Worst twists in Survivor history

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /
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Oath of the Idols Survivor: Island of the Idols
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Survivor has been on the air for over 20 years now and during that time there have been plenty of horrible twists.

When Survivor first premiered in 2000, it got by on being a social experiment. The “twist” of the show was dropping 16 people from all different walks of life onto a deserted island and forcing them to work and live together.

While that premise is what helped propel Survivor into an overnight sensation, that concept on its own would get boring quickly, so production had to invent different twists each season to try and shake things up and make the show more interesting.

While most twists have been hits like the tribal swaps or the Hidden Immunity Idol, the Survivor team has come up with a fair amount of duds. That’s what this post is dedicated to, discussing the worst twists in Survivor history.

Let’s count ’em down!

(Note: Images will mostly be from recent seasons due to not having deep photo library)

Worst Twists in Survivor History – Number 16: Super Idol

  • First Appearance: Panama (Season 12, 2006)

Season 11 introduced the Hidden Immunity Idol, which allowed a player safety at tribal council if used correctly. In season 12, the Hidden Immunity Idol returned, but with a twist. This time around, if found, the idol could be played AFTER the votes were read.

Terry Deitz found the show’s first “Super Idol” on Exile Island and it helped get him to the final three. He was on the outside of the majority alliance that season and him having the idol threw quite a wrench in the majority’s plans because if they voted him out, he could play the idol after the votes were read to save himself and the person with the next amount of votes would go home (this was before splitting the votes was a thing).

The reason the Super Idol is a bad twist is because it’s too powerful.

It allowed both Terry and Yul Kwon (winner of Cook Islands) automatic spots in the final three and no one ever came after them in fear of it ultimately costing someone in their alliance. The Super Idol took a long hiatus after Cook Islands, not appearing again until Cagayan when Tony found it.

Production clearly liked the concept of the Super Idol, but realized it was too powerful, so they tried to tone it down a bit. In Kaoh Rong, a rule was in place that in order to form the Super Idol, two idols had to be combined, but could be played after the votes were read. This led to the famous showdown between Tai Trang and Scot Pollard.

While production learned that the Super Idol was way too powerful and have fixed its flaws, the early versions of it go down as one of the worst twists in Survivor history. At least one has never officially been played, right?