It’s perhaps one of the most brutal ways to leave the game, not only blindsided but successfully blindsided while you’re in possession of an Immunity idol — or two!
On this week’s Australian Survivor Talking Tribal, James, Hayley, George and Shannon spoke about the history of players who have left the game with the most bittersweet souvenirs.
After Monday night’s episode where Croc was blindsided so successfully he never even considered playing his idol, the team wondered why this trend so often seems to happen to a similar kind of player.
Preparing to ‘re-traumatise some past players’, Shannon explained that the idols we are so familiar were only introduced in Season 14 of US Survivor.
“It was by Season 15 that James Clement left with two idols in his pocket actually, and that was the first time it happened,” she explained. “That really just started a proud tradition cross the franchise of people leaving with idols in their pocket.”
Though it has slightly diversified, Shannon also noted that it’s the “alpha male type players” who so commonly are the ones finding themselves not playing the idol that could save their skin in the game.
“I mean, some of these big names: Benji, Mat Rogers, Harry, David Genat even,” she said adding, “Simon with two idols! These big alpha male players who have had these big, big falls and I think, unfortunately Croc is now part of that pantheon of leaving with an idol in your pocket.”
Hayley added that part of the reason Croc’s blindside was so heartbreaking was because his idol was well and truly hidden from his tribe. Only he and Chrissy knew about it.
“Everyone knows Khanh’s got an idol, they knew David had one, there were public idols that were found but when we see that someone’s got a private, secret hidden Immunity Idol like the name said it should be, then that lends itself to some interesting gameplay,” Hayley added.
“Often, when we see these big players going with their idols — for example when Simon went with his two idols — it was because we knew about it, and it means that if you’re a big, strong guy and you have idols, especially two, you’re really threatening,” she added.
Comparing Croc and Khanh’s idols, the gang spoke about how despite letting his tribe know about the idol immediately after he got it, Khanh has been able to play his to its fullest potential, despite multiple efforts to flush it.
“It’s hard to emphasise how amazing it is to sit in a Tribal Council and, every time, feel like it very well could be me and still hold it back based on your assessment of what’s happening and the conversations you’ve had,” Hayley said.
“Even if you’ve had the votes the Tribal before and still not played it the next one, I’m really impressed with what he’s doing,” she continued. “He’s reading the room really well, he’s trusting his relationships and it’s scary for him. I think he’s doing a great job.”
Shannon agreed adding, “Better safe than sorry. If you use an idol you can always find another one but it’s so easy to say from the couch,” she added. “Croc clearly had no inkling to play it and, if you hold onto it, that can be really worthwhile.”
Shannon also said that going home with an idol in your pocket is “not really an indictment on you, necessarily, maybe just credit to the blindside”.
“But it’s definitely a painful one and you see, to blindside someone that well that they don’t get any inkling to maybe play the idol, it’s a struggle if it’s in your pocket just burning a hole there and, to get sent home with it… I’m sure it must be just exceptionally painful.”
Australian Survivor: Blood V Water continues Sunday - Tuesday at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play on demand