Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Muddy Waters (also known as Shakedown Street) is a challenge in Survivor. It premiered in Survivor: Philippines and reappeared in Survivor: Caramoan and Survivor: San Juan del Sur.


The contestants are divided into equal teams. One at a time, they race through an obstacle course. They crawl under a low cage (or walk across a series of balance beams), clamber up a steep slope and slide down into a mud pit. They then search for a bag of balls buried in a designated mud pit. Upon retrieving the bag of balls, the contestant crawls under a wooden bar by digging through a pit of rice. Upon reaching the mat, the next teammate may begin the course. Once all teammates have reached the end, the balls must be thrown into a narrow tube about as high as a basketball hoop. The first team to sink all their balls into the tube wins the challenge.

In Survivor: San Juan del Sur each tribe had to race to dig up a bag buried in the sand, which contained two keys. They had then to crawl through the mud and use one of the keys to open a gate. The next step was to shake a basket to release sandbags. Once a tribe had collected all their sandbags, then two tribe members had to attempt to land those sandbags on wobbly platforms.


This challenge debuted in Survivor: Philippines as a Reward Challenge. Jonathan Penner pioneered the strategy of finding all the ball-bags in the mudpit and placing them in a corner, allowing the contestants that followed to simply grab a bag of balls on their way through. The strategy gave his team a strong lead, and Penner, Carter Williams, Denise Stapley, and Malcolm Freberg won the challenge, winning a trip to a local Filipino village where they will deliver school supplies and various toys, and receive a feast.

The challenge reappeared in Survivor: Caramoan, again as a Reward Challenge. Malcolm Freberg utilised Penner's successful strategy from the previous season to find all ball-bags in one go. However, the opposing team adopted the strategy partway through the challenge, and Reynold Toepfer found all the bags first. This gave Reynold, John Cochran, Dawn Meehan, Erik Reichenbach, and Phillip Sheppard a lead, and they won the challenge, winning a trip to a resort for lunch.

In Survivor: San Juan del Sur Coyopa had trouble to dig their keys and Hunahpu held onto their early lead to land ten sandbags on the platform before Coyopa even threw one, winning Immunity.


Episode Challenge Type Winners
"Little Miss Perfect"
Team Reward S25 carter t.pngS25 denise t.pngS25 jonathan t.pngS25 malcolm t.png
Carter, Denise, Jonathan, & Malcolm
"Zipping Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
Team Reward S26 cochran t.pngS26 dawn t.png
S26 erik t.pngS26 phillip t.pngS26 reynold t.png
Cochran, Dawn, Erik, Phillip, & Reynold
San Juan del Sur
"Blood Is Blood"
Tribal Immunity S29 alec t.pngS29 jeremy t.pngS29 josh t.png
S29 julie t.pngS29 natalie t.pngS29 reed t.pngS29 wes t.png



  • Malcolm Freberg is the only contestant to compete in this challenge twice. He won on his first time and lost on his second.
  • All three times this challenge was used:
    • The eventual Sole Survivor was on the winning team.
    • All winning teams contained the highest placing female players.
  • Both names used for this challenge are in some way musical references.
    • Muddy Waters is a reference to the American blues singer of the same name.
    • Shakedown Street is a reference to the Grateful Dead song and album of the same name.


Recurring Challenges
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 · 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