As David pulled out his hidden immunity idol at the fourth tribal council of the game, successfully saving Jessica from her torch-snuffing demise and sending Lucy straight to Ponderosa, he became only the third player to successfully play and idol before the merge.
The two players before him to accomplish such a feat both did so during Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
On Night 11, Tom Westman played an immunity idol on himself, canceling out three votes that would’ve caused a tie between Cirie Fields and himself on the Heroes tribe. Westman was ultimately voted out three nights later.
In one of the most exciting tribal councils of Heroes vs. Villains on Night 15, Russell Hantz convinced Tyson Apostol to switch his vote from Russell to his alliance partner, Parvati Shallow, who he was planning to play his idol on. After Russell did so, four votes were read for Parvati, three for Tyson and only two for Russell, sending Tyson home.
A number of players have played idols in the tribal phase of the game, but outside of the two plays in one the game’s most competitive season, no one has ever pulled off such a stunt.
And there’s a reason why. It’s never a good game move to play an idol before the merge, especially on another individual.
There’s two reasons for that: By being in possession of a tribe’s hidden immunity idol, David wasn’t only blessed with its powers, he also knew who was in possession of the idol – meaning he knew that every other player on his tribe didn’t have an idol.
In Survivor, Intel like the is the currency of the game. And by blowing his idol on Jessica, he gave up all the currency he’d accumulated. Forget about the trust factor he also put back into question.
Now, there’s an idol back in play at the Gen X beach. If he doesn’t find the immunity idol, not only is David out of a powerful tool, he also doesn’t know who has it, which could be even more costly to his game.
Takali (Gen X):