Exclusive: Ozzy Lusth talks 'Survivor: Game Changers' (Part 2) -- It sucks to be dethroned and hear of pre-game alliances
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/24/2017
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 on CBS.
Maku Maku sent Ozzy, a 34-year-old from Venice, CA, packing at Tribal Council with 7 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 Trang. 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 a recent exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Ozzy talked about his Survivor: Game Changers experience. Below is the concluding portion of what he had to say.
Reality TV World: You lasted over an hour-and-a-half in the pole-hugging Immunity Challenge against Tai. You were cut up and bloody. But looking back, do you think you could've lasted any longer? If you had known you'd be going home that night unless you won, would you have had anything left to give that challenge?
Ozzy Lusth: No. That was it! I think in any challenge like that, I'm going to give every last piece of me. I was holding on as hard as I could and it just, you know, my muscles couldn't do it anymore. It just got to the point of failure.
Reality TV World: How did you feel after Tai won the challenge? You had a smile on your face, so were you okay passing the torch on to Tai?
Ozzy Lusth: No of course not! (Laughs) I wasn't okay with it. I mean, you've got this old guy who can beat you in a challenge that you're good at and dethrone you. It was a humbling experience, but at the same time, I know that there are only very, very, very few people that have ever played this game that could actually go as long as Tai and I went.
Reality TV World: Right. He was just the wrong person to be up against in your case.
Reality TV World: It became apparent you were the only person providing food for your tribe. Why couldn't anyone else help out? Like Brad Culpepper, for example, said before the game that he prides himself on his outdoorsy skills. So why couldn't he catch fish?
Ozzy Lusth: Brad was able to catch a little bit of fish, but he also wasn't quite as good at it. So I was just naturally better, but he was able to catch a little bit of fish. So I've got to give him a little bit of credit for that. So I think the pressure is going to be on him now to really step up, and we'll see if he can do it!
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Reality TV World: Do you think Brad's role in the tribe played a role in your ouster? They probably figured they'd be just fine with Brad still around to feed them.
Ozzy Lusth: Potentially, yes. I think there's a lot of opportunity for Brad to really prove himself. So, I think that was one of his arguments when people were like, "Well what are we going to do for food?" Brad probably said, "Don't worry, I got it."
Reality TV World: At the Tribal Council when Jeff Varner went home, you told him that he should be ashamed of himself for outing Zeke. Have you spoken to Varner at all since the game? And now that many months have passed, how do you feel about the whole situation?
Ozzy Lusth: I haven't spoken to him. I still feel that it's a shame he did what he did. I just, more than anything, feel bad for him, because I think it just comes from a place of fear. He just got the desire to do better, to get further in the game, or to win.
That made him say things that I'm sure in normal everyday life he would never say or do. And it's a shame that it had such crazy ramifications for not only his life but for Zeke's life. I hope the potential benefits of this outweigh the negatives.
Reality TV World: Varner knew he was the target at that Tribal and so he announced that everyone should vote for you. And Debbie Wanner seemed interested in that plan. Do you think you would've gone home instead of Varner at that Tribal had he not outed Zeke as transgender?
Ozzy Lusth: No. That's again why -- he was desperate, and I understand that. But Varner was going to go home no matter what. The distinction Zeke made was that he actually told Varner he was going to go home. We were going to blindside Varner -- which is the smartest thing to do, because otherwise, you say potentially disastrous things. So that's kind of exactly what happened.
Reality TV World: Did you enter the game thinking you even had a shot to win? Because in your final words, you said your vote off was inevitable. Did you think you made any major mistakes or, like you said, your vote off was going to happen at some point -- no matter what you did?
Ozzy Lusth: You know, I think the only major mistake that I made was not scrambling as hard as possible when that [Immunity] Challenge was over, and I think I relied a little too much on trust. I should've been more, really, aware that my name was going to be thrown out there.
Reality TV World: Were you starting to think about the endgame? Which castaways would've ideally been in your Final 3 had you stayed in the game?
Ozzy Lusth: Ideally I would've liked to go with Brad Culpepper and Zeke, because they're people I would assume or think they would have a potential to beat me. Well, maybe not Brad Culpepper because it's hard for anyone to give him or hand him the money since he's an NFL player.
But Zeke is one of those people I would've liked to go to the end with, because I think he would've thought he'd have the potential to be able to beat me, and those are the kind of people you want to go with.
Reality TV World: I just talked to Hali before you, and she told me that Brad, Sierra Dawn Thomas and Troy "Troyzan" Robertson actually had a pre-game alliance together and that Brad had a separate pre-game alliance with Debbie. What's your reaction to that? And just to clarify, did you have a pre-game alliance with anyone at all?
Ozzy Lusth: No, I didn't. I did not have a pre-game alliance. And it sucks to hear because you come into these experiences and you hope that everybody is playing on a level playing field. And when you don't have that and you're competing against people that, you know, obviously don't even need to discuss if they have an alliance or not, yeah, it sucks to hear.
Reality TV World: After watching the season play out on TV so far, whom do you think is playing the strongest game? If you could award one person the $1 million right now, whom would it be?
Ozzy Lusth: That would be [Cirie Fields]. She's just such a delightful player. She's always so interesting. She's always got something funny to say. She's great to be around at camp. She's able to get so far into the game without any real physical power or real incredible, like, survival skills. She does it by using her personality, and I really appreciate her and what she contributes to the game of Survivor.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you were asked to play Survivor again for the fourth time? Would you play again or do you think it's time to retire?
Ozzy Lusth: (Laughs) I was surprised. I was definitely surprised when I was asked to play a fourth time, and I was grateful. There's nothing I love more than going out and being stranded on a deserted island. And so, if I was asked to play a fifth time, I would say "yes, of course!"