Not even halfway into the night, Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth had made a total turnaround.
In one last but not least-grueling duel on Survivor: South Pacific, he outlasted Brandon Hantz, 19 – who, just a week prior, made a lethal decision to yield his immunity necklace – on a challenge that required each competitor to hang onto a pole as long as he could.
No longer a resident of Redemption Island, his domination continued. Ozzy, who has competed on the reality show two other times, won the first challenge of the finale, where each castaway had the delicate task of building a house of cards while steadying a balancing board – a win that earned him immunity in the first round of elimination.
“Plan A: win,” Lusth, 30, said. “Plan B: win.” Also competing for the $1 million-prize and sole survivor-title: Benjamin “Coach” Wade (also a Survivor veteran), 39; Albert Destrade, 26; Rick Nelson, 51; and Sophie Clarke, 22.
The third time was not the charm for Ozzy, and after 39 days, Sophie, a medical student from Willsboro, N.Y., is the winner of the 23rd season of Survivor, host Jeff Probst announced lived from Los Angeles.
By Alison Schwartz