‘Survivor 34’ Host Jeff Probst Reveals Why He Was ‘Wrong’ About Ozzy

Ozzy Lusth became the ninth person voted out of Survivor’s 34th season Wednesday night and while many fans are devastated, host Jeff Probst is now revealing that he was “wrong” about the fan favorite character.

Ozzy has been eliminated from the Survivor 34 game shortly after making the merge. The 34-year-old sailed through the pre-merge by helping his tribe win Immunity Challenges and by making bonds with the likes of Andrea Boehlke, Zeke Smith, Sarah Lacina, and Debbie Wanner. When he got to the merge, battle lines were drawn as Cirie Fields joined their coalition, Debbie flipped to the other side and Zeke orchestrated a plan to turn on the group. When this plan blew up in Zeke’s face, the alliance turned their votes against him but the alliance of Debbie, Sierra Dawn Thomas, Brad Culpepper, Troyzan Robertson, and Tai Trang flipped things around again and voted out Ozzy.

With this, Ozzy became the second member of the jury and came in 12th place overall, his worst finish yet. However, he went out in similar fashion in Survivor: Micronesia and became the second juror there, though he finished in ninth place.

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst snuffs Ozzy's torch
'Survivor' host Jeff Probst snuffs Ozzy's torch [Image by CBS Entertainment]

Survivor host Jeff Probst had admitted before Season 34 that casting Ozzy was a CBS decision, not his own. Now Probst is revealing that his initial feelings on bringing back Ozzy for a fourth season were wrong. The host spoke with Entertainment Weekly about what Ozzy ultimately brings to the game of Survivor and how fans have grown attached to him as a character.

“I was wrong. CBS was right. Ozzy is a game changer and I’m so glad he was included. Honestly, the ONLY reason I didn’t initially think Ozzy should be on was because I felt he had been on too many times. I thought fans were tired of him and needed a break. But when we introduced him at the live finale for Millennials v Gen X, he got the loudest ovation. I was wrong by several thousand miles. It told me that when Survivor fans invest in you and really root for you, they will continue to root for you until you win.”

Probst also revealed that Ozzy was a true “team player” in Survivor 34 as far as bringing entertainment value to the show. He added that he completely understands why so many kids love watching Ozzy, who is often shown fishing and performing well in challenges.

Ozzy’s exit in Season 34 means he has played 128 days of Survivor. His record of playing the most days out of anyone in Survivor history was made on Day 14 of Season 34, the episode where Sandra Diaz-Twine was voted out. Others in this pantheon include Boston Rob Mariano with 117 days played, Parvati Shallow with 114 days, Cirie with 109 days and Amanda Kimmel with 108 days. There are 15 days left of Survivor 34 which means if Cirie makes it all the way to the end of the game, she could come very close to Ozzy’s record, with 124 days. Cirie only needs to play nine more days to beat Boston Rob. Yet, Ozzy’s record will remain intact.

'Survivor's Ozzy and Cirie with tribemates
'Survivor's Ozzy and Cirie with tribemates Andrea, Sarah and Zeke [Image by Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment]

Ozzy and Cirie have a complex relationship dating back to Survivor: Micronesia. The pair aligned with each other in the pre-merge but Ozzy’s dominance and arrogance started to become clear and Cirie wanted to take action. She helped orchestrate his blindside and he was very bitter about it, feeling betrayed. In the first few episodes of Survivor 34, Ozzy made it clear that Cirie was priority No. 1 for getting out due to her past scheming, but Cirie got through the pre-merge without having to go to Tribal Council. Ultimately, they found themselves aligned with each other before Ozzy was voted out, marking a positive chapter in their relationship to end things on.

Ozzy will now be seen on the jury, where he will ultimately vote to give a fellow castaway the $1 million.

Survivor 34 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

[Featured Image by CBS Entertainment]