Ozzy Lusth returns to Survivor: Game Changers for his fourth shot at the million dollars and in doing so becomes the first person to play every iteration of the game (newbies, half-and-half, captains, full all-stars). It was in his second iteration of the game, Fans vs. Favorites, where Ozzy met Eliza Orlins, as fellow members of the Favorites tribe. The two never really clicked in the game as either friends or allies. They were part of opposing alliances from the start, and Ozzy even wanted to target Eliza over Yau-Man Chan at their second tribal council. Eliza was able to escape Ozzy at the tribe swap, but when they met back up at the merge, he was still gung-ho on getting her out, openly calling out her weaknesses. Eliza became the first member of the jury where she was able to watch with shock and glee when Ozzy was blindsided at the following tribal council.
Inside Survivor reached out to Eliza to get her thoughts on Ozzy’s return to Survivor: Game Changers.
Disclaimer: This interview was conducted in June 2016 while Survivor: Game Changers was still filming in Fiji.
1) Hey Eliza, thanks for doing this. You were on the Favorites tribe with Ozzy in Micronesia, what was your opinion of him going into that season, and how did it change after playing with him?
My opinion of Ozzy has fluctuated over time. Going into Fans vs. Favorites, I knew Ozzy would be a challenge beast, but didn’t think much of his social game. During the game, he and James Clement were blatantly mean to me, directly to my face, so I wasn’t his biggest fan. And as everyone’s favorite GIF shows, I was shocked and delighted when he was blindsided.
However, once we got to spend an immense amount of time together at Ponderosa, Ozzy and I totally bonded. We formed a friendship which has lasted beyond Survivor, and I adore him now.
2) Ozzy seems to bond closely with some people, but openly disdain others. It’s been a common thread in all three of his seasons. Did you notice this when playing with him?
I absolutely noticed that with Ozzy. He was openly disdainful of me! In the episode where I was extremely sick, finally, the viewers saw that side of him. He and James were completely unsympathetic and in fact, incredibly mean to me about it. They kept saying in front of my face that they wished they had voted me out rather than Yau-Man. They viewed me as weak (which to be fair, in the moment, I was, but as a general matter, I’m not.) After the tribe swap, I contributed to every single challenge win on Airai.
3) In Cook Islands, Ozzy was the underdog challenge beast that almost won the game. But in each subsequent appearance, the “challenge hero” character has started to fade, with a more arrogant side emerging. Is that him personally changing? Or just his edit changing? And do you expect that trend to continue on Season 34?
I don’t know whether his personality changed or if he’s been the same all along, but they’ve just chosen to edit him differently. I think, however, that Micronesia was a huge wake-up call for him. He thought he had the votes and was so arrogant not to play his idol and that led to his downfall. I think he’ll go in with a little bit more humility on Season 34 and hopefully do well!
4) There is another Micronesia player on this cast, Cirie Fields, who was partly responsible for Ozzy’s blindside that season (and by proxy, responsible for your incredible jury reaction). How do you think they will get along this time? Will Ozzy be out for revenge?
I don’t think so. I imagine that Ozzy will see Cirie as a potential ally, despite what happened on Micronesia. There are too many new kids on this season for him not to look at Cirie as an ally rather than a threat. But he will certainly recognize that she’s done it to him before, and she would probably do it to him again, so I think he’ll still keep a close eye on her even if they do end up as allies.
5) What is Ozzy’s most positive attribute? And his most negative?
Ozzy’s best attributes are his physical strength, his ability to provide, and his loyalty. Ozzy is the most incredible provider on Survivor. And he doesn’t do it out of obligation, though that certainly doesn’t hurt, he truly loves it. He loves climbing trees, spear fishing, and living the island life. He excels at it because of his love for the lifestyle. He is also an incredibly strong physical competitor, and any tribe would be crazy to get rid of him early. He’s also loyal to a fault. He wouldn’t turn on those who he feels the closest to, even though that has ended up hurting his game in the past.
Ozzy’s worst qualities include his inability to hide what he’s feeling, his frustration with those who don’t do well in challenges, and his loyalty/inflexibility. Ozzy has trouble controlling his emotions when he’s frustrated or doesn’t like something you’ve done. I think that hurts him in the game of Survivor. Also, as we saw in the last all-star season, Second Chance, this game is now all about flexible “voting blocs, ” and not as much about alliances as it used to be and Ozzy tends to be a little inflexible in that regard.
6) Who are Ozzy’s biggest threats on this cast and why?
Tony, Troyzan, Brad, and Malcolm are Ozzy’s biggest threats. They are strong guys who will want to be the alpha and will probably be looking to get rid of Ozzy early.
7) On the flip-side, who should Ozzy align with and why?
Who Ozzy should align with versus who he WILL align with are two different matters. I think he should try to align with people like Cirie, Varner, and Aubry, but I think he will see them as not being good enough in challenges and not want them on his side. But Ozzy needs the strategists who will help him think through the votes.
8) In Micronesia, Ozzy was love stricken with Amanda. In South Pacific, he was smitten with Elyse. Do you foresee another Survivor romance on the cards for him?
I can see him falling for Sierra Dawn-Thomas. She is the bombshell this season, and I could see a romance blossoming between them.
9) Putting you on the spot here, how far do you think Ozzy will make it? And who is your overall pick to win, and why?
I think Ozzy will make the merge because he’s so strong and his tribe will want to keep him around. But I think once the merge hits, he’s a major target.
I am picking Cirie to win it all. She got robbed in Fans vs. Favorites, and it’s her time. She is one of the best social players Survivor has ever had, and I can see her manipulating this young cast all the way to the end.
10) Lastly, before we let you go, what is new in the world of Eliza? How is life?
Life is amazing! I’m currently taking a sabbatical from my job as a public defender in Manhattan, and traveling the world. You can follow my travels on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (all
Thanks again to Eliza for taking part. For more on Ozzy, you can check out his cast retrospective and official cast bio. Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for more Playing With Game Changers interviews. Survivor: Game Changers premieres March 8, 2017, on CBS.