Survivor: Game Changers – Ozzy Lusth interview: Breaking down the blindside

Ozzy Lusth interviewThere’s no doubt in our mind that Ozzy Lusth is a Survivor legend. He’s the only person ever to make it to the merge on four different occasions; sadly for him, he’s also been voted out more than anyone in the history of the show. It did feel like he had a pretty good run going this time, but he fell ultimately victim to a blindside vote when he was vulnerable right at a time when the Sierra – Debbie alliance was looking for someone to target.

This morning, we had a nice chance to reflect with Ozzy about his experience this time, throwing the challenge to get rid of Sandra, and why he wasn’t disappointed with how everything went down.

CarterMatt – How are you feeling upon reflecting on your game this time?

Ozzy Lusth – I didn’t have high expectations going into this season, just knowing that I bring a certain reputation. I also saw the way that certain players left early. I’m happy I made it as far as I did, I wish I had made it further, but it was cool to just be able to go out and play again.

Do you think that Jeff [Probst] hyping up your abilities in the challenge last night made the target on you bigger? Or, do you think that you were always going to be a big target just because you’re Ozzy?

I think people just wanted to get rid of me.

So after that challenge when you didn’t win, was there already that worry and fear in your head that it was going to be you [going home]?

It [was there], but I think the blindside worked pretty well. They did a pretty good job of keeping that from me. It wasn’t until Debbie pulled out her extra vote that I was pretty sure that I was in trouble. At that point, it was too late to do anything.

Was there a fear you had an idol? I mean, you’ve obviously had success finding them before.

Nah. Everyone know that I didn’t have an idol.

So you didn’t have to do anything like what Hali threatened to do last night to convince them?

I just think that there’s a lot of time spent by everyone looking for an idol, but they knew. They just knew I didn’t have it.

Was it a deliberate thing for you to not look to minimize the target on you?

Not really. I did look a lot — it was just really hard to find, and the twists of this game were abundant. I didn’t get any of the good benefits of them.

Has the way that you approached being out there and playing the game changed at all from your first season?

The bummer is just that with my reputation, I can’t change how people perceive me. I just tried to play the game as true to myself as possible and enjoy the experience. I play from a place of love and joy and not fear and regret. There’s nothing that you can do sometimes — sometimes the cards don’t fall in your favor. You just have to make the best of it. I got further than I thought I would.

I know that you talked a lot last night about being a provider, and about how people would go hungry without you. Let’s say that you knew you were going to be voted out. Would that have been your big argument? What else would you have said?

I would’ve argued to the people in my alliance to stick with me — if they get rid of me, they’re getting rid of someone with a great track record of being a loyal person. Getting rid of that at this stage in the game can be potentially disastrous.

How betrayed by Zeke and some of the back and forth he was doing? At one point it looked like you guys were really close.

That was just the way that he wanted to play the game. He wanted to make a big move — unfortunately, I just think he chose the wrong time to make the move. I don’t feel that betrayed, but at the same time I wish that we would’ve stuck together a little longer.

One thing that did excite me was seeing your relationship with Cirie and seeing how that changed after Micronesia. How did you guys get on the same page?

It was all of the time we spent on Tavua. We were really able to bond and have a great time — we didn’t have to go to Tribal Council, and really had a lot of fun.

Was there a good common bond between the two of you that you are both four-time players who are often considered to be huge threats?

Yeah, there was a little bit of that.

How much time do you spend thinking about that immunity challenge against Tai? I’m sure it probably doesn’t haunt you as much as the last one in South Pacific, but still.

Yeah, that one haunts me way more. This one was such a brutal challenge. I really gave it everything I could. I knew that there wasn’t anything left in the tank. My muscles failed. That was me sliding down the pole at the very end. I had nothing left. If I did, I would’ve stayed up there.

Tai probably could’ve stayed up there another half an hour and been okay.

When I talked to Sandra earlier this season she said that after the second tribe swap, the Nuku tribe threw the challenge to get rid of her. Was that accurate, and was it just that she was a big threat?

We made that move in order to save Cirie. We were worried — myself, Andrea, Zeke, and Sarah — that if the other tribe went to Tribal, Cirie would be voted out. We threw that challenge on purpose because we had someone like Sandra who was a major threat in the game. It was an opportunity to take that risk and keep someone we knew we could trust.

At the tribal council where Sandra was voted out, were you ever worried that you were in danger, or was that stuff with Tai being paranoid just theater?

I wasn’t worried. That was theater.

So are you down to be the first person to play five times?

Oh I’m definitely down. Maybe for my 40th birthday, that’s what Jeff will get me.

More Survivor coverage

You can see some more exit interviews, to go along with episode reviews, previews, and more, by heading over to the link here. (Photo: CBS.)

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