Survivor Analyst Russian Roulette: Ozzy Lusth

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.

Hoo-boy.

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.

ew

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?

Best-case scenario

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”.

Worst-case scenario

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?

Gouis

Gouis

Gouis has watched Survivor from the beginning, although with multiple large gaps due to things like going to college. He came back as a full time fan during Caramoan and will always love Cochran because of it.

Favorite Seasons: Borneo, Tocantins, Heroes vs Villains, Cagayan

Favorite Players: Tony, Courtney, Tyson, Survivor Goddess Kim Spradlin
Gouis

Latest posts by Gouis (see all)

  • Black Dynamite

    Ozzy in Cook Islands was the most I’ve ever enjoyed the challenge aspect of Survivor, outside of maybe Palau. I was amazed by his ability to perform. That alone makes it never completely worthless to see him on Survivor. Though he is an absolute douche.

    As for this season, we get more of the same with Ozzy as the major provider and the awesome challenge prowess. I don’t see him taking the same leader role as he did in Mirconesia or South Pacific. I think that will serve him well. He will always be a goner the first time he doesn’t have immunity and while he may have been humbled by his last couple appearances, I don’t think it will matter. Ozzy will not win.

    My Prediction: Post Merge Boot

    Previous Predictions

    Pre Merge Boots
    Tai
    Caleb
    Sandra

    Post Merge Boots
    Varner
    Cirie
    Troy
    Sarah

    Final Boot
    Malcolm

    Finalists
    Zeke

    Winner
    Andrea

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      Random thought: what if Ozzy comes back this season and absolutely sucks at challenges? I mean, he’s not ~that~ old, but what if it’s Colby in HvV all over again? I wonder if that helps or hurts his chances to make it deep into the merge (Colby got dragged along to final 5 in HvV after all…)

      • Black Dynamite

        I’m not sure how Ozzy would handle not being the Ozzy of before. I don’t think he’ll be as withdrawn as Colby. He may try to over compensate in other aspects of the game. Ozzy takes a lot of pride in being the provider and challenge beast. I could him trying hard to find a different area to prove his value if he can’t do it in challenges.

        • gouis

          He would throw a fucking tantrum.

          • Black Dynamite

            I think that is a good possibility too. He may actually do worse if he’s no longer the same challenge threat.

      • Diego Armando

        I think that would kill his chances at winning, since that is the thing people respect him for. I honestly think Caleb might be the challenge star of the season.

        • Super duper fan

          I doubt that. Most challenges these days don’t focus on pure strength and I could see Caleb through the merge being completely exhausted cause he has a lot of muscles but little fat. Plus most important part of Ozzy’s challenge prowess is his swimming ability, and while maybe Caleb is also good swimmer, I think Ozzy will still be the best in this cast.

          EDIT: He may be good at challenges with tribes, but the problem comes with the individual ones

          • Alycia Swift

            We have no idea if Caleb has any puzzle ability. Ozzy does.

          • Super duper fan

            Yeah, I forgot about that.

      • Alycia Swift

        I see JT being Colby more than Ozzy.

      • Roswulf

        I could see him not being an overall challenge god, but I refuse to live in a world where Ozzy doesn’t swim like a fish.

        I don’t even like Ozzy, but Ozzy swimming is a thing of beauty.

      • Purplerockmatt

        I have joked about this elsewhere I think but Ozzy going full Superman in a Fat Suit would be the funniest thing I have ever seen

  • I still don’t Ozzy winning is the true darkest timeline here. I mean Troy as a winner is still on the table.

    • Black Dynamite

      Troy’s family doesn’t believe Troy can win Survivor.

      • gouis

        Yeah that just seems like an impossibility.

      • I bet he has a cousin who thinks he can win.

    • purplerockandy

      I think Gouis’ scenario is more than just Ozzy winning. It’s how he gets there and who he controls the game with.

      • Okay, then that is the true darkest timeline but I can see it happening.

      • gouis

        Yeah I can MAYBE see Brad winning, but not Troy, SDT, or BMC. The best version of this is if it’s JT and not Ozzy that rides along.

    • Ms. Sweaterfan

      When evaluating a Survivor cast, I often play a game with myself where I ask “but would I be mad if X won?” and sometimes the scenario would have to be so preposterous for a particular player (even a really unpleasant one) to win that I have to admit I wouldn’t even be mad anymore if it were to happen. Troy is ~almost~ there for me. I mean, what horrible chaos has to ensue for Troy to make it to the end and get the most votes from the jury?? I can’t say it would be fun to watch, but it would certainly be fascinating.

    • Alycia Swift

      So is Culpepper and Caleb. I don’t want Sierra or Ciera to win but neither would be the darkest timeline.

  • Super duper fan

    Man, where do I begin with Ozzy? Let me just say first, that I don’t HATE Ozzy and probably not even dislike him. But my feelings towards him are just mostly super (duper) neutral probably for most part tilted towards the negative side. He went from (as said in this article) likable underdog, to being bitter, to being kinda entertaining and bitter. As his chances in this season I think he will most likely make the merge and surprisingly he said some pretty self-aware things in his pre-game press. I won’t be rooting for him necessarily but he still isn’t the worst in this cast (coughTroycough).

  • Alkanarra

    I’d put a little asterisk next to that “highest average finish” accolade. Redemption Island makes that stat questionable.

    That being said, gouis is right: Ozzy *does* get a lot of hate for being a fairly entertaining player. He’s fun in Cook Islands, his idol play and ouster in Micronesia were amazing, and his South Pacific move could have been one of the greatest ever if the other tribe had bought it even a little. (It’s also the best moment of a fairly dull season.)

    Yet the part of me that loves Ponderosa and had to sit through South Pacific’s videos hates Ozzy almost as much as I hate Jim Rice, and it’ll take a lot to sway me into “liking” Ozzy again, even if he is fun TV.

    • Alycia Swift

      I think the biggest problem for me is in the second and third times he was on, he acted entitled.

      His first season – I did not like his treatment of Billy Garcia and others. But when he became an underdog with 3 players (Yul, Becky and Sundra) that I liked and the other side, sans Penner, was just so terrible, I rooted for him (but not to win).

  • Other Scott

    How did Gouis manage to draw Ozzy?

    • gouis

      black magic

      • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

        But you didn’t use that magic to draw Plain Hali? That post practically writes itself.

        • gouis

          Honestly there is more to say about Ozzy. Especially given how being patriotic about the US feels these days.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            Oh wait, this season was filmed before the election. I swear, that better not bleed into this season.

    • Hornacek

      I blame witchcraft. Who do we know that practices that? …

      • You really think that I wouldn’t want to write about Ozzy, who I have been on record of having a crush on?

        • gouis

          You have a crush on Ozzy? I thought my semi-positive Ozzy profile was going to get me killed around here.

          • I mentioned it during the Women’s Day discussion. I even sorta allude to it during my Zeke profile.

          • Hornacek

            She must like waiters.

          • No, I like photographers…except for Troy

          • Ms. Sweaterfan

            I think Ozzy is the quintessential Survivor crush for straight women of a certain age.
            Though, he hasn’t aged great :/

          • Purple Rock Emma

            It’s like you don’t even read my all-caps comments.

          • gouis

            What are you yelling about now? I don’t see any caps here. You can’t expect me to remember every comment thread.

        • gouis

          Wait, you have a Crush on him despite not having seen his best seasons?

        • Black Dynamite

          I would say that Ozzy looks really good in Mirconesia but everything he does outside of “fucking stick” just kills the crush thing.

          • See I like him best in Cook Islands. Medium length hair Ozzy is best.

        • PurpleTally

          Yeah, but then you’d have to watch Micronesia and Cook Islands.

        • Diego Armando

          I will admit to being upset at the time when he lost Cook Islands. In retrospect, great choice jury. I would have been fine writing about him also.

    • TheForRealDeal

      Paid off by the Ozzy Lobby.

    • The roulette wheel plays no favorites.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        Except with me. The roulette wheel loves me.

      • gouis

        Yay I’m a favorite

  • Mike Hirsch

    Ozzy announcing he was going to break the egg with his tribe color “over my heart” in South Pacific so neatly encapsulates, to my mind, the quintessential “Ozzyness” of Ozzy, and makes me groan and roll my eyes just thinking about it. We have a season where it’s Ozzy against Coach for returning players, and Ozzy immediately comes off as the vastly douchier of the two, which…how is that even possible?!?
    Still…he did set us up for the fucking stick, so, there’s that to be thankful for.
    I complain about Ozzy whenever I get the opportunity, but I really don’t completely *mind* that he’s back. He’s not surrounded by a lot of terrible and/or nondescript people this time around (well, a few…but no more than average), and so should be relegated to a supporting role, which I’m in favor of.
    Definitely getting cut before final immunity, I’ll go with a sixth place finish.

  • Maritimer

    So now I’m interested in an actual ranking of douchiest alliances of all time. One has to think it includes:
    The white people alliance from CI, Four Horsemen, Young guys from One World, Cool Kids from Caramoan, Upolu alliance maybe, and the Axis of Evil,

    • I think the Triforce is in consideration, although they get a lift out of the douchey basement because of Jay.

      • Max_Jets

        What’s weird about the Triforce is that the one episode where they come out on top is one of my favorite pre-merge episodes of Survivor.

        • Well yeah but that was largely due to the two most un-douchey members of the alliance. The other two really did nothing.

        • Alycia Swift

          It was one of my favorites just for the Hannah vote and Jeff peeking in to see what was taking so long.

      • Maritimer

        The Triforce and the Cool Kids alliance are actually kind of alike that way. They are douchey early on as a collective, but them some of their members become at least somewhat likeable on their own
        And yes, Jay being amazing gives the Triforce a huge bump

      • Alycia Swift

        Well Michelle too since she was Triforce adjunct.

    • Mike Hirsch

      Typically there’s one really douchey member of each of the douchebag alliances, who really goes above and beyond in dragging everyone else down with them.

      • Like Savage with the Bayon Bros, right?

        • How dare you!

          • Don’t you remember how everyone did not want the Bayon Bros cruising to the end because they didn’t want Savage to win, despite the fact that Stephen was in that alliance?

          • Ohhh, is that why you don’t like Cambodia? Because they wouldn’t let Savage win? I understand your frustration.

          • I did not secretly become Matt, so no.

    • Alkanarra

      The Onions from Gabon. Hard to top the Randy/Corinne combo.

      • Black Dynamite

        I’m still bitter about how they treated Crystal at Ponderosa.

      • I was going to mention The Onions as well.

    • Black Dynamite

      Since you mentioned Ulopu, I would actually throw in Savaii. It’s really bad when Ozzy is like the 4th douchiest member of the group.

      • Maritimer

        Yes, they definitely belong on the list, I just kind of forget about their existence as an alliance since they were wiped out over the course of like 2 episodes

        • Black Dynamite

          One my favorite Survivor what ifs is what would’ve happened if Coach and Ozzy drew different tribes in the beginning. I think the Cult of Coach needed people like Brandon and Edna plus badass Sophie playing along for it to succeed. While Savaii seemed to fit Ozzy’s personality much more than Ulopu.

          • Isn’t it interesting that, with the very notable exception of Russell, the three Redemption Island vs returnees drew incredibly well.

      • gouis

        Jim Rice is such a perfect villain. Ordinary looking doughy white guy who thinks he’s a good guy because he’s not a felon. I’ve met so many like him.

        • Black Dynamite

          And he was also the smartest guy in the room, according to Jim Rice.

          • gouis

            Also the funniest if you ask him.

          • And the most deserving person to be on Cambodia if you ask him.

            This is starting to sound like the song “Gaston”.

          • Diego Armando

            He was also totally down with screwing everyone over to get to the end. Then that ungrateful bastard betrayed him and ruined his game. How dare he.

          • But, Jim was also willing to go to the end with two couples, which on paper is not a terrible idea. But he didn’t see how close Ozzy and Keith was. If that final 5 panned out, Jim was getting fifth no matter what.

          • Diego Armando

            No, it was all John’s fault!

          • Well he did screw Savaii over.

          • Alycia Swift

            Well Troyzan says the same thing about every season. I don’t like Jim but most of those males (I haven’t seen it with the women) that we did not vote onto Cambodia seem to think that they deserved to be on.

          • In 1 case, he did deserve to be on.

        • Purple Rock Emma

          The PRP staff jokes how we all have one or two hated players that are a little irrational. Like, they may be unlikeable, but we have a special vehemence for them (see: John with Troy or Tyler). Jim Rice is mine. Fuck that guy.

          • DrVanNostrand

            Ozzy is mine. I can’t even believe it when people say they liked him in Cook Islands. In my opinion, one of the biggest dings on CI is that Yul didn’t win unanimously. Fuck that guy.

          • Purple Rock Emma

            I liked Ozzy the first time around when I was young, but after rewatching I was struck by the fact that he was always a douche.

  • Hornacek

    For proof that Ozzy really does not understand strategy and have a good social game, look no further than South Pacific. Ozzy says that when RI ends at the merge they need to make sure they can’t have fewer numbers than Coach’s side. Christine, who got voted out of Coach’s tribe, has been dominating at RI, so Ozzy says that they need to send someone to RI that can beat her, leading to Ozzy voting himself out.

    This is dumb on a number of levels, but mostly because Christine has spent most (all?) of her duels at RI talking about how she has doesn’t like Coach and his tribe for voting her out, and that she will be against him if she re-enters the game. Ozzy, the great strategist and social observer, sees this (or hears about it from those that witness the duels – this was when only 2 people from each tribe went to the duels, but Ozzy went at least once) and makes the leap in logic that “We can’t let Christine re-enter the game because she’ll join back up Coach.” What?!?

    I guess Ozzy thinks that either (a) Christine would forgive Coach if she re-entered the game and went back with him, or (b) this is all an act by Christine and she is secretly still in the Coach alliance. Both options are stupid, but considering Ozzy’s plan to vote himself out to go to RI, he probably thinks Christine had the same idea.

    If Ozzy had realized that Christine would likely have joined his alliance, they would have voted Cochran out, who Christine would have beaten, she would have re-entered the game, sided with Ozzy, and they would have gone to rocks. Would she have switched sides? Maybe, not but likely since she hated Coach by this time. One of Coach’s alliance draws the rock, Ozzy’s alliance probably runs the table to get rid of Coach’s alliance, and possibly Ozzy makes it the finals and wins. Fan fiction? Maybe, but it’s better for Ozzy than what happened.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    • Diego Armando

      I agree that Christine probably would have flopped, but I understand what he did. Despite all her talk, Christine was still an unknown quantity to his tribe, whereas they knew Cochran. Christine might have had one person she liked or been unwilling to force a tie, causing her to go back to her old tribe.

      Cochran also was close with Dawn and she might have assured her tribe that he would stay loyal. Also, if Cochran was voted out, he could win the challenge and definitely defect. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.

      Challenges are Ozzy’s strong suit and he thought giving John his idol would show him trust. Ozzy proceeded to handle this terribly, but it was not a bad idea.

      • Purple Rock Emma

        The problem was the waffling on the plan from Savaii. If they never go back and forth between voting out Cochran or carrying out Ozzy’s plan, maybe Cochran actually feels like he’s a part of the alliance.

        Or he still doesn’t want to go to rocks for a bunch of douche bags. Who’s to say?

        • Diego Armando

          Ozzy did a horrible job managing Cochran.

      • Hornacek

        Christine wasn’t that much of an unknown quantity – they had seen her at RI multiple times, and if I remember correctly, during those duels she showed no love for Coach’s tribe and often talked about wanting to get back in to the game and joining Ozzy’s tribe.

        If I’m Ozzy and I have to choose between (a) Cochran, someone who I think is weak both physically and loyally, who I think is not worthy enough to be in my alliance, and (b) Christine, someone who got voted out by Coach, is a beast at RI, and has talked multiple times at RI about wanting to get revenge on Coach, it’s no contest. Sorry Cochran, but you’re getting sent to RI to get beaten by Christine, who will re-join the game and take your place.

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Great Ozzy analysis! I included Ozzy on my fantasy team because I think he’s practically a lock to make it to late-ish merge yet again, plus he’ll probably win a bunch of challenges and he has good chances of ingratiating himself to the majority alliance along the way (basically the Joe game in Cambodia). I also think he showed a tiny bit more self-awareness in his pre-season bio video, and I’m wondering if his restaurant manager gig has possibly built his leadership skills somewhat? Who knows, Gouis’ best case scenario might even come to pass. It’s not my favorite potential outcome for this season, but it’s definitely not my least favorite either.

    • Diego Armando

      I can see him winning.

    • Anthony DePaul

      Thanks! I agree that age and the drip drip of material we get on Ozzy has shown more self awareness on his part. I think we will enjoy whatever time we will have with this group of survivors which I guess is all that matters

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    I totally forgot to mention that Ozzy’s habit of ridiculous over-acting is so bad that it circles around to amazing again, IMO. My absolute fave line, which I find ways to quote all the time IRL is “I am now what is called a free agent” 😀

  • Diego Armando

    I think Ozzy is slightly better at Survivor than we give him credit for. He was one vote from winning Cook Islands and was one Immunity away from winning South Pacific. We just don’t like him because he is an arrogant douche and we identify more with Yul, Cochran and Sophie. His game does work well for him though.

    I think he will get booted right before the merge.

    • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

      I would say that his success is entirely dependent on his challenge ability and pre-merge alliance (which sets up his challenge strengths to carry him deep into the post-merge). In my opinion, his game isn’t multi-dimensional.

      Recently, players who are only strong in challenges seem to be targeted before they can get to the merge, so that plus the “4th-time returnee” intimidation factor may make him a bigger target. On the other hand, if he appears washed up in the first few days or if he gets his all-bro alliance (which seems more and more likely), he just might make it to the merge and have everything shake out after.

  • Anthony DePaul

    Whatever qualifications I have as a superfan, like spending my president’s day watching Survivor All-Stars, get thrown out the window by admitting I am an Ozzy fan?

    When I reconnected with Survivor, Cook Islands was the first season I went back and watched. So I have a soft spot for his game.

    And I enjoy Suvivor for some of the same reasons I enjoy sports. Watching Ozzy perform in challenges is pretty amazing to watch as far as that is concerned.

    So I suppose this is me comi clean about my Ozzy fandom. And I hope that some time away from the game has given him the chance to mature and lose some of the arrogance that hurts his social game.

    I have other theories as to why he could do very well again besides what is mentioned in this very good analysis. So if anyone wants to get into it I’d be happy to expound on them as well.

    Cheers.

    • Alkanarra

      As a Stephanie fan, I feel you.

      • Anthony DePaul

        Yeah I hear that she was not great in Guatemala lol. It’s the only season I haven’t watched so maybe this summer I’ll get around to it. As a result I have no qualms with her. Palau was great lol

        • Alkanarra

          The irony is that Stephanie played very similarly to Tom: cold-hearted mob boss, leading a cult of followers, and cutting people with no remorse. The problem is they only followed her because they thought she was America’s Sweetheart, and when she turned on them they took it very, very badly.

          She should have seen it coming, though. Her game was pretty sloppy.

    • purplerockandy

      Feel free to share you theories. We allow people to believe different things sometimes.

      • Anthony DePaul

        Well first let me say don’t know if Ozzy can win this season based on all the perception baggage he brings with him. But there is a few paths to the end of game for him.

        The Meat shield Path

        If you look at Adam and Jeremy’s strategy on their way to their wins, each during the course of the game had the goal of not being too in the spotlight but still showing they are playing the game. Both employed shields to help their cause Joe and Savage and Spencer (in his own way) each seemed like bigger players to the rest of the group than Jeremy until it was too late. Adam explained his strategy in a similar way such that he had power players at the end of the game that could be taken out ahead of him.

        Clearly Ozzy is not going to be one of those strategic players to initiate that strategy, but he is a prime candidate to be a shield, especially if he is swapped off his bro heavy tribe early. He could be kept in the game longer by a more traditionally strategic player like Zeke. This path gets Ozzy to the merge and potentially slightly past that even if he is in the minority. And then who knows what immunity magic happens. Additionally, my second path kind of takes where the meat shield theory leaves off.

        Personal growth Path

        Ozzy has not played survivor for a 5 years. He’s done a lot of living in his 30’s since then and everything I have gleaned tells me that Ozzy isn’t necessarily as aggrogant As before. Also getting kicked off by Cochran 1.0 has to be humbling after looking back at the experience. He has also mentioned that he knows his social game has not been great his last couple times out. That could be Enough for him to try harder to get along and succeed better in the social arena.

        Camp life and challenge strength is a good reason to keep a player as an ally and if you throw in a more sociable version of Ozzy and just maybe, since he is not seen as a strategic threat he can survive not winning an immunity or two past the merge. which is what he would need if he has out loved his usefulness as a sheild. Let’s put it this way. This counts on South Pacific Ozzy not existing but with the rough edges smoothed out.. Also if you thought he was picking on Cochra, I think since South Pacific there have been way worse things said to other survivors than what Ozzy perpetrated. Watching it in a binge like I did probably could make it less egregious too. But I stand by the fact that Ozzy’s nastiness pales in comparison to the Dirty 30.

        Game Changer Theory

        I have one other idea that speaks to the game changer theme and how that helps Ozzy. because no one thinks of him in that “game changer” light so he could just stay off people’s radar while Tony, Cirie, Sandra, JT and others enjoy the targets on their back. But this is kind of similar to the rest.

        Anyway, These are just my meanderings if anyone likes them awesome if not, you’ve made it this far and that means you read it despite your misgivings.

        Thanks for the season previews and the fun discussion. Appreciate the means of escapism.

        • I also think that you have to add in the whole “losing to Sophie” factor with the Cochran 1.0 issue.

          • Anthony DePaul

            Possibly, my appreciation for Sophie is such that I didn’t think that would be a humbling experience. But for Ozzy I could see that as being the case.

          • Purplerockmatt

            it might be humbling to Ozzy for two reasons: 1) he lost immunity to a girl (not sure if he would think this, but he might think this) and 2) she is very young. hard to be put in your place by a whippersnapper

          • Anthony DePaul

            Yeah I’d buy that

          • I want to add a third part to this. 3) She’s so smart that she beat him on a puzzle. He probably sees a little bit of Yul in her, which may make it sting a little bit

    • Purplerockmatt

      Hey I like Cook Islands Ozzy too, the problem is I also remember South Pacific Ozzy. Really though it isnt that I dislike Ozzy so much as he has brought nothing new on his third time and probably wont on his fourth time so I’m not that happy about him, still I’d rather him than a lot of other people. And feel free to theorize away

      • Anthony DePaul

        See below…

    • DrVanNostrand

      To be a superfan, all you have to do is really love Survivor. If you’ve watched it all (multiple times?), and waste your valuable time commenting on pointless threads like this, you qualify. Other superfans, like myself, might say you’re doing ‘superfan’ wrong. But, one of the great things about the comments here is that we tend to throw around hyperbolic ‘hot takes’ without taking ourselves too, too seriously.

      • Anthony DePaul

        I can very much appreciate the sentiments you are projecting here. And I am very much grateful for the very civil and intelligible conversation this whole site has. Rare these days. Thanks for the comment. Guatamala is my last season to the watch. I’ve seen every other season. I suppose I’m not in a rush considering Gamechangers is Nigh

  • gouis

    I am kind of surprised with the reception Ozzy is getting here. It ranges mostly from lukewarm to secret fans. I thought I was going to get killed for writing a slightly positive piece about him.

    Although it does seem most people don’t really have much to say about him which is fair.

    • purplerockandy

      You have changed hearts and minds.

      • gouis

        I should have used my powers for good Instead of propping up this narcissist.

    • Roswulf

      Well, this is the Internet’s home for fawning over Cook Islands. And Cook Islands Ozzie was a lot of fun, forced by circumstance into being the hero he is in his mind.

    • Max_Jets

      I mostly shrug at Ozzy, but for the sake of adding some negativity: he gives boring confessionals.

    • Mike Hirsch

      I would have struggled to find much positive to say about Ozzy other than talk about his challenge prowess or the unintentional comedy he provided in Micronesia by declaring his love for Amanda at final Tribal.

    • I think he’s a huge douche, but I can’t dispute that he’s nearly won twice. And he’s at least skilled in one part of the game, which is more than we can say for some of the people on this season.

    • DrVanNostrand

      “What this post presupposes is… maybe we’re wrong?”

      Once I came to grips with the fact that the entire premise of the post was wildly, ridiculously false, I could appreciate it as the most reasonable argument that could be made in favor of Ozzy. That said, I didn’t even like him in Cook Islands. I thought he was a smug douche from day 1. He’s great at challenges and it was great to watch him beat up on the whites, but that didn’t make me actually like him. As you said, he only gets worse from there.

      • gouis

        Yup that was the point!

        If you noticed that was a Royal Tenenbaums reference, kind of hinting that I was kind of being facetious. Although I did kind of convince myself that it’s possible that we get a “fun” version of Ozzy.

        • DrVanNostrand

          I’m sad I missed the reference. I loved Royal Tenenbaums, but haven’t seen it in forever.

  • Anthony DePaul

    Well first let me say don’t know if Ozzy can win this season based on all the perception baggage he brings with him. But there is a few paths to the end of game for him.

    The Meat shield Path

    If you look at Adam and Jeremy’s strategy on their way to their wins, each during the course of the game had the goal of not being too in the spotlight but still showing they are playing the game. Both employed shields to help their cause Joe and Savage and Spencer (in his own way) each seemed like bigger players to the rest of the group than Jeremy until it was too late. Adam explained his strategy in a similar way such that he had power players at the end of the game that could be taken out ahead of him.

    Clearly Ozzy is not going to be one of those strategic players to initiate that strategy, but he is a prime candidate to be a shield, especially if he is swapped off his bro heavy tribe early. He could be kept in the game longer by a more traditionally strategic player like Zeke. This path gets Ozzy to the merge and potentially slightly past that even if he is in the minority. And then who knows what immunity magic happens. Additionally, my second path kind of takes where the meat shield theory leaves off.

    Personal growth Path

    Ozzy has not played survivor for a 5 years. He’s done a lot of living in his 30’s since then and everything I have gleaned tells me that Ozzy isn’t necessarily as aggrogant As before. Also getting kicked off by Cochran 1.0 has to be humbling after looking back at the experience. He has also mentioned that he knows his social game has not been great his last couple times out. That could be Enough for him to try harder to get along and succeed better in the social arena.

    Camp life and challenge strength is a good reason to keep a player as an ally and if you throw in a more sociable version of Ozzy and just maybe, since he is not seen as a strategic threat he can survive not winning an immunity or two past the merge. which is what he would need if he has out loved his usefulness as a sheild.

    Game Changer Theory

    I have one other idea that speaks to the game changer theme and how that helps Ozzy. because no one thinks of him in that “game changer” light so he could just stay off people’s radar while Tony, Cirie, Sandra, JT and others enjoy the targets on their back. But this is kind of similar to the rest.

    Anyway, These are just my meanderings if anyone likes them awesome if not, you’ve made it this far and that means you read it despite your misgivings.

    Thanks for the season preview and the fun discussion. Appreciate the means of escapism.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    “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.”

    Half-baked theory: South Pacific started filming two weeks after the Redemption Island finale. I think both Ozzy and Coach tried to replicate Rob’s game, and like the blind men with the elephant they each got one part of it.

    • I know TEOS says that Coach definitely has the stranglehold part of Rob’s game.

  • Purple Rock Emma

    “…and looked like a Greek God”
    This is a very underreported part of Yul’s game.

    • gouis

      God he’s beautiful.

    • PurpleTally

      99% of the reason I want @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus to watch Cook Islands with me is so I have an excuse to stare at Yul.

      • DrVanNostrand

        You need no excuse. Buy a poster. Make him the background on your computer machine. Even as a straight man, Yul is magnificent.