Survivor Kaôh Rōng Idol Twist (Updated)

Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance introduced two brand new twists regarding the hidden immunity idols. The first of which was that every idol looked different. The second, and more successful, was that the idols were hidden in the middle of challenges. Next season, in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, the idols are evolving once again.

What is the new twist?

Survivor: Kaôh Rōng will start with three separate tribes. Each camp will have a hidden idol as per normal. These idols do not all look different like in Cambodia – in fact, they all look very similar. There is a reason they all look similar, and that is because the twist next season is that idols can be combined.

That’s right. If two players both have an idol, they can combine their idols together to create a super idol!

What do they look like?

Each idol is a hand carved wooden ornament in the shape of one-half of a Yin-Yang symbol. They each feature a hole and a connector on the side that allows for two idols to be slotted together.


There is also a carved animal emblem for that particular tribe on each idol. For example, the Brains tribe idol features a crocodile, the Brawn tribe a tiger and the Beauty tribe a snake. These emblems can be seen on the torches in the Survivor: Kaôh Rōng preview video that aired during the Survivor: Cambodia reunion show.


What does this mean?

Sources claim that the idols on their own can be used as normal – a castaway can play it before the votes are read at tribal council to nullify any votes cast against them. When two idols are combined, though, it increases the power.

UPDATE JANUARY 9: A little bit more information regarding idols on Season 32. Sources say that the idols themselves are hidden in a way that evolves naturally from Survivor: Cambodia. For example, they won’t simply be hidden in a tree like idols of the past. Much like in Cambodia, it will require a little more effort and risk to retrieve the idols.

UPDATE JANUARY 10: While not 100% verified, sources have revealed the power of the combined super idol. When two idols are combined to create the super idol, a castaway can play it after the votes are read at tribal council. 

Unlike the super idol that Tony found in Survivor: Cagayan – which could only be played for Tony himself – the super idol in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng can be played on any player. For example, if Player A has the super idol and Player B is the highest vote getter at tribal council, Player A can play the super idol on Player B after the votes are read to nullify all votes against them. 

UPDATE JANUARY 11: Jeff Probst has confirmed the new idol twist in an interview with As Inside Survivor first revealed, the idols this season can be combined to create a super idol which can be played after the votes are read at tribal council to save the highest vote getter.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Survivor: Kaôh Rōng – Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty will premiere February 17 2016 on CBS. For more information on the new season, you can check out the entire cast and their bios here. Inside Survivor also revealed the tribe names and divisions back in June.

Photo Credit: Happytimeblog via Compfight cc

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

24 responses to “Survivor Kaôh Rōng Idol Twist (Updated)”

    • I think its based on the snake in bible story, when Adam and eve only appreciated beauty after they were pursued by the snake to bite the apple. something like that, I don’t really get the story.

  1. If it means it can save 2 people, why make it fancy? It’s just useless knowing that the owners could just play it by themselves. I hope it would have the attributes of the TP idol and I a hero would grab them and nkt someone like Dan.

  2. I don’t think they’ll be the TP idol, but what about instead of just nullifying votes, they’re transferred to someone else? Ie, votes for x now count as votes for y.

  3. Maybe the super idol not only negates any votes against the two holders of said idol, but additionally flips the voided voters’ votes against themselves? What I mean is that if Player A votes against Player B but Players B and C play the super idol after the votes are read, Player A’s vote against Player B instead becomes a vote for Player A, essentially flipping the vote against the caster. That would hopefully lead to a good blindside to boot.

  4. […] According to Inside Survivor, each idol is a hand-carved wooden ornament that looks like half a Yin-Yang symbol. The idols are able to connect together with a connector, creating a larger idol. The connector is important because it verifies the idols are both genuine—as only an authentic idol will fit in the connector. […]

  5. Maybe… if both fitting Idols are played together, Julie Berry comes out of the wings and kicks Probst in the nuts?

    He deserves it for banning her from ever playing the game again.

  6. I’m guessing it was a success and someone in this season actually did it?

    my guess for the special power is 2 idols can save 3 people..
    or 2 idols can buy you advantage to the individual immunity (thats not it, just silly)
    or 2 idols may cancel all votes and all names written in the parchment will be safe from the second round of voting.
    or if you use the 2 idols you can send one person home right away……………

  7. How about if the super idol is played (after the vote), the person with individual immunity loses that immunity? So people can cast a vote for the person with individual immunity but if the super idol is not played, any such votes are wasted. That would make for some interesting vote splitting and blind siding.

  8. This is going to end up being a pointless thing just like how all the idols looked different last season. That never really came into play. Just a stupid thing to get people excited for the next season, only to see it not even come to fruition.

  9. (About the January 10th Update) I’m actually okay with it being a “Tyler Perry Idol” as long as it’s not so easy to find like it was for Tony. Having to get another player to combine idols with you seems extremely challenging and could make for some great alliance building/destroying drama.

  10. As long as they’re not just hanging about in between trees on string in the broad black of night then I’m good. I still don’t understand how it’ll work but it’s something else to look forward to I guess! Not long to wait!

  11. Survivor keeps evolving and changing in great ways. Unlike some other reality shows in the summertime, the changes are awesome and really keep it interesting and me watching. Will watch Survivor as long as I am able to breathe!

  12. I think that the idol will be similar to the Diamond Veto on Big Brother, before the votes are read, you can use the idol and say who you like to receive the votes that the person used the idol on. For example: Tasha uses Idol on James and names Robby as James’s replacement so all votes cast against James will be flipped onto Robby. So if James got 7 votes and chris got 2 votes, Robby would be eliminated becuase all of James’s votes were replaced with Robby. I think this will be a really good twist! However, I am worried about the ammount of power that comes with it as it does seem a little bit to powerful tbh.

  13. I have to say I’m a bit skeptical about this change. I love the idea about multiple uses for the HII and adding different ways to play in general. Even if they add something that seems completely idiotic (i.e. giving away the individual immunity necklace), it can still lead to some great moments.

    HOWEVER, the great part of the HII is that it DOESN’T guarantee protection. I feel like this twist would ruin a lot of suspense. The only drama would be over whether people would choose to combine there idols (and if they keep them secret like this past season, there wouldn’t even be that), with no downside if they choose not to combine them.

    I think a necessary improvement would be that once combined, they could not be uncombined. That way someone like James in China couldn’t combine it to protect himself from a blindside and then, if he isn’t blindsided, still use both of them at final 6 and 5 to be 1 immunity away from Day 39. Or maybe, once combined, it has to be used at the next tribal council.

    The only great moment would be if Person A gave Person B their idol with Person B promising to save whichever one of the two is voted out, and then have Person B renege on their promise and have Person A go home, leaving Person B with both idols.

    Looking at past cases where a person/alliance had two idols at the same time:

    James in China: If he could have combined his two idols he would never have been able to be blindsided with both in his pocket, ruining a great moment.
    Sugar in Gabon: Maybe Sugar goes and takes Randy’s free idol knowing that it would make the one she already has that much powerful. One of the few good moments this twist could have created.
    Parv in HvV: This would have sucked all the drama out of her idol play (aside from it being JT’s idol). What was epic about her move is that she played both idols on other people, leaving herself vulnerable. If we knew that she could have protected the entire villians tribe using both idols, the episode would have been pointless to watch.
    Chase/Sash in Nicaragua: Wouldn’t have changed anything. They didn’t even need to play the idols.
    Malcolm in Caramoan: He could have saved Corrine or Snowie if he combined both his and Reynold’s idol. This probably could have improved the season as it would have given the Three Amigos alliance a one person disadvantage at final 11, giving them a chance and making it feel less like a Pagonging. This is a case where when given to the underdogs, it could be good. However, it would have been useless in the final 10 tribal (if Corrine and Snowie were voted out at 12 and 11) as the smarter move would be to keep the idols separate.
    Tony in Cagayan: Well, he basically did have this.
    Jeremy in Cambodia: Jeremy’s best move was to use them separately so it wouldn’t have made a difference.

    Tony/LJ in Cagayan: This is the major reason I dislike this this twist. The merge episode in Cagayan was unquestionably one of the greatest episodes of all time. It was amazing to watch Tony and LJ both play idols on each other, thinking they just gained control of the game only to get that moment when Jeff read the first vote: “Jefra”. Had the two instead combined their idols (I don’t know if they both knew about each others’ idols though), then there would have been NO suspense over who went home. Sarah would have gone home no matter what and the Kass flip would have meant nothing. Although the outcome of the season would probably have been the same, there is a HUGE loss in the character development of Kass as she is no longer the sole reason her alliance was decimated and the season loses its best moment.

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