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The Gauntlet (also known as Protect the Fire and Coconut) is recurring tribal challenge that originated in Survivor: Palau, and reappeared in Micronesia. It is an obstacle course that requires physical prowess, including the ability to fend off direct opposition.


One at a time, contestants traverse an obstacle course (containing obstacles such as wobbly or floating bridges, rolling barrels, stepping-stones, balance-beams and rope-lines). As they do so, members of the opposite tribe attempt to knock the contestants off the course by swinging large canvas bags at them. If a contestant falls off the course, they must return to the beginning. At the end of the course, the castaway collects a pennant, which they then return to their tribe mat by way of the obstacle course. The first tribe to collect a given number of pennants wins the challenge.


United States[]

The challenge debuted in Survivor: Palau for tribal reward. The contestants had to traverse a rope swing, cross over three rolling barrels, a balance beam and a 'wobbly bridge'. They then had to make their way over a two-rope hand-over-hand bridge to retrieve a pennant and return it to the starting line. Meanwhile, two members of each tribe used swinging bags to try and knock their opponents into the water as they crossed the three middle obstacles. If the contestant fell off the course at any point they would have to go back to the start. Ulong took an early lead when Katie Gallagher had trouble completing the rope swing. It took her four tries to finally complete the rope swing after receiving instructions from Willard Smith, but she bailed out of the course having gotten too tired from attempting the rope swing so many times. Koror never recovered and Ulong won the challenge after acquiring ten pennants, winning fishing gear.

In Survivor: Micronesia, the challenge was used as a combined tribal Reward/Immunity Challenge. Airai won the challenge after gaining five pennants. In addition to immunity, they also won pizza and beer to enjoy at camp.


South Africa[]

In Malaysia, one member of each tribe had to bring a torch across a balance beam to set it alight. They would then run back across the balance beam to burn one of three ropes, with the first tribe to burn through all their ropes winning the challenge. Dyke Higginson's strategy of keeping crouched helped him to evade the sandbags, allowing him to light all three ropes before Bajau's Mandla Mbau had even gotten to his second rope to win Iban their second Immunity Challenge.


Episode Challenge Type Winners
"Love Is in the Air, Rats Are Everywhere"
Tribal Reward S10 angie tS10 ashlee tS10 bobbyjon tS10 ibrehem t
S10 james tS10 jeff tS10 kim tS10 stephenie t
"A Lost Puppy Dog"
Tribal Reward/Immunity S16 alexis tS16 eliza tS16 james t
S16 jason tS16 natalie tS16 parvati t

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Australian Survivor (2016)
Episode 12
Tribal Immunity AUS3 brooke tAUS3 el tAUS3 flick t
AUS3 jennahlouise tAUS3 kylie tAUS3 lee t
AUS3 matt tAUS3 nick tAUS3 sam t

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Episode 7
Tribal Immunity ZAS2 amanda tZAS2 angie tZAS2 dyke tZAS2 irshaad t



  • This challenge has only been used in seasons that were filmed in Palau (Palau and Micronesia)
  • The eventual 7th finisher has always been on the winning tribe.
    • This trend also extends to the international season in which the challenge has appeared.


Recurring Challenges
A Bit Dinghy · 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 · Cage Against the Machine · 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 · Dizzy Gillespie · Dizzy Miss Lizzy · Domino Effect · Draggin' the Dragon · Dragging the River · Drop A Log · Drum Roll · Dulcimer Stomp · End of the Line · EOC · Eve 6 · Fallen Comrades · Fast Fire · Faulty Towers · Fauxconut Bowling · Fire and Water · Fire Fighter · Fire Starter · Flips, Flops, & Flags · 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 Relay · Kamikaze · Keel Hauling · Keep It Up · Keep on Your Toes · Kenny Log-Ins · 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 · Mayan Pizza · 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 · Q and A · Quest for Fire · Race to Shore · Ram-Ball On · Rescue Mission · Rice Race · Rise and Shrine · Rock Bottom · Rock n' Roll · Rock the Boat · Rod Screw-It · Roll With It · Roller Ball · Rung O Star · 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 · Star Man · Station By Station · Step on Up · Stomp-ede · Strung Out · Sumo at Sea · Super Ramp · Survivor Auction · Survivor History · Survivor Pentathlon · Survivor Quiz Show · Swahili Scramble · Swing Break · Tangled Up · 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 · Total Recall · 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