John Powell – GlobalTV.com
Who would have guessed that in a cutthroat game of Survivor: David vs. Goliath that an everyday jacket and some ordinary eggs could come to mean so much?
“Oh, my god! Jacketgate. I had no idea it was going to be such a big thing. It was just a jacket. It was my jacket. I needed a jacket for the game and I choose that one. It was my property,” laughed Lyrsa Torres-Velez who was at the centre of a tug of war over her own jacket on Survivor.
Natalie Cole, working for fellow Goliath Angelina Keeley, tried to strong-arm both Nick Wilson and Lyrsa out of their jackets. Either hand them over willingly or be voted out of the game was the message that was delivered. The demand stunned Lyrsa.
“Why didn’t they just ask for it? To me it was all very weird. I would never do that in the game or in my real life but everyone plays differently. I value honesty and if someone really wanted my jacket, just ask me about it. I mean, I have no attachment to it. It is just a material thing. That is what bothered me so much about it. Looking at it from the outside, it is like they value a jacket more than a person. It doesn’t make any sense to me,” Lyrsa chuckled.
Onece they were both voted out, Lyrsa had a chance to speak to Natalie about the situation and have since buried the hatchet.
John Powell: What did Natalie have to say when you discussed Jacketgate?
Lyrsa Torres-Velez: “We are on good terms. When we were able to talk about the situation, she explained it to me and said…’I didn’t even want your jacket, girl. It doesn’t even fit me. Angelina wanted it and the way they turned it around is it was me who wanted it.’ Mostly, it was how we all handled the situation.”
John Powell: What were your relationships like at Jabeni?
Lyrsa Torres-Velez: “I had a cordial relationship with Angelina. I tried to have a relationship with Natalie. It never happened in the game. I had a very strong connection to Mike White but that wasn’t shown. We had our moments. I really felt connected to Mike. We had a lot of fun. I would have picked Mike over Angelina but Angelina over Natalie.”
John Powell: Anyone with any culinary knowledge knows you have to be careful when it comes to storing cooked eggs. Why didn’t Natalie listen to you about them?
Lyrsa Torres-Velez: “Natalie was very concentrated on being Goliath strong. She wasn’t going to make connections with the Davids. She had no idea I went to culinary school. I was trying to tell them we cannot just boil all of the eggs and save them for later. We are going to get sick. I tried to explain things to her but I wasn’t getting anywhere. I am going to school for this, I am getting a masters in this but I don’t know s—t about this. In the end, I told them to cook all the eggs they want but to just save one for me.”
John Powell: What was your plan if you had made the merger?
Lyrsa Torres-Velez: “If I made the merger, I was going to keep working with Elizabeth Olson, Christian Hubicki and Gabby Pascuzzi. I really wanted to bring Mike in though. I really liked Mike. I didn’t see him as a threat and he was a joy to be around. I had a blast with him.”
John Powell: What if anything do you wish the producers would have shown more of when it comes to your Survivor story?
Lyrsa Torres-Velez: “I really wish they would have shown that I had more connections than just Elizabeth. I had great connections with Gabby and Christian. I had my own alliance with Mike that nobody knew about. We were the Rainbow Coalition. I was catching crabs and providing for the tribe. Every day I was out getting crabs for everyone. I was very active at camp. You didn’t see that but I get that because I didn’t make the merge.”
Next time on Survivor…
John Powell: Before the series began you had said you were going on Survivor to prove something to yourself and your family. Are you proud of your time on the show and what do you take away from the experience?
Lyrsa Torres-Velez: “I am so proud! There are so many things that happen and you are not in control. So, for me to make it to Day 17 and not get sick, sleep deprived, it was fantastic! I come from a little island in the Caribbean. I live in the city. I have been camping maybe twice. In my case, you are really taking a person from the city who watches Netflix at home for fun and putting her into many situations she doesn’t like. I told the producers that I don’t like the ocean. I don’t like sand. I don’t like lizards. So, for me to overcome all of these things on this personal journey of mine, it was amazing! It makes you appreciate life and what I have.”
Watch Survivor: David Vs Goliath Wednesdays at 8 et/pt on Global.