Survivor Island of the Idols: Will we see another epic Idol Nullifier play?

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Dean has discovered only the second Idol Nullifier in Survivor’s history! Will he be able to play it as successfully as Carl did in David vs. Goliath?

Two seasons ago Survivor introduced an interesting advantage that has the ability to block the power of a Hidden Immunity Idol. In an epic series events, Carl Boudreaux shattered the seemingly strong Goliath alliance when Dan Rengering’s Hidden Immunity Idol was voided by the Idol Nullifier. Bing! It’s an iconic Survivor moment that viewers will never forget.

After this new advantage was absent in Edge of Extinction, apart from faint whispers from the cast, it made its recent return in the penultimate episode of Island of the Idols. When Dean Kowalski was “randomly selected” to visit the Island of the Idols, he was given a choice of three different advantages if a coin flip was in his favor. An extra vote, an idol that he can only play for someone else at the next Tribal Council, or an Idol Nullifier.

Dean successfully acquired the Idol Nullifier, which could be of use to him since he knows who has possession of the final remaining idol. When Dean and Elaine went for a walk, he spotted Janet showing Tommy a Hidden Immunity Idol. Since we’re now down to only five castaways remaining, Janet and Dean are forced to play their respective advantages at the Final Five Tribal Council.

Must Read. Let’s Rank the Survivor Seasons by Their Locations. light

With a setup like that, we might be in for another exciting Idol Nullifier play. However, before we get our hopes up, we have to keep in mind who Dean told about his advantage. Instead of keeping this knowledge to himself, he informed Lauren and Tommy about it. That means Tommy knows which castaway has an idol and which has a Nullifier. That crucial information is no longer privy to Dean alone.

Unfortunately for Dean, that greatly weakens the power of his advantage. Tommy and Lauren have the power to influence Dean’s decision about who to play the Nullifier for. With Tommy in the loop, he could decide if he wants Janet’s idol to get blocked, or not.

Unless Janet wins Individual Immunity, I can’t imagine a situation where she doesn’t play the idol for herself. As close as she is with Tommy, I think Janet would take the conservative approach to “guarantee” her spot in the Final Four and use the idol for herself. What it really comes down to is who Tommy and Lauren want out of this game. If they want to go after Dean or even each other, the Nullifier would likely be useless.

Next. Survivor: Ranking the best Survivor seasons ever. dark

So we might be getting our first incorrect Idol Nullifier play. Even if it is played correctly, and Janet ends up getting her torch snuffed, it won’t compare to what happened in David vs. Goliath. The significance of this vote isn’t there, especially if Janet is the target. My guess is that we’ll have to wait until at least season 40 for another opportunity for the Idol Nullifier to make a Goliath-like splash.