Nick Davis
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Host of Survivor Jeff Probst has given an official declaration that one iconic challenge will never be returning.

Survivor has had hundreds of different challenges throughout its 44 seasons. Some are amazing showcases of drama and physical or mental abilities. Others fall somewhat flat. In the case of one challenge from Season 10, though, Jeff Probst doesn’t believe it will ever come back in a future season. That doesn’t change the opinion of fans, though, which is that it’s one of the greatest challenges of all time.

A Challenge Forever Lost

The challenge in question is for the final three immunity in Season 10 of the show, also known as Survivor: Palau. It’s fairly simple in nature. There are three poles attached to buoys sticking up out of the water. The three remaining castaways stay on the poles, which sway unevenly in the tides of the water until only one remains. The only problem is, two of the three contenders just didn’t want to get down off those poles.

survivor palau final 3 chalenge
The final three challenge in ‘Survivor: Palau’

11 hours and 55 minutes is the total amount of time Tom Westman and Ian Rosenberger were up on those poles. Ultimately, it only came to an end when Tom and Ian reached a verbal agreement and Ian stepped down voluntarily. It was a strange, intense, and beautiful challenge to witness. But in the end not something that will ever happen again. “One of the most epic challenges in the history of Survivor and the first thing we said when it was over was ‘That can never happen again’”, said Jeff about the legendary Season 10 challenge on the podcast On Fire with Jeff Probst.

Production apparently really did not expect it to go for that amount of time. Their challenge testers were only on the poles for an hour. They had to make major adjustments as day became night and they had no lighting equipment.

The Reason It’s Gone

It seems like the main reason the Palau final three challenge is never coming back is the lack of spectacle. The sheer audacity of being on a pole for nearly 12 hours is wild. Pairing that with the conclusion being a verbal “handshake agreement” is what truly makes the challenge so memorable. But the challenge itself just wasn’t much to watch. It’s two guys sitting very still on a pole for an obscene amount of time. It had to have been agonizing for the camera crew and Jeff himself.

So, it seems as though it’s gone forever but that’s no reason to fret. There are still plenty of intense Survivor challenges to go around. Just none that last 12 hours.

survivor palau tom westman jeff probst
Tom Westman and Jeff Probst in ‘Survivor: Palau’

New episodes of Survivor Season 44 are premiering every Wednesday.

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