‘Survivor’ Champion Natalie – ‘If I Was Baylor I Would Have Punched (Reed)’


'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' (CBS)

NOTE: XFINITY TV is the place to go for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” finale coverage with “all the fixin’s.” Starting Thursday, you’ll be able to watch every episode and read interviews with the final five. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for immediate updates.

MEGA IMPORTANT NOTE: Check out the three members of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

When a pair of twins plays “Survivor” and one is voted out first and the other wins the whole thing…I don’t feel so bad about how terrible my pre-season rankings are.

I spoke with the winning Twinnie the morning after her victory and have a chance to ask her about her big moves, missing her loved one, and Reed’s jaw-dropping speech…

Gordon Holmes: I was totally wrong. I thought Nadiya was going to win and you were going to be voted out first.
Natalie Anderson: (Laughs) Really?
Holmes: No. Nobody could’ve predicted one Twinnie going out first and the other winning.
Anderson: I know! It’s like Twinnie bookends.

Holmes: I have a theory that every season of “Survivor” is the product of the last season the cast saw before they went out. In your case, the last thing you saw was Tony being rewarded for making big moves in “Cagayan.”
Anderson:  Yeah. For my preshow interviews they asked which “Survivor” player you are most like, and I said Tony. I watched Tony and it was something that sticks with you, the way he played.  But, some of the (expletive deleted) he did was so reckless. I would never do some of the stuff he did. I took a lot from how Spencer played too. But Tony changed the way you look at “Survivor.” Do what you need to do and don’t be scared.

Holmes: I thought you were unbeatable against the final five if you could get to the end. But, going against Baylor and Missy seemed like a slam dunk.
Anderson: I had the option of going with Missy and Baylor, but it wasn’t a done deal because if I were them I wouldn’t take me to the final three. Now, I can’t assume the best, I have to assume the worst. They could say, “Forget Natalie, let’s go with Jaclyn.” I didn’t want to be greedy and try and get a unanimous win. Although, that seemed really attractive. I figured I could keep Missy as a shield and keep winning immunity. So, when Keith won it was a blessing in disguise because he was the perfect vote-off to get to the final three. If he wasn’t there I’d be exposed as the biggest threat.

Holmes: Was there any worry that they may have put Jon’s idol back on Exile and Jaclyn could’ve gotten it?
Anderson: No, I knew that was a done deal that that idol was dead. And she only had one night on Exile which was so much easier! But, I knew that idol was dead.

Holmes: Did Missy and Baylor discuss having one of them stepping down so they’d have a vote and an advocate on the jury?
Anderson: When I first put out the idea of them going to the end together, they said pregame that one of their goals was to make it to the final three together. Baylor was a wildcard to me. Baylor started getting this cocky attitude around camp and me and Missy both discussed it that Baylor was feeling like she deserved to be in the final three. And that was never something that I promised Baylor. So, the decision to get rid of Baylor was mainly because she was more of a wildcard moving forward.

Holmes: Reed’s rant was epic.
Anderson: If I was Baylor I would have punched him in the face right there. I would be so protective. It was really hard to watch, too. What Reed did was so weird. I was sitting there and me and Jaclyn were looking at each other like, this is so awkward. I’m trying to win the million bucks, so I couldn’t be my usual self and cuss him out. I thought it was unnecessary. But the things he was saying to Missy were the things him and Josh were guilty of. They’d save each other rice. I was over it. This guy is being a queen right now.

Holmes: Reed trusted Keith and we ended up with “Stick with the plan.” You trusted Keith and it worked out. Were you worried Keith would screw up again.
Anderson:  I was worried that he was going to blow the plan, but nobody expected anyone to be stupid enough to work with Keith. So, that worked in my favor. When me and Keith would go off, I was very open with him. I thought voting off Jon was a dream come true and telling Keith was a big gamble. But, Keith learned from his mistake. It was still scary. I was thinking, “Please Keith, keep it together!”

Holmes: Now that you’re a “Survivor” champ, do you consider yourself more of a Survivor than a Amazing Racer?
Anderson: I think Nadiya would say she wants to play “Survivor” again cause she got (expletive deleted). It totally sucks. I’d say because I didn’t win “Amazing Race” that I’d consider myself more of a Survivor. But I have such a close bond with my “Amazing Race” family. But, now I’m part of the “Survivor” family. But I’d do “Survivor” again.

Holmes:  Alright, championship word association time. Let’s start with Jaclyn.
Anderson: Naïve.
Holmes: Missy?
Anderson: Mom.
Holmes: Baylor?
Anderson: Sister.
Holmes: Jeremy?
Anderson: Oh man…basically my Twinnie.
Holmes: Alec?
Anderson: Such a bro.
Holmes: Keith?
Anderson: Keith’s a good guy.
Holmes: Wes?
Anderson: Wes is a funny guy.
Holmes: Josh?
Anderson: Josh is a drama queen.
Holmes:  Reed?
Anderson: Reed is totally fabulous.
Holmes: Let’s finish with Nadiya.
Anderson: She’s my Twinnie bestie and I love her.

Holmes: It was a “Blood vs. Water” season, but you had next to no time with your blood. What did the experience away from Nadiya teach you?
Anderson: We’ve always taken each other for granted, but we’ve been there for each other no matter what. Being apart from Nadiya, that missing feeling, and realizing how much I need her in my life…at the same time it was so hard for me. I had no idea how she was doing. When we did “Amazing Race” together, we did it together. Not being able to be there for her, it was so hard.  But, it was a driving force for me in the game.  I saw Julie complaining about missing John Rocker and she’s known him for three years. I wanted to be like, “I’ve been with Nadiya for 28 years. We’ve been together before we even met each other. Put yourself in my shoes.”

Holmes: “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan said he wouldn’t talk trash to Probst if you won. Are you above that? Did you talk trash?
Anderson: Yeah! (Laughs) Before the season he said I was very unorthodox.  I don’t know what that means, but he didn’t expect me to win. “Survivor” people on “Amazing Race” this season were eliminated very early. What’s their name?
Holmes: Keith and Whitney.
Anderson: Yeah, they didn’t win. So if someone can come off “Survivor” and then win “Amazing Race,” then maybe Jeff can say something.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.


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