Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki
You're out of the game but not exactly out of the game, you're back in the real world but not exactly in the real world.

David Murphy describing Ponderosa

Ponderosa is a special holding area for Survivor contestants before they compete and after being eliminated from the game. It is usually located at a resort or a hotel.


The contestants are sequestered at Ponderosa upon arriving on location and are not allowed to talk to each other until the game officially begins.

Eliminated castaways are taken away from Tribal Council and interviewed by a psychiatrist for debriefing, after which they proceed to a medical tent where the castaway undergoes a medical examination which includes treatment of wounds incurred during the game and comparison of pre- and post-game weight. They are then led to Ponderosa where they receive access to amenities usually uncommon to the game of Survivor such as food and creature comforts and contact with the outside world. Though access to mobile phones, social media, and the Internet are still prohibited to maintain the secrecy of the game's outcome,[1] sequestered contestants have access to television, local newspapers, cameras, DVD, VCRs, and video game consoles. Occasionally, the eliminated castaways are taken on a field trip to experience local culture, buy souvenirs, and take pictures. In very rare cases, contestants may not be sent to Ponderosa and be immediately sent home as was the case in Survivor: Cambodia where Vytas Baskauskas refused to be sequestered and requested to be sent home to be with his newborn son. In the same season, Terry Deitz had to be urgently flown home to attend a family emergency.

The castaways are sequestered in two batches, the first being the pre-jury, and the second the jury and the finalists. Once the pre-jury is complete, they will vacate Ponderosa and be sequestered in a neighboring country until the end of filming. With Ponderosa empty, it is prepared to be occupied by the jury and the finalists.[2] Beginning from Survivor: Micronesia, the jury's stay at Ponderosa is chronicled through a web series called Life at Ponderosa, which can be viewed through the CBS website and YouTube channels. The day after the Final Tribal Council, the jurors and the finalists will have one final meal before heading home.



Survivor Gameplay
Challenge Advantage · Do-It-Yourself Challenge · Duel · Family Visit · Immunity Challenge (Final Immunity Challenge) · Immunity Idol · Immunity Necklace · Medallion of Power · Reward Challenge · Survivor Auction
Edge of Extinction · Ejection · Evacuation · Final Tribal Council · Jury · Quit · Redemption Island · Snuffer · Sole Survivor · Tiebreaker · Torch · Tribal Council · Urn
Alliance · Pagonging · Split Vote (Strategy)
Social Dynamics
Final Two · Final Three · Merge · Tribe

Battle of the Sexes · Blood vs. Water · Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty · Old vs. Young · Returning Players · Schoolyard Pick · Tribes Divided by Ethnicity

Tribal Council-Related

Advantage Amulet · Do or Die · Double Elimination · Double Tribal Council · Extra Vote · Hidden Immunity Idol (History) · Idol Nullifier · Joint Tribal Council · Juror Removal · Legacy Advantage · Knowledge is Power · Shot in the Dark · Vote Blocker · Vote Steal


Advantage Menu · Buried Treasure · Day Zero · Exile Island · Fake Merge · Fire Token · First Impressions · Ghost Island · Haves vs. Have Nots · Hourglass · Island of the Idols · Kidnapping · Looting · Mutiny · One World · Reward Steal · Summit · The Outcasts · Tribe Leader · Tribe Switch

Fan Favorite Award · Lawsuits and Legal Action · Ponderosa · Reunion Show
Buff · Confessional · Luxury Item · Rites of Passage · Survivor Rulebook · Ulonging