August 23, 1981
Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
|Known for||Survivor: Cook Islands
Survivor: South Pacific
Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth (born August 23, 1981 in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico) is an American reality show contestant who first appeared on Survivor: Cook Islands. He finished as the runner-up to Yul Kwon. Lusth later competed in Survivor: Micronesia as one of the returning favorites and then competed on the show for a third time in Survivor: South Pacific. He also appeared on the second American Ninja Warrior where he was eliminated on the obstacle, the Bridge of Blades.
Survivor: Cook Islands
On Survivor: Cook Islands, Lusth was originally a member of the Aitu tribe, which represented Latinos. Having no particular alliance with any members, Lusth was seen as a threat, his survival skills unbeatable. In episode 2, Lusth suggested the tribe throw the immunity challenge so they could vote out the weak link, Billy Garcia. Lusth's plan was met with skepticism, particularly with Christina. However, the vote went his way and Billy was voted out at Tribal Council. Following the merge, Lusth remained in Aitutaki with only one of his original tribemates, Cecelia. Lusth was perceived a threat due to his outstanding physical strength and survival skills and led his tribes to numerous immunities. Yet, he remained on the outs, not part of the dominating alliance of Yul Kwon, Candice Woodcock, Becky Lee, and Jonathan Penner and Lusth lost his original tribemate, Cecelia Mansilla. Following the third tribal council, Lusth was angry that his tribe had voted for Cecelia, but was comforted by his tribemates. After two straight wins, Jeff announced both tribes were going to tribal council and Lusth, along with the rest of the tribe, excluding Jessica, denounced "Plan Voodoo" and voted out Cao Boi. The tribe lost immunity at the next challenge and Jessica Smith was unanimously voted out. Lusth played a large part in the next 3 straight wins and the Rarotonga tribe saw their numbers were dwindling. However, when Jeff announced mutiny was on offer, the Aitutaki tribe was left shocked and decimated as original Raratoga members Candice and Jonathan jumped back, leaving Rarotonga at a strong 8. The challenge following the mutiny was dominated by the Aitu 4 and Lusth infamously stated "Mutineers are the first people to die." Lusth and the Aitutaki 4 kept good on the promise sending Candice to Exile Island multiple times and eventually sealing the fate of both Candice and Jonathan. The mutiny sealed Lusth is an alliance with Yul, Becky and Sundra, and the Aitutaki 4 dominated in challenges. Following the tribal merge, Lusth remained loyal to the Aitutaki 4 and voted with his allies to send Rarotona's Nate, Candice, Jonathan, Parvati and Adam off, despite times where he considered playing with Parvati. Lusth was seen as a threat by allies Becky and Sundra, who went to Yul in an attempt to vote Lusth out. Yet, Lusth won immunity once again, forcing the original order of voting out the Rarotonga members. Lusth won the final immunity challenge and scored himself a spot in the Final 3, along with Yul, who had the hidden immunity idol. Forced to vote one of their own out, the Aitu 4 became divided 2-2, Yul and Becky on one side, Ozzy and Sundra on the other. The vote ended in a tie and Becky won the firemaking challenge, securing herself a spot with Yul and Lusth. At the final Tribal Council, he was praised for his athletic skills, yet criticized for being somewhat of a loner. He finished in second place in a 5–4–0 vote, and was the first male runner-up in two years since the 8th season. Jeff also quoted at the reunion show that he had dominated physically like no one ever had. Prior to the million dollar vote, Adam had promised Yul his vote if he was kept longer than Jonathan. Yul did so and Adam stayed true to his promise. Lusth gained the votes of the Rarotonga members; Parvati Shallow, Nate Gonzalez, Jenny Guzon-Bae and Rebecca Borman. He was the longest-lasting contestant from the original Aitutaki tribe, and stayed an Aitutaki member even after the tribe switch. Dominant in swimming, agility and balance, he won five out of six individual immunity challenges. He won a Mercury Mariner, being voted favorite player of the season.
With his five immunity challenge wins in Cook Islands, Lusth tied with Colby Donaldson, Tom Westman, and Terry Deitz for the record of the most immunity challenge wins in a single season. Since then, that feat has also been matched by Mike Holloway.
Survivor: Micronesia was Lusth's second appearance on Survivor. With regard to his prior appearance, Lusth commented, "My mistakes last time were basically being too much of a loner. I'm never going to go anywhere by myself except to use the bathroom". Originally part of the Malakal tribe representing the favorites, Lusth decided to establish alliances. He allied himself with Amanda Kimmel, a Survivor: China contestant. The two went on to join forces with James Clement, Amanda's ally from Survivor: China and Parvati Shallow, Lusth's fellow contestant on the Cook Islands. The four became known for the romantic relationships between Ozzy and Amanda and James and Parvati Shallow, with Cirie Fields joking that Kimmel would be giving birth to "little Ozzlets." The tribe faced an early defeat and the alliance of 4 found themselves against another dominating alliance of Ami Cusak, Jonathan Penner, Eliza Orlins and Yau-Man Chan. Both alliances attempted to recruit Jonny Fairplay, whose vote would become the swing vote. However, things changed with Fairplay asked to be sent home to be with his pregnant girlfriend, and the tribe honored his wish and voted him out 9-1, with Fairplay voting for Lusth. Faced with a loss in episode 3, the four recruited Cirie Fields as their fifth member and voted out Yau-Man, who was perceived a threat by Cirie. In episode 4, he was banished to Exile Island where he found the immunity idol on Exile Island and put a fake idol where he found the real one. Following a tribal switch in episode 5, Lusth remained with 2 of his alliance members, Kimmel and Fields. The tribe began to lose in immunity challenges and subsequently voted off the Fans, Joel, Chet, and Tracy, during which Airai's Jonathan Penner was evacuated and Kathy Sleckman quit. With the tribe numbers becoming even, Malakal lost the challenge before the merge and voted off Favorite Ami Cusak. Reunited with his alliance, the 5 took control of the game, voting off Eliza Orlins, whom Shallow disliked. Lusth became comfortable with his position in the game, trusting Kimmel, Clement, and Shallow completely. He also found an ally in Fan Erik Reichenbach, who admired Lusth's abilities. However, Shallow had plans of her own. Having aligned herself with Fans Natalie Bolton and Alexis Jones while on Airai, she found herself in trouble when Fields approached her with a plan to blindside Lusth. Shallow's vote became the swing vote and she was confused, debating whether or not to vote her ally out. But Shallow stuck with Fields and convinced Lusth to leave his idol back at camp. At tribal council, Lusth was blindsided and this became the start of the dominating women's alliance, led by Shallow. At the final tribal council he berated Parvati Shallow for selling away their friendship and refused to let her talk. He also confessed his love for Kimmel, whom he cast his vote for saying she deserved the money a million times more than Shallow. He and Kimmel were still together as of the reunion show, but he revealed in an interview that they had separated before Ozzy came onto season 23, Survivor: South Pacific. He also revealed at the reunion show that he and Shallow have healed their friendship.
Survivor: South Pacific
Lusth returned, along with Benjamin "Coach" Wade, for a third shot at the game in Survivor: South Pacific. He revealed that he wanted to play a strategic game this time, feeling that everyone only saw him as a physical threat in previous games. He was randomly assigned to the Savaii tribe, where he quickly formed a core alliance with Keith and Jim, with Whitney, and Elyse being the extra members. His increasing closeness with Elyse prompted Jim to undercut his power in episode 5 by convincing the tribe to vote out Elyse instead of Cochran. This initially angered Ozzy, who later forgave his tribe.
As the tribe approached what they suspected was the last tribal council before the merge and the return of the Redemption Island victor (Christine), but unsure which tribe would garnish Christine's loyalties, Ozzy made an unprecedented bold and strategic move by giving up his immunity idol to John Cochran and requesting that his tribe vote him out to Redemption Island, in the hope that he would beat long-running resident Christine and return to the merged tribe, making the former Savaii numbers equal to the former Upolu members. Jeff Probst has called this one of the greatest moves in Survivor history.
The plan worked, but at the first post-merge tribal council Cochran betrayed his own tribe and joined with Upolu in voting out Keith, then Ozzy and his other former tribemates – picked off one by one. Back on Redemption Island, Ozzy defeated Keith, Jim, Dawn, Whitney, Cochran, Edna, and Brandon to stay in the game. Ozzy won immunity when he got back into the game and Rick was voted off. However, in the next challenge Ozzy was defeated by Sophie at a puzzle game and was the last person voted off to become the final member of the jury. Ozzy later cast his vote for Sophie to win. Ozzy did, however, win the $100,000 Sprint prize for favorite player of the season over John Cochran who came in a distant second. Ozzy was also the last member of the original Savaii tribe and set a Survivor record, being voted out 3 times in one season.
Shortly after South Pacific ended, Ozzy was inducted into Xfinity's Survivor "Hall of Fame" in the class of 2011, alongside Cirie Fields and Tom Westman. Several years later, in the official issue of CBS Watch magazine commemorating the 15th anniversary of Survivor, Ozzy performed well in two major viewer polls that were released in the magazine. He came in 5th in the poll for "Greatest Castaway of All Time," and he came in 3rd in the "Hottest Male Castaway" poll, behind Colby Donaldson and Malcolm Freberg. He was also the only male contestant to appear in both polls, and one of only two contestants overall to appear in both the "greatest players" poll and one of the "most attractive" polls, the other being fellow Cook Islands contestant Parvati Shallow. Lastly, his elimination in episode 10 of Micronesia was voted by viewers in the same magazine as the #2 most memorable moment in the series, only behind Sandra Diaz-Twine burning Russell Hantz's hat in episode 14 of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
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