'Survivor: South Pacific's' Ozzy Lusth: Sophie beat me

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ozzy-lusth-survivor.jpg Ozzy Lusth came so close to winning "Survivor: South Pacific." He tells Zap2it why Sophie got his vote and whether or not he'd come back again if he was asked.


Are you glad you went back to "Survivor"?

"Oh, hell yeah. It was everything I hoped it would be, but not more. It was almost. I wished I would've won. I almost won, got so close. So close yet so far away. But it was a great experience. Third time around, I really got some closure on a lot of things. I felt like I did get redemption. I did do what I set out to do and that is play a really wild and crazy, ballsy game. I just wanted to play a game that wasn't fear driven. I wanted to play a really courageous and gutsy game. I played the game without really screwing over anyone. I didn't have to do anything questionable and I almost won the game that way. I think I set a good example for people who might want to go out and play, that there's another way to do it."


If you could go back, is there anything you would do differently about this season?

"No, not really. I think I would play exactly the way I played. I might have maybe, there's a few things here or there, but all in all, no. I'm pretty damn happy with the way that I played. I don't really have any regrets. It worked out the way it should've. I really can't blame anyone but myself for my failure in the very end. That challenge was the most pressure that I've ever felt in my entire life and that pressure just wiped my mind clean. The lights were on, no one was home. I was looking at that puzzle like I was looking at a frickin' martian. It made absolutely no sense to me. But it did make sense, I knew what I was doing, but at the same time, I didn't know what I was doing. It was a weird out of body experience that I had, that last challenge was pretty crazy."


How does this season stack up compared to your other ones?

"This was by far my favorite. This was such a beautiful location, really awesome people. Amazing reefs, the fish and the life in the ocean was just astounding. Absolutely astounding. Really just a glorious place. I would love to go back on vacation and just spend time on my own out in Samoa. It's just such an amazing place. I wish there were some swimming challenges, that would've been more fun for me. But I thought it was a great season."


Were you surprised Sophie won?

"No."


Why did you vote for Sophie?

"She beat me. For me, the whole use of religion and God as away to manipulate really left a sour taste in my mouth. I really did want to vote for Coach because I respect the fact that he made it to the end as a returning player and I know how hard that is. But at the same time, he was fooling himself. He said he wanted to play with honesty and integrity and in fact that was something that he didn't do. And he really just needed to be honest with himself and honest with the jury and come clean, say I had to manipulate you guys and break my promises and you know what, I played a better game. I might have voted for him. But maybe not. I still had to give Sophie the props for beating me."


Would you go back a fourth time, if asked?

Well, they would have to dangle a damn big golden carrot in front of my face. I don't know, maybe. I would much rather try to do something different in the whole entertainment world. I think that people really gravitate towards who I am out in nature and I think I have a lot to offer in other capacities. If I could find some platform, some show, that could really highlight those skills and abilities. But I don't want to say I would never go back, because who's to say? At this point, I don't see myself going back. I would have to have a damn good reason to go back out there and play the game again. It's not because I don't like the game. I love the game. But it's hard on your life, hard on your body, hard on your responsibilities in real life."


Any final thoughts or messages to your fans?

"I just want to thank you. The love and support was palpable, it made me really emotional. To feel appreciated for what I bring to this world is a great feeling. I would've rather been in this position and not won, but won the the fan favorite, than to have played a sneaky, conniving game. This is much more rewarding."


Photo/Video credit: CBS