Exclusive: Ozzy Lusth talks 'Survivor: Game Changers' (Part 1) -- I trusted all the wrong people
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/20/2017
Ozzy Lusth was eliminated from Survivor: Game Changers after the two tribes merged and initially took out Hali Ford during the special two-hour episode of Season 34 Wednesday night on CBS.
Maku Maku sent Ozzy, a 34-year-old from Venice, CA, packing at Tribal Council with seven votes on Night 24 of the game after he lost the season's second Individual Immunity Challenge -- a pole-hugging challenge he had won twice before -- to Tai. Ozzy voted to oust Zeke Smith from Survivor because he had betrayed his alliance with Andrea and was trying to play both sides.
Ozzy previously played on Survivor: Cook Islands and finished as the runner-up, Survivor: Micronesia and finished in ninth place, and Survivor: South Pacific and placed fourth.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Ozzy talked about his Survivor: Game Changers experience. Below is the first half of what he had to say.
Reality TV World: Heading into Tribal Council, did you think your alliance was actually working with Sierra Dawn Thomas' group to take out Zeke? What were you expecting to happen, and is it safe to say you were blindsided?
Ozzy Lusth: Well, I was blindsided, yes. I did think that Zeke was going to go home because he was causing a lot of ruckus trying to make some big moves. And I thought that I had [Brad Culpepper] and Sierra on my side. So I did think that Zeke was going to go home, but as soon as [Debbie Wanner] pulled out her useless extra vote, I knew I was in trouble.
Reality TV World: What happened with Cirie Fields? Because she ended up voting for Sierra, and she was the only person to do that, so it seemed a little random.
Ozzy Lusth: It's possible that Cirie just didn't want to write down either mine or Zeke's name just in case she makes it to the end. You want to be able to say, "Look, I never wrote down your name. I never voted for you. Give me the money, right?" That's what I think happens a lot of the time.
It's possible she was confused, although I don't believe that. You know, I think there was something that I'm not aware of that was going on. But she did look a little surprised by the vote. I think maybe she thought that Zeke was going to go home and it went the other way. I don't really know. But I've got nothing but love for Cirie.
Ozzy Lusth: From the very beginning of the season, Brad and Sierra and I were in an alliance together. So they were one of my first alliances. I just thought I could trust them a little more than I guess I could've. So I thought they were on my side.
Reality TV World: Was it a pre-game alliance?
Ozzy Lusth: No, it wasn't pre-game, but we were on the same beach together right at first. We immediately got together -- myself, Sarah, Brad, and Sierra. And, you know, I just thought I could trust Brad a little bit more than I could've.
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Reality TV World: What about Troy "Troyzan" Robertson? Because you were shown strategizing with him a couple of times as well.
Ozzy Lusth: I was. Troyzan was on Tavua and he was at the bottom of the food chain on Tavua. I did everything I could to try to get him on my side and gain his trust. I really wanted to work with Troyzan. So I thought I had Troyzan, Brad and Sierra. I thought they were all on my side.
Reality TV World: Were you aware that Zeke was going to vote for Aubry?
Ozzy Lusth: I was not aware of that and I'm not sure why Zeke voted for Aubry. It didn't really make too much sense.
Reality TV World: Andrea seemed super pissed off when she found out about Zeke's betrayal but you appeared kind of indifferent to the news. Why was that? When Cirie warned you that Zeke was gunning for Andrea, was there a part of you that didn't believe her? What was going through your mind?
Ozzy Lusth: I didn't quite believe it! Because we were all in an alliance together. We were all on Tavua together and had said we would stick together. So I think Zeke at the last minute -- I'm not sure why he voted for Aubry.
I really don't understand that vote either, but if Zeke and Cirie had stuck with me, I potentially could have stayed in the game longer. But things got a little crazy; they got a little wild. And with Debbie's extra vote, it was a hard one to overcome.
Reality TV World: I was going to ask you about Debbie's extra vote. When she got up to vote the second time, whom did you think she was voting for? Did you have any idea at that point you were her target?
Ozzy Lusth: Yeah, I knew she was targeting me. I just had that feeling. I don't know why. I didn't know why she would just come out of nowhere to throw an extra vote in, but the sad thing is that the vote didn't even count for anything. So she really threw that vote away. But that's when I knew I was really in trouble.
Reality TV World: Debbie seemed to switch the vote from Zeke to you for no particular reason. Do you think Debbie just wanted to add to her Survivorresume and take full credit for making a big move, or do you think she had another unidentified motive?
Ozzy Lusth: I mean, I think yeah, that she wanted to add that to her resume and take full credit for it. I think she felt -- she came off the Reward with [John Cochran] a little cocky and fancied herself a puppetmaster. So, I do understand her reasoning and rationale. It was a great opportunity to take me out, and so she took the opportunity.
Reality TV World: Where did you think Sarah stood before you left the game? Because she kept saying in confessionals how she felt she was in the middle of the two groups. Did you get that vibe while you were out there? Did you think she was solid with Andrea's alliance?
Ozzy Lusth: I thought that she was on my side. Sarah and I, I thought that I could trust her. Everybody there I thought I could trust, turns out that they were super manipulative. And the people I thought I had to be a little bit wary of, were actually the ones that I could trust. (Laughs) So.
Reality TV World: Considering the tribe took Hali out right before the Tribal when you went home, looking back do you think you made the right decision there? Some viewers were surprised your alliance didn't go immediately after Sierra or Brad. I know you were working with Sierra and Brad, but why wouldn't your alliance have tried to go for it?
Ozzy Lusth: Yeah, I mean, it's so easy to look at it in hindsight and see it as a bad move. Yeah! I wish I hadn't voted Hali out. I wish I had tried to work with Hali and [Michaela Bradshaw] from the very beginning, but I was just trying to trust the people that I knew.
At that point, you're coming into the merge and I hadn't played any days with Hali or Michaela. I didn't know them, and I had spent a good amount of time with Brad and Sierra, so you just have to try and trust somebody. And sometimes you trust the wrong people.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of our exclusive Survivor interview with Ozzy Lusth. To begin reading what Hali Ford had to tell us following her elimination, click here.