Survivor Host Jeff Probst Takes Blame for One of the Show's Most Controversial Advantages

Through 44 seasons of Survivor over the last two decades, the iconic reality competition has delivered its fair share of questionable twists in order to try and stay fresh. Most recently, the "new era" of Survivor employed a twist involving an hour glass that fans absolutely despised. The advantage in Season 28 that has infamously known as the "Tyler Perry Idol" didn't make viewers as angry as the hour glass, but it was still a very controversial advantage and series host Jeff Probst is now taking blame for its inclusion in the show.

Along with Survivor 44, Probst is hosting a podcast called On Fire With Jeff Probst, dishing on what happens behind the scenes of the competition. During a segment called "This Is Why You Suck" on this week's episode, Probst opened up about the super-powered immunity idol that actor/filmmaker/Survivor fan Tyler Perry convinced him to introduce.

In Survivor: Cagayan, Survivor brought in an idol based on an idea from Perry. This idol, unlike others, had extra power, as it could be played after the votes were read at Tribal Council, allowing a player to save themselves after being voted out. Part of what made this advantage so controversial is that idols like that existed in Seasons 13 and 14 and gave players a truly game-changing amount of power. It was abandoned in favor of the current style of idols we see in Survivor, with Season 28 and the Tyler Perry idol being the one exception.

"Tyler Perry is an idea machine," Probst said on the podcast. "He will send texts that are so long, and they are full of ideas... The super idol, I got intoxicated with the fact that Tyler Perry thought we should bring it back because he's a really smart guy. What I didn't realize is: You already learned this lesson, dude! We just talked about it. It doesn't work, It's too much power. So even though it was a fun moment and [Tony Vlachos] used it and went on to win the game, I would look back and go, that's another one that I got wrong. I am the one who said we should put it into the game, and I'm not the one who said, 'Wait a minute, we already did this two decades ago. It doesn't work.'"

Thankfully, those types of idols aren't around anymore. An immunity idol will still save a player from elimination, but being required to play it before the votes are read is where most of the actual strategy comes into play.