Last night’s episode of Australian Survivor was a landmark moment for multiple reasons. It was the official merge episode, meaning the people making up the Brains and Brawn tribes had lasted to the halfway point, and contestants could start playing a more individual game. It also held a pivotal moment at tribal council – an idol was exchanged after the votes were counted and the idol owner was eliminated.

Sunday night’s massive episode culminated in an all-in tribal council where Hayley played her idol to save Laura, who the former Brawn alliance was targeting that week with eight votes. In doing that, the valid votes then landed on Dani and Kez, with the scales tipped towards Kez.

Earlier in the episode, Kez had very publicly found herself a hidden immunity idol by the river, and because she didn’t play it before the votes were read, she was set to head home with it in her pocket. That was, until she sneakily handed it off to Flick after she’s been booted but before she had her torch snuffed.


It’s largely known in the Survivor universe that an idol is considered “dead” if the person who possesses it is eliminated from the game without it being played. Hell, it’s how Simon went home last week with two idols in his pocket.

So when Kez passed her idol over to Flick, everyone watching at home assumed it was dead – meaning Flick could not play it to save herself or someone else at a future vote.

Maybe the producers would let her keep the idol and Johnathan LaPaglia would be like “this is a dead idol and cannot be played” when she tried to save her own ass. Surely it was going to be a harbinger of chaos, continuing the theme of this year’s season that’s finally brought the Aussie franchise up to the energy of the US.

Apparently, this is not the case for the Aussie version of the show.

Former Australian Survivor player Nick Iadanza took to Twitter to clear the air when fans went into overdrive about the illegal idol exchange. Apparently the rules about transferring idols changed before All Stars in 2020, allowing contestants to hand off their idols after the votes had been read but before their torch gets snuffed.

Nick said that when he saw the rule, it didn’t change his drive to try and flush out idols from other players, and if anything it made him start to watch everyone very closely at Tribal Councils.

Apparently the exact same thing happened in Survivor South Africa this week, so it’s not just something that’s applicable to only the Australian edition.

This tribe has spoken, and it says this new rule is some real bullshit.

Image: 10Play / Australian Survivor