Hidden immunity idols will return in Survivor 21, but with a change due to Russell

Survivor‘s 21st season (which is heading to Nicaragua) will again include hidden immunity idols, but they won’t be hidden in the same way we’ve seen for the past few seasons thanks to Russell Hantz. The near-downpour of idols has changed the game these past few seasons, both in good ways (some great TV) and in bad ways (Russell).

That’s according to Jeff Probst, whose near-orgasmic recap of last night’s “cat fight” between Amanda and Danielle (“Two women, dressed only in bikini’s [sic] who haven’t showered in weeks fighting over a small piece of parchment in a hotel room … let them fight it out and the winner gets it, cause [sic] let’s be honest, that would be fun to watch”) and the rest of the episode is interrupted by some actual news, about next season and this season.

Besides explaining that we’ll have a two-episodes-in-one episode next week, Probst wrote that Russell is “so good at it that he’s forever changed how we will handle idols in future seasons,” so that “[n]ext season it will take more than just looking under a rock to find a hidden idol. I won’t give away what we’re doing, but in planning our creative for next season we coined a phrase, ‘The Russell Factor’ and it influenced how we will play the hidden idol next season.”

As a self-aggrandizing tangent, I appreciate the way Probst now occasionally–emphasis on the occasional–includes sections marked “INSIGHT.” If I were Russell, I’d take all the credit, since I all but begged him to provide insight instead of pointless recaps. Now we get sometimes get both, with bonus sexism.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.