With Survivor Ghost Island only days away and the concept well and truly out there, it is only appropriate that we take a look at what Ghost’s from Survivor Past may rear their ugly heads one more time.

They have been broken down into four categories: Advantages, Twists and Turns, Immunity Idols and Fake Idols


Dan Foley’s extra vote

When things are feeling suspect and an enemy stands up and says that they would like to cast an extra vote alarm bells should be ringing. Carolyn responded by playing her idol and sending Dan Foley to the jury. Production likes advantages and this is such a simple one to include.

Chance of return: Likely

Legacy Advantage, Game Changers

What do you mean this was played wrong? Sarah played it, but Sierra originally owned it. What happens when you tell your friend about it and that if something happens you will give it to them? They turn around and vote you out to make sure you are woman of your word and give you that legacy advantage, that is what happens!

Chance of return: High likelihood

Stephen Fishbach’s vote steal

This one is a gimme. The Great Stephen Fishbach returned in Second Chances and beat Spencer to an advantage early in the merge. That advantage was the ability to steal another players vote. When the time came to play it he tried be cute with the advantage and steal Joe’s vote, and voting for two different people. The plan would have worked if it wasn’t for the fact that he never had Spencer on his side.

Chance of return: High likelihood

Game Twists and Turns

The Fake Merge

This came into play back in Thailand as well as Gabon and had dramatic consequences that destroyed some peoples game. Shii Ann knew instantly she was toast and Gabon was turned on it’s head. It’s a shock move that would not work every season, but perhaps this is the moment for Probst and co to make the play…or at the very least have them paranoid by not giving them buffs until post feast just to mess with them.

Chance of return: Low

Survivor Auction

The auction has not returned since it was somewhat broken, however the ghost of the Survivor auction may be seen once again! Mike Holloway in one moment turned even his closest allies against him. He was right all along with the tribe dynamics, but that means nothing if nobody trusts you or wants to work with you. Yes, he went all beast mode and like a howler monkey charged his way to victory, but the damage that can happen at the auction, especially if openly bidding on advantages, can be irreversible. There will be an auction, and they will be putting up letters from loved ones. Just expect them to drop something unexpected in there – like none of the whole “A value has been set on love, who else wants it for $20” and leave everyone else absolutely fuming.

Chance of return: High

 Cook Islands Mutiny

When Jonathan Penner and Candace mutinied in Cook Islands it lit a fire under the Aitu four who dominated the game from then which culminated in Jonathan Penner being strong armed by Yul into turning back to the Aitu Four post merge. He had now betrayed every last person in the game and even if he made the final tribal council was destined for defeat.

Chance of return: Maybe

Team Leader – Samoa

Nobody wants to stand out as a leader. Everyone wants to be in control but without appearing to be in charge. Samoa guaranteed that you would have a figurehead of your tribe. It would put certain expectations upon both that saw one collapse and be removed from the game and the other, having never asked to be “leader” given a bashing for his inept leadership.

Chance of return: High

The Car Curse

Who has won a car at a reward challenge and won the game? Nobody. (Objection denied to those who say Amber did, as she never won one, she was given one) The only question here is will there be a sponsor? And remember when in Guatemala Cindy could give everyone a car or try to break the curse? She took the car, drove everyone crazy and then got voted out straight away. They made a big deal of it (the Car Curse) a decade ago before it was dropped from the show. It should be a must, but how will they go with that sponsorship?

Chance of return: 50/50

Immunity Idols

Randy Bailey’s merge idol

When the players thought they were having a merge feast Randy Bailey took it upon himself to get everyone to dig up an idol and launch it into the ocean, never to be seen or played again….or maybe not…where did that idol ever go? And will it return at a merge feast? Or perhaps a fake merge feast?

Chance of return: Unlikely

James Clement’s Idols

Who doesn’t know this story? With three tribal councils eligible to play an idol and two idols to himself in Survivor China, James inexplicably sat there and did nothing. Nothing! Everyone else was sitting there with their hearts beating a thousand beats a minute praying James wouldn’t play one of his two free passes. The result – two souvenirs and a trip to the jury. If they could track these down, they are a must to return.

Chance of return: High

Andrea Boehlke’s Immunity Idol

On her second time out, during Fans v Favourites 2.0 AKA Caramoan, Andrea found an immunity idol late in the game. It was then that her game imploded. Everyone in the alliance had to choose smaller sides and their guns turned on each other. Under that threat, she failed to see that she was the target and was eliminated with idol in hand. However, it wasn’t just her. Malcolm held the idols clue and was shadowed everywhere by his annoying little sister. Unable to break away and find it, this idol had two victims.

Chance of return: Likely

JT’s Idol – Heroes v Villains

Technically it was correctly played…just not by JT. It haunted him and the Heroes in season 20 when combined with Amanda’s terrible game play with Parvati gave the Villains the advantage they needed to know exactly where the votes were going. This is the PERFECT idol to bring back, and with a twist. Just like last season, an idol that you have to give to a player on another tribe perhaps?

Chance of return: Likely

The Four Horsemen Idol (Survivor Fiji)

It’s all fun and games until you let Dreamz in on your plans. Three of the Four Horsemen (Mookie, Alex and Edgardo) had a master plan at the merge to take out one of the enemy. However, it all fell apart when Mookie informed Dreamz of the plan. Ultimately, with the idol being passed between Mookie and Alex it made Edgardo the target and one by one they were taken out. With time, comes the ability for artefacts to be lost. Also, Fiji is not the most memorable season, so expect productions search to have begun elsewhere.

Chance of return: Low

Double Whammy Blindside (Micronesia)

In Micronesia, Ozzy and Jaison crossed the ocean multiple times to find three idols. One of those fake, two of them real. When Ozzy was blindsided with idol in his pocket it was re hidden. It was also found again…before that unsuspecting victim was blindsided with idol in pocket…again. well at least it wasn’t an effing stick, but that idol clearly brought nothing but bad luck.

Chance of return: 50/50

Tocantins Exile Alliance Idol

The biggest non event behind She’s big move. The Exile Alliance with its two idols was shoved down our throats all pre merge. Unfortunately for Brendan, he failed to communicate in any way with Taj and Stephen at the merge and planned on doing so only after JT was gone. That poor move saw him sent packing with the idol in hid pocket as everyone went falling over themselves to hand JT a million dollars

Chance of return: Unlikely

Kristina Kell’s Early Bird Idol

The early bird gets the worm – or in this case, the idol. However, it also put a target on her back and landed her in an unrecoverable position that merely delayed the inevitable. She had shown her hand and made enemies way too soon. If this idol does return, expect it to be there early in the game.

Chance of return: Unlikely

Ralph’s Idol play for Mike and Zapatera

Ralph had an idol? And he played it for Mike? Oh yeah, that’s right. I remember now. Completely pointless as Boston Rob orchestrated the cold hearted blindside of Matt Elrod instead of targeting a Zapatera tribe member. Simply brilliant play. Simply forgettable idol play. That said, hold on and you were in with a chance of wrestling control from Boston Rob and his merry men and women.

Chance of return: Unlikely

Sabrina Gift

What’s worse than not finding an Idol? Finding one for the other tribe and being forced to give it to them. That is exactly what happened in One World. Then, to make things worse, after giving it to Colton he came down ill and decided to take it with him as a souvenir. Cold. Sorry about that Sabrina.

Chance of return: Unlikely

Kaoh Rong Super Idol

When your powers combine, I am Super Idol! If you were to unite two idols together and they could be played after the vote. This was the plan for former NBA player Scot Pollard, Jason and Tai. But who could possibly forget that moment in Kaoh Rong when Scot looked at Tai, having just received the most votes and the Tai just sits there, having betrayed him and sends Scot home. Moral of the story, beware who you trust. Friends become enemies in a heartbeat in this game.

Chance of return: Potentially

Fake Immunity Idols (Or perhaps not so fake)

The Effing Stick

The worst possible fake immunity idol imaginable actually suckered in Jaison. He gave that stick to Eliza who played it, knowing it was fake but outing Ozzy as having the idol. That stick was thrown into the fire, as tradition goes. Rumour has it that the iconic stick made its way out of the fire and was salvaged by a certain producer. Could a certain stick return with the power that Ozzy once promised it should have?

Chance of return: Highly likely

Bob Crowley’s Fake Idol

We know that the most incredible fake idol ever made was salvaged from the fire. It came up at the reunion and was given to Bob. Despite being burnt, it was still salvageable and perhaps the half burnt idol will be more iconic for the whole ghost island concept. Most importantly, they know exactly where it ended up. Working against it, it may be competing for air time with the Effing stick will come out trumps here.

Chance of return: Potentially

Yauman’s Fake “II”

A coconut with the letters “II” painted on it. Who would possibly fall for that? Well, nobody. So perhaps it does not belong on Ghost Island, but if their search for the good stuff came up empty, perhaps they had to go to the questionable options – like Alicia being cast on the Brawn tribe – simply to make up numbers.

Chance of return: Unlikely

Whatever returns, it will be sure to bring back memories.