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There is no doubt that hidden immunity idols and secret advantages have led to some of the most dramatic moments ever on Survivor. Make a list of the most exciting Tribal Councils and most will include some form of an idol (or multiple idols) being played. But have we hit maximum capacity on the number of idols and secret advantages being introduced?
That was a question worth asking during last season’s Game Changers . Instead of just one secret advantage, the show stuffed in three different ones. Then, at the final six, you had the unthinkable happen when five out of six people had immunity due to Brad’s immunity win, Sarah’s Legacy immunity, Troyzan’s hidden immunity idol, Tai’s first immunity idol (which he used on himself), and Tai’s second immunity idol (which he gave to Aubry).
That means Cirie was “voted out” even though she did not have a single vote cast against her, simply because she was the only one who did not have some form of immunity. We asked host Jeff Probst while on location in Fiji (for Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, which debuts Sept. 27 on CBS, and season 36, which airs 2018) if this had caused them to reexamine how many idols and advantages to put into the game moving forward.
“We have a board,” Probst explains, “and it’s just basically a layout of the entire season. We can account for certain things — when we are going to put an advantage in the game… What we can’t account for is when an idol can be played.”
In the video above, Probst explains how what happened to Cirie was actually a dream come true for producers. “My one big hope was, there will be a night where there is absolute chaos,” says the host, who also reveals that when it all went down, it was “probably the most alive I’ve ever been at Tribal” because Probst was, like viewers, doing the math on the spot to figure out what it all meant as everyone started using their immunities.
Not only does Probst say that watching someone go out in such fashion will not result in limiting idols or advantages in the future, but he looks at the unique Cirie ouster as the defining moment of last season. “I thought that was fantastic,” says the host. “That was the poster. If you’re building a poster for the movie Survivor: Game Changers, you want Reservoir Dogs. You want all guns pointed in the last episode. That was the Survivor gods looking down at us saying, ‘We’re going to reward you with another gift.’”
What do you think? Did you love or loathe that many immunities being used at once? And should there be limits on idols and advantages in the future? To see Probst’s complete thoughts on the controversial Cirie exit and why it does not change anything moving forward, watch the video above. And for more Survivor scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.