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The Idol Nullifier is an advantage introduced in Survivor: David vs. Goliath. Its main function is to prevent a Hidden Immunity Idol from negating any votes.


The Idol Nullifier is a talisman that can be used at Tribal Council. If the castaway wishes to use it, they must do so while casting their vote. At the voting booth, the user must write the name of the intended target on the nullifier and place it in the voting urn, along with their vote. If a Hidden Immunity Idol is played on the intended target, the host will verify its authenticity, but will also present the Idol Nullifier, informing the player that the idol has been rendered powerless. If the target does not play an idol, the advantage will be wasted and its user will remain anonymous if they choose to be. Similar to the Hidden Immunity Idol, the Idol Nullifier can be played until five castaways remain.

An Idol Nullifier can only negate one Hidden Immunity Idol, so it can be countered if a second Hidden Immunity Idol is played for the target.[1]


David vs. Goliath

The Idol Nullifier debuted in David vs. Goliath after the tribe switch on Day 10. Carl Boudreaux was left without a tribe and was subsequently banished to Exile Island. During his stay, he successfully located the Idol Nullifier, which he revealed to his allies. At the Day 25 Tribal Council, Carl used the Idol Nullifier on Dan Rengering, successfully preventing his idol from having any power, sending him to the jury.

Island of the Idols

On Day 34, Dean Kowalski was selected by random draw to go to the Island of the Idols. For his mentors' challenge, Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine offered him a choice of three advantages—an Extra Vote, an Idol Nullifier, or a Hidden Immunity Idol good for the next Tribal Council which could not be played on himself— if he won a game of chance. Dean chose to play for an Idol Nullifier, which he then received after winning the game of chance. At the Day 37 Tribal Council, Dean used the Idol Nullifier on Janet Carbin, successfully preventing her idol from having any power, sending her to the jury.

Winners at War

On Day 15, Tyson Apostol found an Idol Nullifier on the Edge of Extinction which he could sell to a castaway still in the game for one Fire Token. Tyson sold the advantage to Parvati Shallow of the Sele tribe, who purchased it and could use it until there were five active players remaining. Parvati was voted out the following day, with the Idol Nullifier being taken out of play after she was sent to the Edge of Extinction herself.

Survivor 42

On Day 8, after Taku won the Reward Challenge, Jonathan Young and Omar Zaheer found an Idol Nullifier at their water well. Omar took it and the two men kept it a secret. Though this Idol Nullifier went unaired, Omar has stated that this contributed to his decision to return Mike Turner his idol before then blindsiding him with the nullifier at the final five; Omar (and various other castmates) also attributed his elimination on Day 23 to the advantage.[2][3]


Season Location Episode Acquired Original Owner Given To Episode Used Target Successful? Eliminated
Survivor: David vs. Goliath Exile Island "Time to Bring About the Charmpocalypse" S37 carl t.png
Carl Boudreaux
None "Breadth-First Search" S37 dan t.png
Dan Rengering
Yes!.png S37 dan bw.png
Dan Rengering
Survivor: Island of the Idols Island of the Idols "Just Go for It" S39 dean t.png
Dean Kowalski
None "Mama, Look at Me Now" S39 janet t.png
Janet Carbin
Yes!.png S39 janet bw.png
Janet Carbin
Survivor: Winners at War Edge of Extinction "Quick on the Draw" S40 parvati t.png
Parvati Shallow
None Never used
Survivor 42 Taku camp "Vibe of the Tribe"[2]
S42 omar t.png
Omar Zaheer
None Never used


The Idol Nullifier was well-received in its first appearance because of its role in one of the biggest blindsides of David vs. Goliath. Dan Rengering, the first victim of the nullifier, has expressed frustration that it was an unforeseeable twist, but agreed that the outcome was exciting from his perspective as a fan.[4] On the other hand, the nullifier's subsequent appearance in Island of the Idols was generally panned for its introduction in the form of a coin flip, its contribution to an unsatisfactory endgame, and its direct role in causing the elimination of fan favorite Janet Carbin. Janet has expressed her "hatred" for the twist, which left her in a "ridiculous" situation with no way out at the final five.[5][6]

Meanwhile, commentators have noted that the advantage is well-balanced with a way to outmaneuver it, but conceded that it could be exploited by majority alliances to prevent shifts in power.[7] Former contestant and previous Sole Survivor Adam Klein has expressed his disapproval, believing that the nullifier overwhelmingly benefits the majority, making it harder for them to be usurped.[8]


  • The concept of the Idol Nullifier originated in Australian Survivor (2017), where the nullifier was designed as a regular Hidden Immunity Idol, but with a different use.
    • Instead of playing the nullifier in the voting booth, the contestant could play it as a regular idol, thereby reducing the uncertainty involved in using it.
  • Parvati Shallow is the first person to be voted out with an Idol Nullifier still in their possession.
  • All three men who found the Idol Nullifier were members of orange starting tribes.


Survivor Gameplay
Challenge Advantage · Do-It-Yourself Challenge · Duel · Family Visit · Immunity Challenge (Final Immunity Challenge) · Immunity Idol · Immunity Necklace · Medallion of Power · Reward Challenge · Survivor Auction
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Advantage Amulet · Do or Die · Double Elimination · Double Tribal Council · Extra Vote · Hidden Immunity Idol (History) · Idol Nullifier · Joint Tribal Council · Juror Removal · Legacy Advantage · Knowledge is Power · Shot in the Dark · Vote Blocker · Vote Steal


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