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Considered one of the most innovative twists in Survivor, the hidden immunity idol has since become a staple. Observant viewers have noticed that cameras seemingly expose an advantage’s location while a nearby castaway searches for it. Millennials vs. Gen X champ and Winners at War contestant Adam Klein confirmed they do use camera operators to help them figure out the idol’s whereabouts.

Survivor immunity idol
Denise Stapley hands over the Hidden Immunity Idol to Jeff Probst | Robert Voets

Hidden immunity idols in ‘Survivor’

First introduced in Survivor: Guatemala (Season 11), the pocket-sized charm is the only other way a castaway can save themselves at a Tribal Council besides winning individual immunity.

When the user plays the idol, no votes cast against them count. The twist has become a staple of Survivor, and much of strategic gameplay centers around the idol.

In some seasons, castaways can only find the advantage by going to Exile Island and unlocking clues to locate it. In other seasons, tips to the hidden immunity idols’ location were given to castaways at Reward Challenges, or they found them around camp.

Recently, the contestants have been able to find idols by intensely searching their surroundings without any clues. How castaways can use the idol also differs as they had to play it before any votes were cast in Guatemala, and a super idol allowed the contestants to play it after Jeff Probst read the votes (Panama, Cook Islands, and Cagayan).

In nearly every other season, castaways present their idol after everyone casts their votes and before Probst reads them aloud. One successfully plays the idol if they save themselves by negating the majority of the votes against them.

How Adam Klein used camera crew for idol help in ‘Survivor 40’

When viewers watch Survivor, they have noticed that the camera pans to where the hidden immunity idol is located while a player is searching. Therefore, some fans wonder if castaways use the camera operators as clues to find idols.

Someone asked Millennials vs. Gen X champ Adam Klein about how the “crew’s presence could affect the game,” and he admitted many contestants do use cameras for assistance in locating advantages.

Although he noted the “crew has gotten a lot more careful about this in recent years as the idea of using cameras to find idols has become more widespread,” the Winners at War castaway also claimed that’s how he knew someone found an idol at the Yara camp.

In Episode 7, he speculated that Sarah Lacina had it in her possession and that Ben Driebergen knew about it. Therefore, when the Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers champ began searching the woods for the advantage, Adam thought it was for show.

In the Reddit Ask Me Anything, the 29-year-old explained the camera operators were no longer following him when he searched in the jungle, which tipped him off that someone else already found it.


‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: Fans Feel Strongly That Jeff Probst Will Place an Immunity Idol at Tribal Council this Season

That’s why he accused Ben of fake searching because he figured that someone “who has found so many idols must know how it works.” Even though Adam ended up being wrong as Ben didn’t have the idol or know that Sophie Clarke possessed it, the cameras did help him realize that someone already found it.

Therefore, castaways can use the crew to assist in idol hunts in some capacity.