Survivor Worlds Apart: Behind the Scenes

Final Four-titude - Season Finale of Survivor Season 30

Final Four-titude - Season Finale of Survivor Season 30

These are the largest slides ever built on Survivor. The slides are set at a 45-degree angle and the height of the tower sits at almost 40 feet. To make this the ultimate water slide, there is over two tons of water being held at the top of the tower.
The Bell From

The Bell From "Going Blind" - Season Finale

The bell on the end of the shuffleboard table is a frying pan.
Teeter-Totters - Season Finale

Teeter-Totters - Season Finale

The teeter-totters are the same ones from the challenge, "Soul To Squeeze."

"Going Blind" - Season Finale

This challenge pays homage to a song by the band, Kiss. Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer is a huge Kiss fan!
Building

Building "The Final Four-titude" - Season Finale

It took 50 laborers, 7 carpenters, 10 scenic artists, and the 15 dream teamers over two weeks to get this ready for shoot.
Tower - Season Finale

Tower - Season Finale

This is the second time this season that designers used this tower. The last time you saw it was during episode 6 at the challenge, “Air Raid.”
Bottom Build - Season Finale

Bottom Build - Season Finale

The bottom build was seen as an element to a challenge in Season 25: Survivor Philippines, Episode 11. Abi Marie won that challenge.
The Home Stretch - Season Finale

The Home Stretch - Season Finale

This challenge called, "The Home Stretch", is the first challenge in the final episode when a lot of the crew has been on location for more than 150 days straight.
For-Word Progress - Episode 13

For-Word Progress - Episode 13

This challenge was based on a challenge from Survivor Philippines named Thrash, Slash, and Bash.
Second Time - Episode 13

Second Time - Episode 13

This is the second time this season we used this location. The first time was for Reward in episode 4.
 Puzzle Pieces - Episode 13

Puzzle Pieces - Episode 13

There are 23 pieces to this puzzle.
Puppet Master - Episode 13

Puppet Master - Episode 13

This is the first time this challenge has been played outside the redemption arena.
Challenge Inspiration - Episode 13

Challenge Inspiration - Episode 13

This week's challenge called "Puppet Master," pays homage to the band, Metallica. It took one carpenter approximately 14 days to make all six puzzle tables featured in the challenge, which airs Wednesday, May 13 at 8/7c.
Past Winners - Episode 13

Past Winners - Episode 13

Ozzy won this duel in Survivor South Pacific. Vytas and Tina both beat Aras in Survivor Blood vs. Water.
Spots - Episode 13

Spots - Episode 13

There are six spots to fall in this maze. 
Options - Episode 13

Options - Episode 13

Each contestant had an option of choosing one of two heights for their handles. Every contestant chose the lower handle position.
Dulcimer Stomp - Episode 12

Dulcimer Stomp - Episode 12

This challenge, which features catapults, a net sling and a maypole, is named after an intro to an Aerosmith album. 
Third Time's A Charm - Episode 12

Third Time's A Charm - Episode 12

This is the third time we’ve seen this challenge. The first time we saw it was Season 21, Episode 10 when it was won by Jane, and the second time was Season 27: Blood vs. Water, Episode 10 when Monica took the victory. 
Maypole - Episode 12

Maypole - Episode 12

The maypole was an idea that Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer’s girlfriend and her friends came up with. The last time we saw the maypole was in Season 23, South Pacific.
Knots - Episode 12

Knots - Episode 12

This is the same large deck we’ve seen in every water challenge this season. During testing, it was decided to add a knot to the rope and move the knots closer together. This change made the challenge last longer.
Sunny Spot - Episode 12

Sunny Spot - Episode 12

The catapults used for this challenge were also used in the Heroes Arena in Season 29. The shoot for this challenge was pushed an hour later, because the direction of the course was changed after the sun became an issue.
Water Weight - Episode 11

Water Weight - Episode 11

This week’s challenge will test each Castaway's strength, when they realize they must hold 25% of their pre-game body weight.
Rope - Episode 11

Rope - Episode 11

There was 10 feet of rope used in this challenge.
Season 21 - Episode 11

Season 21 - Episode 11

This challenge was last seen on Survivor Nicaragua, Season 21, when the reward was sledding down the side of a volcano.
Dream Team - Episode 11

Dream Team - Episode 11

It took the dream team 48 minutes to complete challenge at during the test.
Barrel Teamwork - Episode 11

Barrel Teamwork - Episode 11

Each barrel weighs approximately 30 pounds.
Combining Challenges - Episode 11

Combining Challenges - Episode 11

This challenge is combination of two challenges: Wrist Assured and When It Rains It Pours.
Weight - Episode 11

Weight - Episode 11

Dan held the most weight in this challenge from the latest episode.
It Takes Time - Episode 11

It Takes Time - Episode 11

Setting up a challenge that is tailored to specific contestants takes time. Therefore these are the same lane assignments as the challenge, Soul To Squeeze.
Soul To Squeeze - Episode 10

Soul To Squeeze - Episode 10

This Episode 10 challenge called "Soul To Squeeze," is inspired by the Red Hot Chili Peppers song, and takes place at Fenceline Field, the same location where the "Get a Grip" challenge was filmed.
Billiard Balls - Episode 10

Billiard Balls - Episode 10

54 billiard balls were used in this challenge. Also, Supervising Producer John Kirhoffer loves fire pits, so fireplace tongs inspired the transportation tool in this challenge.
Balance - Episode 10

Balance - Episode 10

The team decided to add a second balance teeter-totter after testing to give this challenge more body.
Food Options You Didn't See - Episode 10

Food Options You Didn't See - Episode 10

The items that you didn’t get sent to auction included a personal bed roll, hotdog with all the fixins, ribs and beer, beer and peanuts, a bowl of candy, chocolate and peanut butter.
Location - Episode 10

Location - Episode 10

The auction took place at Tamarindo, the same location where we saw the Episode 6 challenge “Shut Your Trap.”
Money - Episode 10

Money - Episode 10

Players that kept their money to go home with, included: Tyler - $480, Seirra - $380, Rodney - $320, Will - $400, and Jen - $380.
O-Black Water - Episode 9

O-Black Water - Episode 9

For this episode 9 challenge, ramp slides were added into the design in hopes for some fun action from the players! 
El Toro Bay - Episode 9

El Toro Bay - Episode 9

You may recognize this location, El Toro Bay, from earlier this season on episode 2. Also, this challenge is named after a Doobie Brothers song.
Rings - Episode 9

Rings - Episode 9

The farthest ring is 11 meters away from the deck.
Did You Know? - Episode 9

Did You Know? - Episode 9

Did you know, Jeff Probst has never fallen into the water at a challenge? Impressive!
Measurements - Episode 9

Measurements - Episode 9

The Challenge department measured the contestants at the "Get a Grip" challenge so they could prepare things for this one pictured. 
Look Familiar? - Episode 9

Look Familiar? - Episode 9

We saw this challenge in Season 28, Survivor Cagayan: Beauty, Brains, and Brawn.
 “Anchorman” - Episode 8

“Anchorman” - Episode 8

This challenge was named after the movie “Anchorman” and includes 25 pieces. 
 
Location - Episode 8

Location - Episode 8

This location, called Beach Front, is the same location where “A Bit Tipsy” was done in Season 29.
All About Balance - Episode 8

All About Balance - Episode 8

This simple concept was last seen in Survivor Philippines at a challenge called “Snake in the Grass” won my John Penner.
Hip to be Square - Episode 8

Hip to be Square - Episode 8

This challenge was named after a Huey Lewis & The News song.
Conception  - Episode 8

Conception - Episode 8

This challenge was conceptualized by Challenge Designer Julian Richards, and takes place on a location called Sandy Creek, the same location as “Paddle Out “ for Season 29.
All Those Squares - Episode 8

All Those Squares - Episode 8

There were 649 squares cut for this challenge and each player has 59 squares. It took 3 local laborers 2 days to cut all the squares.
Tribal Council Details - Episode 7

Tribal Council Details - Episode 7

Tribal Council designers wanted to give the feel that everything on set had been repurposed for something – a helmet as a candleholder, a ship's wheel used to hoist objects, and old plane propellers used to create a windmill, just to name a few. 
Immunity Necklace - Episode 7

Immunity Necklace - Episode 7

Enjoy the intricacies of this individual Immunity necklace with this exclusive, up-close view.
Special Touches - Episode 7

Special Touches - Episode 7

Tribal Council designers incorporated old ship’s lanterns, barrels and nautical props so that in every shot there was something to tell the story that it was built from a shipwreck.
Air Raid - Episode 6

Air Raid - Episode 6

Air Raid is a brand new challenge this year and its location is called Hindley Street. Each team had 148 sandbags to work with. 
Popping the Flag - Episode 6

Popping the Flag - Episode 6

The mechanism that pops the flag is a billiard ball attached to string that falls off ledge when the sand hits the target.
Tower - Episode 6

Tower - Episode 6

This is the same tower that was used several times in Season 29 of Survivor. 
Shut Your Trap - Episode 6

Shut Your Trap - Episode 6

This challenge was first seen on Season 24, Survivor One World. For this current season, the crew had prepared enough set ups to go up to 9 items. However, after testing 6 items, that number seemed to be the perfect amount of difficulty for the players. 
Beach Balls - Episode 5

Beach Balls - Episode 5

The design of the catch nets was based on old lacrosse sticks and the sling shot rubber was made from medical tubing. 
Swing Break - Episode 5

Swing Break - Episode 5

This challenge was first seen in Season 25, Survivor Philippines. The pots (made in Nicaragua) were filled to the brim with corn, but had become too heavy so the amount of corn was cut in half for the actual challenge. 
Vote Pen - Episode 5

Vote Pen - Episode 5

Have you ever wanted to see a true Survivor voting pen up close? Well, here you go!

"Houses of the Holey" Ramp - Episode 4

Did you know the ramp in the "Houses of the Holey" challenge cost approximately $30,000 to build?
The Deck - Episode 3

The Deck - Episode 3

After a lot of testing to get this challenge perfect, it was concluded that it should only take seven trips to the water tower to pop the flag. This deck at the end of the challenge is covering the pool from seasons 21 and 22. 
Bucket Holes - Episode 3

Bucket Holes - Episode 3

Did you know there are 12 holes in these buckets from episode 3?
 Course Length - Episode 3

Course Length - Episode 3

The length of this entire course is 131 feet long and this challenge was first seen in Survivor One World, Season 24 at the switch. 
 Dear Liza - Episode 3

Dear Liza - Episode 3

The name of this challenge, “Dear Liza,” is inspired by the children’s song entitled “There’s a Hole in My Bucket.” The song is about a conversation about a leaky bucket between two characters named Henry and Liza. 
Grid Maneuvers - Episode 2

Grid Maneuvers - Episode 2

Challenge producers decided to instate a rule that players had to maneuver underneath the grid after some dream teamers moved along the top of the grid during testing. 
All About Location - Episode 2

All About Location - Episode 2

During this second episode, the three tribes competed in a beautiful location called El Toro Bay.
Something Similar - Episode 2

Something Similar - Episode 2

After players completed this section of the challenge, they headed toward the final part, which was also seen in Season 28 when it was known as Octopuses Garden.
Basket Case Challenge - Episode 2

Basket Case Challenge - Episode 2

This challenge is called “Basket Case" and is named after a Green Day song. The course is 170 feet long and tribe members must swim 33 feet between each pontoon. 
Tree Top - Episode 1

Tree Top - Episode 1

Designers drew their inspiration from classic stories like Swiss Family Robinson and even Gilligan’s Island for this concept shown here. 
Built Into the Trees - Episode 1

Built Into the Trees - Episode 1

What was the most important goal for designer Jordan Ferrer? To make the set looked like it was indeed built into the treetops. Success!
Fun Fact - Episode 1

Fun Fact - Episode 1

Did you know, the only treehouse that was built solely into a tree is the one behind the contestants?
Building the Ramp - Episode 1

Building the Ramp - Episode 1

It took eight laborers two weeks to build the ramp used in the premiere episode of Survivor 30. 
Puzzle Fact - Episode 1

Puzzle Fact - Episode 1

Check out these interesting facts about the smallest puzzle from Episode 1. 
Choice of Puzzle - Episode 1

Choice of Puzzle - Episode 1

This was the first time in Survivor that players were given options of puzzles to solve. Pictured here is the 50 piece, most straight-forward puzzle the White Collar team chose to solve. 
Location - Episode 1

Location - Episode 1

This location is called "The Corner" – it was seen in season 29 during the challenge “Game of Throw Ins.”
Inspiration - Episode 1

Inspiration - Episode 1

The inspiration from this challenge came from the movie The Lord Of The Rings and the band Led Zeppelin. 
 
Tribal Build - Episode 1

Tribal Build - Episode 1

This exclusive blueprint from the Tribal Build on Episode 1 was created by the Production Designer Jordan Ferrer. The design resembles a village of tree houses created out of a shipwreck. Structurally the set is built on tall wooden poles, over 15 feet off the ground, but the set was designed for each treehouse to be nestled in to a tree so it appeared to be built in it.