The Island of the Idols twist brought its fair share of pros and cons but is it a convincing enough idea to consider being used in another Survivor season.
When you think about Redemption Island, Edge of Extinction and Ghost Island, season 39’s twist is a pleasant upgrade. Island of the Idols still has its own issues, that’s for sure, but it didn’t seem to take over the season like other bold Survivor themes. It was awesome to see Boston Rob and Sandra on our screens again, and their Tribal Council spy shack added a fun feature to each episode.
The Island of the Idols twist is unlike any other, and that can work both as a strength and a weakness. As great as some components of this twist are, there are a few concrete reasons why CBS shouldn’t approve of this format again.
First of all, what would they do for lessons and tests? It already felt like they were running out of ideas as the season progressed, as they even resorted to a coin toss for a test. Repeating the same lessons and tests would be super lame and would feel like a waste of time. They would have to come up with a far better lesson plan than Island of the Idols to make this twist work a second time.
There are some themes that make a lot of sense to utilize more than once such as the Blood vs. Water twist, Exile Island, and the Brains, Brawn, Beauty theme. Island of the Idols doesn’t fall into that category. It’s suited far better as a one-time use theme like Ghost Island.
When thinking about who would be the mentors, it would be hard to follow Boston Rob and Sandra’s outing. The only experienced duo I could possibly see working would be Ozzy and Cirie, which is an intriguing combo. That said, anyone else would feel like a stretch to be considered as mentor material.
If production is smart, they won’t go back to this twist again. It’s not that Island of the Idols was a terrible idea in itself, it just had some shaky execution at times and it isn’t a compelling theme that leaves us wanting it more. It served its purpose, and it doesn’t close the door on short term mentor visits like Cochran’s cameo in Game Changers. I’m sure the producers can dream up plenty of new and fresh ideas that have greater potential in seasons to come.