Pitting two generations against one another was not enough for Survivor in season 33. While the unique casting of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X was enough of a twist to build an entire season premiere out of, the show went a bit further. There is a new advantage floating out there for castaways to find, the Legacy Advantage.
The Legacy Advantage remains largely a mystery, though it was found in a similar way to Hidden Immunity, it may not have the same powers. The big gimmick with the Legacy Advantage is that it cannot be used until Day 35 and if the recipient is voted out before then they must give it to another castaway. It’s this mystery alone that makes me hopeful that Legacy Advantage will replace Hidden Immunity altogether.
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Out With the (Very) Old
Hidden Immunity Idols have been a part of some fantastic moments in Survivor history. Especially when multiple Hidden Immunity idols came into play, the twist has provided some stellar Tribal Councils. Parvati Shallow using multiple Hidden Immunity Idols to ensure her alliance’s safety remains not just the pinnacle of the Hidden Immunity twist, it’s one of the best Survivor moments ever. Despite that history, Hidden Immunity Idols have far outstayed their welcome.
Searching for a Hidden Immunity has become a pre-requisite task on Survivor. There are three items on a Survivor player’s checklist when they step onto the beach for the first time: build a shelter, make fire and find a Hidden Immunity Idol or a Hidden Immunity Idol clue somewhere in the camp. Watching players look for a Hidden Immunity Idol has become as stale as watching them build the shelter or make fire. Survivor still focuses on both aspects but much more time is spent in season premieres on the alliances that already forming between the new arrivals.
Survivor has gone on so long that the focus of the show really isn’t on surviving anymore. It’s about the gameplay and the interactions between the cast. When Hidden Immunity Idols have become exactly as exciting as people rubbing two sticks together, it is time to let them go. There is actually more excitement to be found with the castaways searching for a Hidden Immunity Idol and never finding it, than someone actually gaining the power.
David’s paranoid scramble in the season 33 premiere to find an Idol and then proclaim profusely (and truthfully) that he did not have it would have been far more annoying if he was actually in possession of the Idol. It’s the element of the unknown that makes things exciting on Survivor. The Hidden Immunity Idol hasn’t been unknown or truly exciting in years and that is what makes the Legacy Advantage its perfect substitute.
Fear Excitement of the Unknown
Since the power behind the Legacy Advantage is a mystery, it could be anything. This doesn’t just go for this season with Millennials vs. Gen-X. If Survivor brings back the Legacy Advantage they can turn the power into whatever they want on Day 35. There is never going to be this feeling of staleness or expectation with the Legacy Advantage. It is always going to start out as a mystery turn out to be this object of power later in the game.
Survivor feeds on paranoia. The game is all about getting people out before they can get you out. Anything that enhance the paranoia of the game, enhances the show. A mystery advantage that comes with a literal ticking clock is about the most paranoid filled twist Survivor could institute.
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The best thing about the Legacy Advantage is that time limit. The only thing worse than a Hidden Immunity Idol is a Hidden Immunity Idol that is used and wasted early on in the season. The game of Survivor is constantly ongoing, but a Hidden Immunity Idol doesn’t really shift the game until the last quarter of the game. It’s at that time when someone staying, who should have been voted out, becomes a real concern. Since the Legacy Advantage is guaranteed not to be played before the late game of Survivor, the season is only 39 days, this promises that if the Legacy Advantage is used it should have amazing consequences.
There is also no chance that Legacy Advantage won’t be used. The power will remain in the game, no matter what, because the original recipient Jessica has to hand it off if she is voted out. More often than not, Hidden Immunity Idols leave the game without doing anything. They are either flushed out by splitting the votes or they go home in someone’s pocket. The Legacy Advantage has no chance of being a similar dud because it’s likely that people won’t know about it until it gets played. No matter which way you look at it, the Legacy Advantage is a vast improvement over Hidden Immunity.
But what do you think? Do you have a problem with Hidden Immunity Idols? Should the Legacy Advantage and the Hidden Immunity Idol co-exist in the game? Do you think there are Hidden Immunity Idols in Millennials vs. Gen-X or have they already been replaced?
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS. Like BuddyTV’s Survivor Facebook page and follow BuddyTV’s Survivor Twitter account @BTV_Survivor for all the latest updates!
(Image courtesy of CBS)