'Survivor: South Pacific': Jeff Probst explains why Ozzy and Coach were brought back, predicts which newbie could be first to go

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Whether you loved or loathed the fact that Boston Rob and Russell were brought back to play against each other for Survivor: Redemption Island, the pairing made sense. The two were heated rivals in Heroes vs Villains, and giving them an opportunity to do battle once again provided a built-in storyline that enabled viewers to immediately pick sides. Coach and Ozzy, on the other hand? Not so much. The two have never even played against each other, much less built up a rivalry. But while the pairing might feel a bit random, Jeff Probst tells us there is indeed a method to the madness. In this first installment of our sit-down chat just a few hours after the opening of Survivor: South Pacific (premiering Sept. 14 on CBS), Jeff explains why the two players were chosen, and offers a prediction as to which newbie could be the first person voted out. Not only that, but we have some nifty keen on-location footage from the game, including Probst getting a personalized paint-smearing from Ozzy. Check it out in the video player, and for more Survivor news and views all season long, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.

Comments (135 total) Add your comment
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  • captain canuck

    Coach doe not deserve to be brought back for a THIRD time. The guys is terrible at the game. They are clearly bringing him back for the crazy factor. This is lame. Really thhink they have given me an out to not watch for the first time.

    • wsugar

      doe a deer a female deer.

      • Saline

        wsugar is sweet but that certainly isn’t you.

      • Travelocity Gnome

        haha :) made me lol a little :)

    • starbbycat

      am a huge fan of this show – I dont really care who they put on I will watch – I dont think Coach will go deep into the game, Ozzy may.

      • Meli

        That’s assuming Ozzy doesn’t get his nose up another female’s ladybusiness the way he did with Amanda during Heroes vs. Villains. She got him so p-whipped during that game he got voted out with the immunity idol. Ozzy didn’t lose because he lacks a social game. He lost because he was thinking with the other head.

      • Gabriela

        Meli…it wasn’t Amanda who caused Ozzy to get voted out…as a matter of fact, she, James, and Erik were completely unaware of the blindside that was about to take place…it was Cirie and Parvati’s idea, and they convinced Jason, Alexis, and Natalie to follow suit

      • susesco

        Why don’t they bring back some of the first-voted-off cast members? Some of them seemed promising, but just didn’t get a chance because of first impressions.

      • minister

        After Rob won last time, I bet they get all paranoid & vote Ozzy out ASAP.

      • Gnome Killer

        Somebody destroy that gnome.

      • carinaklau

        I totally agree!!!! I don’t care who is on as long as I get to watch it.

      • Gwynneth

        Meli- I don’t think Ozzy got booted because of his relationship. IMO he got booted because of his obnoxiousness over that fake immunity idol. The way he handled that was a real turn off & made people think he was a d!ck. In a game like this that was an invitation for people to vote him off guilt free. If he’s gonna act like an insensitive a-hole, that’s all the reason people need. His striking up a relationship wasn’t the problem, it was how dumbly he flaunted it that was the problem. Like when Rob & Amber had their original fling they were at least smart enough to hide it from everyone. Ozzy’s just not ‘people smart’- doesn’t seem to have the diplomacy or ability to read people that you need to win this game.

      • Sam

        He is already in love with Semhar. Thats why he didnt want her to go.

    • LOL

      America loves crap.

      • jades1


      • teresa

        I love crap

      • Lecakes

        Ozzy wasn’t in Heroes v.s. Villians. You meant Fans v.s. Favorites Meli.

      • CaptainStimpy

        Yup. I’ll have a double serving of that crap if you don’t mind. Can’t get enough of this kind of crap.

    • Kiki

      If they are going to bring people back, they should give the people who were removed from the game due to injury another chance. I would love to see Mike from Season 2 come back.

      • Snsetblaze

        Or the guy that fainted during the challenege – Good Russell, I think. Or Papa Smurf or Bruce the one with stomach problems or Jonathan Penner (even though it would be his third time).

      • Sealed7

        Thats if they are even able to be on the show again. Some people that were injured or fainted pry can’t pass health inspections anymore, making it difficult to bring them back..

      • Donna

        I agree totally! Bring back the ones who got hurt. I would love that. Love the show!

    • Jules

      I will watch once coach gets voted out. I did not like him either of the first two times he was there and fast forwarded the DVR when he was doing his antics. I am just not going to watch this year.

      • Mangan

        Sealed7 you’re right about what you just said but the past medical evac players that were evacuated due to infections can come back. James came back in Season 20 after being evacuated for an infected finger in Season 16. But yes people like Russell Swan from Samoa can never come back because of the heart problem and given how he almost died out there.

    • Karen

      I couldn’t agree with you more Capt Canuck!! Of all players to bring back – Coach???? Come on now. He’s so stuck on himself.

    • survivorfan

      Someone mentioned them voting ozzy out right away because of “watching” Rob win last season….keep in mind people that this season was filmed 2 weeks after Rob’s season was done filming so they never got a chance to see Redemption island. So, that won’t be brought up.

      • dadofthree

        survivor fan you are wrong. season 22 was filmed almost a year before season 23 started filming

  • RCB

    Should have been Coach vs. Philip; or Ozzy vs. Yul

    • wsugar

      or bring back Boston Rob, he is always great

      • jackette

        No thanks. We have seen enough of Rob to last several lifetimes.

      • Melissa in CA

        NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! No more Rob and please dear lord no more Russell!!

      • Steve Strong

        Bring back Shane! How’s that for the “crazy factor”?

      • Hanlie Grundling

        Rob has made a career out of appearing on reality shows. There were three different ones that I know of. Was he hoping to become an actor or TV presenter, but couldn’t cut it?

    • Robb

      Philip RUINED last season for me. Never mention that idiot’s name!

    • Snsetblaze

      Or on female side, Amanda v. Parvati since both seemed to be friends and often worked together when on the same seasons. Despite her losses, Amanda got deep in to the game and was in the finals or near the finals each time she played. Parvati won once, was in the final one other time and was mid-group the first time she played. Not that I’m advocating bringing anyone back unless its for an all-star season.

      • sash fan

        I think Russell’s nephew is on the show, so we haven’t heard the last of Russell (no doubt he’ll be discussed at length). Ugh.

    • Saline

      Yul is now involved with the FCC or something. And he already won. He has no reason to come back.

      • Saline

        As far as Mariano goes. He is also done with Survivor. He played four times and finally won. He acomplished his goal finally. Besides he’s going to be on the History channel soon in Around the World in 80 ways.

    • Jon

      Yul got too much going on to come back. Plus, the general consensus is he was boring. I didn’t think he was, but the producers will not bring him on for that reason.

      • Saline

        That’s what I just said Jon.

  • AC

    How about ditching the gimmicks, and just go back to a bunch of contestants we don’t know.

    • Melissa in CA

      Yes! THIS!!! That seems to be the general concensus among longtime fans, so I’m really curious why they keep bringing back previous players….

      • AB

        How about an original thought instead of jumping on the “this” bandwagon? You people sound like elementary school mentality morons with your constant “this” posting.

    • Mangan

      Survivor has always been about gimmicks. Besides Season 21 proved that they can’t just rely on newbies anymore. Crash and burn is too much of a possibility.

      • cmausmc

        I agree with the you saying that newbies cannot be relyed on. From what I’ve read it sounds like most of the newbies are recruited and thus there just to be on TV, when you have people that know very little about the game participating it makes watching frustrating and boring.

    • Chad Wes

      I agree 1000%. That’s one thousand percent if u misread the extra 0. All new cast, all new personalities, all neww challenges and we get enterrtained again like we did in years past. There are a handful of deserving people that came close to winning that maybe get another shot. Colby comes to mind but he’s on Top Shot now. There are probably several thousand people trying out for the show. I say do a show for people who are unemployed and split the prize money from the first person kicked off to the winner gradually increasing the amount. I was recently laid off and it took 2 years two years to find a job in my field. Give someone who needs the money a chance to win it.. I know I had to live off of alot less than normal and barely paid my bills.

      • Lecakes

        Nobody should rely on Survivor for money. Go on a regular game show if you have money problems. Remember Denise from Season 15 China. The High school lunch lady. Helping out of work people is just not what Survivor is about.

    • D12

      I COMPLETELY agree AC! I hope by bringing Coach back and other past players, this is the nail in the coffin for Survivor! I think so many people are sick and tired of watching past players compete time and time again! Give it a rest Jeffie!!! Survivor sucks for me for the exact reason AC stated!

  • Saran

    Survivor is past its prime and should be cancelled.

    • Eric

      Your mom should be canceled.

      • a


  • davey

    The last TWO installments were absolutely terrible! This season already looks to be just as bad – here’s hoping SOMETHING or SOMEONE can step up and make this reality game watchable again! If you’re going to bring back former players – what about the WOMEN?!? Parvati, Kelly, Amanda,Stephanie….any of them would be better than COACH?!?

    • Sue

      Even Sandra Diaz-Twine would be better than Coach.

      • Tommy D

        Sandra is a two time joke, nothing more!

      • Tim

        Umm… nope. Sandra is in the same category as Cerie: Please don’t EVER bring wither of them back. Totally unlikable, and not in a good Survivor way.

      • Just Jules

        two time joke and uber rich because of it…

  • Mircat

    I don’t want Coach to win and I’m pretty sure the odds are very slim in that direction but I’m totally looking forward to the comments he makes. He’s serious and I’m laughing myself silly. Player factor 0 Entertainment factor 10. So I’m glad he’s back.

    • Tommy D

      Just Jules Verne thinks that Sandra’s bank account means anything. Some would say that it doesn’t matter how she earned it, just that she did. That maybe true in some cases but not in hers. In Season 7 she went up against an Outcast member. So she was the best out of the two bad options along with being the best out of the 3 bad options from the jury’s prospective during Season 20. She’s nothing but a two time joke and a very lucky person Jules. Just Tommy D explaining.

  • steve

    Why the gimmicks can we not just go back to ordinary people who we dont playing the game.

    Last season was horrible and think this season could go same way with Coach being the russell and going fairly quickly because of how annoying he will be.

    Ozzy could be the rob which is get another group of people that are in awe of him and just follow him and do what he says and ride it to the end and make a fairly boring predictable winner.

    I dont no if that will happen but hope doesnt follow similiar pattern to last season.

    • Sue

      The difference between Ozzy and Rob – Rob does seem to have more charisma (in a bad boy sort of way). Ozzy is is/was the better athlete.

      • Sue

        Rob is able to talk to you and make you believe he’s telling you the truth when he rarely is — sort of like a politician — Ozzy never seemed to have that talent.

  • Clete

    Unless Mario Lanza is in this, why watch?





  • ToMajorTom

    Probst can brightside this horrible Redemption Island thing all he wants, but after his pre-season raves about last season, I don’t believe a word he says. He’s just trying to sell his product. (He raved about how wonderful the cast was going to be last season. Too bad we only saw 5 minutes of the newbies the entire season…maybe they were more wonderful in person.)

    I’m sure there are folks who want to see the same contestants 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 times, but I’m not one of them. Boo, Probst. Boo, Survivor.

    • Cailean

      It’s entertaining when they have a season of all repeat players, but this whole bringing back just one or two of them thing has got to stop…

    • D12

      It is obvious Probst is taking care of his friends. We all have even heard Jeff make comments about being friends with some of the past players. Jeff, you stick with your formula of bringing back past players and I think you will eventually drag your franchise into the dirt! I can only hope it happens sooner than later because I will NOT be watching Survivor anymore until Jeff pulss his head out of his @$$ and quits bringing back past players!

  • Joe

    Russels nephew is one of the contestants

    • Steve

      The thought makes me sick. If he’sanything like his uncle God help us all. It’ll be a Hantz hour, not survivor.

      • Tommy D

        Hopefully he’ll win it for the Hantz family and finally shut up that Puerto Rican loudmouth Sandra and those Zapatera fools from last season. Go Brandon!

      • David

        Go Hantz!

  • Steve

    Time to stop this lame foolishness. I stopped watching last season because of both Rob & Russell. These two are so full of themselves. If you’re going to bring back former players, do another all star season. This format now is ridiculous.

    • dix

      Poor Rob, he just had to win so his family could have a better life, His wife already won a million, he got into trying to be a professional poker player, He’s a narcisist thinks everyone is stupid but him. Looks like he may be right since he won the last game. Same goes for Russell, he calls everyone bitches. Neither one deserved to win.

  • Patrick

    Did anybody read the Reality TV article in Playboy where Coach talked about Survivor ruining his life by the way they portrayed him? Now he’s back? Ridiculous.

    • Wow

      Apparently some men DO read Playboy for the articles!

    • Clete

      That’s what I told my wife when I brought one home.
      “Honey, really I buy it for the articles.”
      For some odd reason she didn’t believe me.

      • @Clete

        She must know you’re a Survivor fan, so you couldn’t convince her that it was only Coach’s words you were interested in?

  • Samantha

    Its funny, people that claim they are not going to watch this seasons episode is right here on the board the next day after the show aired talking about what they would have done so awwww c’mon you are gonna watch. Heck I just watch for the hunky men anyway and my hubby likes the nearly butt naked girls. wow i get some lovin when we go to sleep on the night survivor aired. I should probably tell him, oh go ahead, whoever u are thinking of just call me her name and i’ll play along if i can do the same. lmao

    • mole

      You sound like you have a great attitude and a good relationship!

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