Coach, Ozzy finally confirmed as returning cast members on Survivor South Pacific

CBS has finally confirmed that Ben “Coach” Wade and Ozzy “Oscar” Lusth are the returning players for Survivor South Pacific, and since we’ve known this since June, the only real surprise is that Ozzy’s hair is ridiculously long.

CBS’ official press release offers no information about why these two men were chosen, or why two men were again chosen to return. But in his bio on CBS.com, Ozzy says, “Honestly, I’m actually pretty excited that Coach is here. He can be a polarizing character but I think that he respects the way that I play the game, and I respect the way he plays.” And Coach said of Ozzy, “He is a great warrior in challenges, he’s great at survival, he’s going to be a tough competitor on the other tribe.” And of course, they’ll probably not actually face off against one another in the game.

Before the game, Xfinity’s Gordon Holmes asked the regular contestants who they thought the returnees would be–they knew two people were coming back, since the Redemption Island finale aired long before they left for Samoa–and their answers are interesting. I like Stacey’s response best: “I don’t care who they are, but they’ve got to go.”

CBS allowed Entertainment Weekly to be the first to “exclusively reveal” that the “internet rumors are indeed true,” which is both embarrassing and really insulting. My report and the reports it references weren’t based on inside knowledge or a CBS press release, but evidence: Coach’s voicemail message, Coach’s absence at his film premiere and final concert of the season, et cetera. That’s called reporting.

EW does have something interesting and insightful to add: Probst told the magazine that “Boston Rob winning last season made it very difficult for Coach and Ozzy. “We even talked about giving them immunity. We said, maybe we should give them immunity for the first Tribal Council and let them get their feet wet, and we said that’s just not our show. You’re on your own.”

Considering that years ago Probst said having all-stars come back and bringing people back after they were voted out wasn’t Survivor, either, you can pretty much expect immunity for Russell when he returns for his fourth season.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.