As dedicated fans of Survivor know, the idol nullifier was a secret power new to the game this year. In Carl’s possession, the power allowed Carl to negate the powers of an immunity idol. The only catch to the power was he had to predict who was going to use their immunity idol and play the nullifier before the idol could be used. If the nullifier is played on the wrong person, it would be useless. So, this incredible power could have also ended up being incredibly useless.
Warning: Remainder of the article contains spoilers from this week’s episode.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Jeff Probst following the airing of this week’s episode to discuss the moment that Carl played the idol nullifier.
“That was a historic Survivor moment. It was the first time a Nullifier was played and Carl played it correctly. That’s all we could have ever dared dream when we put the Nullifier into this season,” Jeff said as he opened up about how impressive it was that the first time the power was ever used, it was used successfully.
“The other side of the moment was the confusion shared by Dan and the Goliaths. They had no idea there was even such a thing as a Nullifier so their shock was compounded by a lack of information. And that lack of information connects to the third and perhaps most important element in all of this — the reminder that the Survivor gods are the ones who are truly in control of the game,” Jeff added as he reminded everyone the game – at its core – is to remember there are always unknown factors and you are never completely in control of your game.
According to Probst, these Survivor gods he speaks of have a “wicked sense of humor” and love when there is a thick layer of irony added to the game. So, the way the new advantage played out was more beautiful than anything those who thought up the idol nullifier could have ever imagined.
Probst continued to explain that if it was not for the idol nullifier, there was a very good chance Dan could have gone on to win the game. He was a beast at challenges and he was a beast at finding idols.
Using an immunity idol to save someone other than yourself is a huge move and it was something he did last week to save Angelina even after hesitating.
With the second immunity idol in his pocket being put into play, he should have once again been a target they could not touch. This newfound power, however, turned the game on its head and made the safety and security of an immunity idol no longer a sure thing. Now, those with immunity idols in their pockets will also have to be careful about sharing the information with too many people as a power could prevent it from being used should another idol nullifier appear in the game.
Toward the end of his interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeff Probst teased that two episodes would air next week and that they would both be “fantastic.”