Survivor Advantages: Should the Idol Nullifier return?

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

A highlight of Survivor: David vs. Goliath was the reveal of a brand new special advantage: the Idol Nullifier! Should production use it again?

Out of all the dramatic Tribal Councils in Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Carl playing the Idol Nullifier correctly on Dan may have been the most memorable one. It seemed like this was the absolutely perfect situation to play the Idol Nullifier, and it did make for an epic blindside! But should it be used in Survivor going forward?

To answer that question, we have to keep in mind that the Nullifier is a highly situational advantage. It typically will only work with a majority alliance, because even if you use the Nullifier on someone, you still have to make sure you have the numbers to vote them out. This presents a possible downside that this new advantage brings.

Some of the most memorable moments in this shows’ history came when a castaway on the wrong side of the numbers played an idol and shocked the majority alliance. If the alliance that has the numbers advantage also possesses a Nullifier, it’s basically checkmate. This could lead to more seasons where we see one tribe decimate the other, which makes for boring gameplay!

Related Story. Survivor Athletes: Ranking The Best To Play The Game. light

The Idol Nullifier can be used effectively even when you don’t have the numbers. If the minority has a Hidden Immunity Idol or a secret advantage in their possession, they can use it to ensure that the person they are voting for receives the highest amount of valid votes. The David tribe proved this theory to be true as they were down six to five coming into Tribal. They used Nick’s Vote Stole advantage to swing the numbers to their side, which guaranteed that the Davids would have more votes on Dan than anyone else.

It will change how castaways share information. Now that future contestants (excluding Edge of Extinction) are aware of the devastation a Nullifier could cause, I think we’ll see more castaways keeping their idol finds to themselves. Will this have a negative impact on the game? My guess is quite the opposite.

Especially in recent seasons, people just can’t keep their mouths shut after finding an idol. Having the fear of that news being used against you should prevent idol finders from revealing their safety net. Generally, the longer players hold onto their idols, the better Tribal Councils will be post-merge, just as in David vs. Goliath.

light. More. Survivor fans in Canada can now apply and compete on the show

The Nullifier should be a regular advantage, but not more than one in a season. When you think about it, the Idol Nullifier might just be the most balanced and exciting secret advantage since the idol itself! With the added layers of strategy it brings, it makes sense for the Nullifier to be featured in seasons to come.

With any new toy that production comes up with, there’s always the fear of overuse, especially because of the Nullifier’s success in this past season. Having multiple Nullifiers in the same season is definitely overdoing it, reducing the power of an idol to a much lower level than it should be. If one is used before the merge, placing another one in the game is understandable, but even that is still pushing it.

Well, we finally have something that could actually take down an idol! As powerful as it sounds, the Nullifier does have a ceiling as it has to be played in a perfect situation for it to work. It will be interesting to see if the Nullifier will make an appearance in Edge of Extinction, which was filmed before David vs. Goliath aired.

Next. Survivor winners: Ranking 36 Sole Survivors by season. dark

We might never see this innovative tool used as successfully as Carl did, but it’s still nice to actually feel excited about a new advantage!