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Jeff Probst: 'Survivor' changing hidden idols due to Russell Hantz

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/03/2010 

Russell Hantz has apparently made an indelible mark on Survivor when it comes the handling of hidden Immunity Idols.

"Over the last two seasons Russell has proven that he has an uncanny ability to find the idols.  In fact, he's so good at it that he's forever changed how we will handle idols in future seasons," wrote host Jeff Probst in his Entertainment Weekly blog on Friday.

"Next season it will take more than just looking under a rock to find a hidden idol.  I won't give away what we're doing, but in planning our creative for next season we coined a phrase, 'The Russell Factor' and it influenced how we will play the hidden idol next season."

Hantz used the hidden Immunity Idols he found during Survivor: Samoa, which aired last fall, to make it all the way to the final Tribal Council -- where he eventually lost to his ally Natalie White.

At one point, he was even able to find an idol without a clue.

Hantz carried his ability to locate the competition's hidden idols with him onto Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains, causing him to proclaim that he's the "king" of them during last week's episode.

"I'd have to agree," wrote Probst.

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