Ozzy Lusth Retrospective

A look back at the previous game of Ozzy Lusth, one of the returning castaways on the upcoming Survivor: Game Changers.

Age: 35
Hometown: Venice, California
Previous Season(s): Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: Micronesia, Survivor: South Pacific
Previous Placing: 2/20 | 9/20 | 4/18
Days Lasted: 39 | 27 | 38
Correctly Voted for Boot: 8 | 7 | 2
Votes Received: 1 | 9 | 17
Individual Immunity Challenge Wins: 5 | 2
Most Memorable Moment: Getting blindsided with an idol in his pocket in Micronesia and asking to be voted out in South Pacific.

What happened in his previous season(s):

Survivor: Cook Islands

Ozzy was introduced to us in Survivor: Cook Islands, where he was placed on a tribe full of Hispanic Americans, part of a controversial decision by Survivor to split the tribes by race. In his early days, he proved he was a dominate challenge competitor and very beneficial in camp life. He helped his Aitu tribe mates throw one of the first challenges of the season to eliminate Billy Garcia; a contestant viewed as lazy and dead weight to his tribe.

When the tribes switched from four to two, Ozzy ended up on the Aitu tribe and was instantly cast out of all alliances. In the first Aitu tribal post swap, he lost one of his closest allies in Cecilia. A majority alliance of Yul, Becky, Candice, Sundra, and Jonathan Penner were dominating the tribe, leaving Ozzy, Cao Boi, and Flicka on the outs. With his challenge dominance, Ozzy stayed alive over Cao Boi and Flicka, who were voted out in the next two Aitu tribals. And while it seemed as though Ozzy and Sundra could be the next two to go, a major twist shifted the game.

On day 19, players were given the opportunity to mutiny and join the opposing tribe. Candice and Penner jumped ship and joined the Raro tribe, putting Aitu at an eight to four disadvantage. Outnumbered, the Aitu had a task that many deemed impossible. Fortunately for them, they had a lot going on for them. They had a strong alliance between the four of them, benefited from Ozzy and Yul’s athletic ability, and Yul was in possession of the hidden immunity idol at a time where you could play it after the vote read. Winning the next string of tribal challenges, Aitu sent Raro to tribal back to back, bringing their lead from 8-4 down to 5-4. This was in large part due to Ozzy’s Hercules like performance in the challenges.

At a nine-person merge, Raro still had a one person lead over the Aitu four. Yul used the idol to convince Penner to become a “complete bastard” and turn on the Raro tribe members, days after being spared by them. This move gave the Aitu four the numbers advantage, allowing them to “Pagong” the Raro members one by one: Nate, Candice, Jonathan, Parvati, and Adam.

Heading into the final four there was two very dominating factors in the game: the strategic game of Yul and the challenge dominance of Ozzy. At the final four immunity challenge, Jeff Probst announced a new twist to the season – there would be a final three instead of a final two. Ozzy won the final immunity, his fifth individual immunity for the season – a feat that very few Survivors have been able to accomplish. In the final elimination tribal council, Ozzy and Yul backed both Becky and Sundra by creating a tie in the final four, making the girls fight for their spot in the final three. After one of the longest fire making challenges in Survivor history, Becky was triumphant and joined Ozzy and Yul in the final three. Both having played very different games and having completely different strengths it was hard to determine which way the season would award its winner. In an emotional final tribal, Ozzy opened up and tried to appeal to the emotional side of the jury. However, in the end, Ozzy lost to Yul by one vote.

Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites

Ozzy made his return three seasons later, in the first installment of the Fans vs. Favorites theme.

After an unexpected quit by Johnny Fairplay in the first vote, the favorites were down to nine and split completely down the middle. Ozzy, along with island girlfriend Amanda, and Survivor couple Parvati and James led a four-person couples alliance. Their biggest threat was the looming alliance between Eliza, Ami, Yau-Man, and Penner. This put Cirie Fields right in the middle, making her a swing vote at the next Favorites tribal. While Ozzy wanted to target Eliza, Cirie made it known that she wanted to eliminate Yau-Man due to the fear he might find an idol. Cirie got her way, joining forces with Ozzy, Amanda, Parvati, and James to vote out Yau-Man and create a concrete five-person alliance.

The tribes were switched up on Day 13. Ozzy, Amanda, Ami, and Cirie joined Joel, Chet, Tracy, and Erik from the fans tribe to become the new Malakal tribe. Ozzy formed an agreement with Joel to work together and eliminate challenge liabilities Chet, Tracy, and Cirie. However, the fans did not follow suit, voting out Joel at the first tribal council for the newly formed Malakal tribe. Despite Ozzy’s challenge ability, it still did not prevent Malakal from attending tribal two more times, where fans Chet and Tracy were eliminated.

After losing their fourth immunity, Malakal was faced with voting out another member; presumably, the only fan left, Erik Reichenbach. But Erik informed Ozzy that throughout his time at Malakal, favorite Ami had been working close with former fans Chet and Tracy to try and eliminate Ozzy, citing him as the biggest threat to win. This sparked Ozzy’s paranoia and made him distrustful of Ami. At tribal, Ami expressed her frustrations for not feeling a part of the original core alliance but pledged her loyalty to Ozzy. In the end, it was not enough to spare her, for Erik was saved, and Ami was the eighth person voted out. A move made strictly off of Ozzy’s paranoia.

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During his tenure at Malakal, Ozzy was sent to Exile Island a few times. While there, not only was he able to find the hidden immunity idol, he was able to fashion a fake one, which fan Jason Siska would later find, and became known as the “f**king stick.”

The tribes merged on Day 22, where old alliances between favorites Parvati, Amanda, James, Cirie, and Ozzy were rekindled. Eliza and Jason were the obvious tribe outcasts. At the first immunity challenge, Ozzy was a clear favorite to win but was outlasted by Jason. With immunity around his neck and an assumed idol in his bag, Jason was looking to make a big move right out of the gate – take out Ozzy. His plan was to have Eliza play the idol and cast their votes for Ozzy. At tribal, Eliza played the fake idol only to be told by Probst that it was indeed not a real idol. She immediately screamed “That means Ozzy has it. Ozzy has the idol,” outing Ozzy.

At the following immunity challenge, Jason made a deal with Parvati to step down for food for the tribe as long as her alliance didn’t vote him out. Everyone reluctantly agreed, crossing their fingers behind their backs. Ozzy, Amanda, James, and newest alliance member Erik decided to go back on the promise. However, Cirie saw an opportune moment to blindside Ozzy while he felt comfortable. With Parvati on board, all the remaining women (except Amanda) plus Jason voted for Ozzy, blindsiding him in epic fashion with an idol in his pocket. At the final tribal council, Ozzy lashed out at Parvati for betraying him, while professing his love for Amanda, who he gave his vote.

Survivor: South Pacific

Ozzy came back for his third shot in the 23rd season, Survivor: South Pacific. Playing off the redemption theme from the previous season, he was joined by another three-time Survivor player, Coach Ben Wade. Ozzy ended up on the Savaii tribe and Coach on the Upolu tribe.

Ozzy quickly fell into the camp provider role, starting fire, collecting coconuts, and fishing. His experience also helped fellow tribe mate Dawn from panicking on her first day when she was overwhelmed. Ozzy emerged as the tribe leader very early on, building an alliance with tribe couple Keith and Whitney, island girlfriend Elyse, and buddy Jim. This five-person alliance outnumbered the four outcasts, Cochran, Dawn, Papa Bear, and Semhar. In the first two tribal councils, Savaii sent home Semhar and Papa Bear, with Cochran as the alternate to eliminate.

By Day 14, other Savaii tribemates began to realize just how much Ozzy was a threat. His relationships, athletic ability, and help around camp made him a huge threat to win the game. In their third tribal, Ozzy’s own alliance turned on him and helped save Cochran [for the third time] by eliminating Ozzy’s closest female partner, Elyse. After the vote, Ozzy lashed out at the tribe telling them he was no longer doing anything for them; a tantrum that lasted all of 24 hours.

Savaii lost the seventh tribal immunity, forcing them to attend tribal council and putting them one number down from Upolu heading into the possible merge. While Cochran was the obvious target, Ozzy came up with a risky move to have himself voted out and sent to redemption island. His reasoning being that he would be the most likely person to beat Christine in a duel and then hopefully re-enter the game, giving them better odds at the merge. He handed his idol over to Cochran for safe keeping, and his tribe voted him out.


Ozzy’s calculated risk paid off, at least somewhat. He did beat Christine in the duel, but his “performance” in front of the Upolu tribe where he tried to act betrayed and angry towards his old tribe came off as phony. Both tribes merged with six people, having never swapped tribes, making one of the biggest merge deadlocks in Survivor history. Ozzy retrieved his idol from Cochran and set his eyes on Upolu. What Ozzy didn’t know was that Coach was working on bringing Cochran over to the Upolu alliance. In the first individual immunity challenge, both Dawn and Ozzy were awarded individual immunity, increasing Savaii’s chances of coming out on top of the tribal showdown.

At tribal, Ozzy chose to play his idol on Whitney, anticipating that she was most likely to be voted for by the Upolu tribe. Unfortunately for Ozzy, Upolu targeted Keith, while Savaii targeted Cowboy Rick. Had the tribes stayed deadlocked and drawn rocks, four out of six Savaii members would have been immune. However, Cochran took the game into his own hands and flipped on his original tribe, voting for Keith in the revote.

With Savaii outnumbered, Ozzy was the biggest threat on the board. On Day 22, Ozzy lost immunity and was sent to redemption island for the second time. He spent the majority of his post-merge game on redemption island winning duel after duel.

He returned to the game for the second time at the final five, where he tried to make a deal with Coach to go to the end and fight it out like warriors. Ozzy was fortunate enough to win the final five immunity challenge, forcing the Upolu’s to turn on one of their own. At tribal, Ozzy was attacked by Sophie Clarke for being arrogant and rude to her. Ozzy turned around and informed Sophie that everyone who had come through Redemption Island had referred to her as a “spoiled brat.” Ozzy and Rick cast their votes for Sophie, while Coach, Sophie, and Albert voted out Rick, stating he was the least likely to beat Ozzy in the final immunity challenge.

On Day 38, Ozzy entered the most literal “million-dollar challenge” that Survivor had seen to date. If Ozzy could win this final immunity, he would almost guarantee a win, considering all of his Savaii tribemates were on the jury. In an elaborate ropes obstacle course, Ozzy fell short while assembling the puzzle and lost the final immunity to Sophie, who would go on to win the season. Ozzy pleaded to Coach to keep his word, but it was not enough to spare him. Ozzy was voted out for an unprecedented third time in one season and became the last member of the jury. In Ozzy’s final exit he screamed, “Goodbye to Survivor, forever!” Clearly not. He voted for Sophie to win the game.

Biggest Strength: Ozzy’s biggest strength is by far his adaptability in the elements. While he is great in challenges, that always works against him post merge. He is one of the best fishermen in Survivor history. He has climbed trees to receive food for the tribe, helped Amanda Kimmel catch a shark with his bear hands, and fed all of redemption island single-handedly.

Biggest Weakness: Ozzy’s weakness is his social game. Ozzy can be arrogant and controlling, which comes across to the players and the viewers, which is the reason he has never been able to secure the win. The one time he made it to the final tribal, he was never cited as being a good strategist, only a good competitor. Had his social and strategic game been better, we might be seeing Yul four times instead of Ozzy.

Ozzy is one of twenty returning castaways who will compete on Survivor: Game Changers which premieres March 8 on CBS. Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for more cast retrospectives and other pre-season content.

Written by

Cam Kuhn

Cam Kuhn is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas and proud super fan of Survivor. He works as an education consultant for a technology firm and blogs in his spare time. Cam has applied for Survivor 4 times since turning 18, written his college thesis on the communication styles of Survivor, and won Corinne Kaplan's season 32 cast assessment via auction.

9 responses to “Ozzy Lusth Retrospective”

    • Glad I am not the only person who dislikes Ozzy. His ego is gross. I’ve always rooted against him because he’s such a self-absorbed jock. I’m already sick of him this season and the cast hasn’t even been announced by CBS yet.

      • Ever since his whiny jury performance in Micronesia, I lost all respect for him. His performance and (mostly his) attitude in South Pacific didn’t help his case either, especially with using Lame Twist Island as his crutch during that season. Him winning then would’ve left a bad aftertaste.

        And THIS guy is back for his fourth kick in the can?! I’m pretty sure there’d have been tons more entertaining and deserving people who could actually play a decent game over him.

        • I think having some other male from South Pacific would be better, hence Jim Rice who does want to play again. Ozzy fits the season’s theme better, but really this arrogant person with 0 strategic game

          • To be honest, the male talent pool for that season is VERY slim. Cochran and Coach would’ve been decent enough, but I think their entertainment and gameplay factor ran its course.

        • I’ve disliked him since the second episode of Cook Islands, when he threw the challenge to vote Billy off – I just rewatched it tonight and, yes, he’s an arrogant slimeball. He’s always been an egotistical, whiny jackass who thinks he’s king of the universe. It only got worse when he started hiding coconuts in attempt to sabotage his opposition. That was nothing like Gervase and Tyson just having fun and not denying everyone else food. And South Pacific is my least favorite season because I hated the entire cast – and the edit was trying to force me to root for Ozzy. Barf. Yeah, if he’d won, he’d be the worst winner ever without question. You don’t get voted out twice and win a million bucks for it.

          There are many, many other players I’d rather see back for another shot. This season has a few of them, but there are too few I’m looking forward to. Ozzy is the one I am least excited to see since he’s a douche and a terrible player. He does not entertain me. WHY him?

          • Personally, I think for most of this cast, it’s actually “Survivor: Game Changers (read: change your game because it STINKS!)”

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