The Hidden Immunity Idol (also known as the "Hidden Idol" or simply as "the idol") is a pocket-sized talisman that prevents the user from being voted out from Tribal Council. Since its introduction in Survivor: Guatemala, critical strategic decisions revolved around the idol, from when to use it, for whom to use it, or how to minimize its effect in the game.
Not to be confused with the tribal Immunity Idol or the individual Immunity Necklace, the Hidden Immunity Idol, as the name implies, is difficult to obtain, and its hiding places vary from Exile Island or any its variants, tribe camps, challenges, or in rarer cases, in Tribal Council itself. Clues to the whereabouts of the idol may exist at camp or may be given to the winners of a Reward Challenge.
When the idol debuted in Survivor: Guatemala, its purpose was to give its owner individual immunity without the winning of an individual Immunity Challenge. In later seasons, it was retooled to negate votes against its user. 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 starting in the Survivor: Fiji season and beyond, a player can still be eliminated with the idol in their possession, thus going home bringing their idol with them. Another limitation is that the idol is only usable until a given deadline (usually Day 36 or 37, when six or five players are left). Since Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, however, idols obtained through means other than being found at tribe camps have had an earlier expiry date (typically valid at the immediate Tribal Council). A player may hold more than one idol if available.
Beginning from Survivor: Ghost Island, certain caveats were put in play to be able to play the idol; otherwise, the idol will be rendered powerless.
The Hidden Immunity Idol is usually a small, ornate talisman that is designed to match the season's theme and/or location. For example, the Hidden Immunity Idol in Survivor: 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.
Appeared in: Survivor: Guatemala
Played: Before the regular votes are cast.
This type of Hidden Immunity Idol, which can be used before the votes are cast, only appeared during the twist's debut in Survivor: Guatemala, where its existence was revealed via Tree Mail. The owner came to be Gary Hogeboom, who used it in the same episode it was found, earning him individual immunity for that Tribal Council. After its use, the idol was discarded.
Appeared in: Survivor: Panama, Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: Cagayan (finder only), Survivor: Kaôh Rōng (combining two negating idols), and Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers (first Tribal Council only)
Played: After the regular votes are read.
The super idol is a type of Hidden Immunity Idol that can be used after the votes have been read. Under this mechanic, all the votes the user received will be negated, and the person with the next highest number of votes will be eliminated instead. This creates a scenario where the group which originally had the fewer votes gathered during Tribal Council gain control of that vote.
The downside, however, is that it is almost impossible to counter without a split vote plan: with the knowledge of the castaway being voted out is known, the voting side who has the super idol has full control of who is going to be voted out, as they know where the majority votes will go, negating their power with the idol.
This format was panned by fans, calling the item "too powerful," comparing it to the "Get Out of Jail Free card in Monopoly. This idol remained valid until the Tribal Council where there are only four contestants remaining. In Cagayan and Kaôh Rōng, this was changed so that, like regular idols, they can only be played up until the final five. In Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, a super idol was planted beneath the supplies before the marooning. Unlike previous iterations of the super idol, this idol could only be used during the first Tribal Council. If the finder's tribe won the first Immunity Challenge, that player had to anonymously send the idol to a member of the losing tribe.
In Kaôh Rōng, while the current format still applied, there was also the option to combine two idols to create a "super idol" that can be played after the votes are read to save any player still in the game.
So far, no idol under this format has ever been played.
Appeared in: Survivor: Fiji onwards
Played: Before the reading of regular votes.
The current iteration of the idol, one idol hidden in each of the tribe camps. To work around the loophole in the idol's rules from the previous format. Instead of using it after the host revealed enough votes to eliminate a castaway, the idol must be used after the votes have been cast, but before the host reveals them. According to host Jeff Probst, this created a "happy medium" between the previous two formats.
This mechanic makes it possible for the idol to be wasted, as a castaway must play the idol on someone that can be voted against, but who is not guaranteed to have the most number of votes, making timing a crucial factor in playing it. A way to counter this type of idol is to force the user to waste it (i.e. if they do not have the most number of votes), a strategy several castaways refer to as flushing. Once the idol is used, it is usually re-hidden. Typically, these idols are valid up until there are only five castaways remaining in the game.
In Survivor: One World, while there is only one camp, there are still two idols; one for each tribe. Both idols are exclusive to a tribe; therefore if a player finds the idol for the rival tribe, they must give it to one of its members before the next Tribal Council.
In Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, however, the original intent of the negating idol was seemingly lost when it was shown that negating idols can be played even before the intended period. Ben Driebergen was allowed to play an idol during the Night 36 Tribal Council even before the castaways voted, meaning it was known to the others that any votes cast against him would not count before they vote.
Per the current tiebreaker rules, those who play an idol (or had an idol played for them) are exempted from the deadlock-breaking rock draw.
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 to 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 clues were not 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 person who finished first in the Redemption Island duel will give a clue to someone left in the game. At the return point, the returning contestant is allowed to give the clue to themselves.
- 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, Game Changers, and David vs. Goliath, instead of being hidden in the tribe camps, the Hidden Immunity Idols may be 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 located, which means each clue is only applicable for the immediate challenge. If no clue is found for a specific challenge, the idol is not hidden.
- In Kaôh Rōng, a first clue was hidden in a tree, pointing to the location of a locked box. Along with the locked box, the player would find tools to build a pole to retrieve a key that was attached to the top of a tree. After retrieving the key, the player could unlock the box to get the idol.
- In Millennials vs. Gen X, the Hidden Immunity Idols were once again hidden in plain sight. This time, they were hidden inside objects such as a coconut, log, or shell, with their container being marked with their respective tribe insignias.
- In Game Changers, the way the idols were hidden were varied and inconsistent, adding to the difficulty of finding them.
- In Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, the clues to the Hidden Immunity Idols were written on objects such as trees and rocks, available for everyone to possibly see.
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 their idol for safekeeping and someone else finds it, whoever finds the already-found idol may not take it.
If all ballots are negated by idols, the votes will restart happen (see tiebreaker for details). Idols can only be played at the initial vote, not at any re-votes; it is unknown whether they can be played at vote restarts, as no contestant has ever played an idol at a restart.
If the Edge of Extinction is in play, idols are removed from the holder's possession among the holder being voted out. It is possible to possess an idol while on the Edge of Extinction only by acquiring it while already there.
In Survivor 41, the idols wrapped in a package ominously labeled as the "Beware Advantage." The player that finds it may either take the advantage but they will be obliged to follow the instructions inside the package, or leave it back in its hiding place. If the player chooses the former, they are bound to do what the accompanying note states lest they are unable to vote. For the idol to be "activated", all three idols must be found first, and each finder must state a certain secret phrase assigned to them in order at an Immunity Challenge. Failure to complete the task before an Immunity Challenge will render the owner of the idol without a vote, ostensibly unable to use their Extra Vote nor invoke their Shot in the Dark the next time they visit Tribal Council, though they may try again at the next Immunity Challenge. If the task is never completed before the merge, the idols' owners penalties end and their idols are rendered permanently unusable.
Several strategies regarding the idol have been 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||
|"It's a Turtle?!"|
"This Game Respects Big Moves"
"Cut Off the Head of the Snake"
"Head of the Snake"
"Million Dollar Gamble"
|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||"Going Down in Flames"
"Whiners Are Wieners"
|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"
"I'm Going for a Million Bucks"
"I See the Million Dollars"
|"The Good Things in Life Aren't Easy"|
"Livin' on the Edge"
"Lie, Cheat and Steal"
"Not Going to Roll Over and Die"
|Playing a fake idol at Tribal Council to gauge the others' reactions and determine whether or not a real idol should be played||None||"Are You Feeling Lucky?"|
|Feigning an object in their pocket as an idol, prompting the others to vote somebody else||"A Sinking Ship"
"Hell Hath Frozen Over"
|"Reap What You Sow"|
"Make Some Magic Happen"
|Taunting another player who has an idol to surrender or use the object, inducing indecision at the side of the owner||"All Hell Breaks Loose"
"You're Looking at the New Leader of Your Tribe"
"Cut Off the Head of the Snake"
|Handing out multiple idols to shield more potential targets||"Going Down in Flames"
"Zipping Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
"No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"
"Quick on the Draw"
There have been several instances where a person that is caught looking for the idol (or even merely suspected of having looked 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
Created by the contestants themselves, fake idols have been used as a foil for players to use them under the assumption that they have been helped out to achieve power and to ensure success on the end of their creators. These counterfeits have no value at Tribal Council; and when played, they are confirmed by the host as fake before being thrown in the central fire pit of Tribal Council.
Contestants Making Fake idols
- In Survivor: Guatemala, Gary Hogeboom made the first fake idol after finding his own Hidden Immunity Idol. He took a small piece of wood, carved a star on it, and hid it where he found the real one. Nobody found it and it was never aired.
- In Survivor: Panama, Austin Carty made a 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 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 referenced Yau-Man in Fiji as his inspiration for this move. He took a decent-sized stick and carved a face on it. It was later found by Jason Siska, who was convinced that it was real, and reluctantly played by a more skeptical Eliza Orlins.
- In Survivor: Gabon, Bob Crowley made two fake idols. He gave one to Randy Bailey, who eventually played it, but was voted out the same night. He used the other to attempt to sway Ken Hoang and Crystal Cox into flipping to vote out Matty Whitmore and save his ally, Corinne Kaplan. However, this plan failed when Crystal and Ken decided to split their votes in order to flush the idol. 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.
- In Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Russell Hantz made a fake idol and gave it to Jerri Manthey, but she did not use it.
- Also in Heroes vs. Villains, Rupert Boneham feigned a rock in his pocket as a fake idol, with Russell believing that Rupert really had one.
- In Survivor: Philippines, Abi-Maria Gomes never made a fake idol but feigned the scroll container that contained the Challenge Advantage she bought during the Survivor Auction as an idol.
- 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 San Juan del Sur, Dale Wentworth found a small emblem 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.
- In Survivor: Cambodia, Kelley Wentworth created a fake idol and gave it to Keith Nale as one final attempt to scare the majority alliance in order to protect Keith as she had individual immunity. Although Keith feigned having an actual idol around camp, he did not pull out the fake idol at Tribal Council thinking that it would not change anything and was voted out.
- In Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, David Wright created a fake idol after coming back from the Day 35 Tribal Council, using various beads and parts he collected throughout the game in order to "fish" someone out. Jay Starrett ultimately found the fake idol the next day and played it at that night's Tribal Council. It was revealed to be a fake idol, and he was voted out.
- In Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, Ben Driebergen created a fake idol which he planted with the intention of tricking Chrissy Hofbeck in the event of an idol search. Ultimately, he withdrew from the plan and took the fake idol away.
- In Ghost Island, Jacob Derwin made a fake idol while on Ghost Island to keep him off the chopping block for the next vote and showed it off to his tribe under the guise of being open with them. Instead, his tribe called his bluff, and he became the main target of the split vote. He was blindsided at the next Tribal Council.
- Again in Ghost Island, Domenick Abbate created a fake idol to distract anyone who suspected him of having the real idol (which he possessed). He used the real idol parchment as well as some beads, a shell, and cloth to create it. He showed it to Chris Noble to gain his trust and later used the same tactics with the original Malolo members after the Tribe Switch.
- Also in Ghost Island, Wendell Holland created a fake idol using various pebbles and beads. Donathan Hurley witnessed the secret transferring of the object between Wendell and Domenick, leading to his distrust in the two.
- In Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Nick Wilson created a fake idol out of string and various other materials he had collected and wrapped it in the note that came with his real Hidden Immunity Idol. He "found" the idol under the raft in an attempt to dissuade the other castaways from looking for the real idol. This backfired once the news reached Davie Rickenbacker. Believing that Nick could actually have two idols, he began to try to turn the vote against him, until Nick eventually told him the idol was fake. At the next Tribal Council, Nick played his fake idol as a means of gauging the other castaway's reactions. He ultimately played his real idol afterward.
- Also in David vs. Goliath, after finding her real idol, Angelina Keeley crafted a fake idol and planted it for Alison Raybould to find, in order to make the upcoming Tribal Council have more "fireworks." Alison believed that it was fake but attempted to play it anyway. Jeff confirmed that it was fake and Alison was voted out.
- In Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Rick Devens created two fake idols, which he held on to until the final five. After winning individual immunity, he planted both idols with the parchments from two idols that previously found, including re-hiding a clue for one of them as well. Julie Rosenberg and Lauren O'Connell each found one of Rick's fake idols and simultaneously tried to play them at the following Tribal Council. Jeff revealed that both were fake, and after Rick played his own idol on Gavin Whitson and Chris Underwood played one on himself, Lauren was voted out.
- In Survivor: Winners at War, Tony Vlachos created a fake idol and presented it to Nick Wilson alongside his real idol to cement his trust. Tony then gave the fake idol to Sarah Lacina, which she used to feign safety towards Michele Fitzgerald and Natalie Anderson going into the upcoming Tribal Council, since Sarah knew that Natalie had a real idol. Her plan worked, and Michele and Natalie chose to vote for Ben Driebergen, who was voted out.
- In Survivor 41, Shan Smith and Ricard Foyé took a Beware Advantage which contained an idol and Shan then memorized the phrase she needed to say to activate it. Ricard left a bracelet of his in the idol package and put it in back in its hiding place to fool Genie Chen into thinking it had not been touched, while Shan kept the real, powerless idol in her possession, waiting to activate it once all three phrases were said.
- Also in 41, Xander Hastings had created a fake idol earlier in the game and later showed it off at Tribal Council as part of a ruse while handing possession of his real idol to Tiffany Seely. This allowed him to circumvent the Knowledge is Power advantage played by Liana Wallace, preventing Liana from successfully stealing his idol.
Fake Idol Kit
During Survivor: Game Changers, a fake idol kit was one of the advantages offered as part of an Advantage Menu to whoever was sent to Exile Island after the second Tribe Switch. The exiled castaway, Debbie Wanner, chose an Extra Vote instead of a fake idol kit (or a tribe challenge advantage).
- Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers and Island of the Idols currently hold the record for the most idols found, with nine.
- This does not include the three idols earned by winning the mentors' challenge on the Island of the Idols. If those three are counted, Island of the Idols holds the record alone, with twelve.
- Cambodia currently holds the record for the most successful idol plays, with four.
- From Jon Misch's first idol in San Juan del Sur to David Wright's first idol in Millennials vs. Gen X, eleven idols were played, all successfully. This is the record for the most consecutive successful idol plays.
- Gary Hogeboom (Guatemala) is the first castaway to possess and use a Hidden Immunity Idol.
- Terry Deitz (Panama) is the first castaway to possess a vote-negating idol and the first to possess an idol after its expiration.
- Yau-Man Chan (Fiji) is the first castaway to possess an idol in its current format, and the first to play an idol successfully.
- Mookie Lee (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 under the current format, and the first to play an idol unsuccessfully.
- James Clement (China) is the first castaway 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 (Micronesia) is the first castaway to deliberately discard an idol when she chose to leave behind an idol that she found on Exile Island. She would be followed by Randy Bailey in Gabon and Mike Zahalsky, who discarded half of the idol found by Lauren Rimmer in Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.
- Matty Whitmore (Gabon) is the first castaway to use an idol and only receive minority votes.
- Colton Cumbie (One World) is the first person to be medically evacuated while in possession of a Hidden Immunity Idol. He would later be followed by Neal Gottlieb (Kaôh Rōng).
- Galang (Blood vs. Water) and Angkor (Cambodia) are the only pre-merge tribes whose idols were never found.
- Galang is the only tribe to have an idol hidden but never found, as Angkor's idol was never hidden.
- The earliest use of a Hidden Immunity Idol was on Day 5 (Redemption Island) when Kristina Kell played it on herself unsuccessfully.
- The earliest successful use of a Hidden Immunity Idol was on Day 11, in several seasons.
- The latest use of a Hidden Immunity Idol was on Day 37, in several seasons. In all such seasons, it was the last day idols could be played.
- Michael Yerger (Ghost Island) is the youngest castaway to find an idol, being 18 at the time he found his first idol.
- Janet Carbin (Island of the Idols) is the oldest castaway to find an idol, being 59 at the time she found her second idol.
- Mike Holloway (Worlds Apart) is the first eventual Sole Survivor to use a Hidden Immunity Idol successfully in the season they won. He would be followed by Jeremy Collins (Cambodia), Ben Driebergen (Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers), and Chris Underwood (Edge of Extinction).
- Ben Driebergen (Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers) is the first eventual Sole Survivor to use multiple Hidden Immunity Idols successfully on himself in the season they won.
- Lauren O'Connell (Edge of Extinction) holds the record for holding a single idol for the longest continuous timespan, having the Manu idol from Day 2 up to Day 36 (35 days total).
- Kelley Wentworth (Cambodia) holds the record for most votes negated at one Tribal Council using an idol, with 9, beating out Russell Hantz (Samoa) and Jenn Brown (Worlds Apart), the previous record holders, with 7.
- Kelley Wentworth (Cambodia) is the first castaway to play idols successfully on herself at two Tribal Councils in the same season. She would be followed by Ben Driebergen (Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers), Christian Hubicki (David vs. Goliath), and Rick Devens (Edge of Extinction).
- Adam Klein (Millennials vs. Gen X) is the first castaway to find a Hidden Immunity Idol on the last day it could be played (Day 37). He would be followed by Ben Driebergen (Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers), Rick Devens (Edge of Extinction), and Natalie Anderson (Winners at War).
- Tai Trang (Game Changers) and Kellee Kim (Island of the Idols) are the only castaways to find two idols in the same episode.
- Cirie Fields (Heroes vs. Villains and Game Changers) is the only castaway to be idoled out of multiple seasons.
- In addition, her elimination from Panama involved an idol indirectly, as Terry Deitz had de facto immunity, possessing an idol at the last opportunity in which it could be used.
- Ben Driebergen (Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers) is the first castaway to negate a unanimous vote with an idol.
- Dan Rengering (David vs. Goliath) is the first castaway to have their idol negated by an Idol Nullifier.
- Sandra Diaz-Twine (Winners at War) is the first castaway to purchase an idol from another player using a Fire Token.
- Natalie Anderson and Rob Mariano (Winners at War) are the first castaways to purchase an idol from the Edge of Extinction menu using Fire Tokens.
- Ross, Dalton (January 11, 2016). "Survivor: Jeff Probst reveals latest twist: a new 'super idol'". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/article/2016/01/11/survivor-kaoh-rong-jeff-probst-super-idol. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- Lang, Derrik J. (January 12, 2007). "Jeff Probst Talks "Survivor: Fiji"". The Slug. https://asapblogs.typepad.com/theslug/2007/01/jeff_probst_tal.html. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- Wigler, Josh (August 30, 2017). "'Survivor': Jeff Probst Explains Everything to Know About Season 35". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/survivor-jeff-probst-explains-everything-know-season-35-1033552. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
- "Hot Girl with a Grudge". Survivor: Cagayan.
- "Cops-R-Us". Survivor: Cagayan.
- Ross, Dalton (May 14, 2020). "Tony Vlachos reveals all his antics we DIDN'T see on Survivor". Entertainment Weekly. https://ew.com/tv/survivor-tony-vlachos-finale-winners-at-war-interview/. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
- Ross, Dalton (May 14, 2020). "Sarah Lacina explains origin of her gender bias Survivor speech". Entertainment Weekly. https://ew.com/tv/survivor-sarah-lacina-finale-winners-at-war-interview/. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
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