‘Survivor’ Champ Yul Kwon Responds to Fan Theory That He ‘Robbed’ Ozzy Lusth From ‘Cook Islands’ Win

Considered one of the best challenge competitors in Survivor history, many fans want to see Ozzy Lusth take home a win. However, despite competing in four different seasons, Lusth hasn’t been able to become a Sole Survivor.

Several members of the Survivor community believe the “water boy” should have won his first season, Cook Islands, the only season in which he made Final Tribal Council. The strategic force that won the season, Yul Kwon, responds to the fan theory that their favorite competitor was “robbed.”

Yul Kwon
Yul Kwon | Timothy Kuratek

Yul Kwon and Ozzy Lusth on ‘Survivor: Cook Islands’

Over ten years ago, Yul Kwon and Ozzy Lusth both made their Survivor debuts on the 13th season, Cook Islands. Then 31-year-old Kwon began as part of the Puka Puka tribe, or Asian American tribe, and found a powerful Hidden Immunity Idol, nicknamed the “God Idol” on Day 5 at Exile Island.

On the Aitu tribe, comprised initially of Hispanic-Americans, then 25-year-old Ozzy Lusth quickly emerged as a provider for the tribe and intense competitor. After he landed in the minority after a tribe swap, he lasted through two Tribal Councils due to his physicality.

On Day 20, during a mutiny, Candice Woodcock and Jonathan Penner chose to flip and join the other tribe, leaving Aitu at a severe numerical disadvantage. Despite this, with Kwon as the brains, who used his Idol to get Penner back on their side, and Lusth as the “brawn,” the Aitu Four made it to the very end.

The jury applauded Kwon’s social and strategic game over Lusth’s physical ability and awarded Kwon the victory in a 5-4-0 vote.

Yul Kwon returned for ‘Survivor: Winners at War’

For the first time since Cook Islands, Kwon returned for Survivor: Winners at War to compete for a second title and a record-breaking $2 million prize. Not an active member of the Survivor community, Kwon did his homework before returning and identified a “poker alliance” with Tyson Apostol, Rob Mariano, Kim Spradlin-Wolfe, and Jeremy Collins.

He then established a “free agents” alliance consisting of others on his tribe who also don’t have connections, including Sophie Clarke, Wendell Holland, and Nick Wilson. Even though Kwon is doing well on the show, many fans of Lusth’s wished the “waterboy” competed on this season instead.

Yul Kwon responds to the theory that Ozzy Lusth should have won

After not having social media for more than a decade, the Cook Islands champ decided to join Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram. He frequently shares his opinion on his performance in Winners at War, interacts with his fans, and occasionally creates memes.

In a recent Twitter post, Yul revealed he’s learned a few things about him from Reddit users. For example. he noticed people refer to him as “Yulbot who pretends to have emotions,” the number of posts that include his name in multiple different ways, and that “Ozzy was robbed.”

In a follow-up tweet, Kwon claimed the latter and the Yulbot reference “are largely matters of opinion with good arguments on both sides.” He then admitted he “always had mad respect for Ozzy as a competitor and could argue either position.”

Both Lusth and Kwon contributed nearly equally to the success of the Aitu Four, one mentally and one physically, which is why the final vote was so close. However, Kwon established more connections, and that’s ultimately why he won.

Survivor 40: Winners at War airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.