Ozzy Lusth has played Survivor three times. He received second place in Survivor: Cook Islands, he received ninth place in Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites, and he received fourth place in Survivor: South Pacific. This specific entry is for his appearance on Survivor: South Pacific. Ozzy will appear on this list once more a bit later.
For those of you who don’t remember, this is Ozzy Lusth. He is arguably the best physical player in the history of Survivor, as was evidenced by his Redemption Island run, but more on that later.
Ozzy appeared on Survivor for the third time along with Benjamin “Coach” Wade. He began his third appearance on Survivor continuing his physical dominance from his previous two seasons. He won the first challenge between Coach and himself. While his tribe as a whole didn’t dominate physically, Ozzy was a powerhouse in almost every challenge.
However this list isn’t about people who can dominate challenges physically, it is about people who are entertaining in some capacity. The first and most obvious reason that Ozzy is on this list: his move right before the merge. Ozzy decided to use Redemption Island to his advantage. His team was going to be down one person because they lost the immunity challenge. Ozzy didn’t want to go into the merge one person down, so he decided to take quite possibly the biggest risk in the history of the game of Survivor: He decided to ask to be voted off so he could (hopefully) win on Redemption Island and come back to make the numbers even for the merge. This, of course, was incredibly stupid on face. There are a few assumptions he makes here that are dangerous even for a rookie of the game of Survivor. The first assumption was that there would be a merge right after that vote. The next assumption was that someone would come back from Redemption Island after the next duel. The third assumption was that Cochran would be willing to give back the Hidden Immunity Idol (Ozzy gave it to him in case he didn’t end up winning the duel). He also was assuming that Christine was planning on going back with the Upolu tribe. The final assumption was that he would win the duel. Ozzy may be the most physically dominating character in the history of Survivor, but there are challenges even he can be beat at.
This move was entertaining in its stupidity, but it was also entertaining in the fact that Ozzy was the first person to take a risk in Survivor for a long time. I remember being on the edge of my seat for two episodes because I wasn’t sure if Ozzy would take the risk, and then there is an inherent tension after someone takes a risk to see if it works out for them. While I still regard this as one of the stupidest moves on Survivor (I tend to weigh stupid moves on Survivor not on their outcome, but on the stupidity when they are actually taken. I think “What are the risks” and “what are the potential rewards” and decide whether it is stupid before I see the outcome.) it did work out for Ozzy.
Ozzy did come back from Redemption Island and he lasted two more votes, where he was voted out by the Upolu tribe and Cochran (Dawn and Whitney also voted Ozzy out, but that doesn’t really matter…) He then tied Matt for the most Redemption Island duel wins in a row (Matt won 6 in row, as did Ozzy. Matt did stay on Redemption Island for more duels than Ozzy, but he did not win most of those duels, he often got in second or third but stayed on Redemption Island because there were sometimes 3-4 people on Redemption Island in season 22).
Ozzy eventually came back from Redemption Island a second time after winning an oddly tailored-to-him challenge between himself and Brandon Hantz. He came back into the game with five people left, and won the immunity challenge. Ozzy had made it to the final 4 and he was one immunity challenge away from most likely winning Survivor. I have to say right here that I wasn’t rooting for Ozzy or Coach this season. I love seeing returning players in Survivor, but I don’t like the “bring back two players to face a bunch of new people” twist. I think it is unfair and the editing and gameplay is completely biased towards the returnees. I was rooting for Sophie this season (only after Cochran got voted off of course). This means that during this immunity challenge, my friend Taylor and I were screaming and jumping up and down rooting for Sophie. My parents thought we had won the lottery or something. We were incredibly happy when Sophie won that immunity challenge, and I was happy that there was finally a season that (I felt) was entertaining from beginning to end.
So why does this story relate back to Ozzy? He gave me someone to root against. Sometimes, without someone to root against, you can’t really enjoy a season because you are just always happy. There is no dichotomy or stressful moments where you feel the person you hate might actually win or make it further in the game. Ozzy gave me that in South Pacific, and I can’t thank him enough for that.
Thanks again to everyone for reading, please comment as I love to read your thoughts,
PS: Number 89 on the list gave one of the oddest final tribal council performances ever in my opinion.