What You Might Not Know About The Challenges From Survivor Cambodia

Simmotion (Episode 14,

Simmotion (Episode 14, "Lie, Cheat And Steal")

This winding challenge is the last one of this Second Chance season and it took the crew six weeks to build. In fact, it was conceived, designed, and built by pyrotechnics supervisor Simon 'Simmo' Ross, hence the name "Simmo-tion." Fun fact: this challenge actually started off as an art project. 

Sure, the premise might look simple, but the key to this challenge is timing and spacing. 
Step On Up (Episode 14,

Step On Up (Episode 14, "Lie, Cheat And Steal")

This challenge is fresh to Survivor but incorporated elements from the puzzle staircase challenge from Season 22 (Survivor: Redemption Island), which exhausted Boston Rob to the point of almost passing out.

For Second Chance, the staircase isn't quite as tall and the crew added a puzzle element to the end, in order to provide more catch-up possibilities for the less-physical competitors. This is also the same tower used for the Air Raid Challenge. It took a carpenter and a team of local labor three weeks to build, and the puzzle steps get harder as players get farther up the staircase. 
Pole Dancing (Episode 13,

Pole Dancing (Episode 13, "Villains Have More Fun")

In Season 29, the crew took the idea of the Pole Dancing Challenge from Survivor: Guatemala, but changed it completely by removing the pole dancing—and the poles all together!

This challenge takes place at The Wasteland, where Draggin' The Dragon took place, and here, each player has 44 meters of rope, a stack of 15 blocks, and a ladder with 22 rungs. Only giving the players five sandbags forced them to consider how much rope to take, knowing only the perfect amount will help them retrieve the sandbags. 
Jungle Love (Episode 12,

Jungle Love (Episode 12, "Tiny Little Shanks To The Heart")

​This particular Reward challenge had high stakes for the castaways because the winner would walk away with well-needed time with a loved one.

Players had to dig through the sand for a rope connected to multiple bags, which they needed to gather and take with them to the next part of the challenge. There, the castaways had to spin around a post approximately 30 times before gaining access to yet another bag they had to carry across a balance beam, before reaching the end, where they'd have to assemble lettered blocks and spell out a specific word.

Originally, there were tables holding the puzzle pieces but, this time, they were swapped for trays because they were less obstructive.
The Game Is Afoot (Episode 11,

The Game Is Afoot (Episode 11, "My Wheels Are Spinning")

The title of this challenge is a tribute to Tarzan Smith, an icon from Season 24 (Survivor: One World), and both Keith and Jeremy had a second chance to win this challenge during Survivor Cambodia.

The puzzle itself was developed in the workshop with Jeff Probst and the guys playing around with stuff that was laying around. This stacking game, where castaways had to build a multi-tiered block tower using only their feet, seemed like a perfect fit.

No wonder this challenge was deliberately scheduled after a pedicure Reward. 
Basket Brawl (Episode 10,

Basket Brawl (Episode 10, "Like Selling Your Soul To The Devil")

"Basket Brawl" takes place at the same location as "Bermuda Triangles" in Pagoda Bay. In fact, the crew had to pull this challenge out during the same shoot of "Bermuda Triangles" so the castaways wouldn’t know what was coming up.

The first time Stephen Fishbach competed in this "Basket Brawl" challenge was during Survivor: Tocantins, Season 18. Back then, it was played in a torrential downpour—just like in Second Chance—and Stephen scored the winning basket. This time around, he wasn't as lucky.  
Bermuda Triangles (Episode 9,

Bermuda Triangles (Episode 9, "Witches Coven")

The last time castaways participated in the "Bermuda Triangles" Challenge was during Survivor: Cagayan.

This Individual Immunity Challenge works great when there are so many people in the game competing in the open waters. However, for Second Chance, Jeff Probst wanted to up the ante for castaways by offering them a future game advantage if they wanted to forfeit their chance for Immunity by jumping off the wooden pyramids and racing to a line of pop-up buoys.
Boats, Brains, And Brawn (Episode 8,

Boats, Brains, And Brawn (Episode 8, "You Call, We'll Haul")

This Reward Challenge was first executed in the beautiful blue waters of the Philippines. However, in Cambodia, the crew added the "color cube" puzzle at the end, which offered both a good tabletop brainteaser and a physically challenging element. (Each of those wooden crates weighed 70 pounds!)

Originally, the metal frame—which took the pyrotechnics department two weeks to construct—rotated, but they decided to keep it static so it was safer for the players to climb.
Hard To Handle (Episode 7,

Hard To Handle (Episode 7, "Play To Win")

On its own, balancing a small ball on a disc offers up a good test of skill, but the inverted balance beam—also known as Survivor's "Cramp Ramp"—makes everything just a bit less comfortable. This challenge, which was named for a well-known blues-rock song, took place at a location called "The Other Location," and it was first executed in Season 28, Survivor Cagayan.
Slip, Slide, And Score (Episode 6,

Slip, Slide, And Score (Episode 6, "Bunking With The Devil")

This slippery Reward Challenge, which was last seen on Survivor: One World (Season 24), forced the castaways to travel down a 20-meter belly-sliding course.

Each competitor used olive oil to help them glide more easily down the plastic-covered course layered over soft yoga mats. What may be hard to see is the very slight incline on the sliding surface, which helped the players make it to the end.
In The Barrel (Episode 5,

In The Barrel (Episode 5, "A Snake In The Grass")

In the original "In The Barrel" Reward Challenge, tribes were forced to crisscross each other on an open course. However, with three tribes competing this season, the course was kept linear to maintain fairness.

Barrels like the one pictured above, took two carpenters four days to custom build. Plus, it took seven people three days to completely clear this location known as "Jedi 3" before the challenge could even take place.
Blind Leading The Blind (Episode 4,

Blind Leading The Blind (Episode 4, "What's The Beef?")

When setting this challenge up in Cambodia, the crew came upon a river entrance location called Pagoda River Mouth, which was a dead ringer for the Panama location. That made this an ideal spot with enough space for the castaways to carry the bulky, 25-pound puzzle pieces. To avoid the players from running into rocks, rope barriers were placed throughout the course as a protective measure.

See how the challenge played out in this snippet from Episode 4.

Draggin' The Dragon (Episode 3,

Draggin' The Dragon (Episode 3, "We Got A Rat")

​This challenge, which took place at a location called Wasteland, has always been one of our favorites because the audience can see the players through the puzzle as it comes together. Due to the location's ominous namesake, it's no wonder the place caught fire during a lightning storm and it took four men three days to completely clear this field for the challenge to take place. 

Go behind the scenes of the Draggin' The Dragon challenge to learn more fun facts. 
Yank Yer Hank (Episode 2,

Yank Yer Hank (Episode 2, "Survivor MacGyver")

This was the opening challenge of Season 19, and it was set up so that each ramp was taller than the next, increasing the level of difficulty for all the castaways. The hardest part was as each structure got taller, players had less of a running start.

In Season 31—after 16 inches of rain in just three days—there were gaps in the boards caused from the heat, rain fluctuations, and from building with wet timber.

Go behind the scenes of the Yank Yer Hank challenge to learn more fun facts. 
Quest For Fire (Episode 1,

Quest For Fire (Episode 1, "Second Chance")

You may remember this challenge from the first Survivor: Borneo episode, where the crew nervously awaited a rainstorm, which could've potentially doused the entire challenge. Due to the rudimentary pyrotechnics in 2000, the challenge didn't stand up to the rain, but things were much more sturdy this time around. 

Did you know that more than 30 fires made up this challenge in its Green Bay location—and the jailbreak in this episode was inspired by classic western movies? Neither did we! 

Go behind the scenes of the Quest For Fire challenge to learn more fun facts.