‘Survivor’: Will Fire Tokens Replace Hidden Immunity Idols in Season 41?

Survivor: Winners at War is coming to a close on May 13, 2020, so fans are eagerly awaiting the announcement for season 41 of the long-running show. Jeff Probst dropped numerous hints about Survivor Season 41 and the evolution of currency on the island. Will castaways be searching for fire tokens instead of hidden immunity idols in Survivor Season 41?

Natalie Anderson's fire token
Natalie Anderson’s fire token on the Edge of Extinction | Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

What are fire tokens on ‘Survivor’?

Fire tokens replace money on the island of Survivor. As the show changes and grows, the producers introduce new twists year after year. After 20 years and 40 seasons, the producers need something to keep viewers coming back for more. On Survivor: Winners at War, it was 20 returning players and the concept of a Survivor currency. 

“Think of tokens as money,” Probst explained to Entertainment Weekly in Fiji before the anniversary season began. “And the way it works is, everyone starts with one. And when you are voted out, you have to will it or bequeath it to somebody still in the game as you head to the Edge of Extinction.”

At each camp, castaways have a menu of items they can purchase with their tokens. The initial list included things such as coffee/pastries, a bag of beans, a bag of rice, pillows, blankets, a tarp, or an advantage in the challenge for various token prices. 

Players who were voted out and sent to the Edge of Extinction island had a similar list with the addition of a hidden immunity idol for three tokens, and advantages in the competition to re-enter the game.

Could fire tokens replace hidden immunity idols in ‘Survivor’ Season 41?

Survivor Season 40 was a test run for the idea of fire tokens. Based on how well viewers receive the concept, the producers will decide where to go next with it. However, Probst already had big plans for the currency before it was even introduced. 

“And the idea is, if it works, in future seasons, who knows? Maybe you’re not looking for idols, you’re looking for tokens,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly. “And with tokens, you buy whatever you need. That’s the big idea.”

The idea of hidden immunity idols was first introduced in season 11 during Survivor: Guatemala. Those small necklaces are similar to the individual immunity necklace; however, they currently are played after the vote, but before the votes are read. These idols have changed and grown over the years, but always stuck around. 

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It sounds like fire tokens are here to stay, according to Probst. Plus, instead of finding a hidden immunity idol, you might have to find a certain number of tokens to purchase an idol. 

Host Jeff Probst is excited about the future of fire tokens on ‘Survivor’

“The thing that keeps us going is when we get a hold of a new idea, like the idea of a Fire Token and then the idea of a currency,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly. “We get excited because we go, a currency, even though it’s not sexy, it’s a foundation. Maybe we can build on that. Maybe the next 10 seasons can be building on now Survivor has a currency.” 

While nothing is guaranteed on Survivor, it sounds like fire tokens are here to stay. It is a real possibility that players on Survivor Season 41 might be searching for tokens in the early morning hours instead of hidden immunity idols.