‘Survivor’ Math: Why the New Immunity Idol Twist Is Evil

by | February 22, 2012 at 4:14 PM | Survivor, TV News

'Survivor: One World' (CBS)

'Survivor: One World' (CBS)

Before last week’s “Survivor” premiere there was a great deal of uncertainty regarding the new hidden immunity idol twist. It turns out that if a Salani tribe member finds the Manono immunity idol, she must give it to a Manono member before the next Tribal Council (and vice versa).

Watch Last Week’s Episode of “Survivor: One World”

At first, I assumed a savvy tribe member would simply use the idol to curry favor with a member of the opposing squad. Now, while Salani’s Sabrina did just that when she handed the Manono idol off to Colton, she also did something much bigger.

By giving the idol to the person who is perceived to be Manono’s weakest member, she potentially blew Manono’s game apart.

What adds to this style of gameplay is the probability that the idol will find its way into the hands of the player most like to shake up his or her tribe.

Think about it, if the tribes were on separate beaches, Colton (the person who supposedly needs immunity the most) would have had a one-in-nine shot (11.1%) at finding the idol. However, as we saw last week, there’s value in someone giving the idol to the most disruptive member of the opposing tribe. That new wrinkle gave Colton a possible ten-in-eighteen shot (55.5%) at getting it. If this style of gameplay stays constant, the weakest challenge competitor or the player who is on the outs socially has a better chance than not of receiving an idol.

Well played, “Survivor” twist thinker-uppers. Well played.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: One World”

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes