping (and its variant Observing) is a twist that has been used in multiple seasons of Survivor. The winning tribe of a Reward Challenge will choose a member of the losing tribe to join them at their camp for a time.
The original twist was used in Survivor: Pearl Islands, Survivor: All-Stars, Survivor: Cook Islands, and Survivor: China, and was rehashed in Survivor: Samoa under a new format, whereupon the winning tribe will select one of their own to observe the opposing tribe back at their camp.
On occasion, the kidnapped contestant may be abstained from their tribe's Tribal Council.
Rupert Boneham was kidnapped by the Morgan tribe after Morgan won Immunity during the events of "Pick a Castaway... Any Castaway". Because of this, Rupert was exempt from Drake's Tribal Council, and even participated in a Reward Challenge as part of the Morgan Tribe. After winning reward, Rupert was given the choice of staying with the Morgan tribe to enjoy the reward and returning to the Drake tribe after, or immediately rejoining the Drake tribe. Rupert chose to rejoin the Drake tribe immediately.
Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien was kidnapped by the Chapera tribe in "Sorry... I Blew It" and abstained from Mogo Mogo's Tribal Council. After the Immunity Challenge, she enjoyed a similar situation to that of Rupert Boneham from the previous season.
Nate Gonzalez was kidnapped by the Aitutaki tribe, as a part of a reward which Aitu had won. He had a similar situation to Kathy and Rupert's from the previous seasons, in that he would be abstained from Tribal Council.
The winning tribe of the Reward Challenge would select one member from the losing tribe to join them back at camp. The chosen castaway would be given a scroll, which they must give to a member of the winning tribe of his choosing to open in private, which would contain a clue to the location of the winning tribe's Hidden Immunity Idol. The kidnapped contestant would return to their original tribe at the next Immunity Challenge.
The winning tribe of the Reward Challenge would have their Leader choose one member to go to the other tribe as opposed to taking part in the reward. Known as "Observing," they would then be given the opportunity to observe their camp life and relay any information back upon their return.
| Pearl Islands|
"Pick a Castaway... Any Castaway"
"Sorry... I Blew It"
| Cook Islands|
"My Mom Is Going to Kill Me!"
|Fei Long|| |
"I Lost Two Hands and Possibly a Shoulder"
|Zhan Hu|| |
"Ride the Workhorse Till the Tail Falls Off"
|Fei Long|| |
"That's Love, Baby! It Makes You Strong!"
|Fei Long|| |
"Taking Candy from a Baby"
|Foa Foa|| |
"It's Called a Russell Seed"
"Walking on Thin Ice"
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- Rupert Boneham was the first castaway to be kidnapped in the history of Survivor, as well as the only castaway to compete in multiple seasons featuring kidnappings.