'Survivor: South Pacific' votes off "Ozzy" Lusth, ousts Mikayla Wingle
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/27/2011
Survivor: South Pacific's Savaii tribe voted "Ozzy" Oscar Lusth out of their tribe during Wednesday night's broadcast of the seventh episode of the CBS reality series' 23rd edition.
"The move to get myself voted out is probably either the stupidest thing I could have done or is one of the most iconic moves in Survivor history," Ozzy, a 30-year-old currently residing in Venice, CA, said after his vote-off, which occured after he asked his fellow tribemates to deliberately vote him out at Tribal Council so he could win the season's next Redemption Island duel and hopefully return to the game.
In addition, previously voted off contestant Mikayla Wingle lost the season's fifth Redemption Island duel to Christine Shields Markoski, a 39-year-old teacher from Merrick, NY, and was permanently ousted from the game.
"I'm out here and it makes me realize how much stronger I want to be and how much better I want to be," Mikayla, a 22-year-old model and Lingerie Football League player from Tampa, FL, told Survivorhost Jeff Probst in tears when asked what will be different for her having taken part in the adventure.
As the game's newest Tribal Council victim, Ozzy, a former Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites castaway, will now take Mikayla's place on Redemption Island, where he will battle Christine in the game's next duel and attempt to eventually earn a chance to rejoin the game's other remaining castaways and resume competing for Survivor: South Pacific's million dollar prize.
Survivor: South Pacific's seventh broadcast began on Night 16 with the Upolu tribe -- which consisted of Sophie Clarke, a 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, NY; Albert Destrade, a 26-year-old "baseball/dating coach" from Plantation, FL; Brandon Hantz, a 19-year-old oil tanker crewman from Katy, TX; Edna Ma, a 35-year-old anesthesiologist from Los Angeles, CA; Rick Nelson, a 51-year-old rancher from Aurora, UT; and formerSurvivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway "Coach" Benjamin Wade, a 39-year-old currently residing in Susanville, CA -- returned from their third Tribal Council session after voting off Mikayla.
Edna said she thought Brandon's unpredictability was a liability for the tribe, and she wasn't the only one. Brandon often lost his temper and was obsessed with his tribe members remaining loyal to each other. Rick then told Coach that if Brandon ended up flipping out or losing his cool at the merge, they'd be in big trouble.
Although Coach had formed a strong alliance with Brandon and told him he'd always have his back, he admitted if the time came where it was necessary to get rid of him, he would -- especially since Brandon had meltdowns at all three of Upolu's previous Tribal Council sessions.
On Day 17, Jeff met with Mikayla, Christine and the onlookers who came to watch the duel. While Sophie and Albert attended the duel on behalf of the Upolu tribe, Ozzy, and John Cochran, a 24-year-old Harvard Law School student from Washington, DC, were the witnesses for the Savaii tribe.
Jeff then explained the rules to the duel. Mikayla and Christine were required to take apart a crate and use the planks to build a bridge. Once they completed the bridge, they had to take the bridge apart and use some of those planks to solve a puzzle. The first person to solve the puzzle would remain on Redemption Island and stay alive in the game, while the person to lose the challenge would be immediately sent home.
Mikayla and Christine then squared off in the duel. Mikayla thought she had solved the puzzle correctly before Christine, but Jeff had told her it was wrong. Once she scrambled to re-do it, Christine had completed her puzzle, winning her fifth consecutive duel.
"Christine has been on a hot streak. She has won five duels in a row. If we do merge. she could go to the other side or she could come with us. People are thinking that the merge is coming after the next challenge, so if we lose the next challenge, it might be worthwhile for us to send somebody to Redemption that can beat Christine, come back in the game and even out the numbers [with a six-six tie for both tribes at the merge]. You gotta make big moves in this game, and if we have to, that might be a big move worth making," Ozzy said.
After the duel, Ozzy and Cochran returned to the camp of their Savaii tribe -- which also consisted of Dawn Meehan, a 41-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT; Whitney Duncan, a 27-year-old country singer and former Nashville Star finalist from Nashville, TN; Jim Rice, a 35-year-old medical marijuana dispenser from Denver, CO; and Keith Tollefson, a 26-year-old water treatment tech from Edina, MN -- and told each other they would help each other at all costs because they were on the same side of the loop.
Ozzy told him his "worst case scenario" plan was to send a strong competitor from their tribe to beat Christine on Redemption Island if they lost the next Immunity Challenge. He then went on to say if they landed in a "do or die situation," he would offer himself up to get voted off and go to Redemption Island to compete against her in the next duel.
Ozzy said he'd give his hidden Immunity Idol that he had found to a loyal friend in the hopes he or she would give it back to him once he returned -- hopefully -- from Redemption Island. Cochran told him it was an admirable gesture to take one for his team.
"The general sense around camp is that the merge is happening sooner rather than later and now Ozzy's suggesting that he'd be willing to make a pretty bold move in the event that we lose our next Immunity Challenge... Now Ozzy has seemed to go from kind of this bitter, free agent, temper tantrum-throwing baby a couple nights ago to a new man. And if Ozzy was being honest and he would willingly fall on his sword for his tribe, that'd be great for me because that means I wouldn't be going home at the next Tribal Council," Cochran said.
Meanwhile, Upolu tribe member Coach said his tribemates needed something to boost their spirits after they had lost the last Immunity challenge. While he had found the hidden Immunity Idol earlier in the game and had told Sophie and Albert about it, he figured he would put on a charade for the benefit of Brandon, Rick and Edna. He thought telling them about the Idol would do the trick and unite them once again.
As a result, Coach told his tribe to continue looking for the Idol and stressed how important it was for them to win the upcoming challenge. While most of the Upolu tribe members were off looking for the Idol, Coach and Sophie ran to the location they had hid it in order to retrieve it and show it off. The couple then found Tree Mail, inviting the tribe to the next Immunity and Reward Challenge.
The Tree Mail letters instructed them to pair up and paint themselves like twins before they go. Coach and Sophie then called the tribe over and shared both the news of the hidden Immunity Idol and and the Tree Mail with them. Brandon was thrilled, screaming with excitement. He was convinced all the praying the tribe had been doing paid off and put them in a great position in the game.
Later that day, the castaways met Jeff again and he explained the rules to what would be their seventh Immunity Challenge and seventh Reward Challenge.
The tribe members learned that while they were already paired up as twins, each tribe was required to select one set of twins to be the callers, while the other two sets of twins would be blindfolded. Using only verbal commands, the callers must lead the blind-folded twins through a series of obstacles to collect bags of masks. Once a tribe received all four bags, one set of twins would then empty the bags and, using only their sense of touch, must pair up the masks in matching pairs.
The first tribe to match up all the masks would win the challenge and immunity. The losing team would have to vote someone out -- who would then be sent to Redemption Island. In addition to receiving immunity, the winning tribe would also be taken to a cinema where they'd get to enjoy an exclusive sneak peak of the movie Jack and Jill, starring Adam Sandler. During the movie, the castaways would receive popcorn, candy and hot dogs.
The challenge set the castaways up as twins to mimic the relationship of Jack and Jill in the movie. Jeff told them the bonds they had made in the game would help them survive in the competition. Coach and Rick were the callers for the Upolu tribe, while Cochran and Jim served as the callers for Savaii.
During the challenge, Cochran was put in charge of managing the ropes so they wouldn't get tangled. However, he struggled at one point and grew utterly frustrating, throwing his hands up in the air and asking Jim for help. This mistake allowed Upolu to catch up and eventually pass them, and Upolu ended up winning immunity and reward. Cochran was extremely angry his tribe had lost and Cochran felt responsible for their failure.
"Before the challenge, Ozzy had assured me that in the event that we lost, Ozzy would say, 'Send me, Ozzy, to Redemption Island' and come back and restore our numbers. But after I blew that challenge, it seemed like that plan went out the window. I knew immediately that I was the next target. I really did feel like crying, but I just stayed as strong as I could and put up with it," Cochran said.
On Night 17, Upolu enjoyed their movie reward, while Savaii was reeling from their hard loss. Ozzy felt they could have won so easily, and Cochran felt very badly because he thought it was a "devastating loss." Cochran believed his mistakes in the challenge brought upon him a whole new level of ostracism. Ozzy then stepped up and said they needed to decide as a group who was going to get voted off.
Ozzy told Cochran he lost the challenge for their tribe, and Cochran agreed, suggesting he should be held accountable.
"It's a risky move to send Cochran to Redemption. It's a riskier move to send me to Redemption and have the merge be delayed one more challenge. Cochran volunteered to go to Redemption. It's going to be his chance to redeem himself," Ozzy said.
Ozzy and the group told Cochran they believed he could win the duel on Redemption Island but that he just needed to believe it himself. Cochran thanked them for their faith in him and words of encouragement, but he wasn't happy about the idea of getting voted off next.
"Basically what it comes down to is instead of sending Ozzy, the Trojan horse, to Redemption Island to shock everybody and merge and destroy Christine and even the odds, they're sending the court jester. I don't know what I'm supposed to do apart from doing a funny little dance or shake my hands around in a comical manner. It's not going to win the challenge and it's probably not going to get that many laughs, so I don't know what they're hoping for," Cochran said.
"Everybody was onboard with voting me off and what made it worse is they had this kind of weird kumbaya rationale for voting me off, which only confirmed their belief that I should go. So, I'm terrified. I don't need to be a hero at Redemption Island. I don't need to be the person that saves my tribe. I'm not here to be a hero. I'm here to make it as far as I can whether it means slithering on the ground or whatever. I don't want to shine right now. I'm willing to shine later or maybe not at all. I just don't want to go to Redemption Island."
The following day, Cochran said he was embarrassed about losing the challenge and apologized to Dawn. Dawn told him he had a chance to actually redeem himself. However, Ozzy expressed how he had dreamt some "crazy dreams" about doing what he had originally told Cochran he planned to do, which was go to Redemption Island, beat Christine and return to the game.
"Everyone thinks that this is Cochran's opportunity, that he should go to Redemption and redeem himself, but I came to redeem myself. So, it's my opportunity, really. The question is, 'Will the tribe go along with my idea?'" Ozzy explained.
Ozzy then showed everyone the hidden Immunity Idol and told them he believed he should be the one to go to Redemption Island. Cochran said he deserved to be the person voted out, but at the same time, he didn't have the confidence to win in the duel like Ozzy did. Ozzy thought he had better odds to win, but the tribe was unsure at that point whether it was the right move to make.
Keith said he didn't agree with Ozzy going to Redemption Island. He felt they were only as strong as their weakest link and that was Cochran. He thought they didn't have much hope to win another team challenge without Ozzy if the merge wasn't as close as they had anticipated it to be. Keith worried they'd be in big trouble and Jim agreed.
"If we're wrong about there being a merge after the next Redemption Island, the biggest deal would be if we have another challenge and we're down Ozzy and then, all of a sudden, Dawn is our third guy and Cochran is our fourth guy. It's a scary position to be in," Jim said.
That night, Survivor: South Pacific's Savaii tribe castaways arrived for their fourth Tribal Council.
Cochran admitted he had panicked during the challenge and forced Jim to help him. He also was convinced they were going to merge soon based on the history of the Survivorfranchise. Cochran said it was important to get their numbers back up to six against six. Ozzy then told Jeff about his dream and said he wanted to prove to his tribe that he was worth keeping around.
"I saw my own chance at my own redemption, which has been haunting me since the last time I played and that's by not playing the Idol, by not listening to my senses, my heart and my gut. This time, my heart and my gut are saying, 'Get your ass to Redemption Island...' This is my opportunity to not only make the ballsiest move I could possibly think of, but to play the biggest craziest game that I would want to play," Ozzy told everyone.
Ozzy told Jeff he was going to make up a story and tell Christine upon arriving at Redemption Island that Cochran had found the hidden Immunity Idol, didn't tell anyone and then when Savaii attempted to vote him out, he played it. Ozzy thought it was a good chance to catch Upolu by surprise.
Jeff told Ozzy that if he didn't win the duel, he'd go out of Survivor a bigger fool than his last time around playing the game.
Worried about there being another Immunity Challenge before the merge, Keith wanted Cochran gone and Whitney feared the tribe wouldn't be 100% percent without Ozzy. Jim said the worst case scenario would be Ozzy losing the duel challenge, leaving the rest of the Savaii tribe to go into the challenge five castaways versus the six Upolu members.
Ozzy then gave his hidden Immunity Idol to Cochran and said if he got the chance to come back into the game, he better be given the Idol back. Cochran said the Idol would be his without a doubt.
The voting then commenced and Jeff revealed the votes. Four castaways voted for Ozzy, which was enough to constitute for his elimination. The closing credits revealed everyone had voted for Ozzy, so he got what he asked for and headed off to Redemption Island.
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