Lo and behold, another season where the holder of the Hidden Immunity Idol decided not to play his secret weapon, to his great regret. Ozzy Lusth was a dominating force in challenges, and that had to be on the minds of his tribemates Ė including one he considered a personal friend Ė when they decided to stab him in the back. Is holding the Hidden Immunity Idol a boon or a curse? In this interview with reporters, Ozzy discusses what happened that night, why he made the choice he did, and which relationships lasted after the game Ė and which did not.
Q: You got a little comfortable and confident the other night.
A: Ya think?
Q: So how much of a shock was it?
A: On a scale of what?
Q: On a scale of 1 Ė 10.
A: 75 million.
Q: You seemed a little less confident when you went into voting last night. Did you have an inkling this was going to happen?
A: Yes, I thought there was a chance. I had to take a risk and see if I could make it one more tribal council, and I couldnít. The rules of the immunity idol changed and you had to play it in between the voting and having the votes read, so itís really a gamble any way you look at it. If you play it and you werenít right, the next time you go youíre pretty much done. I should have played it, and itís a mistake I made. I know, shoulda coulda woulda.
Q: Did you try that Betel nut stuff?
A: Yeah, I did. Itís like island crack. You saw Erik, he threw up, he couldnít handle it. Itís kind of like a stimulant like nicotine or chewing tobacco.
Q: Did you actually bring the hidden immunity idol to tribal council?
A: I brought it in spirit. It was there in spirit.
Q: So you left it at camp, then? Didnít you say you were going to put it in your bag?
A: Yeah, I did, I just didnít do it. I kind of Ė I just didnít do it, and I really should have. It was a stupid mistake.
Q: Is it legal if somebody else finds it, can they play it later?
A: No. No, because I didnít give it to anyone. If I had given it to somebody that would have been different, but no. Now the idol will be sort of wiped clean. Theyíll hide a new one and have new rules and everything.
Q: Whereís the idol today?
A: I have no idea. I still have it in spirit. I think Iím going to carve a new one. Youíll be able to get signature Ozzy-carved idols on my website, Iíll carve you one.
Q: That was one of the funniest Survivor moments ever. ďDude, itís just a stick.Ē
A: Exactly. Hey, it wasnít just a stick, I spent hours putting minute details into it to fool someone, and it worked. Although Eliza saw right through it.
Q: About your romance with Amanda.
A: Yeah, what did you want to know?
Q: Was it calculated, was it spontaneous, did you think about the risks involved?
A: It was pretty much spontaneous, it just kind of happened. It was like jungle fever I guess.
Q: Were you worried about being viewed as a couple?
A: Yeah, I think we did a pretty good job in the beginning of getting away from that, and it slowly got more apparent. But a lot of people sort of cuddled with each other, and itís not just me and her, but like, other couples would cuddle with each other. And thatís just to keep warm because you really need Ė we all sleep next to each other and it just kind of happened out of that. We all stayed very close to each other to maintain a certain body temperature, and thatís how it came about.
Q: Whatís your relationship with her today?
A: Weíre still dating. Itís one of those things; you take it day-by-day.
Q: If you had been in Jasonís shoes, would you have taken that promise and stepped down?
Q: So if you could were okay with lying right to Jasonís face, why didnít you think it wouldnít happen to you?
A: Because Jason and I didnít know each other from another Survivor. We didnít have a relationship; we werenít friends. And Parvati was my friend. We had had the experience of the Cook Islands and she lives right nearby me, and we had a relationship. We were friends outside of the game, we were friends going into the game. I didnít think she would do that.
Q: So it hurts a bit more to get voted out by people you were close to then?
A: Oh, I think you know the answer to that. Of course! If your friend decided to screw you over to get a little cash, thatís basically the exact same equivalent.
Q: Yes, but werenít you going to do the same thing eventually? Itís a million dollar prize.
A: No, because we had a four person alliance, so once it got down to that the understanding was that all bets were off.
Q: What do you think James and Amandaís reaction was that night when they went back to camp?
A: I think they were pretty pissed off because the thing is not only did Parvati screw me over, she screwed them over as well. She screwed them out of an alliance. Theyíre going to do whatever they can to re-do or re-figure out another angle. So Parvati didnít just screw me out of the game, sheís really putting James and Amanda into a really hard position.
Q: What about Cirie? I know youíre putting a lot of blame on Parvati, but isnít she just as culpable?
A: She is Ė no, sheís not really. I mean, Cirie Ė yeah. It was her idea. But at the same time, Cirie and I werenít friends. It wasnít a question Ė thatís just part of the game. That would have been no problem. If it had been anyone else besides Parvati, for one, I would have played the idol. I would have seen that coming. But because it was Parvati, because she was my friend, I thought she would warn me if something like that was coming. Thatís just kind of how it happened.
Q: Who would you say is more of a mastermind Ė Cirie or Parvati?
A: I would probably say Cirie.
Q: Does she control the whole tribe right now? Or up to the point of you being voted off?
A: No, I donít think so. Basically her decision to get me out was the extent of her masterminding.
Q: Do you think you had some influence on her, like during the vote on Ami?
A: No, the vote out of Ami was sort of a group decision. We all knew she was untrustworthy because she had tried to play both sides. I still feel really bad about that. I wish she had not done that. I wish she had stuck with us and she definitely would have made it a lot farther than she did. But once we found out she was playing both sides, I just couldnít trust her after that. I still think that it would have turned out the same if she had been around, because she would have gotten together with Eliza, and Eliza definitely wasnít going to have me sticking around.
Q: Going back to when you first found the idol, you were with Kathy. What was that like, did she have any clue that you had found something?
A: No, she had no idea.
Q: Was it hard to keep that from her?
A: No, not at all. She was not interested. She checked out of the game less than a week in. She was over it; she wanted to go home.
Q: So you didnít have any trouble finding time to make the fake idol?
A: No. I probably spent a good couple of hours on it. I kind of went around the corner and I was just sitting on a rock whittling. She kind of came over to see what I was doing. She thought I was looking for food. I knew that when I went out Ė the other thing that didnít make the air was the way that I made it out to Exile in the first place, we pulled straws back in the cave to see who would be going. James and I cheated. James was the holder of the straws, because Jonathan really, really wanted to go. He was rariní to go. We all knew that we couldnít let Jonathan go. So James devised a system, and was able to make me pull the longest straw, so I went. I knew I had a really good shot at finding the idol, so I brought our filet knife, which is sharp and small, and I knew that once I found the idol, I could construct a fake one.
Q: Whatís your relationship like with Erik?
A: I took him under my wing. I saw in him an opportunity to gain a vote, and to gain a confidant, and thatís what he turned into. It would have been helpful to have one more of those, I wasnít able to do that. I probably should have tried more with Jason, because in hindsight, he and I could have made a run for it. But you let stupid personal issues get in your way, and thatís what it was.
Q: Were you checked out of that immunity challenge when you decided to drop for food?
A: No, Iíve got really bad shoulders from years of surfing. Theyíre messed up and I have rotator cuff issues. Iím surprised I even made it that long. I canít hold my arms up above my head very well at all. We were a couple hours in, the donuts came out, and I knew it would be every hour or half hour that Jeff would offer food, and I knew I wasnít going to make it to the next one, so I just stepped down to get the donuts. I knew I wouldnít last much longer in that challenge.
Q: When Jason won the immunity idol last week, you looked like you were in rough shape. Can you walk us through what happened there?
A: Basically, once the water had gotten up over my face I had a really good breathing system going and I didnít know who was left over. I thought maybe it was James, but he was on the opposite end of the bars, so I went underwater to see if I could see where they were, who was left. That was my mistake because when I went back up the water was just too high, and I couldnít get a good seal. Water kept dripping down and I was fricking drowning. I just had to bow out and that was it. I couldnít get my hand to seal back over. I should have known that would happen, but I thought James was still in it. I couldnít see what was happening, and I should have stayed until it was over.
Q: If everything had gone the way you wanted, who would you have been sitting next to at the end?
A: I didnít care.
Q: Not a numbers game, man or woman?
A: I honestly didnít care. I just wanted to make it as far as possible. In all honesty, it probably would have been someone like Jason or Erik. That would have been ideal, but really it could have been anyone. Maybe Cirie would have been the worst candidate; sheís a really liked person, and she would have had the best chance of winning against me. But I knew that I had to try to get farther in before I started thinking about that.
Q: Who do you think is going to make it?
A: I think Chet is going to come back from the Loserís Lodge and take it all. Thatís next weekís twist.
Q: Because of the overlap between filming, did you know about James and the hidden immunity idols in his season?
A: No, he never told me about them.
Q: I can see why he wouldnít.
A: Yeah, itís kind of embarrassing.
Q: Weíve barely gotten to know Alexis and Natalie on the show Ė what can you tell us about them?
A: Theyíre cool girls, they live here in LA. Theyíre the classic fly-under-the-radar types, they just go with the flow, and itís a strategy that works really well. I donít know, I thought they were really nice, theyíre cool.
Q: Tracy said that the Favorites had thrown some challenges, is that true?
A: No. That was Tracy being oblivious to the game. Thereís no reason to throw a challenge. It didnít matter because we were voting them out anyways, but you still want to win. Having Tracy and Chet Ė we were useless. We were a useless team.
Q: When Eliza outed you at Tribal Council, you admitted it right then. Did you know that was going to happen?
A: I mean, everybody pretty much knew I did. Everyone knew.
Q: What do you think of Jason? He was a fan of yours coming in, yet he beat you twice in two challenges.
A: Thatís what he was there for Ė he was there to beat me. In the other challenges earlier in the game, I think I beat him, but when it came down to those last two he did really well. He came off a little arrogant but he was really proud of himself for beating me, and more power to him.
Q: You came off arrogant yourself, did you learn anything about that? Are you still angry about the way things turned out?
A: No, itís just the way it goes. Iíve got a website now called HumbleNoble.com as a homage to the whole experience. I was humbled by the experience and thatís where itís left me. But you can go and check it out, buy a t-shirt to help out my cause of building skate parks down in Mexico. The same website is OzzySurvivor.com. To all the fans, go get a t-shirt and help out the skateboarding cause in Mexico. Iím also doing some writing, some photography, and trying to score some acting work.
Q: Going into the game, what was your strategy? Did you think you had a target on your back?
A: Of course. I knew my chances of making it near the end or near the jury were slim to none, so itís kind of a miracle that I made it that far. My strategy was to make it as far as possible, and thatís all you can really do.
Q: Was Survivor harder this time or last time?
A: This time, because I was fighting against the reputation that preceded me, and thatís tough to do. People already had thoughts and opinions about who I am, and to try and get around that is pretty much impossible.
Q: When you switched those immunity idols, that was brilliant. What are the highlights we didnít see of this season?
A: Thereís a few different things that didnít make it to the air that had to do with fishing, exploring the island, building different traps, midnight coconut runs Ė just stuff like that. None of it made the tube.
Q: Whatís it like the first few days when youíre back in the States?
A: Itís weird, but itís not that weird, itís just good to sleep in a bed again. The first time was more culture shocking, but the second time youíre more easily adaptable.
Q: Whatís your relationship with Parvati today?
A: You know, I just kind of Ö I donít know. Iím a little bit over it. She showed me her true colors and thatís that.