The Funny 115 - The Third One

#87.  Ozzy goes for an Academy Award
South Pacific - episode 8

This entry is about Ozzy.




Now, it is well known among Survivor fans that Ozzy is one of those rare players who is good at just about everything.  I mean, true, the guy has never actually won Survivor, but he still might be the single greatest challenge performer in the history of the show.  His athletic prowess (especially in his first season, Cook Islands) is beyond legendary.  

If you have forgotten how good Ozzy is at challenges, go back and watch Cook Islands again and remind yourself how amazing he was.  Which, I will admit, is the only time I will ever suggest you watch a boring-ass season like Cook Islands. 

Ozzy flies through the air like the mighty Icarus

Ozzy can fish.  He can hunt.  He can climb.  He can swim.  Basically, like I said, the guy can do anything.  He might be the single most well-rounded competitor the show has ever produced.

He can live

He can love

He can carve

He can even cosplay

But it wasn't until the eighth episode of Survivor: South Pacific that we saw the skill that might be Ozzy's greatest talent of them all.  

Yes, in South Pacific we got to see the great Ozzy Lusth attempt to act.

Ozzy Lusth, now endorsed by Master Thespian

Now, when you think of the great actors in the history of stage and screen, you tend not to think about some reality TV guy from Survivor.  Oh sure, Brian Heidik might have won a couple of Golden Dildo awards back during his heyday in the mid 90's, but Heidik (aka "Dave Roth") is the rare exception to the rule.  Other than Lisa Whelchel, there really haven't been that many great actors who have ever been featured on the show.

C.C. Costigan and Dave Roth, the Survivor porn version of Bogey and Bacall

But Ozzy?  Well just like in challenges, on stage he is on a different level than everyone else.

Here he acts like he just found his keys

Here he acts like he doesn't want to punch Cochran

 In terms of great actors, you simply have to put Ozzy up there with the legends.  One day, you will find his name mentioned in the same breathless whisper as the Sir John Gielguds.  Or the Streeps.  Or the Hanks.  Or the Lipnickis.

The great ones

In fact, let's go back to episode eight of South Pacific.  And let's watch as the legend of "Ozzy Lusth, ACTOR!" is born.

Let's watch as he pulls a Tobias Fünke and he announces that the Savaiis are having a fire... sale.

This is one of those scenes that makes South Pacific so much better as a season than it has any right to be.  It's awesome.


Okay, so it's the day before the final duel at Redemption Island, and Ozzy has come up with a plan.  It's actually a pretty ingenious plan, too.  

Even though this entry will be me taking a giant steaming dump on Ozzy, let's be fair and point out that this is actually a really clever plan that, on paper, should have worked like a charm.  In fact, had Ozzy not been such a horrendously bad actor, it probably would have worked, too.  So let's give credit where credit is due and acknowledge that Ozzy actually had a really clever outside-the-box idea here.

His idea?

"I had a dream tonight.   I saw a chance at my own redemption."

"I'd be willing to sacrifice myself, and go to Redemption."

"I'll beat Christine and get back in this game.  And give our tribe an edge going into the merge."

See, on paper, this is actually a really cool idea.  Not just for Ozzy and the Savaiis, but also for us in the audience who think that Redemption Island is dumb that they never should have used it as a twist.  You see, Ozzy literally figures out HOW TO BREAK REDEMPTION ISLAND here.

I'll use it as a weapon to take out a potential Upolu going into the merge.

See?  Great idea!

Oh but wait.  

There's also a second part.

It involves this guy

Ozzy wants to fool the other tribe into thinking that the Savaiis have fractured, and that they turned on Ozzy and voted him out.  

So Ozzy's plan is to go to Redemption Island, beat Christine in a duel, and at the same time use his Daniel-Day-Lewis-level ACTING to trick the Upolus into thinking he is nothing but a big, angry, wounded free agent now.

Again, let me point out that on paper, this is actually a pretty genius idea.  On paper, this is one of the most creative Survivor strategies I have ever seen.

Ozzy explains to Cochran that they are going to put on a show and put all the blame for this on him

"I'm gonna make up a story that Cochran, the little smart weasel that he is, found the idol."

"We go to vote him out, he whips out the idol.  See you later Ozzy."

The second part of the plan hinges on Cochran playing the part of the villain, infiltrating Upolu after the merge, and playing the part of a double agent where he can gather some intel.

"I'm going to say you fucked us over, and you turned on me.  And now you're a traitor."

Is Cochran prepared to be the villain?  

Oh yes.  

The face of evil.  And, also, of Spiderman jammies.

When is John Cochran NOT prepared to be the villain?

Okay so let's watch Ozzy's master plan of deception play out now.  

Remember, with a capable actor in the Ozzy role, this actually might have all worked out.

I don't know. It still fooled me.

So Ozzy gets to Redemption Island the night before the duel.

Christine sees him arrive after being voted out by the Upolus, and naturally she is thrilled to see him.

Ozzy, of course, immediately starts doing his Deniro (tm Rodney) and he goes into his acting thing.

The brooding poet

He blames all his bad luck in the game on that fucking Cochran.


Christine, of course, finds this incredibly interesting.

As they head off to bed, and Ozzy prepares for his big performance in front of the Upolus tomorrow, he can only reflect on how amazing a move this is going to be if it all works out.

"I came into Redemption, and I put on my actor's suit"

"I think that she bought it hook, line, and sinker."

"This move is either the stupidest thing I could have done, or the craziest ballsiest thing I probably could have ever thought of doing."

And then... the next day...

It's time for the performance.

Ozzy Fools the Upolus - The Script


[The Savaiis enter the arena.  They sit down, with Cochran sitting slightly away from the rest of the popular kids.]

[The Upolus look over, and they wonder what happened to cause Ozzy to get voted out last night.]

[Meanwhile, Coach wonders why the writers of the United States Constitution stole his idea.]

[Ozzy and Christine enter the arena, and they prepare to duel.]

[Ozzy takes a look over at the Savaii stands, and he glares at Brad Culpepper John Cochran.]

[Then Ozzy takes a deep breath, and he turns away from the audience, as he prepares to ACT.]

[Now that the muse has been summoned, it is time to release her.]

Ozzy, are you surprised to find yourself on Redemption Island?

[Ozzy ACTS.]

I mean...

I gave pretty much everything to my tribe...

OZZY (suddenly raging)
And then we lose ONE CHALLENGE because SOMEbody can't operate a clip.

[Cochran simpers.]

And that ends up being the person that sends me here!

[Ozzy continues to ACT.]

OZZY (to Cochran)
You play the idol.  You don't even...

I know one of...

Someone else probably knew!

That you had it.

[Poor Cochran looks over to the Upolus for support.]

[The Upolus, including Coach, do not appear to be fully buying this.]

[Meanwhile, Ozzy continues to ACT.]

As far as I'm concerned, tribe boundaries... I mean...

We're at the merge.  They don't EXIST anymore.

It's all one for one.  

And whoever sticks together...


from this point on.

Makes it farthest in the game.

[Cochran continues to shoot looks of pity over at the Upolus]

[As Ozzy continues to ACT, the Upolus now begin to look over at one another in disbelief.  They can't believe that anyone with half a brain would fall for this shit show.]

[Meanwhile, Ozzy is getting a second wind.  He now prepares to deliver the amazing dénouement.]

OZZY (to Probst)
But I thrive on the pressure to come back in the game.

For revenge.  


[Back at home, Meryl Streep knows a good monologue when she sees one.  And she gives a resounding Hell Yes!]

[Meanwhile Jeff Probst just stands there.  He refuses to take the bait and even comment.  He just stands there and no sells Ozzy's amazing monologue like the bitch that he is.]

Alright, are you guys ready to get to today's duel?


The actor

Oh, so many things to say about this scene...

First off, I love how Probst completely no-sells it at the end.  Say what you want about Probst as a producer, as a host he absolutely KILLS it in moments like this.  Between Probst not saying a word and just letting the whole rant hang out there awkwardly in the air, and the editors abruptly stopping the music and adding in a little "derp" noise at the end, this is absolutely one of the funniest scenes in Survivor: South Pacific.  This is one of those magical scenes that (tm Heidi) when I saw it I knew INSTANTLY that it was going to be an entry on the Funny 115.

Secondly, how awesome is it that Savaii immediately bursts into applause the minute that Ozzy wins the duel?  Yeah, way to sell the illusion, guys.  Ozzy just yelled at you and said he was a free agent, and he blamed one of you for knowing that Cochran had the idol that idoled him out.  And then the minute he wins the duel you all start cheering like this is Thailand and Ken just announced he was a New York City cop.   I always loved the fact that Ozzy alone doesn't deserve the award for "worst actor" in this scene.  He actually has to share it.

Ozzy wins the duel!

Fuck you, Savaii

Yay Ozzy!  We all love Ozzy!

Thirdly, did you ever notice that Ozzy is -still- trying to sell the illusion that he hates his tribe, and he -still- thinks that the Upolus might buy it, even at the end of the scene?

Yes, after all that, after his botched performance, and after the fact that the tribe he has "disowned" all burst into applause when he won...

Ozzy completes the performance by angrily throwing down his Savaii buff in disgust.  

I guess this is Ozzy's version of "Hey guys, did you hear me say Dragonslayer?  Did you hear that??  I said Dragonslayer!!"

Never gets old

Fourth, I love the fact that the tribes merge, and the Upolus INSTANTLY know that Ozzy is full of shit and that whole thing was simply an act to fool them.  I mean, you can probably measure in nanoseconds how long it took the Upolus to pull Cochran aside and ask him if he actually thinks they are buying this.  

Although, come to think about it, you really don't have to theorize because this is exactly what the editors show.  

Remember, this is like thirty seconds after the two tribes have merged.  Coach pulls Cochran aside and...

"So that whole acting performance was all bullshit, right?"

You can't bullshit a bullshitter, my friend.  Remember, you're talking to Coach.  I have a nose that can rival a bloodhound.


Not only does Coach call B.S. on Ozzy about thirty seconds after the merge, but then the rest of the Upolus join in and they all have a big laugh about it.

Sophie and Albert laughing at how horrendously bad Ozzy's acting performance was

"You should have picked a better actor."

"I just want to know if he volunteered."

"         ."

The Upolus are so confident that Ozzy's rant was just a big act that eventually Cochran caves, and he admits they are right.  Then he spills his guts and he tells them everything he knows about what is happening at Savaii.  Which eventually leads to Cochran flipping on his tribe, and pissing off Ozzy, and disgursting Whitney, and causing the online fanbase to get all butthurt.  Blah blah blah.  You know how the rest of the season goes.  Just keep in mind that it only happens here because Ozzy was such a horrendously bad actor that he basically fucked up everything for the rest of the Savaiis.  At this point Cochran has no choice but to spill his guts and tell everyone the truth.  If he doesn't, there's no way the Upolus are ever going to trust him.

Sophie, of course, has one of her great snarky one-liners here.

So Cochran starts mocking Ozzy, and how "this whole thing came to him in a dream."  And this is really the beginning of the end for Ozzy and the Savaiis.

And from this point on, Cochran is now unofficially one of the Upolus.   Because remember, while good acting can save lives, sometimes bad acting can do just the opposite.  

"And that's why Ozzy wanted me to break up your marriage."

And so there you have it.  My tribute to Ozzy, and probably the single worst acting performance in the history of Survivor.  Well, unless you count the time J.T. promised Sugar he was going to call her the next morning.

In related news, hey guess who never called Lindsey Lohan back the next day.

Ozzy's acting performance was memorable.  It was inspirational.  It was dramatic.  It inspired pathos.  It was also so popular that it quickly became the go-to monologue for any young thespian trying to make it in the world of acting.  I'm sure we all remember where we were in that winter of 2011, when Ozzy Lusth's "Revenge" monologue was everywhere, and it showed up in every hopeful young actor's prospective demo reel.  If you don't remember those heady, heady times, take a look at some of these clips that are still hanging around Youtube, when Ozzy's "Revenge" monologue ranked just behind Hamlet's "Advice to the Players" and Tommy Wiseau's "I'm fed up with this world" as the third most popular monologue among every young actor who was trying to make it on Broadway.

Audition Tape #1

Audition Tape #2

Audition Tape #3 - with a little Celtic Heart thrown in for good measure

Audition Tape #4 - featuring a bonus additional role of Cochran

In the end, was Ozzy's performance bad?  Of course it was.  To put it in Palau terms, he was probably even a worse actor than Caryn.

But at the end of the day, do you think Ozzy actually loses any sleep over this?

Fuck no, why would I care?  I'm Ozzy.

At the end of the day, no, Ozzy still hasn't won Survivor.  But he is still an amazing Survivor player.  And he is still hooking up with every beautiful woman on the face of the earth, I just know it.  And to this day I am sure he is still impressing the hell out of Erik Reichenbach.  


Will Ozzy bring back the goods the fourth time he plays Survivor, in Survivor: Game Changers?

I don't know.

All I know is that Meryl Streep, along with the rest of the world's acting elites, will all be rooting for him.

P.S.  When in doubt, always end an entry with more Sophie.

 "Ozzy's performance, it was frankly insulting."

** Special thanks to Ryan Weiss for the Brad Culpepper/Jeopardy picture **

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