Survivor Edge of Extinction cast assessment: Lauren O’Connell the triple threat?

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

21-year-old Lauren O’Connell is bringing the whole Survivor package as this collegiate athlete enters Edge of Extinction with a vast skill set for her age.

Coming into every Survivor season, there are always a few castaways who feel that they are the legit “triple threat.” That is; someone who excels athletically, socially and strategically. Lauren O’Connell believes she belongs in that category. Lauren’s interview with ET Canada gave us a taste of how she could live up to that triple threat status.

In terms of challenges, Lauren played college soccer at Baylor and despite battling injuries as she mentioned in her bio. Not only is she physically fit, but she knows the struggles and triumphs of working with a team. She also feels like she has the brains to master puzzles and manipulate Tribal Councils. That being said, Lauren definitely looks like a player who’s going to dominate socially more than anything else.

She mentioned that it doesn’t take long before she’s genuinely attached to someone. Her fun-loving attitude is suited perfectly for building strong social connections. It seems like her tribe members wouldn’t have a tough time trusting her in the game.  While Lauren has that natural ability to develop meaningful relationships with people, she admits that she’s always willing to cut throats.

We also saw in her interview above her struggles with making fire. I could already picture her determined to start a fire at camp while onlookers let her fight it out knowing that they can do it much faster! It’s still awesome though to see castaways actually attempt to prepare for Survivor.

Most new castaways tend to compare themselves to certain Survivor legends even though they are nothing alike. Lauren wrote in her bio that her style of play is similar to Parvati, and despite that lofty comparison, it fits.

Especially in Cook Islands and Micronesia, Parvati was a pro at making relationships so tight that people were convinced it went beyond the game… and then they were blindsided! Lauren gives you that same feel. Someone who will act giddy and extremely friendly, but then burns you after they earn your trust. The problem is that 38 seasons in, that tactic doesn’t work as well anymore, and if Lauren pushes too hard to the point that her comments start to sound ingenuine, she could be an early boot.

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The great part about Lauren’s game is that she comes across as more than just a flirt. With a balance between physical ability, strategic prowess and her strong social game, Lauren is primed to become one of the more dynamic female castaways in the past few years.