|Hidden Immunity Idol|
The first Hidden Immunity Idol. (Survivor: Guatemala)
|Description||Used to save oneself or others from getting voted out|
|Appearance(s)||Guatemala - present|
The Hidden Immunity Idol (also known as the "Hidden Idol" or simply as "the idol") is a pocket-sized talisman, and is widely believed to be the most groundbreaking twist ever to be created on Survivor. Its purpose is to, one way or another, negate all votes cast against the holder when he or she chooses to play it. The idol has influenced many of the contestants' strategies, whether they use the object, or defuse its powers. The Hidden Immunity Idol made its debut in Survivor: Guatemala, and in seasons containing the Exile Island twist, the idol is often hidden there.
It is not to be confused with the Tribal Immunity Idol or the Individual Immunity Necklace, as the Hidden Immunity Idol is not won at challenges. However, clues to the whereabouts of the idol may exist at camp or may be given to the winners of a Reward Challenge.
OverviewWhen the idol debuted in Survivor: Guatemala, its purpose was to give its owner Individual Immunity without the winning of an Individual Immunity Challenge. But in following seasons, it was reformatted to negate votes that the holder would receive at Tribal Council. Despite its potential to protect its owner in the game, it may only be used once, after which the idol will either be re-hidden or discarded. With this, owners should be careful about divulging information about possessing one and/or when to use it, because from Survivor: Fiji onwards, a player can still be eliminated with the idol in their possession, thus going home bringing their idol with them (dubbed as "flushing"). Another limitation is that the idol is only valid until a given deadline (usually Day 37). A player may hold more than one idol if available.
Similar to the Immunity Idol and the Immunity Necklace, the Hidden Immunity Idol is usually a small, ornate talisman that is designed to match the season's theme and/or location. Fore example, the Hidden Immunity Idol in China was a plaque-like wooden square with a Chinese symbol engraved on it. Other idols are designed like small necklaces or bracelets. Usually, the idol is an item based on the history or landscape of the area.
The format of how the Hidden Immunity Idol is used every season differs, and as of now there are three different formats of how it is used based on the time it can be used in Tribal Council.
The Hidden Immunity Idol debuted in the merge phase of Survivor: Guatemala, where its existence was revealed via Tree Mail. The owner came to be Gary Hogeboom, who used it in the same episode, making him immune from the vote, similar to how the Immunity Necklace works. After its usage, the idol was discarded.
In succeeding seasons, the mechanics of the Hidden Immunity Idol drastically changed. In Survivor: Panama and Survivor: Cook Islands, instead of making the player immune before the vote, the Hidden Immunity Idol would now be able to nullify votes that are cast against the holder. When the host revealed enough votes to eliminate a contestant, the player in question would draw the idol to stay in the game. With the holder immune at the last minute, the person who receives the next highest amount of votes will be eliminated instead. This format was panned by fans, calling the item "too powerful," by using them akin to the "Get Out of Jail Free card" used in Monopoly. These idols are good up until the Tribal Council where there are only four contestants remaining.
From Survivor: Fiji onwards (with the exception of Survivor: Micronesia, Survivor: Gabon and Survivor: Cambodia), there has been one idol hidden in each of the tribe camps. Additionally, the format was once again changed. Instead of using it after the host revealed enough ballots to eliminate a player, players must use the idol after the votes have been cast, but before the host reveals them. This gesture will force castaways to become more cautious on possessing it and/or divulging information about possessing one. With this format, it is crucial for players to use his/her idol at the right time. Contestants must draw the idol at a Tribal Council where they are sure to receive votes, or else they will either waste the idol (if they had either no votes against them or if they have votes, there may not be enough to eliminate them) or be eliminated without even using the idol. This was dubbed by several contestants as flushing. Once the idol is used, it is usually re-hidden. From this point forward, the idols are valid up until the Tribal Council where there are only five contestants remaining. In Survivor: One World, while there is only one camp, there are still two idols; one for each tribe. Both idols are exclusive for a tribe. For instance, if a member of one tribe finds the idol of the rival tribe, he/she has to give it to one of its members before the next Tribal Council.
When the castaway is voted out as a direct result of the use of the Hidden Immunity Idol, that person is said to have been "idoled out".
In Survivor: Cagayan, while the current format still applied during the tribal phase, a fourth Hidden Immunity Idol was introduced post-merge. Said idol had to be used after the votes have been read, similar to in Panama and Cook Islands. However, as revealed in “Sitting in My Spy Shack”, this Hidden Immunity Idol may only be used by its finder and may not be passed on to someone else. This version of the idol is referred to by the contestants as the "special idol" or "idol with special powers".
In Survivor: Cambodia, the current usage of the idols still applied, but the Hidden Immunity Idols for this season were designed very different from each other, making it difficult for the players to know if the idols are real or fake. Also, for the first time the idols were hidden in the middle of the challenges instead of at camp, while the clues were to be hidden at camp.
To find Hidden Immunity Idols more easily, clues are provided to castaways. Several clues either are progressive (meaning the first clue will not be as helpful as the next ones because it will only lead to another clue, but the succeeding clues would lead the looker closer the actual place of the idol), or still lead to the same hiding place, albeit restructured for added confusion.As the season progresses, more clues will be provided, regardless if the idol has already been found or not. These clues can be shared with others by the finder(s)' choosing; however, in several incidents in Survivor: Samoa, Russell Hantz was notorious for finding the idols without any clues.
These clues may be a cryptic message similar to Tree Mail messages or rebus puzzles in Survivor: Nicaragua. Sometimes, the exact location of the idol is stated outright.
Over the years, there have been varying ways for how the clues have been given to the contestants:
- In Guatemala, Heroes vs. Villains, Nicaragua, and Redemption Island, aside from the prize that a tribe gets after winning a Reward Challenge, a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol was either given to the winner/s outright, or hidden inside their prize.
- In Panama, Cook Islands, and Gabon, the idol was hidden at Exile Island. The banished castaway will be handed clues of its whereabouts. Additionally, in Gabon, a second idol was revealed, hidden somewhere near the feast table during the fake merge feast.
- Starting in Fiji, two Immunity Idols became available, with one hidden at each camp. The exiled castaways will receive clues. This was the first time a flushed idol was replaced with a new one.
- In Micronesia, several mechanisms have been used:
- The two people (one from each tribe) banished will be provided multiple clues that are scattered around Exile Island, where they have to compete for ownership of the idol. This was during the tribal phase of the game.
- At the merge phase, several idols have been available. Ozzy Lusth possessed an idol, but wasn't able to use it during the Tribal Council where he was eliminated. With Ozzy's idol gone, a new one was placed on Exile Island, though its finder, Jason Siska, made the same mistake. The next idol was found by Amanda Kimmel, who possessed a clue while at Exile Island, but realized that the idol was at camp, under their tribe flag. Amanda's idol was re-hidden in the next episode. Parvati Shallow was sent to Exile Island in the next episode, and although it looked like she did not look for the idol, it was revealed in a post show interview that she found the idol while snorkeling and left it on the island to prevent trouble.
- In Tocantins, two people will receive clues about the idol, only to realize that the idols were hidden at their tribe camp.
- In China and Samoa, one player of the opposing tribe will visit the camp and they will provide the clue for the idol. In China, however, the member of the opposing tribe was forced to give the unopened clue to a member of the tribe they were visiting.
- In South Pacific, the clue was also hidden at camp, providing more difficulty in finding the idol. The tribe that wins the Immunity Challenge will have a clue planted somewhere around their camp. The more Immunity Challenges a tribe wins, the more clues they get.
- In One World and Caramoan, Hidden Immunity Idols would still be available, but for the first time, clues will not be provided, as Jeff Probst said that the contestants "do not need them" anymore.
- In Philippines, the clues were hidden in the tribes' bags of rice, and the idol was actually on top of the bag of rice, disguised as the handle of the lid of the rice basket.
- In Caramoan, several mechanisms have been used:
- Malcolm Freberg bought "information" at the Survivor Auction on Day 29, which was a clue to an idol that he was allowed to read for 60 seconds.
- As part of the Individual Immunity Challenge on Day 31, the winner would be rewarded with "information", which was the clue to an idol. Andrea Boehlke won the Individual Immunity and the clue.
- In Blood vs. Water, the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol will be given to the person who finished first in the Redemption Island duel. However, they will need to give the clue to any person left in the game.
- At the beginning of Cagayan, the weakest castaway of each tribe (selected by the tribe leaders) were sent to their respective camps first. When they arrived, they were given an option to either take an extra sack of rice for their tribe, or to receive a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. However, clues were also known to be found on certain rewards the tribes won in Reward/Immunity Challenges.
- In Worlds Apart, before the castaways were sent to their camps, each tribe chose a representative to make a decision when they reached their respective camps. The representative would then have to choose another representative from the tribe, who would join them in making the decision. The representatives would then have to choose either "Honesty" or "Deception"; choosing the former would give the tribe a big bag of beans for the entire tribe, while choosing the latter would give the representatives a clue to their tribe's idol, but with only a small amount of beans for the tribe.
- In San Juan del Sur, on Exile Island, there were two urns. Each castaway who arrived must choose one of them to open and get a note from inside. One urn contains nothing, while the other contains the clue to their tribe's idol (the clue is the same for both tribes' idol). During the merge, when only one player gets exiled, only one urn would be available but would be guaranteed to have the idol clue.
- In Cambodia, instead of being hidden in the tribe camps, the Hidden Immunity Idols are hidden in challenge venues instead, making it potentially harder for an idol to be hidden from others. However, clues are hidden at camp, indicating exactly where the idol is going to be, which means each clue is only applicable for the immediate challenge.
Hidden Immunity Idols are considered "personal items," and thus cannot be stolen from its owner, as stated in the Survivor Rulebook. If the owner hides his or her idol for safekeeping and someone else finds it, whoever finds the already-found idol may not take it.
If a player who possesses an idol is involved in a tie vote, he or she may not use his or her idol in the second round of voting.
If the players who received votes both use Hidden Immunity Idols, the vote will be voided, and a re-vote would commence. In this round of voting, the players must vote for someone other than the idol users and the player who has individual immunity.
Several strategies regarding the idol were developed by contestants. Here is a non-exhaustive list of how the idol was used over the series:
|Strategy||Successful Uses||Unsuccessful Uses|
|Making the holder believe that he or she will not be voted out, but then blindsiding them (dubbed as "flushing")||See list of blindsided contestants||See list of successful idol usages|
|Splitting votes to defuse any power gained by playing the idol||See Split Vote|
|Passing idols to another player to save them||“Banana Etiquette”|
“Zipping Over the Cuckoo's Nest”
“This Is My Time”
“Like Selling Your Soul to the Devil”
|“It's a Turtle?!”|
“This Game Respects Big Moves”
“Cut Off the Head of the Snake”
“It's My Night”
“Head of the Snake”
|Discarding the idol itself to scare anybody who would want to get it||“Apple in the Garden of Eden”||N/A|
|Potentially removing the possibility of a tie vote||“Whiners Are Wieners”||None|
|Constructing and planting fake idols that have no value at Tribal Council||“An Evil Thought”|
“I'm Not as Dumb as I Look”
“I'm in Such a Hot Pickle!”
“Nothing Tastes Better than Five Hundred Dollars”
“The Good Things in Life Aren't Easy”
|“Livin' on the Edge”|
|Feigning an object in their pocket is an idol, prompting the others to vote somebody else||“A Sinking Ship”|
“Hell Hath Frozen Over”
There have been several instances where a person that is caught looking for the idol has become an immediate target, so it is crucial that searchers must be undetected when looking for it.
Hidden Immunity Idol History
|Season||Hiding Place||Episode Found||Found By||Given To||Episode Used||Successful?||Victim||Pertinent Notes|
|Survivor: Guatemala||Xhakúm camp||“Secrets and Lies and an Idol Surprise”|
|None||“Secrets and Lies and an Idol Surprise”||N/A||None||
|Survivor: Panama||Exile Island||“Starvation and Lunacy”|
|Survivor: Cook Islands||Exile Island||“Dire Strengths and Dead Weight”|
|Survivor: Fiji||Moto camp||“An Evil Thought”|
|None||“I Wanna See If I Can Make a Deal”|
|Ravu camp||“So You Think You Can Meke?”|
Alex Angarita, Edgardo Rivera and Mookie Lee
| → |
Mookie Lee → Alex Angarita
|“It's a Turtle?!”||None||
|Bula Bula camp||“I Wanna See If I Can Make a Deal”|
|None||“You've Got That Puzzled Look”||None||
|Survivor: China||Fei Long camp||“That's Love, Baby! It Makes You Strong!”|
Amanda Kimmel and Todd Herzog
| → |
Todd Herzog → James Clement
|Zhan Hu camp||“I'm Not as Dumb as I Look”|
|Survivor: Micronesia||Exile Island||“That's Baked, Barbecued and Fried!”|
|Exile Island||“I'm Ruthless... and Have a Smile on My Face”|
|Dabu camp||“I'm Gonna Fix Her!”|
|None||“I'm Gonna Fix Her!”|
|Exile Island||“If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese”|
|Survivor: Gabon||Exile Island||“She Obviously Is Post-Op!”|
|“The Good Guys Should Win in the End”||None||
|Fake Merge Feast||“Apple in the Garden of Eden”||Bob Crowley, Charlie Herschel, Corinne Kaplan, Crystal Cox, Ken Hoang,|
Marcus Lehman, Matty Whitmore, Randy Bailey, Sugar Kiper, Susie Smith
|Survivor: Tocantins||Timbira camp||“Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This”|
|Jalapao camp||“You're Going to Want That Tooth”|
Stephen Fishbach and Taj Johnson-George
|Survivor: Samoa||Foa Foa camp||“Taking Candy from a Baby”|
|None||“All Hell Breaks Loose”||None||
|Galu camp||“Hungry for a Win”|
|Aiga camp||“Tastes Like Chicken”|
|None||“Tastes Like Chicken”|
|Aiga camp||“The Day of Reckoning”|
|Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains||Heroes camp||“Tonight, We Make Our Move”|
|None||“Tonight, We Make Our Move”|
|Villains camp||“Knights of the Round Table”|
| → → |
Russell Hantz → Parvati Shallow → Sandra Diaz-Twine
|“Going Down in Flames”|
|Villains camp||“Survivor History”|
Danielle DiLorenzo and Parvati Shallow
| → |
Parvati Shallow → Jerri Manthey
|Yin Yang camp||“Jumping Ship”|
|Yin Yang camp||“A Sinking Ship”|
|None||“Loose Lips Sink Ships”||None||
|Survivor: Nicaragua||Espada camp||“Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All”|
Jill Behm and Marty Piombo
| → |
Marty Piombo → Sash Lenahan
|“This Is Going to Hurt”||None||
|La Flor camp||“Pulling the Trigger ”|
Brenda Lowe and NaOnka Mixon
| → |
NaOnka Mixon → Chase Rice
|Survivor: Redemption Island||Ometepe camp||“You're Looking at the New Leader of Your Tribe”|
|None||“You Own My Vote”||None||
|Zapatera camp||“You Own My Vote”|
|“This Game Respects Big Moves”||None||
|Ometepe camp||“Don't You Work for Me?”|
|None||“Seems Like a No Brainer”||None||
|Survivor: South Pacific||Savaii camp||“He Has Demons”|
|Upolu camp||“Taste the Victory”|
|Survivor: One World||One World camp|
|“Two Tribes, One Camp, No Rules”|
|One World/New Salani camp||“A Bunch of Idiots”|
|One World/Tikiano camp||“The Beauty in a Merge”|
|None||“Go Out with a Bang”||None||
|Survivor: Philippines||Kalabaw camp||“Don't Be Blinded by the Headlights”|
|None||“Not the Only Actor on This Island”|
|Tandang camp||“This Isn't a 'We' Game”|
|None||“Whiners Are Wieners”|
|Matsing camp||“Got My Swag Back”|
Denise Stapley and Malcolm Freberg
|Survivor: Caramoan||Gota camp||“Honey Badger”|
|None||“Kill or Be Killed”||None||
|Bikal camp||“There's Gonna Be Hell to Pay”|
Corinne Kaplan and Malcolm Freberg
| → |
Malcolm Freberg → Eddie Fox
|“Zipping Over the Cuckoo's Nest”|
|Gota camp||“Persona Non Grata”|
|“Cut Off the Head of the Snake”||None||
|Enil Edam camp||“Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”|
|None||“Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”||None||
|Enil Edam camp||“The Beginning of the End”|
Andrea Boehlke and Erik Reichenbach
|Survivor: Blood vs. Water||Tadhana/Kasama camp||“Skin of My Teeth”|
|None||“Gloves Come Off”||None||
|Kasama camp||“Rustle Feathers”|
|“It's My Night”||None||
|Survivor: Cagayan||Luzon camp||“Hot Girl With a Grudge (Part 1)”|
|Aparri camp||“Hot Girl With a Grudge (Part 2)”|
|“Head of the Snake”||None||
|Solarrion camp||“Mad Treasure Hunt”|
|None||“Sitting in My Spy Shack”||None||
|“Sitting in My Spy Shack”|
|Solarrion camp||“Chaos Is My Friend”|
|None||“Straw That Broke the Camel's Back”||None||
|Survivor: San Juan del Sur||Coyopa camp||“Method to This Madness”|
|Hunahpu camp||“We're a Hot Mess”|
|None||“This Is Where We Build Trust”|
|Exile Island||“Wrinkle in the Plan”|
|Coyopa/Huyopa camp||“This Is Where We Build Trust”|
Baylor Wilson and Natalie Anderson
| → |
Natalie Anderson → Jaclyn Schultz
|“This Is My Time”|
|Exile Island||“Kind of Like Cream Cheese”|
|Survivor: Worlds Apart||Masaya camp||“It's Survivor Warfare”|
|None||“My Word is My Bond”|
|Nagarote camp||“Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner”|
|None||“The Line Will Be Drawn Tonight”|
|Escameca/Merica camp||“Keep It Real”|
|None||“Holding On for Dear Life”|
|Survivor: Cambodia||Quest for Fire challenge|
(Ta Keo idol)
|None||“You Call, We'll Haul”|
|Draggin' the Dragon challenge|
|“We Got a Rat”|
| → |
Jeremy Collins → Stephen Fishbach
|“Like Selling Your Soul to the Devil”|
|Orkun camp||“Witches Coven”|
|Orkun camp||“My Wheels Are Spinning”|
Created by the contestants, these idols have been used as a foil for players to use them under the assumption that they have been helped out by one of their tribemates. They have no value at Tribal Council, and when a fake idol is presented, Jeff Probst throws it into the fire pit stating that it is not a Hidden Immunity Idol. So far, coincidentally, all of the contestants who played a fake idol were voted out at the same Tribal Council.
Contestants Making Fake idols
- In Survivor: Panama, Austin Carty made the first fake idol when he was marooned on Exile Island with Danielle DiLorenzo. He intended to use it as a bluff to avoid his ouster in that same episode, but had a change of heart. The secret scene was revealed in his interview with Julie Chen on the The Early Show.
- In Survivor: Fiji, Yau-Man Chan made a fake idol after finding his own Hidden Immunity Idol. He took half of a coconut shell and drew a face on it with paint, and to make sure that whoever found it was sure that it was indeed a Hidden Immunity Idol, he wrote "II" ("Immunity Idol") on it.
- In Survivor: Micronesia, Ozzy Lusth made a fake idol on Exile Island after finding his own Hidden Immunity Idol. He took a decent-sized stick and carved a face on it. It was later found by Jason Siska and played by Eliza Orlins.
- In Survivor: Gabon, Bob Crowley made two fake idols. He gave one to Randy Bailey, who eventually played it. Bob's fake idols were noted as being very ornately-crafted and very convincing.
- In Survivor: Tocantins, Taj Johnson-George also made a fake idol after finding the Jalapao Hidden Immunity Idol. Joe Dowdle found the idol, but since he was evacuated, he never played it.
- Russell Hantz made a fake idol and gave it to Jerri Manthey, but she did not use it. (Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains)
- Also in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Rupert Boneham feigned a rock in his pocket as a fake idol.
- Abi-Maria Gomes never made a fake idol either, but feigned the scroll container that contained the advantage she bought during the Survivor Auction as an idol. (Survivor: Philippines)
- In a secret scene for Survivor: San Juan del Sur, Val Collins made a fake idol after bluffing about finding two Hidden Immunity Idols to keep her safe in the game, and try to divert votes away from her.
- Also in Survivor: San Juan del Sur, Dale Wentworth found what he thought could possibly be the idol on the well On Day 3. He eventually learned that John Rocker had possessed the real Coyopa idol, but used his fake idol as leverage in the game anyway.
- In Survivor: Worlds Apart, Joe Anglim, using his expertise as a jewelry designer, made a fake idol using wood from a crate and pieces from his torch. Joe made a deal to give Mike Holloway the idol if Mike could swing the votes in his favor to stay in the game and send Jenn Brown home. Mike played the idol on Will Sims II at Tribal Council and learned that it was indeed a fake.
- Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and Survivor: Cagayan are tied for the season with the most idols found, with six.
- Mookie Lee (Survivor: Fiji) is the first castaway to transfer his possession of the idol to someone else. The recipient, Alex Angarita is the first castaway to use a Hidden Immunity Idol for nothing as he did not receive votes.
- James Clement (Survivor: China) is the first male to be voted out with a Hidden Immunity Idol in his possession. In the same instance he is also the first castaway to be voted out with two idols in his possession.
- Parvati Shallow (Survivor: Micronesia) is the first castaway to find a Hidden Immunity Idol but choose to leave it hidden.
- Survivor: Gabon is the first season to deliberately discard the idol as nobody wanted to claim ownership of it.
- Matty Whitmore (Survivor: Gabon) is the first castaway to use an idol and only receive minority votes.
- Andrea Boehlke (Survivor: Caramoan) is the first female to be voted out with a Hidden Immunity Idol in her possession.
- Galang and Angkor are the only tribes whose idols were never found.
- Technically, the Angkor idol was never hidden, as the clue leading to its location at a challenge site was not found.
- The earliest use of a Hidden Immunity Idol was on Day 5 (Survivor: Redemption Island), when Kristina Kell played it on herself.
- Survivor: Worlds Apart currently holds the record for the most number of castaways voted out during the merge due to an idol, and also holds the record for the most number of effective idol uses without one being wasted during the season. It is also the only season (with the current rules) in which every idol was used successfully.
- Mike Holloway (Survivor: Worlds Apart) is the first eventual Sole Survivor that was supposed to be voted out, but was saved by a Hidden Immunity Idol.
- Survivor: Worlds Apart is currently the only season with two back-to-back effective uses of a Hidden Immunity Idol. Mike Holloway played his idol to eliminate Tyler Fredrickson at the Day 32 Tribal Council, and Carolyn Rivera played her idol to eliminate Dan Foley at the following Tribal Council on Day 35.
- Carolyn Rivera has the record for the longest time to have possession of one specific idol without giving it away, having the Masaya idol from Day 2 up to Day 35.
- Kelley Wentworth (Survivor: Cambodia) holds the record for most votes negated in one Tribal Council using an idol, with 9, beating out Russell Hantz and Jenn Brown, the previous record holders, with 7.
- ↑ http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/2014/02/survivor-cagayan-tyler-perry-idol/
- ↑ http://www.ew.com/article/2015/08/24/survivor-cambodia-second-chance-immunity-idols-challenges
- ↑ "Hot Girl With a Grudge (Part 2)". Survivor: Cagayan.
- ↑ "Cops-R-Us". Survivor: Cagayan.
- ↑ https://www.tout.com/u/jeffprobst
- ↑ http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/exclusive-parvati-shallow-talks-about-her-survivor-micronesia-win-7099.php
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBJRmIf4fyQ