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Knowledge is Power is an advantage introduced in Survivor 41 that allows its user to steal another player's advantage or idol.

Overview

Before the votes are cast at Tribal Council, the Knowledge is Power advantage allows its user to ask one player one of two questions: whether they have a Hidden Immunity Idol, or whether they have an advantage. That player is compelled to answer truthfully and, if they happen to indeed be in possession of an idol or advantage, surrender the requested object to the user. If the user has asked the target for an advantage, and the target is in possession of multiple advantages, the target may choose to surrender any advantage without disclosing the nature of their other advantages. If the target does not have an idol or advantage, the user receives nothing and the advantage is rendered powerless. The advantage may be played at any Tribal Council until the final six.

It is unclear how the advantage would interact with the Advantage Amulet twist, which it appeared alongside on Survivor 42.

Strategy

Given that the Knowledge is Power advantage has appeared on seasons with idols introduced through the Beware Advantage, and information about who is in possession of each idol is somewhat public due to the idol finders having to say an activation phrase for their idol to gain power, the advantage holder may easily deduce their possible targets as long as they are aware of the mechanics of the Beware Advantage.

By taking away a target's idol before the vote, the Knowledge is Power advantage can be used to achieve the same effect as an Idol Nullifier.

With the Knowledge is Power advantage becoming a recurring fixture in the Survivor catalog of twists, contestants may bluff about its existence to coax an advantage holder to yield their advantage to them without any legitimate threat of losing it before proceeding to eliminate them in order to control the advantage.

Counter-Strategy

A counter-strategy may be employed by potential targets under the circumstance that they are aware of the existence of the Knowledge is Power advantage. Similar to the concept of the "safe vote" employed as a strategy against the Hidden Immunity Idol, targets may transfer their idol or advantage to an ally so as to reduce the likelihood that the advantage user makes the correct guess.

Twist History

Survivor 41

The Knowledge is Power advantage was introduced at the Day 11 summit when Shan Smith protected her vote and encouraged Liana Wallace to risk her vote. Liana was aware that her tribemate and rival Xander Hastings had ownership of the Yase Hidden Immunity Idol, and intended to take his idol from him.

At the merge, Shan unintentionally divulged that Liana had received an advantage during their summit together; Liana then revealed the identity of the Knowledge is Power advantage to Tiffany Seely. Because of the Hourglass twist, Liana, Tiffany, and Xander ended up being immune at the first individual Tribal Council; Xander thus intended to play his idol to protect Yase Alliance member Evvie Jagoda that night. However, when the alliance realized that Liana had defected from them, Evvie, Tiffany, and Xander decided that Xander would hand the idol to Tiffany, who they believed Liana was least likely to target with her advantage. The plan came to fruition at Tribal Council when Liana incorrectly played her advantage against Xander, thus wasting the advantage and allowing Xander to retrieve his idol from Tiffany after Tribal Council.

Survivor 42

On Day 15, Drea Wheeler opted to switch places with Maryanne Oketch and sit out of the Reward Challenge in her stead. Under the sit out bench was a Beware Advantage. Drea found it during the challenge and read it back at camp, learning about the existence of an advantage hidden five paces from the water well. She successfully retrieved it, coming into possession of the Knowledge is Power advantage.

On Day 21, Drea hatched a plan to blindside Mike Turner by stealing his idol using her advantage; she shared this plan with Omar Zaheer, who then conspired to defuse the advantage behind her back. Upon being warned of Drea's plan, Mike agreed to yield his idol to Omar before Tribal Council. Thus, when Drea played the advantage and asked Mike for his idol, the advantage was wasted. As a result, she was left without ammunition and voted out that night. Mike then retrieved his idol from Omar after Tribal Council.

Summary

Season Location Episode Acquired Original Owner Episode Used Target Outcome
Survivor 41 Day 11 Summit "The Strategist or the Loyalist" S41 liana t.png
Liana Wallace
"There's Gonna Be Blood" S41 xander t.png
Xander Hastings
No!.png
Incorrect Guess
Survivor 42 Kula Kula camp "You Better Be Wearing a Seatbelt" S42 drea t.png
Drea Wheeler
"Battle Royale" S42 mike t.png
Mike Turner
No!.png
Incorrect Guess

Reception

The advantage has been met with mixed to negative reception. Former contestant Stephen Fishbach has derided the advantage as "one of the worst twists in show history" for undermining players' agency.[1] The introduction of the advantage in the fifth episode of an already twist-heavy Survivor 41 also attracted a negative response.

While the advantage seeks to encourage its user to forge social connections to glean inside information, because of the advantage's co-existence with the Beware idols in both its appearances, this intention is defeated. By extension, the advantage has been viewed as overpowered since the public nature of the idols allows the advantage users to steal the idols without having to source for "knowledge" on who the idol holders are.[2]

However, the advantage's outcome in 41, where the Yase Alliance outmaneuvered the advantage to hold their idol, has been commended as one of the highlights of the season.[3][4] Similarly, the advantage's misplay in Survivor 42 contributed to an electric Tribal Council which was also well-received.[5]

Trivia

  • Both people to find this advantage were African-American women.
    • Both players would coincidentally be voted out in a 5-3 vote the night of the Do or Die twist, finishing in 7th place.
  • Both times the advantage was played,
    • Multiple people had individual immunity at Tribal Council, leaving exactly five people eligible for elimination.
    • An Extra Vote was played.
    • A woman from a blue starting tribe was voted out.
    • The target made it to Final Tribal Council.

References

Survivor Gameplay
 
Challenges
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
Elimination
Edge of Extinction · Ejection · Evacuation · Final Tribal Council · Jury · Quit · Redemption Island · Snuffer · Sole Survivor · Tiebreaker · Torch · Tribal Council · Urn
Strategy
Alliance · Pagonging · Split Vote (Strategy)
Social Dynamics
Final Two · Final Three · Merge · Tribe
Twists
Casting

Battle of the Sexes · Blood vs. Water · Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty · Old vs. Young · Returning Players · Schoolyard Pick · Tribes Divided by Ethnicity


Tribal Council-Related

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


Miscellaneous

Advantage Menu · Buried Treasure · Day Zero · Exile Island · Fake Merge · Fire Token · First Impressions · Ghost Island · Haves vs. Have Nots · Hourglass · Island of the Idols · Kidnapping · Looting · Mutiny · One World · Reward Steal · Summit · The Outcasts · Tribe Leader · Tribe Switch

Post-Game
Fan Favorite Award · Lawsuits and Legal Action · Ponderosa · Reunion Show
Miscellaneous
Buff · Confessional · Luxury Item · Rites of Passage · Survivor Rulebook · Ulonging
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