After losing a brutal immunity challenge and then getting voted out on the second of two episodes Wednesday night, Ozzy says that his loyalty came back to bite him again -- this time when Debbie engineered his ouster and used up her extra vote for added insurance that he'd be going home.
"I just was a little too comfortable," Ozzy tells TVGuide.com. "That's the cardinal sin of Survivor. You would think that, playing four times, I would have realized that. But sometimes you just get so stuck in the game that you don't realize that you're heading towards the end."
We chatted with Ozzy about how Game Changers stacks up to his previous Survivor experiences, whether he'd be willing to play a fifth time, and why he wasn't nearly as confident about that immunity challenge as he sounded. See what he had to say below, and check out "Beyond the Buff" on Facebook Live this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET, where I'll be chatting with Hali, Ozzy and host Brice Sander about last night's two-parter.
You obviously really wanted to win the immunity challenge, but it seemed like it went beyond just wanting to break your record. Were you concerned heading into Tribal Council?
Yeah. Right towards the end, when the sun was starting to set, I started getting some creepy feelings that there was something not right. But at that point, there's really not much you can do. people have kind of decided where they're going to vote, how they're going to vote. The groundwork had already been laid. I really knew I was in trouble when Debbie decided to pull out her meaningless vote. And it was a disaster. But at that point there's nothing you can do. People pretty much know how they're gonna vote going into Tribal. It's very rare that somebody switches their vote by then. So, you've got to do all of your strategizing on the beach before you leave.
Watching the playback, it almost seemed like Debbie plucked your name out of thin air just to make a big move. Then she played her extra vote to guarantee that you'd be voted out! Was that irritating to watch?
Ozzy: Yeah. It's disconcerting to see that, especially because I feel like Debbie and I had a pretty great in-game relationship up until that point. I never threw her name out there. I didn't do anything to get her animosity. I think that she was just trying to make a big move and show that she is a game-changing player. And to be honest, it's my bad for having so much faith in the people that I thought I could trust.
Is that your biggest regret, letting your guard down?
Yeah. I think that's one of my biggest regrets. You work so hard for weeks and weeks and weeks, and then it comes down to just a few hours where you really need to pull it together and do whatever you can to stay in the game. That's not something I was able to do, and that's why I went home.
Are there any specific game moves that you regret making or not making?
I guess maybe trying to get Tai out earlier in the game. That would have been opportune for myself. But again, I've always played the game with a little more of a loyalty than most other people play this game. I like to stick with people that I think are going to be loyal to me. The strategy hasn't paid off yet, but I play this game to win, and I don't play the game to sort of just kind of squeak by. I would rather live the experience and really just feel like I have gotten every single thing I possibly can out of the game, and not play from a place of fear. So if I go out a little bit early, then that's OK with me.
What was your strategy going into this season? Did you come in with a different approach than previous seasons?
I just wanted to stay fluid. I really just wanted to connect with everybody and have a great time. And I really wanted to enjoy the experience. I knew going in that the chances of me getting very far in the game were kind of small, so I'm actually really proud that I made it as long as I did. I just had such a blast. It was a great experience.
How was Game Changers different from your previous seasons?
It was really hard. It was really hard. So many tough personalities to deal with. Everybody wants to make the big move. Everybody wants to make a name for themselves. It was a hard game to play.
What was it like playing against Cirie again, given your history?
I wish I had been able to let go of my reservations about her from the beginning. I think that she could have been a really strong potential ally. I didn't trust her as much as I probably should have. But Cirie's a tough player, and it's kind of hard to know that at the time. But my respect for her has grown tremendously this last time playing, for sure.
Let's go back to the challenge. Were you surprised that Tai was able to beat you? Walk me through what you were thinking in the final moments.
When I first saw the challenge, I knew it was going to be bad. I knew it was going to be a really, really tough shot. Because I've been playing with Tai since the very beginning. We've been on the same tribes, and I knew that he's got a kind of strength that is... he's a 50-year-old man that has been through so much in his life, and he works with his hands every day. And pound for pound, he's like a spider monkey. He's just so strong and so light. He probably could have lasted at least two hours up on that pole. So, I took my body to the very limit and it just shut down. I gave it my best shot. That's all I could do.
You did a good job of hiding that! You seemed so confident out there.
It was really my only move. Walking into that, I thought that, if there's any way I could get into Tai's head and try to get him to feel like he couldn't do it, that would have been my only advantage. But it didn't work.
You mentioned both at the challenge and at Tribal that you were the one fishing for the tribe, and Aubry even said that you were basically providing the food supply. Do you think this vote is going to back to bite them?
It's going to come back to bite some people, that's for damn sure.
Care to elaborate on that?
Well, I'd be spoiling it, so I can't.
Where does this rank against the other times you've played Survivor?
I feel a little bit of regret that I didn't make it further. But at the same time, being able to play with all of these legendary people, I really enjoyed the experience so much. Getting to know everybody and being out there, and being able to do something, being able to play the greatest game that's ever been made, I'm just so lucky to have been able to do that for 128 days. I said this in my exit interview, that I'm just so grateful. I really have grown up on that show, and I've seen myself in the biggest mirror that television can offer you. I've been able to sort of see myself maybe as an arrogant, young whippersnapper and I've been able to examine that and change myself. I think every time I've come back on the show, I've been able to learn some lessons, and that's what I'm really grateful for.
Would you play a fifth time?
Of course. I couldn't say no to that. I'd love to come back for the final season, if that ever happens. But maybe it'll be like The Simpsons and it'll go forever.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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