Jeff Probst reveals secret Survivor advantages that were never found
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Idols and advantages. They're everywhere on Survivor. And there's a reason for that: They keep majority alliances from simply steamrolling through the game. No matter how down in the numbers a player may be, they always have that hope of finding a lifesaving advantage that may completely change their fate in the game.
There have been many memorable advantages put into play over the years, but there have also been some that were not so memorable. And that's because they were never discovered.
On the latest episode of his On Fire With Jeff Probst podcast, the Survivor host and showrunner revealed two particular advantages producers painstakingly laid out for players… who then either did not find it or did not realize they were staring right at a clue for one.
The first example occurred just last year on Survivor 42. "We wanted to put the idol nullifier advantage into the game," Probst explains on the podcast."[Executive producer] Matt Van Wagenen… had an idea. 'We should put an advantage inside a fish.' He's pitched it for years… and for whatever reason we did it this season."
An advantage hiding inside a fish? We're listening. "So the tribe wins reward and it's fish, exactly as Matt has it laid it out," Probst continues. "They go back to their camp and now they're going to clean the fish and get them ready to eat. The problem is, the guy who decided to clean the fish was Jonathan — big Jonathan who can do anything."
Uh-oh. What have you done, Jonathan? What have you done?! "He's nonplussed by cleaning fish," Probst recounts. "He does this every day, he's the guy that's always out there cleaning the fish. So he's absentmindedly cleaning the fish and does not see that in the fish is this little bamboo advantage that could change the game. And he literally cleaned the fish and threw the guts and the advantage in the Pacific Ocean, where it is still floating somewhere today."
JONATHAN! Hot damn, man! How could you? The best part about this whole story is that you can actually see where it happened in the episode. "If you go back and watch that episode, it's episode 4," Probst notes. "Paramount+, you can see all this. It's about 11 minutes in. You can see it happen. You can see him with the knife, and it's right there. The audience didn't see it. Jonathan is hearing this right now, first time he's heard it as well."
It turns out that's not the only time a player has had a game-changing object right in front of their face and didn't realize it. Probst also uncorked another doozy on his podcast. "Millennials vs. Gen X, the players don't know this either," he reveals. "It's the merge episode, which is episode 8, it's about six minutes in, season 33. They merged, and we always give them a merge basket and there's some paint supplies and a tribe flag."
Ah, but there was something else as well. "When they open this basket, it said, 'Congratulations, you have made the merge'… Underneath it was a very strange note… It says, 'Most all initial liaisons begin relaxingly. In new groups, societies always disclose very advantageous news to all. Gregarious, engaging, flirtations, indifferent, narcissistic, defensive, inauthentic. The facade is revealed starting today.'"
You've probably already figured it out by now, but the players on season 33 certainly didn't. "We thought for sure that this note, which was so odd, would spark some curiosity," remarks Probst. "Nobody thought twice about it. Had they studied it for a minute, they might have discovered that the first letter of every word — a very fifth-grade sort of puzzle to solve — formed the following sentence: 'Mail brings advantage, find it first.' And they would have gone to Tree Mail and they would have found an advantage."
WHOOPS! The moral of the story is, when you get a note on Survivor that seemingly makes no sense, it's probably for a pretty good reason. There are many more juicy tidbits to chew on from the podcast, so check out On Fire With Jeff Probst yourself for the full meal (no secret note included).
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