Jeff Probst Explains What Happens If The Wrong Person Finds A Specific Immunity Idol On ‘Survivor’

Jeff Probst proctors a tribal council on Survivor
Robert Voets / CBS

It’s not a scenario that happens often on Survivor, but it is definitely a possibility. What happens when an immunity idol is left for a player on the island but is found by a player it is not intended for? This isn’t even a scenario that pops up in every season, but it could have happened on the November 27 episode of Island of the Idols. Lauren Beck visited Sandra Diaz-Twine and Rob Mariano in the last episode and was told that if she won a bet, an immunity idol for her would be hidden under a rock by the water well. It’s possible another cast member could have found the idol, which prompted many to wonder what would happen if that were the case. It turns out, the only person who can use the idol is the one it was intended for.

When speaking with Entertainment Weekly after Wednesday’s episode, longtime host Jeff Probst explained the rules of finding immunity idols and what would have happened if someone other than Lauren found the hidden idol by the water well. The publication suggested the scenario was “highly unlikely,” but still possible.

“As you noted, it’s highly unlikely, as we’re pretty good at that part of our job! But if it did happen, that would suck for the player who found it as they would not get to keep the idol. In fact, quite often those types of idols have a note with them that indicates it belongs to the finder because they completed a specific task. But, it would still be a big advantage for that player because they could lie in wait to see who gets the idol and would now have valuable information,” the host explained.

The producers of shows like Survivor work very hard behind the scenes to ensure situations like this don’t happen. Production is always well-aware of what is going on with each of their cast members every hour of the day, and it’s likely the idol would be placed by the water well when it appeared as if Lauren was on her way to achieving it, and not a moment before.

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On the other hand, producers could place the idol by the well whenever they felt they should, possibly hoping someone else could find it because it would drastically shake up the gameplay. This would allow the cast member who first found the idol to out the person it was intended for.

Survivor: Island of the Idols airs every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.