Was an Ozzy Lusth – Survivor Game Changers reunion necessary? Absolutely not. He’s someone who played the game three times previously, did a decent job those three times, and won a ton of challenges. He’s been in the final three, and he’s been close in the final three.
Ozzy is the in-game equivalent of going and getting “the usual” at the diner every morning — unless something goes terribly awry, there is a very good chance that you know what you are getting the moment you walk up to place your order. Maybe there is a slight chance things could be different this time, mostly given that the last time he played was season 23, more than ten full seasons ago. That’s long enough for this metaphorical diner to get a new menu! (We don’t know why we keep using that analogy either.)
Past performance – 2th place (Survivor: Cook Islands), 9th place (Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites), 4th place (Survivor: South Pacific)
Historical perspective – One of the best challenge performers to ever play the game. His physical ability almost won him enough respect from the jury the first time around to win. Meanwhile, his threat level caused him to be blindsided the second time. The third time, he was voted out twice and returned from Redemption Island twice before coming back again. This was the time his legend grew the largest … though technically, he’s tied with Rupert for title of the person voted out of Survivor more than any other person (if you count Rupert being voted out at the start of Blood vs. Water as him getting voted out of the game). That’s interesting company to keep!
Strengths – As mentioned, Ozzy is outstanding in challenges. He can run, swim, and do anything else better than anyone, and while he may be older now at 34, it’s still hard to imagine him being slower or worse for wear than give years ago. He’s also deceptively smart and can solve puzzles and more mental tasks at a fairly solid rate. To go along with that, he’s a huge provider at the start of game, and he’s probably the one person best equipped to go live on an island for a year and survive. He’s almost the epitome of the survival aspect of the game in that sense, and a huge asset for any tribe.
Weaknesses – Ozzy may be the polar opposite of someone like Sandra. She’s the ultimate thinker who is pretty terrible in challenges. Meanwhile, he’s got a pretty poor strategic game, a questionable social game beyond “hanging out,” and is amazing in challenges. His game crumbles at the merge; were it not for Redemption Island, he would’ve finished far worse than he did his third time out. Ozzy is capable of pulling a Mike Holloway and running the table, but it feels foolish to put a whole lot of stock in something like that happening.
The best thing that Ozzy can hope for is getting into an alliance with a ton of other challenge warriors like a JT, a Brad, a Sarah, or a Malcolm after the swap. He needs to be around other people so threatening that they don’t perceive him as a threat in turn. This is why he and Yul were in part able to coexist his first time. If he finds himself the obvious target, everyone will get rid of him. It’s too big of a risk to take someone who just wins their way to the end and doesn’t get a whole lot of blood on their hands. You never know how a jury is going to feel at any given moment, so Ozzy’s biggest strength is his ultimate weakness. Even if he plays a more perceptive, strategic game, this still could come back to bite him.
Before you go, we invite you to check out all of our other spotlights when it comes to the season. (Photo: CBS.)
How are you feeling about Ozzy entering this season of Survivor? Share in the comments.