Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

United We Stand (also known as Head and Shoulders) is a recurring tribal challenge that originated in Survivor: Cook Islands and required exceptional teamwork and balance.


Played in shallow water, each tribe uses a platform attached to a long pole (sometimes assembled in-challenge as a puzzle component) to transfer members of their tribe from one high platform to another. Once these teammates have reached the final platform, all members of the tribe must climb up to a smaller platform and fit onto the tower with their feet above the highest deck to win the challenge.


The challenge debuted in Cook Islands. In this version, the three poles were assembled as a puzzle, before the tribes began transferring their teammates (Becky Lee and Jessica Smith for Aitutaki and Jenny Guzon-Bae and Parvati Shallow for Rarotonga) between two platforms. Aitutaki won the challenge, and immunity.

When the challenge reappeared in Micronesia, Airai pioneered a creative strategy in which James Clement, with the rest of the tribe balancing the pole, carried teammates Eliza Orlins and Parvati Shallow between the platforms. This inventive solution gave Airai a lead that they converted to a challenge win, taking home immunity.

The challenge was modified in Caramoan, where it became known as Head and Shoulders. In response to the strategy employed in Micronesia, contestants could no longer move whilst their teammate balanced on the platform (now wooden square platform balanced across the contestants' shoulders). Bikal edged a tight lead, narrowly winning the challenge and a visit from a local bushman.

The challenge reappeared in Kaôh Rōng as a Reward Challenge. Following the rules established in Caramoan, the tribes had to move one member (Aubry BraccoCydney Gillon, and Michele Fitzgerald all attempted to stand on the poles for the blue team, while Julia Sokolowski did so for the yellow team) from one platform to another. The blue team was unable to make it more than a few steps before failing, allowing the yellow team to easily win the challenge.


Episode Challenge Type Winners
Cook Islands
"Don't Cry Over Spilled Octopus"
Tribal Immunity S13 becky t.pngS13 candice t.pngS13 caoboi t.pngS13 jessica t.png
S13 jonathan t.pngS13 ozzy t.pngS13 sundra t.pngS13 yul t.png
"It Hit Everyone Pretty Hard"
Tribal Immunity S16 alexis t.pngS16 eliza t.pngS16 james t.png
S16 jason t.pngS16 kathy t.pngS16 natalie t.pngS16 parvati t.png
"Kill or Be Killed"
Tribal Reward S26 andrea t.pngS26 brandon t.pngS26 brenda t.png
S26 cochran t.pngS26 corinne t.pngS26 dawn t.png
S26 erik t.pngS26 malcolm t.pngS26 phillip t.png
Kaôh Rōng
"The Jocks vs. the Pretty People"
Team Reward S32 debbie t.pngS32 julia t.png
S32 nick t.pngS32 scot t.pngS32 tai t.png
Debbie, Julia, Nick, Scot, & Tai




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