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 requires 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.


United States[]

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. Rarotonga almost had the challenge won but lost their balance and fell into the water allowing Aitutaki to win 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.


This challenge was used as a Reward Challenge in Australian Survivor (2016). Arguably the defining challenge of the season, the winning tribe was allowed to choose members from the two other tribes to join them. Saanapu won the challenge and stacked their tribe with challenge strength, setting their rival Vavau tribe up to go on an extensive losing streak. This challenge also saw the end of the Aganoa tribe, which was dissolved.



South Africa[]

In Malaysia, the challenge appeared as a tribal Immunity Challenge. Each tribe had to move one tribe member to a platform before the rest of the tribe members could climb onto the platform. Iban struggled to make progress early on, with Angie Bennett falling into the water. However, Bajau's progress eventually ground to a halt, and when Angela Beck fell off around midway into the course, they could not recover, allowing Iban to win their first Immunity Challenge.


Episode Challenge Type Winners
Australian Survivor (2016)
Episode 8
Tribal Reward AUS3 brooke tAUS3 flick t
AUS3 kylie tAUS3 matt tAUS3 nick t

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Survivor Québec (2023)
Episode 13
Tribal Immunity QCS1 christophe tQCS1 jeanjunior tQCS1 joel tQCS1 johannie t
QCS1 kimberly tQCS1 marika tQCS1 sandrine tQCS1 sango t

Episode Challenge Type Winners
Episode 2
Tribal Immunity ZAS2 angie tZAS2 grant tZAS2 irshaad t
ZAS2 lisa tZAS2 lorette tZAS2 mandla tZAS2 viwe t




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