Survivor Edge of Extinction: Should the castaways keep their idol a secret?

Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Most of the castaways of Survivor: Edge of Extinction are determined not to make the common blunder of telling people that they found an idol.

The past few seasons of Survivor have shown viewers that knowledge of a Hidden Immunity Idol can be more powerful than actually possessing one. Season after season, castaways keep on spilling the beans about their idol find. We don’t have to look far for an example. Dan from David vs. Goliath was blindsided by the Idol Nullifier because he told someone about his idol. How will the cast from Edge of Extinction fare?

A behind the scenes video from ET Canada revealed the 18 castaways’ plans if they were to find a Hidden Immunity Idol. Almost every single one of them swore to keep their idol a secret, including Joe, Aubry and Wentworth. Several of the players reacted to that question with disgust, thinking that it’s obviously the worst mistake ever to divulge that powerful information.

Although 15 castaways authoritatively said that they would keep their idol secret, it’s hard to believe that all of them will stay true to their word. It’s one thing making that claim in pre-game interviews when you’re still in good living conditions. It’s another thing to keep an idol a secret when you’re hungry, tired and you just want to trust somebody.

There were a few outliers though. Wendy said that she wants to keep it a secret, but feels like she would have to tell her close alliance members so they won’t feel hurt. Which means if Wendy finds an idol, a lot of people are going to know about it!

Dan the Wardog took a more strategic approach. He agrees that an idol should be kept secret unless it makes sense to tell someone right before Tribal Council. This way, you could get them on your side before they get blindsided by the surprise idol play. It’s good to see that at least one person realizes that an idol can be more powerful if the right people know about it.

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And then there’s David. While all of the other 17 castaways voiced a determination to keep their idol to themselves, David Wright immediately said that he would tell someone. Does that raise red flags? Maybe a little, but that’s exactly what he did in Millennials vs. Gen X with both of the idols he found. Although that decision didn’t ruin David’s game, it did cause him to play one of his idols incorrectly during a key vote.

However, if anyone in this cast could use knowledge of an idol to their advantage, it would be David. For the most part, fans of Survivor can’t stand it when a castaway just gives away this crucial information. But it really comes down to the specific situation, and there are quite a few of examples of how telling people about an idol can actually help the cause. Think of Russell fooling Candice in Heroes vs. Villains, or the David tribe from last season discussing as a group which tool they should play.

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There was a record-tying seven Hidden Immunity Idol plays in David vs. Goliath. We could see a similar amount in Edge of Extinction, so it will be exciting to watch which castaways stick to their pre-game plan, and which don’t.