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 Survivor: 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 Survivor: 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 Survivor: 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 Survivor: Kaôh Rōng as a Reward Challenge. Following the rules established in Caramoan, the tribes had to move one member (Aubry Bracco, Cydney 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.
| Cook Islands|
"Don't Cry Over Spilled Octopus"
"It Hit Everyone Pretty Hard"
"Kill or Be Killed"
| Kaôh Rōng|
"The Jocks vs. the Pretty People"
Debbie, Julia, Nick, Scot, & Tai
- This challenge has appeared in both Fans vs. Favorites seasons (Micronesia and Caramoan).
- Erik Reichenbach, Ozzy Lusth, and Parvati Shallow are the only contestants to have competed in this challenge twice.
- Each of them has won the challenge once - Ozzy in his first season, and Erik and Parvati in their second seasons.