Survivor: David vs. Goliath cast assessment: Lyrsa Torres searching for winning recipe

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

The airline agent hailing from Puerto Rico, Lyrsa Torres looks to build a social, loyal game early and ride it out all the way to the Final Tribal Council.

There has been a few Survivor players who were born in or grew up in, Puerto Rico, yet none of them are as colorful as Lyrsa Torres. I’m not just talking about her hair color, either; I’m talking about her vibrant personality and eagerness to get started in David vs. Goliath. All it took was one open audition on her first try, and now here she is competing with the David tribe.

As indicated in her CBS bio, she’s got a lot going on in her life. Not only is she kickboxing, drawing, and writing as hobbies, but she’s also the holder of a Ph.D. It’s one of the reasons she’s on Survivor, in addition to earning some money and providing in part for the people at home who suffered at the hand of Hurricane Maria.

Fighting for a cause might give Lyrsa the fighting spirit that she’ll need to fight through an astronomically torrential downpour at the start of David vs. Goliath, which may be a huge leg up on others. She’s also not as small as some of her other David tribe members, which might give her a leg up if the Davids lost an Immunity Challenge, had to vote someone out but couldn’t strategize under the shelter.

That’s not to suggest that Lyrsa is a one-track player of the game, as she aims to emulate the “anybody but me” strategy of the two-time winner, Sandra Diaz-Twine. Additionally, as noted in her Twitter introduction video, she looks to offer up an open ear and as full bellies as possible under the circumstances, growing her social game with a group at the shelter.

Lyrsa’s path to Survivor: David vs. Goliath is one with a lot of rooting interest. A Hispanic lesbian woman currently living in Boston and getting by while taking inspiration from her mother as they both went to school together, there’s a lot of underdog angles to choose from. Her chance at winning a million dollars and overcoming all odds is the American dream personified.

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To get to the end will take a lot of maneuvering, though, and I’m not sure how long Lyrsa has to build her case. She might be able to build relationships early, but her lack of strength might make her an easy target for others to motion over for an elimination while everyone shivers in the cyclone-soaked shelter.

However, considering the field this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lyrsa can get in with a group of strong, creative women and become a member of a Witches Coven-like alliance. No, she wouldn’t necessarily be the Cirie Fields or Parvati Shallow of the group, but she does have the right energy to serve as a sociable player who can be the face for other moves in the dark.

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I don’t think Lyrsa is going to be a frontrunner for Survivor: David vs. Goliath, but she does have some upside over the many, many, many women of color that are the typical first boots in the modern game. I really, really hope she doesn’t follow in their footsteps, as she has a great energy about her. I would love to better know her story on the show.