'Survivor' host Jeff Probst clarifies re-hidden Immunity Idol ownership rules
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/06/2019
Survivor host Jeff Probst is finally clarifying the rules of ownership when it comes to a re-hidden Immunity Idol.
AsSurvivor viewers saw in the most recent episode of Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Lauren O'Connell discovered a hidden Immunity Idol at her Manu camp and then buried it in the sand to prevent another castaway from finding it.
Lauren likely realized the risk involved when placing an idol among one's possessions at camp, as another skeptical and sneaky player could easily search through a fellow castaway's things and find it.
So what will happen if another player stumbles across Lauren's hidden Immunity Idol in the sand?
Probst revealed to Entertainment Weekly the idol will belong to its original founder unless he or she willingly gives it away to someone else.
"Let's clear this up for fans and future players: When someone finds an idol, it is their idol, regardless of whether they hide it in their personal bag or bury it in the sand. An idol can never be taken from you," Jeff explained to EW.
"So, if another player discovered an idol that had already been found and then 'hidden' in the sand, they could not use the idol, nor could they re-hide it or destroy it."
If a castaway therefore discovered Lauren's idol, he or she would presumably be informed by Survivor's crew that the idol had already been claimed and belonged to someone else.
However, such a discovery comes with knowledge in the game, which can be extremely powerful on its own.
The person to find a re-hidden idol does "have some fun strategic options that could still help them in the game," according to Probst.
"For instance, they could place the idol back where they found it and use their spy techniques to see who returns to that spot. Now they know who has an idol. Or, they could waltz into camp and say, 'Look what I found?' Sooner or later the rightful owner would have to claim it and now it's out in the open, thus reducing its impact."
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Probst also suggested the player with intel could go directly to the source and secretly ask about the idol in question.
"If you strike gold, you now only have valuable information, and you might have a new alliance," Probst reasoned.
Although this occurrence rarely happens, Probst noted, "I'm sure there are future players already thinking of a dozen other ways you could use this information for maximum advantage."