New Survivor idol with “massive power” came from Tyler Perry (and seasons 12, 13)

A brand-new type of idol will come into play after Survivor Cagayan‘s merge, which gives someone the power to save anyone by playing it after votes are cast, was suggested by Tyler Perry.

Yes, the incredibly successful actor, director, and producer is also a Survivor fan, and texts Probst about the show. Probst explains that early in the TVGN preview below, in which he talks about the “special idol” that “not only after they’ve cast their votes, but after I’ve read them, so it is a true get-out-of-jail-free card–massive power, can shift the game dramatically.” I’m not sure if Probst’s serious when he says “we’ll call it the Tyler Perry idol.”

While I’d hoped that this power would be something more unexpected, such as giving the holder free makeup and fat suit to dress up as a hilarious older woman and thus be able to eavesdrop on your enemies’ conversations, the idol actually just allows its holder to play it after the votes are counted.

Yes, that pretty much changes the idol back to the way it was during Survivor Panama and Survivor Cook Islands, so this isn’t so much Tyler Perry’s idea as the thing many people hated back then because the idol was insanely powerful. Maybe Jeff Probst forgot about that?

Returning to this type of immunity idol will either allow its owner to bully everyone into voting like they want, or eliminate the need for any of that pesky pre-Tribal Council strategy, allowing its holder to save someone and thus decide who exits the game.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.