Exclusive: 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' winner Natalie Anderson talks (Part 1)
By Reality TV World staff , 12/18/2014
Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water revealed Natalie Anderson as the winner of its $1 million grand prize during the live portion of Wednesday night's finale broadcast on CBS from CBS Television City in Los Angeles, CA.
Natalie beat runner-up Jaclyn Schultz, a 25-year-old media buyer from Las Vegas, NV, and third-place finisher Missy Payne, a 47-year-old owner of a competitive cheerleading gym from Dallas, TX, in the 29th season's final jury voting results, which Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed during the live broadcast.
Natalie earned four votes from the jury, Jaclyn received two votes, and Missy earned one vote. One vote was not shown but it probably also belonged to Natalie.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Natalie talked about her Survivor experience and victory. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and for more interviews with the Final 5 castaways.
Reality TV World: Congratulations on your big win. Did you manage to get any sleep at all after the live reunion?
Natalie Anderson: Oh, I don't know. Not that much but [Drew Christy] got me totally wasted last night. But I feel fine, I'm good. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Do you know exactly who you got votes from? They didn't show the last vote but I think it's safe to assume you got five and it would've been from everyone but Baylor Wilson, Jon Misch and Reed Kelly. Is that accurate?
Natalie Anderson: Yeah, basically. And I should've had Reed's vote too, but he was being a diva, so whatever.
Reality TV World: I was going to ask you that. Why did Reed vote for Jaclyn given he admitted he was such a fan of your gameplay right before he voted?
Natalie Anderson: Yeah, he was being an idiot. Like, no, he told me at Tribal Council, he looked back and he was like, "Natalie, you get why I voted for Jaclyn, right?" I was like, "No, but whatever." And he was like, "I wanted to vote for you. If I was voting for who I think deserved to win, I would've voted for you."
But he said, "I just didn't want Missy to get second place and that was the way me and [Josh Canfield] decided who got second place." He just liked Jaclyn as a person more than Missy, and it was nothing to do with Survivor, which makes me mad kind of, because it's like, you're supposed to be playing this game totally based on what happened.
But obviously the jury has the power to vote however the hell they want to at the end. I should've had his vote but he voted for Jaclyn -- only just based on the fact he didn't like Missy at that moment in the game.
Reality TV World: So Reed just didn't want Missy to get the runner-up money?
Natalie Anderson: He didn't want to give her the satisfaction of coming in second place and ensured, yeah, that Jaclyn got second and Missy got third.
Reality TV World: Keith Nale asked you how you felt about your last words to him being a lie. Were you surprised he seemed to be that hung up on it? And what exactly was it that you told him? Because it just seemed to be that you guys were voting for Missy, right?
Natalie Anderson: Yeah, no, because I was surprised that he was so -- but I guess at that point in the game, he was so invested and he just, you know, felt like me and him had a good relationship the entire time.
You don't get to really see it and it surprises me that my stupid "alliance" didn't even expect me to be in a sub-alliance with Keith, because me and him had such a great relationship.
I really did feel bad when he said that, but at the end of the day, "Keith, you're only here in this position because I saved you, so just be happy now that you made it two more episodes and two more Tribals because of me." (Laughs)
Reality TV World: How did you feel heading back to camp after blindsiding Missy by voting out Baylor with the help of Jaclyn?
Natalie Anderson: I voted for Baylor and I knew that when I got back to camp, I couldn't lie to Missy like the way I lied to Jon and Jaclyn. And I was ready to just, like, take it on.
I think Missy, secretly, was a little bit relieved that I had gotten rid of -- because I think Baylor was more gung-ho about going to the Final 3 with Missy than Missy was, because I think Missy realized that that would be splitting votes and giving the third person sitting up there an opportunity to win without giving Missy a good chance.
Reality TV World: I thought you said the opposite on the show, that Missy's case for the finale was stronger with Baylor at her side during the jury vote than without her.
Natalie Anderson: Yeah, I mean, looking back at it, when I was thinking that Missy could say that, I knew that that's a really convincing story, but I don't think that Missy felt the same way. So, I didn't want to give Missy an opportunity to pitch to the jury that she brought her daughter along, but at the same time, I knew Missy -- for some reason -- didn't see it that way.
I saw it that way, but I knew Missy thought that it would be cute to go to the Final 3 as like a dream -- like as daughter and mother -- but I think she literally didn't see that as something she could pitch to the jury, which I saw. And that's why I didn't want to take Baylor, but we didn't see that.
And obviously, I didn't tell Missy that that's an awesome case to make to the jury, because I just let her think whatever she wanted. But Missy never told me, like, I think Missy literally looked past the fact of pitching to the jury that she brought her daughter along and she was more nervous about splitting votes. I let her just worry about that because I didn't want to put any ideas in her head.
Reality TV World: So do you think that's why Missy didn't seem that upset when you voted Baylor out and even made that comment about how she at least no longer had to write Baylor's name down.
Natalie Anderson: Yeah! I was really surprised at Missy's reaction, and on top of that, I think she felt bad for the [Jeremy Collins] vote. And I really don't think it's really equal, because Jeremy wasn't my real blood. But when we got back to camp -- I don't know if they showed it because I was watching it back on a little screen behind the stage -- but she goes, "Now we're even because of the Jeremy thing."
And I was like, "Girl, not really, because that was your daughter. Jeremy was not my brother in any way. Like, really?!" -- even though I felt like he was my brother there. But I was really surprised about how well she actually handled the situation. I mean, I was happy, but I couldn't believe that she was that easygoing about it.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Jon last week, he said you guys had this crazy Final 5 plan in Jaclyn had agreed to go out fifth and Baylor had agreed to go out fourth. That would leave yourself, Missy and Jon as the Final 3. Was Missy's comment a reference to that at all and were you really planning to go along with that? I mean, you went after Jon, so was that plan ever legitimate in your mind?
Natalie Anderson: No, hell no. I would let them talk about whatever they wanted to talk about, and I would just sit there and be like, "Cool, cool, I'm down! That sounds awesome." But I was never down for a pre-determined Final 5. I would never even trust Jaclyn and Baylor to "fall on their swords" for me, because why would I ever think that? If they were willing to do that, that's insane balls.
But I would never put my fate in somebody -- in these people's hands. I don't know them from jacksh-t. But I just went along with it and I said, "Yeah, that sounds good!"
But I was never going to let that happen, me just assume that Jaclyn was going to basically vote herself off and then Baylor vote herself off. But I just let them talk about it, and you know, I never really believed them. But it's crazy to think they actually were going to do that.
Reality TV World: When I just talked to Baylor, she said she wasn't too happy with the idea either. I don't know Missy's thoughts on the plan, but Jon seemed like he was completely onboard with the plan.
Natalie Anderson: It was crazy because when I saved Jaclyn that episode -- I keep wanting to say "leg" like The Amazing Race -- but that Tribal, when I saved Jaclyn, it was almost like she was like, "Ugh, oh my God." She was over it. And I was like, "Girl, just buck up now. You're in it." Because she was ready to go out.
At that certain point, I think she just, like, almost prepared herself to not be out there as long as she was. But it was insane. Looking back and seeing Jon actually say that Jaclyn was going to stick with the plan and Baylor was basically going to "stick to the plan" -- in Keith's words -- is insane to me, that gameplaying. I can't believe anyone would play the game of Survivor that way.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Natalie's exclusive interview and other interviews with the Final 5 castaways.