Here’s Ozzy Lusth’s Big Game Plan for Survivor: Game Changers

Credit: CBS (Survivor Season 23, Episode 1)
Credit: CBS (Survivor Season 23, Episode 1) /

11 seasons after his last outing on Survivor, Ozzy Lusth is back and has a strategy going into Game Changers, one that includes plenty of names.

To play more than once on Survivor is an honor. To play four times is to be among some legendary names. Ozzy Lusth has now joined the four-time-player club with his spot on Game Changers, as has his fellow Micronesia alum, Cirie Fields. Cirie’s a strategic genius, but Ozzy’s one of the major physical players, who basically ups the chance of any tribe he’s on winning significantly. Here’s the thing: he knows it, too.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Ozzy revealed his strategic choices for Game Changers:

"“The people I can trust are the people who think they can beat me — the people who have big egos out here. People like Malcolm, people like Caleb, people like Troyzan, people like Brad, people like Andrea. Even possibly people like Aubry and Tai and maybe even Debbie.”"

Take a count there. Ozzy just named eight separate, specific players whom he thinks he could work with. That’s either really clever or really foolish, but we lean towards clever. It shows an openness and willingness to work with a not-insignificant portion of his fellow players — and a new awareness about how he can leverage other people’s knowledge of him for his own gain.

Ozzy will start the game out on the Nuku tribe, per the cast list. Of the names he listed, he’ll have Andrea Boehlke, Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang, and Debbie Wanner on the same tribe to start the game. Tai also appeared in our own cast assessment of Ozzy as a good potential ally based on their similar love of nature.

Sometimes, though, it’s more interesting to look at who isn’t in that list rather than who is. Ozzy didn’t name J.T. Thomas, who will also be on Nuku to begin. J.T. himself has said that he would like to work with Ozzy. The two of them share a reputation as excellent players of the physical game. Additionally, J.T. does have a pretty good social game, and it sounds like Ozzy’s looking to turn that weakness into a strength.

Here’s how he put it to EW:

"“And I’ve got to develop my relationships and I’ve got to develop my bonds with the people I play with because it’s the only way that I’m going to get to the end of this game.”"

If he wants to do that, there are far worse partners in the game than J.T. Remember, J.T. and Stephen Fishbach formed a duo that went all the way to the end in Tocantins. That’s a strong bond if ever there was one.

As for the only person Ozzy’s ever played the same season with, Cirie Fields? Well, let’s just say it doesn’t look like that connection will mean much. Here’s his answer to whom he’d like first out of the game, via Dalton Ross on Instagram:

Since Cirie’s also on Nuku to start the game, the premiere episode of Survivor: Game Changers could feature the two of them squaring off pretty much from the word go if Nuku happens to lose an Immunity Challenge.

Next: Debbie's Take on a Possible Kaoh Rong Alliance

That’d be a pretty fantastic way to kick off a season, to be honest.