Welcome to Survivor Analyst Russian Roulette, where the authors of this site are randomly assigned contestants from the upcoming season of Survivor: Game Changers and must give an honest assessment of what to expect from them. Next up: Ozzy Lusth.
Editor’s note: Since six entries didn’t feel like enough for this series, we invited some more regular contributors to the site and put them through the randomizer. Once Gouis emerged from his hibernation, he was put to task.
Ozzy comes with more baggage than any other player this season, both from his perspective and from ours. All the various Survivor factions already have their opinions set in stone. Casuals and Facebook fans? They of course love him. He might even be more popular than “Joey Amazing”. Internet superfans who know better than their moms? We hate him for being a grade-A jerk who doesn’t understand what Survivor is “really” about.
What this post presupposes is… maybe we’re wrong?
Let’s start at the beginning, in Cook Islands. Despite his tribe losing 2 out of the first 3 challenges, Ozzy was just spectacular as a challenge competitor. Tom may have been more dominant in his season, but watching Ozzy take to the water like some kind of dolphin-boy was pure joy. In addition, he found himself on the most likable underdog tribe in Survivor history. We got to see a team of people of color take down the douchiest alliance of all time (with Adam being perhaps the douchiest player of all time). It was great.
I doubt that after this point any of us were on the “Ozzy sucks” train. Most of us likely preferred Yul (as he is likely the smartest person to ever play Survivor and looked like a Greek God), but Ozzy was a big part of the success of that season. It was a no-brainer to bring him back for Micronesia.
Here is where the bloom comes off the rose and the Ozzy hate begins. However, I am willing to bet that still most of us here weren’t really foaming at the mouth with anti-Ozzy vitriol at this point. His main alliance of Amanda, Parvarti, and James is full of likable people. They may have been the young and hot alliance, but those are some bonafide Survivor legends. Sure him and Amanda making “Ozzlets” was kind of gross, but even Cirie thought it was mostly funny.
Then he gets blindsided and kind of flips out. It’s not a great look. Ozzy is one of the sorest losers in Survivor history. When Ozzy comes back for South Pacific, he clearly has some kind of Survivor PTSD. My wife and I always joke about making a “home for wayward Survivors”. Basically a place for people who are broken by the game and yet cannot seem to stop coming back. It would have weekly challenges for them to compete in and a more comfortable version of a camp for them to live out their days. Ozzy would be in the inaugural class.
We don’t really have to rehash South Pacific, as the internet has been harping about it forever. He tries to replicate Rob’s win from R.I. and actually gets pretty close if you don’t consider the part of the plan where he’s not supposed to alienate people on his own tribe. I actually like his “vote me out” plan for its pure audacity, although I’m not sure it’s what I would call “smart”. Ozzy loses again and by this point we assume he spends all his waking hours shaking in a fetal ball ranting about the evils of nerds.
Look, I get it. He was mean to Cochran and we love Cochran for being our avatar out there on the island. He doesn’t really put much stock into strategy aside from “make an alliance and stick with it to the end”, which is not really interesting. But that strategy has worked more often than not, so it’s not hard to blame him. And is Ozzy any less flexible than someone like Mike? He loves “strength”, but you don’t get a misogynistic vibe from him like you do from someone like Troy or Brad. Off the island, he seems to be a decent dude with reasonable opinions (unlike Facebook’s new hero Joe).
Is he really that much more of a sore loser than someone like Tom or Savage? We’ve had A LOT of Ozzy, so there is a lot of opportunities to show his bad side. Unfortunately, I’m not expecting much more from him this time around. He’s going to try to win challenges and align with people he doesn’t consider sneaky. I am hoping that he is able to rediscover his love of being out on Survivor and it translates to TV.
Of all three time players, Ozzy has the best average finish among all the men (5th), and is behind only Amanda and Parvarti overall. Clearly he does something right, even if it hasn’t resulted in a win or is our preferred way of playing. In modern times, we have swung too far into the “strategy and social game (whatever that is) are all that matter” camp. 20% of Survivor screen time is devoted challenges. Shouldn’t we want that part of the show to be as fun as possible?
Ozzy finds himself in the majority pre-merge. This seems pretty likely as Brad, JT, FFGCSDT, and Sarah seem likely to align with him. Both tribes then bro-down and spend time eliminating “weak betas” such as Tai, Zeke, Ciera, and Aubry. We are left with a post-merge that is dominated by people like Brad, Troy, FFGCSDT, and BMC. Ozzy figures out how to make it to the end with some of these yokels and pulls out a victory by being dominant physically, as well as the most palatable choice for many of the jury. Basically a lifetime achievement award. Some people in the community call this the “darkest timeline”.
Ozzy makes it to the swap based purely on this challenge prowess. He then gets swapped into the minority on his new tribe. Despite his herculean efforts (if you ask him), his new tribe loses and goes to tribal. The rest of the tribe sees an opportunity to get rid of one of the biggest challenge threats from the other side and takes it.
Most likely scenario
Basically, what has happened every other time Ozzy has played Survivor. He is such an asset in the early game that he stays around, and maybe even finds himself in the majority. He then makes it to the merge and skates for a while because he’s in the majority and wins immunity. Ozzy then gets clipped either for being a “threat”, being a jerk, or a combination of the two. We get to see bitter Ozzy on a jury for a third time. Hooray us?
Favorite Seasons: Borneo, Tocantins, Heroes vs Villains, Cagayan
Favorite Players: Tony, Courtney, Tyson, Survivor Goddess Kim Spradlin