Exclusive: 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' castaway Nadiya Anderson talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff, 09/25/2014
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water eliminated Nadiya Anderson during Wednesday night's premiere of the CBS reality competition's 29th season.
Nadiya, a 28-year-old project coordinator and crossfit coach from Edgewater, NJ, was voted out of her Coyopa tribe on Day 3 at the season's first Tribal Council session. Her history on The Amazing Race had her tribe worried she could backstab them without difficulty.
Nadiya's twin sister, Natalie Anderson, is still in the game and competing with the opposing Hunahpu tribe.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Nadiya talked about her short-lived Survivor experience and where she think she went wrong. Below is the first half of Nadiya's interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: How confident had you been that Dale Wentworth was going to be the one voted off when you guys left camp to go to Tribal Council?
Nadiya Anderson: I was pretty confident, you know, [Baylor Wilson] was giving me sketchy vibes before going. But I figured based on who was in our camp, and the fact of the guys that we were working with, it's like, why would you want to vote with those buffoons compared to the girls?
Obviously we were much more of a secure alliance to be with. So I figured even though she was kind of being sketchy, I figured she'd use her brain and just stick with the plan.
Reality TV World: I know you thought Josh Canfield and yourself and all the girls were going to be voting for Dale, but whom did you think the rest of the guys were going to be voting for? Did you anticipate them targeting you? Because viewers didn't see much of any discussion about that.
Nadiya Anderson: No, I had no idea they were targeting me. I figured it was going to be [Jaclyn Schultz] or [Val Collins] or Baylor -- literally, any other girl except me at that point was such a good target.
That's why I was so confident going into Tribal, was because Val hadn't been there for two days and there was a lot of discussion about just axing her out. And then Jaclyn kind of rubbed the guys the wrong way. I often heard people say, like, "Oh, you've got to be more than just a pretty face around camp."
To be honest -- and let's not act surprised -- I was the strongest girl at camp and I did most of the work, the most work compared to all of the other girls at camp. So I was like, "Alright, even if there's some discussion about this The Amazing Race-foolishness, they're not going to get rid of me considering we're on a losing streak and you want strong players around at this point." So, it was a surprise.
Reality TV World: You said Baylor was acting "sketchy." Could you elaborate on that a little bit more? What was it that made you suspicious of her?
Nadiya Anderson: Well she was kind of like -- literally acting, like, thirsty for attention from the guys, which was a bad sign. I know she's so much younger that, you know, she operates in a different way.
But I was just like -- it was giving me red flags that she was acting buddy-buddy with the guys when it was supposed to be -- not even like buddy-buddy, but she was eager for attention from the guys when it was supposed to be an all-girl alliance at that point.
The guys had literally given us no option. I came in to my camp and I wanted to work with a couple guys and a couple girls and make, like, a nice, strong five or six [alliance]. But when the boys started acting so, you know, it was like a fraternity at camp. Literally, there was no way that they were going to divert from this boy alliance. So, you know.
Reality TV World: So you're saying it was very obvious to you that the guys had all aligned together? Did they just seem very chummy or were they actually open about the fact they were voting together?
Nadiya Anderson: Oh, no. I knew even going into [Tribal] that they were voting together. So that's why I kind of needed Josh to be "one of the girls" -- to be part of this girl's alliance -- because it was very obvious.
Once Dale started fire and then [Wes Nale] became [John Rocker]'s little sidekick, it was so obvious that the young boys were obsessed with Rocker and Dale, and there was no way that we were changing that.
Reality TV World: So you think John Rocker's baseball past actually worked in his favor? Do you think it was a positive thing for him in this game?
Nadiya Anderson: Yeah. Actually, like, this early in the game, if you want to make impressions on people and you kind of want to be drawn to people, John Rocker's major-league past actually worked in his favor. Because the guys, especially Wes, were like star struck. And then, you know, Dale starting fire, [Alec Christy] was really drawn to them.
Reality TV World: So all the other castaways figured out John's career -- not just Wes?
Nadiya Anderson: No, I don't know. I didn't know who the hell he was. I'm sure the boys had discussions, you know, it's hard to keep your mouth closed on Survivor, especially when you're trying to get in with people and get people on your side. So, I'm sure the guys had discussions. I just had no idea who the hell he was.
Reality TV World: It sounds like you thought your alliance with Josh was really strong. Can you confirm that? Also, did you have any idea that Baylor had obviously formed her own alliance with Josh?
Nadiya Anderson: Yeah, I thought my alliance with Josh was solid. I remember, like before going to Tribal, I was pretty secure with Josh. Me and Josh were the first people to talk to each other at camp about alliances. Out of my tribe, he's definitely one of the more smarter players, which is why I wanted to align with him.
And he actually approached me first. He came up to me on Day 1, as soon as we broke, and he was like, "I got your back, girl!" And I was like, "I got your back too," and we kind of set it off. So, I was really surprised that he voted not in my favor and against our "girl alliance." (Laughs)
And I didn't know what the hell Baylor was doing. Basically, she's -- it would've been a smarter move for her to stay with a girl alliance, I felt like, than with a bunch of guys that didn't even like her. The guys were kind of using her and she was pressed and obsessed with Josh so early on. Who knows why.
Reality TV World: Is it safe to say you had no idea that Josh resented the fact you kept calling him one of the girls, and do you think that played any role in why he decided not to align with you? Why do you think he decided against working with you?
Nadiya Anderson: I think Josh decided not to align with us because I felt like he had a better control over the younger kids at camp. You know, if you're talking about me versus somebody like Wes, Alec and Baylor, they're obviously much more easily influenced.
So I feel like he went with that alliance because I felt like they would've been easier to control. He's going to be running the show with the younger kids compared to somebody working with me that probably has their own game plans.
Reality TV World: Do you think Baylor had any idea that Josh was going to vote for her and why do you think Josh voted for her instead of voting directly for you?
Nadiya Anderson: I don't know what the hell happened. I think it was a mistake between them; It was a miscommunication between the boy alliance at that point, which ended up being an alliance with Baylor and Josh as well. I had no idea what was going on over there.
But, you know, Josh seemed -- I went in thinking Josh was going to vote for me. So, it didn't matter if he voted for Baylor or me, like, he wasn't voting with our alliance. So it didn't matter to me, like, who he voted for. He just voted for Baylor which was the plan.
Reality TV World: Had you gone into Survivorexpecting your appearances on The Amazing Race were going to help or hurt your chances?
Nadiya Anderson: I knew it was going to -- for me, myself, personally, I thought it was going to give me a little bit of an edge. Because, you know, I'm not playing as a rookie for a million dollars. I'm not going to be over-thinking it.
When it comes to challenges and being under pressure, it helps. But I knew if people found out, depending on the tribe I was with -- like if I was with a strong tribe that wanted to keep strong for the player around, then they would keep me around.
But obviously I ended up on idiot Coyopa tribe and they were very insecure and they were worried about their own abilities in the game. So they eliminated me first. You know, I knew it could hurt, that it could be either or, unfortunately. I tried, you know? They definitely saw me as a threat and wanted to get rid of me instead of using me.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Nadiya's exclusive interview.