Since season 11 hidden immunity idols have become a staple of the game. People have played these idols and gotten out one of the biggest threats of the game. This week Alec Culver our Utah ozlet, takes a look at the top 10 games that were blown up by a played idol. This list is just the people who didn’t receive the majority vote but an idol being played was what ended their game. This so far in 20 seasons since it was introduced has only affected 17 people so far. I’m not counting Kimmi’s vote out because it was a totally different story.
Note: This is the top 10 games ruined by idol plays not the top 10 idol plays, so this is about the person who went home, not the person who played the idol.
10. Wes Nale – San Juan Del Sur
Based on the edit there was no way that Wes was going to win the season but from what we did see he wasn’t playing a bad game. People liked him and he was in a decent spot until not 1 but 2 idols were played that sent him home. We would have loved to see our favorite Taco and Chicken nugget eating champion son of Keith continue in the game but idols ended up being his downfall. He is the only person ever to be voted out when 2 idols were played that canceled out the two highest vote getters as well so that was the only way for him to go home that night.
9. Bobby Jon Drinkard – Guatemala
This one is an interesting one. However I couldn’t exclude the first victim of an idol being played. Bobby Jon was not supposed to go home that night but the first ever hidden immunity idol was played by Gary and then the majority alliance had no other choice but to vote Bobby Jon out. With the idol rules being written at this point this isn’t the most iconic idol play but it did screw Bobby Jon over and his game. Not to mention that the viewers had no idea that Gary had the idol which made it even more of a shock when he played it. Although the idol didn’t cancel out any votes, I still would say that Bobby Jon was the first victim of the hidden immunity idol.
8. Ciera Eastin – Cambodia
Ciera was always fighting from the bottom in Cambodia. She seemed super focused on making moves and the trading bloc system was implemented. The system was being implemented to perfection as after the Kass vote out and a timely idol play by her closest ally had saved them for a couple tribals in a row. She had helped make a move to get rid of Wigglesworth and now they had plans to get rid of Stephen but Jeremy pulled out his idol to save his ally. If it wasn’t for Jeremy’s idol play then Ciera could have made it very deep into the game and so it truly ruined her game.
7. Kelly Remington – Worlds Apart
Going into the merge Kelly was in a great spot. She had her majority alliance with the Blue Collars and was someone that Rodney wanted as part of his strong 4 alliance. However, a lack of distrust from the no collars towards Kelly and a very well-played idol ended up being her downfall. In the first few episodes she was just there and wasn’t seen as a threat to win. However, in the episodes leading up to the merge she was being portrayed as someone who could win this game. This idol ruined her game and given the people that Kelly was most loyal to went to the final 4 proves that she could have won this game if Jenn didn’t play that idol.
6. Pete Yurkowski – Philippines
Another victim of the split vote to flush out an idol. To be honest there was probably no way even if Abi didn’t play her idol that Pete would have survived this tribal council. However, Pete’s game was a piece of art up until the tribal council before this one. He was in a prime position to win the game before Skupin flipped and then Lisa flipped. Pete was seen as a great player and it was eventually his alliance with Abi-Maria that was his downfall. However, his game was still ruined by Abi playing his idol as there was a slim chance of him surviving the tribal council and maneuvering his way to survive a few more. He was one of the more underrated players of the season and someone I feel deserves the second chance to see how he would play without Abi by his side.
5. Andrew Savage – Cambodia
Savage was in a great position when he got blindsided. As noted in the tribal council he was one of the leaders of the majority alliance. He was never a target to anyone besides the 3 girls at the bottom. Everyone was coming to him when it came to plans on who to vote out and he seemed to have everyone wrapped around his fingers. He was getting a big winners edit as well especially that by the end of the episode he was the person to have the most confessionals (or tied) in the season. He was seen as the leader on Bayon, he was seen as the leader on Angkor, he was seen as the leader of the majority alliance and he was getting a much more positive edit then he was on his first time around. However, Wentworth played the idol perfectly and for some reason the majority alliance decided not to split the votes and it ended up ruining the game that a lot of people were starting to believe was going to be the winner, myself included and I’ve been saying the same person since episode 1. It was a shocking blindside and it was the perfect person to vote out when an idol was played because he was playing such a great game.
4. Baylor Wilson – San Juan Del Sur
Baylor’s edit during the season was hit and miss. She had a huge edit in the first half of the season and a slow edit in the middle portion and a strong edit at the end. However, Natalie decided that Baylor was the bigger threat to get out than Jaclyn and Missy and so she wanted to get rid of her. Baylor was the only real threat to win at this point other than Keith. Natalie was just emerging as a threat to win and so it was a big blow. Baylor’s game was ruined by this play especially when Baylor and Missy thought that Missy was the one going home. However, Jaclyn and Natalie must have seen something that was a huge threat to Baylor because they voted her out instead and so that shows that her game was ruined by this idol play.
3. J.T. Thomas – Heroes vs. Villains
The first victim of the first ever double idol play. Of all the Heroes in this season he was by far getting the best winners edit. He was playing both sides and even if people will argue that his strategic game was flawed it was being portrayed as he was the leader of the Heroes alliance. It was a little fitting that his own idol was the one that ended up being his downfall but that was poetic justice that since it was his plan for him to go down with it. However, if the Heroes had come out on top in that tribal council, he probably would have been at the end and he could have been the person to be undefeated when it comes to Survivor but a double idol play sent him to the jury.
2. Phillip Sheppard – Caramoan
Was Phillip annoying? Yes. Was he up to his old tricks? A little bit. Was his game dramatically improved? Hell yes it was. He was the leader of the Stealth R Us alliance and as we had witnessed a couple of episodes earlier everyone seemed to trust him. He might not have won the game but he actually had a great shot at winning the game as well. Looking back this wasn’t the best move by the Amigos to take him out instead of someone like Cochran but they took out the leader and it was just a few tribals after this one that the Stealth R Us alliance starts to form cracks in it. That goes to show how important he was to the alliance and how great of a game he was playing. His game was truly ruined by an idol and that is why he is so high on this list.
1. Tyler Fredrickson – Worlds Apart
This one was a shocking one. We all knew that Mike was going to play his idol that night, there was no question about that. So the majority alliance had decided to split the votes and give 2 votes for Dan and then he would go home. However, Carolyn and Sierra decided that Tyler had become too big of a threat and although you had Carolyn going back and forth on whether it was the right choice or not to vote Tyler or Dan out, it was shocking that she still voted her closest ally out. Tyler was a huge threat to win the game, even with his sub-par edit. If you watch the Ponderosa videos, everyone said that Tyler was the best player in the game and if he made it to the end then they would vote for him and that is probably why Carolyn voted him out. Once Tyler was gone you knew that it was either Mike or Carolyn winning the game but before that you thought it was going to be Tyler no matter who he took to the end and that is why his game was ruined by the idol play, even if the idol play was painfully obvious.
Honorable mentions: Stacy – Survivor: Fiji, Alexis – Survivor: Micronesia, Kelly – Survivor: Samoa, Cirie – Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, Tyson – Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, R.C. – Survivor: Philippines Dan – Survivor: Worlds Apart
What do you think of the top 10? Do you agree? Disagree? Is it in the wrong order or are there ones that didn’t make the top 10 that you feel should’ve? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!
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