Exclusive: Ozzy Lusth talks about his 'Survivor: Micronesia' blindside
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/18/2008
Ozzy Lusth was so overconfident he'd survive Tribal Council that he didn't even bother to bring his Hidden Immunity Idol with him.
Big mistake, as the Survivor: Cook Islands runner-up was blindsided and became the twelfth castaway eliminated from Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites during last night's broadcast of the long-running CBS reality show's sixteenth season.
On Friday, a melancholy Ozzy talked to Reality TV World about why trusting his alliance was really the only reason he thought he was safe and caused him to not bring the idol to Tribal Council; what the current status of his relationship with Amanda Kimmel is; and why he doesn't regret his decision to trust Cirie Fields despite her being only a "superficial" member of his alliance.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction as host Jeff Probst started to read the votes and you realized several of them were for you?
Reality TV World: Okay, so that basically sums it up?
Ozzy: Yeah. I pretty much just thought that over and over again.
Reality TV World: It seemed pretty clear that somebody other than Jason Siska was also going to receive votes at last night's Tribal Council. Despite trusting your alliance, why were you so confident that it wasn't going to be you since you were obviously a big threat?
Ozzy: Well besides my alliance I just... That was basically my only reason I guest.
Reality TV World: Really? You were that trusting of your alliance?
Ozzy: Yeah. I mean it was only one person. It was just [Parvati Shallow]. That's pretty much it.
Reality TV World: What were you saving the idol for? When did you plan on using it if not last night?
Ozzy: Pretty much, I think the idol guaranteed you Top 4 or 5 or something. So I just was going to wait for maybe one more Immunity Challenge.
Reality TV World: So had you not won the next Immunity Challenge, are you saying you would have most-likely used it at the subsequent Tribal Council?
Reality TV World: You just mentioned Parvati, was she the one you immediately thought voted against you after your elimination was revealed?
Reality TV World: What about Cirie Fields? She voted against you too -- are you saying you don't really consider that flipping on your alliance with her?
Ozzy: No, because we didn't have like a solid alliance with her. It was more just kind of superficial.
Reality TV World: So Cirie was always somebody that you felt you had to watch?
Reality TV World: After your elimination you mentioned how you were "too comfortable" with your alliance. Why were you so trusting in certain members of the alliance even after James Clement warned you he had a "bad feeling?"
Ozzy: I think that quote was kind of taken out of context. I don't think it was as cut and dry as like, "Oh man. I have a bad feeling. You should bring the idol." It was a little more vague than that.
Reality TV World: So what was the context of the "bad feeling" quote?
Ozzy: I don't actually remember what was going on right at that point. But for whatever reason, I thought things were okay. I don't remember what it was though.
Reality TV World: Did James ever explain what he was basing his "bad feeling" on? I know Micronesia filmed while China was still airing last fall, but had he or Amanda ever revealed his own Hidden Immunity Idol blunder to you?
Ozzy: I don't think so. No.
Reality TV World: Okay, so you weren't aware of that the whole time you were out there?
Reality TV World: Were you ever made aware of Parvati's alliance with Alexis Jones and Natalie Bolton?
Ozzy: Not really. We kind of assumed that she made friends with them [when all three were members of the Airai tribe].
Reality TV World: Did Amanda ever talk to you about how Parvati approached her about a potential alliance with Alexis and Natalie?
Ozzy: No, I don't think so. But again, it's all kind of a blur now. I'm not sure.
Reality TV World: Viewers saw Amanda comment how you had to "be careful" since everyone knew you had the idol and were a threat. Did she ever share those concerns with you?
Ozzy: Not really. No.
Reality TV World: So just to be clear, going into that Tribal Council last night you fully expected Jason to be the one eliminated?
Reality TV World: So you were completely caught off guard?
Ozzy: Pretty much. Reality TV World: Prior to Tribal you said you "might" take the idol with you. Did you even bring the Hidden Immunity Idol with you to Tribal Council?
Ozzy: No. I didn't even bring it with me.
Reality TV World: Wow. So was it still hidden somewhere at the camp?
Ozzy: Yeah. It had been hidden at camp since I found it.
Reality TV World: So did any of the castaways who are still there know where it's hidden?
Ozzy: I think I showed Amanda and James.
Reality TV World: So now that you're gone, do you think one of them will try to find it and keep it for themselves?
Ozzy: No. The rules of the game are if I didn't give it to anyone, it's basically been absolved. Reality TV World: So do producers plan on re-hiding it?
Ozzy: Yes they do. They re-hide it.
Reality TV World: Do you know where?
Ozzy: Not exactly.
Reality TV World: Why did you plant the fake idol on Exile Island? Did you ever think it might out you for having the real one?
Ozzy: [I planted it] sort of as a rouse -- as a red herring. Let someone think they had it for a little while. Even if I hadn't of made a fake idol, I still would have been outed for having the [real] idol. So it was better to plant a fake one and let it try and do some damage than to not at all.
Reality TV World: Who did you specifically tell that you had the real idol?
Ozzy: I think I told only Amanda, James and Parvati.
Reality TV World: Were you aware that word of you possessing it had already started to leak out before Eliza Orlins outed you?
Ozzy: Well it's pretty obvious. After a certain number of people go to Exile Island, it's pretty apparent after that that somebody would have the Immunity Idol.
Reality TV World: Since you always seemed to be competitive during the all the challenges and you had just feasted during your Reward, why were you so quick to step down during the Immunity Challenge?
Ozzy: What you don't see is, my shoulders are really bad just from years and years of surfing. I was just able to not hold my arm up. It's kind of amazing that I even made it that far.
Reality TV World: I see, so your arms were starting to get tired before you made the deal for the donuts and stepped down.
Ozzy: They were done after an hour. I was holding on just out of pure grit and when the donuts came out it was actually the second time they came up. I just figured it was better to back out and get something than to not at all. I was about to come down no matter what.
Reality TV World: Do you think Parvati's decision to side with Alexis, Natalie, Jason and Cirie will come back to bite her? Do you think she would have been stronger sticking with the couples alliance?
Ozzy: Yeah, I do actually.
Reality TV World: Were you sincere in stating you would have went to the Final 4 with James, Amanda and Parvati?
Reality TV World: When we talked to Tracy Hughes-Wolf, she accused Malakal of throwing Immunity Challenges to weed-out the tribe's Fans. Was that the case?
Reality TV World: Why do you think she said that then?
Ozzy: She was probably bitter.
Reality TV World: At the beginning of the game, why didn't your couples alliance join forces with Jonathan Penner, Yau-Man Chan, Ami Cusak and Eliza to boot Cirie since she was the "fence sitter?"
Ozzy: Jonathan and Eliza, they're probably way more untrustworthy than Cirie. So it was just a question of choosing who was more trusting.
Reality TV World: And Cirie was the decision?
Reality TV World: Seeing as how she was one of the main organizers of your elimination, do you regret that decision in hindsight?
Ozzy: No. Jonathan would have done the same thing.
Reality TV World: So why did you decide to trust Cirie? Did you ever consider someone like Ami might have been a better choice?
Ozzy: Yeah, I've thought about it. Again, you've got to pick a person you think is going to be a little more trustworthy. I think Ami would have eventually done the same thing [as Cirie]. I mean [Ami] was already plotting to do that.
Reality TV World: Viewers got a glimpse at your romantic relationship with Amanda. Why do you think you two hit it off so well?
Ozzy: I don't know. We had a lot in common and just kind of... You know when you're stranded on a deserted island, that's kind of what happens.
Reality TV World: Would you consider yourself an Amanda fan from the few episodes of Survivor: China you got to watch before leaving for Micronesia?
Ozzy: Yeah, I think so.
Reality TV World: Was it initially just an alliance that blossomed into something more, or was it the other way around and an alliance just made sense?
Ozzy: It just kind of made sense.
Reality TV World: What's the current status of your relationship with Amanda? Are you two dating?
Ozzy: Yeah, we're still dating.
Reality TV World: Are you both out in California?
Ozzy: Yeah, in L.A.
Reality TV World: How's the relationship going? Is it working now that you're both off the deserted island?
Ozzy: Yeah, it is.
Reality TV World: Jeff Probst has mentioned how some of the Favorites began talking about alliances and strategies before they even knew that they'd be coming back for sure. Had you had any of those types of talks?
Ozzy: I personally did not. But I know a lot of other people did.
Reality TV World: Is that a decision you regret? Do you wish you had talked some strategy prior to leaving?
Ozzy: No, because I know that some of the people that did, they were some of the first gone.
Reality TV World: You seemed to hit it off pretty well with James. What was it like working with him -- you two seemed to be a pretty unstoppable, imposing force.
Ozzy: He's a really cool guy. He was just down to play and down to be a solid, loyal alliance member. We just got along, we understood the way to do things better than anyone else. We just got along better.
Reality TV World: Parvati had mentioned how she thought you'd be unbeatable in the final Tribal Council. Do you agree with that and which member of your four-person alliance do you think was the most beatable at the final Tribal Council?
Ozzy: I didn't even think that far.
Reality TV World: How did you end up being part of Survivor: Micronesia?
Ozzy: How did it happen?
Reality TV World: Yeah.
Ozzy: I think my name was put into a hat with a bunch of other people and I just got lucky.
Reality TV World: Were you thinking it was going to be a full All-Stars edition?
Ozzy: That's what I was hoping.
Reality TV World: Why?
Ozzy: Because I knew that if it was half and half I would have a hard time dealing with getting over my reputation.
Reality TV World: Do you think that concern played itself out?
Ozzy: Yeah. Definitely.
Reality TV World: What was your original strategy heading into the game and did it differ from the first time you participated in Survivor when you made it to the final Tribal Council?
Ozzy: Well I knew I had to be a little more of a strategic player because I had a reputation to overcome. Really there wasn't too much I could do about that. If I hadn't made the mistake of not playing the idol, I think I would have made it pretty far. I kind of just made a blunder.
Reality TV World: Once you were at Tribal Council, did you wish you had brought the idol with you?
Ozzy: I don't know if I even would have played it. I think they did a good job of tricking me.
Reality TV World: Do you think the Fans have a chance of winning Survivor: Micronesia?
Reality TV World: Why?
Ozzy: I think they screwed themselves over from the very beginning in voting off some of the strongest players at the beginning. Trying to be strategic as a whole, they voted off some of the strongest players and it kind of weakened them enough where I don't think they have a chance.
Reality TV World: Personally speaking, which castaway would you like to see win Micronesia? Any castaway you don't want to see win?
Ozzy: I don't want to jinx anyone.
Reality TV World: Do you still hold a grudge against Parvati for last night's vote?
Ozzy: A little bit. Of course I have to. But she was just doing what she had to do to survive.
Reality TV World: Yeah, we saw during last night's previews for next week's episode that it looks like she tries to get a girls alliance going. Do you think she can make that happen?
Ozzy: Yeah, possibly.
Reality TV World: So what's next for you?
Ozzy: I've got a website -- ozzysurvivor.com -- you can go and get some T-shirts and other merchandise, help me out a little bit. I'm trying to get a project going to build skateparks down in Mexico, which part of the proceeds are going to go to. I'm acting, writing, photography, surfing and skating. Just living life. http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/exclusive-ozzy-lusth-talks-about-his-survivor-micronesia-blindside-6958.php