Now in its thirty-ninth season, Survivor has certainly evolved since it first aired on CBS back in 2000 and helped to jumpstart the reality television genre. Over the years, Survivor has introduced game-changing twists, secret advantages, dramatic themes, and rule changes, but the one element of the game that has not changed is the immunity idol.
The immunity idol each team competes for in the first half of the show has been present in the series since the first season. It's not the hidden immunity idol, which was introduced in later seasons, or the immunity necklace individuals compete for post-merge, the immunity idol is a statue or tiki or even weapon which represents the season's theme and protects the winning team from elimination at tribal council. With thirty-nine seasons, there have been a lot of immunity idols so here's a breakdown of Survivor's 10 best-looking immunity idols, ranked.
10 Survivor: Fiji
Survivor: Fiji was the fourteenth season of Survivor and the first to begin the game with 19 players and to end with a unanimous winner. It was also the first to be filmed in Fiji, but it wouldn't be the last. The past several seasons, including Survivor: Island of the Idols, have been filmed in Fiji; and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon.
This season's immunity idol was a Fijian war club to represent the local culture complete with a skull and circle of bones. It may have been over the top, but it looks fantastic and is definitely memorable.
9 Survivor: China
Survivor: China made waves as the first American television series to be filmed in the People's Republic of China. This season went all out to incorporate and respect Chinese culture in the season's challenges, music, and design of tribal council. Also, instead of a traditional marooning, castaways began their adventure participating in a Buddhist ceremony.
To further reflect the history and culture of China, the immunity idol was a terracotta Chinese warrior statue reminiscent of the famous terracotta army buried with the first Emperor of China.
8 Survivor: All-Stars
The eighth season of Survivor was the first time former castaways returned to play the game. Boston Rob and Amber Brkich's romantic relationship was a key part of the season, and their alliance gained them the final two spots at tribal council.
Survivor: All-Stars' immunity idol was a clay figure holding a drum sitting atop of a clay fish. Due to the castaways being divided into three tribes instead of two, this idol could be disassembled in two separate figures.
7 Survivor: World's Apart
Also referred to as White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar, the thirtieth season of the show split castaways into tribes based on their professions.
Of all the immunity idols in Survivor's thirty-nine seasons, the idol for Survivor: World's Apart has to be the cutest and most interesting! It was a statue of a warrior that looked as if it had been assembled from odds and ends and a piece of bamboo. Definitely memorable and oddly adorable, this idol more than deserves a spot on the list.
6 Survivor: Panama
Also known as Survivor: Exile Island, the twelfth season split castaways into four tribes and featured future return players like Terry Deitz, Danielle DiLorenzo, Cirie Fields, and Aras Baskaskas.
Since this season reflected the headhunting culture of Central America, the immunity idol was a staff topped with three shrunken heads. If that wasn't fierce enough, the top two heads could be pulled off the staff and given to the other two teams who didn't lose the challenge.
5 Survivor: Island of the Idols
Survivor: Island of the Idols is the current season of the series and breaks the mold by having former winners and icons Boston Rob and Sandra Diaz-Twine mentor castaways sent to the Island of the Idols.
On the beach of this designated island are two giant heads in the likeness of Boston Rob and Sandra. Therefore, this season's immunity idol also has two heads but they are Fijian moai faces attached to a bamboo structure. As moai represent ancestral chiefs or persons of importance, this unique idol succeeds in representing this season.
4 Survivor: Nicaragua
Survivor: Nicaragua was the twenty-first season of Survivor and boasted an Old World Spanish exploration design. This season initially split the tribes according to age and introduced the Medallion of Power.
The team immunity idol was an impressive bust of a Spanish conquistador, perfectly capturing the theme and spirit of the season.
3 Survivor: Edge of Extinction
Survivor: Edge of Extinction shook up the traditional show format by offering castaways who had been voted out the option to remain on the "Edge of Extinction" for a chance to re-enter the game. The change was especially controversial when the winner turned out to be a castaway who returned from the "Edge of Extinction."
This season's idol was two separate pieces: a dragon and a phoenix. The statues are gorgeous; and of all the idols, perhaps the best representation of a season yet.
2 Survivor: Game Changers
The thirty-fourth season of Survivor brought back a cast of past players who made big impacts in their respective games but failed to bring home the million dollars. Since everyone had experience and a name to live up to, this was a season of strategy, drama, and a few curve balls courtesy of double tribal councils, restructured rules, and the Legacy Advantage.
To complement the shipwrecked theme, the immunity idol wasn't a tiki or weapon but an awesome, old-school dive helmet!
1 Survivor: Pearl Islands
Survivor: Pearl Islands was the show's seventh season and introduced fans to legendary castaways such as Rupert Boneham, Johnny Fairplay, and the only two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine.
In keeping with the pirate theme and drama of the season, the idol was a tall ax topped with a skull and a gold coin for an eye.