The Hidden Immunity Idol twist made its first appearance in Tumblr Survivor Season 3. It has also appeared in Season 4 and Season 5. It negates votes that the holder would receive at Tribal Council. Despite its potential to make its owner survive longer in the game, it can only be used once (where the idol will be either re-hidden or discarded after its use). With this, owners should be careful about divulging information about possessing one and/or when to use it because a player can still be eliminated with the idol, thus going home bringing his/her idol with him (dubbed as "flushing").
While the television version of Survivor has had three different formats for how to use the idol Tumblr Survivor has only used one.
Before Votes Are Revealed
players must use the idol after the votes have been cast, but before the host reveals them. This gesture will force castaways to become more cautious on possessing it and/or divulging information about possessing one. With this format, it is crucial for players to use his/her idol at the right time. Contestants must draw the idol at a Tribal Council where they are sure to receive votes, or else, they will either waste the idol (if they had either no votes against them or if they have votes, there may not be enough to eliminate them) or get eliminated without even using the idol. This was dubbed by several contestants as flushing. Once the idol is used, it is usually re-hidden. From this point forward, the idols are valid up until the Tribal Council where there are only five contestants remaining.
When the castaway is voted out as a direct result of the use of the Hidden Immunity Idol, that person is said to have been "Idoled out".
In case of a tie, if the player who possesses an idol is subjected to a tie vote, they may not use their idol in the second round of voting.
Getting An Idol
Each season has had a different way in distributing its Hidden Immunity Idols.
During this season the host would randomly generate two castaways on opposite tribes to receive the idol. Once the idol was used or flushed another one would be distributed.
In Season 4 many reward challenges were held to receive clues as to where the Hidden Immunity Idols were located. The idols were hidden in Survivor blogs who would give them to the player that first messaged their blog. The idols were hidden with:
- Samantha, on her Survivor blog.
- An Ethan Zohn blog.
In this season two Reward Challenges were held in which the winners won Hidden Immunity Idols.
Winners of Reward Challenges or combined Reward and Immunity Challenges would get to take a trip to the Islands of Tumblr Survivor's Past, where they can choose 2 Islands of past tribes, hoping to find a Hidden Immunity Idol there.
This idol system utilized Tumblr as a whole as well as Exile Island. The idols were hidden on urls on various side blogs created by the host. The players on exile would receive a clue. The answer to the clue would be a tag on Tumblr. The more tags you could search through the easier it was to find the side blog. Once there you use context clues from the clues to go to the correct url where the hidden immunity idol would be waiting.
At the start of the game there was a Man's and a Woman's Idol. The winning tribe got to select from a list of items, which one of the items contained a clue to the hidden immunity idol. Before merge, another idol was introduced. At the merge there was an idol introduced that could be found with clues that would be won by winning individual immunity. At the Survivor Auction a secret idol was hidden within one of the items that was auctioned off.
- Man's Idol Answer- Friends are known first in hardships
- Woman's Idol Answer- A foolish bird fouls her own nest
- Pre-merge Idol Answer- Billy Garcia
- Merge Idol Answer- Julie McGee
- Auction Idol- Hidden in the Octopus Stew
- She used the idol in the "Karma's A ....." Episode on herself. This negated the five votes against her and resulted in Alexis being voted out.
- Alexis was voted out of the game while in possession of the Hidden Immunity Idol.
- Ironically, she was voted out as a result of an Idol being played.
- Katie played the idol on Anna in the "Nice People Finish Last" Episode. Anna's five votes were negated resulting in Katelyn being voted out.
- Caleb played in idol on himself in the "The Top Dogs Now" Episode. The three votes cast against him were negated and resulted in Sarah being voted out.
- Cassidy played the idol on Jack in the "Plot Twist" Episode. This negated Jack's six votes and resulted in Cassidy being voted out by Jack's single vote.
- Wes played the idol on himself in the "It's Great That You Got Sand In Your Eye" Episode. This negated the two votes against him. However Elizabeth still had the majority of votes and was voted out.
- Wes is the first player to use the idol on themselves without actually having received the majority of votes at that Tribal Council.
- Hanne used the idol on herself in the "I'm Half Machine! I'm A Monster!" Episode. This negated the one vote cast against her. However Benji stil had the majority of four votes and was voted out of the game.
- During the only two reward challenges Jessica won both Hidden Immunity Idols of the season. In the Clusterfuck Episode she gave the idol to JaeMin in order to secure his safety and send Jake B to Redemption Island. She never played the second idol.
- In Episode 5 Adam played the idol on himself. This negated four votes cast against him which left the other four votes for Aidan, resulting in Aidan being voted out 4-0.
- Wes played the idol on himself in Episode 11. This negated the two votes against him. However Lacey still had the majority of votes and was voted out.
- Wes committed a similar misplay of an Idol in Panama (See above).
- In Episode 15 with 5 contestants remaining, JaeMin played the Idol on himself. This negated the three votes against him, allowing himself and Jake B to vote out Caleb 2-0.
- In Episode 8, Jules played the idol on herself after being told by Masen that she would be voted out.
- In Episode 12, Jules gave the idol to Priscilla Diaz just before tribal council.
- In Episode 15, Priscilla played the idol on herself, negating four votes and causing Joe Kendrick to be voted out.
Jessie: Tumblr Survivor: Matsu Islands
- In episode 5, Jessie played the hidden immunity idol on herself, negating only 3 votes against her. Grace had 5 votes against her already and was still voted out.
- In episode 6, Jen played the hidden immunity idol on herself, negating 5 votes against her and sending Lachie home with 3 votes against him.
Jessie: Tumblr Survivor: Matsu Islands
- In episode 12, Jessie once again played the hidden immunity idol on herself, negating 5 votes against herself and eventually sending Simon home.
Szymon: Tumblr Survivor: Matsu Islands
- In episode 12, Szymon played the hidden immunity idol on himself, negating 3 votes and ultimately sending Simon home with 1 vote against him.
- In episode 15, Jen once again played the hidden immunity idol on herself, only negating 1 vote against her. Jessie was voted off with 2 votes.
- In episode 15, Ryan played the hidden immunity idol on Maria, negating 3 votes against her and ultimately voting Jessie off with 2 votes.
- In Episode 9, Tony played the hidden immunity idol on himself and another idol on Shaelyn, negating the votes cast against Shaelyn and causing Nathan to be voted out.
- In Episode 9, Torsa played the hidden immunity idol on Chris, negating the votes cast against Chris and causing Nathan to be voted out.
- In Episode 14, Joshua played the hidden immunity idol on himself, negating the votes cast against himself and resulting in a tie vote between Torsa and Reyn.
- In Episode 14, Jules played the hidden immunity idol on herself, negating the votes cast against herself and resulting in a tie vote between Torsa and Reyn.
Castaways Voted Out With Idols In Their Possession