How 'Survivor' Castaway Lyrsa Torres Wants Her Iconic Jacket Recirculated in the Game (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Lyrsa Torres entered the game in style when she and her Members Only jacket hit the beach at the start of Survivor: David vs. Goliath. Unfortunately, she also made a fashionable exit on Wednesday's episode.
The 36-year-old airline agent became the fifth person voted out, and the seventh person to leave the game (injuries were hard to miss this season), when she was unable to get Angelina, Mike and Nick on her side after the tribe swap. While fans had hoped that Angelina might be getting the boot, Lyrsa knew her time was ticking as soon as she was placed on the Jabeni tribe.
"From the moment I was swapped, I knew that the swap had destroyed my whole game. And yeah, the swap didn't favor me at all," Lyrsa told ET on Thursday, after watching her "bittersweet" elimination the night before. "What can I tell you? I wish I would have lied more, especially to Angelina. But I didn't feel that when she approached me at the shelter, last night, I didn't think she was trying to make me an offer. Also, I was still a little upset because of the whole jacket thing."
"I was like, 'Man, I should have just told her whatever she needed to hear,' and I would have stayed longer. If she wanted the jacket, I could have given her my jacket, my pants, even my hair, whatever she wanted," she continued. "But you never know with this game. That's the beauty of it, that you don't know what's going to happen."
Lyrsa's jacket might be the most talked-about article of clothing to ever hit Survivor, with Angelina attempting to vote her out a week before just to get her jacket. Natalie was instead blindsided that week, and all that talk about the jacket continued.
ET: You and your jacket walked right out of tribal. Obviously, things translate differently on TV, but was Angelina trying to get your jacket as big of a deal in the game as it seemed on the show?
Lyrsa Torres: I had no idea that the jacket was going to be a big thing. I think we need to have a seat of the jacket at the reunion, between me and Natalie. And I didn't even know it was a big thing. Nobody said anything about the jacket at the David tribe, and once we got to Jabeni, Natalie was like, "Oh, so that's a Members Only jacket." And I'm like, "I don't know." She's like, "How do you not know?" I'm like, "Somebody got it for me. I needed a jacket, and this is what I got." I had, like, no attachment to the jacket at all until they brought it up. So to me, the jacket was just that: a jacket. That's it, and apparently, it was a bigger thing than I thought it was. I don't know.
I mean, I think it's going to be one of those things that they probably do a Ghost Island part two, they'll bring the jacket as one of those idols or one of those challenges that you have to win the jacket to stay in the game.
Do you still have the jacket? Would you give it back to Survivor to use?
I'm looking at it right now. It's here with me. It's hanging on my door. I wore it [to watch the] episode before, and I took a picture and I put it on Instagram, and people went crazy over the picture because nobody thought I still had it. And it's a memento of my stay in the game and this whole adventure. So I kept my jacket. It's right there, so pretty!
On your way out, you mentioned how upset you were that you had to sit next to Natalie during the upcoming reunion show. What were your interactions like at Ponderosa?
I think my words came out of context. Like, I said that, but it's not the connotation that a lot of people are giving to them. I was coming from this point of view of like, "These people hate me. All of them," because I took part in them not being in the game. And I know that Natalie's vote was very conflicted, and it brought a lot of drama. You saw Angelina begging. I'm very surprised she wasn't on her knees begging for Natalie's jacket.
When I came to Ponderosa, I think that because of the stress of the game, the first few days was readapting to not being in the game and getting to know these people, like, on a personal level, and not the game. It wasn't that bad. We had fun. I have no beef with Natalie. I don't think she has anything against me. We all like each other. So I don't think -- we're not best friends forever. Probably if we lived closer, I would go have lunch with her from time to time. But I mean, people think that we hate each other and that we don't like each other, and that's not the reality. I think that everybody in every season has a connection, and even though if you were not the best buddies, you share something that nobody else shares with you. So we're going to be tight forever -- with the jacket.
Would you play again?
Sure. Me and the jacket! We're all ready to play again, whenever they call us, I will do it again as many times as they want. I will be more ruthless, more savvy and I will be more of a liar. I didn't lie a lot. So I will play differently. I learned. You live and you learn. And I learned I was too nice in this game.