Exclusive: 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water' winner Natalie Anderson talks (Part 2)
By Reality TV World staff, 12/24/2014
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 concluding portion. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Would you still have gone after Baylor at the Final 5 Tribal even if Keith hadn't won Individual Immunity? Because it seemed like your last chance to break up the Missy and Baylor combination since once there's only four of you left in the game, the best you could've done was a 2-2 tie against them.
Natalie Anderson: Yeah, you know, saving Jaclyn was such a risky play for me, because I could've been comfortable. I really did feel comfortable going one more Tribal with Missy and Baylor just because Keith was there and it was so easy to convince Missy that Keith was a threat and it was so easy to convince Keith that Missy was a threat.
But I just didn't want to put my fate in a couples' hands, and I went from playing the game with all loved ones and me and taking it to an all-singles game of four... Keith winning immunity was like a blessing in disguise, because I was gung-ho on getting out Keith because I assumed Keith would be my biggest competition in that final Immunity Challenge. I didn't think it was going to be bloody Jaclyn.
But it ended up being a blessing in disguise, and I just realized that having a shield to kind of deflect your own -- deflect and put the pressure on somebody else really worked well for me in the game.
It worked with [Jeremy Collins] even though I loved Jeremy. Him being around and then [Jon Misch] being around was an awesome way to keep somebody in the game that you could easily convince the others of being the bigger threat.
So I think if Keith didn't win immunity that night, I think I would've voted him off, which would've changed the entire fate of the game. So, I'm happy that he did win immunity that night, because it allowed me to think beyond the immediate satisfaction of getting Keith out and being like, "Alright, there's less threats." But that means I'm putting a bigger target on myself.
Reality TV World: What would your plan have been had Keith been the one to go home?
Natalie Anderson: I would've been exposed as being the biggest threat in that Final 4 and I would've had to win immunity to make it to the Final 3. I mean, I don't understand why they even kept me instead of Keith at that final Tribal.
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It doesn't make sense. But I think I just did so, so much [work]. I've done a lot of work in this game to make sure the people that I worked with seemed really secure in keeping me around, and I downplayed so much.
Like, around camp, I would always be the funny brown, like, cute whatever girl. I never positioned myself as being like this badass -- like [Drew Christy] said. And I just did such a good job of flying under the radar and making people feel like they were in on all the work I did when they weren't even doing sh-t. They were just doing what I wanted them to do.
Reality TV World: What happened then right before that final vote when you actually admitted you thought you could win the game. It was right before everyone was about to vote the last person out of the game, so it seemed to be a pretty brazen move.
Natalie Anderson: Yeah, I just looked at the two girls sitting next to me and I knew that was a fair assumption that I could say to the jury. It was like, "Guys, look at the two I'm sitting next to. You know I deserve it more."
And if they were smart, they would've voted me off last night, but I mean, I don't know. I just went with it, because at that point, you got to be a little bit bossy and I was feeling a little bit good about sitting in that Final 3 I guess. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: I meant before that -- before they voted Keith off.
Natalie Anderson: Oh, I know! Looking back, I was like, "Why was I even talking?!" I didn't realize how.
Reality TV World: That came across as pretty cocky right before they had the chance to vote you off. You were saying, "Yeah, I think I deserve to win this game." (Laughs)
Natalie Anderson: I know. (Laughs) And I watched it back and I was like, "Dude, I can't believe I said that," but [Jeff Probst] asked us, "Do you think you could win?" I didn't want to seem like weak opponent, but then watching back, that was not the smartest move and that even shows that, I don't know, they should've voted me off that night itself, especially after saying that.
Reality TV World: Why did you tell Jaclyn to vote for Baylor and not Missy? Was it because of Missy's injury and you figured she was a lot less of a threat?
Natalie Anderson: No, yeah. I just wanted to keep -- and like Missy is a bigger threat. Say I was to ask, "Who played the better game -- Baylor or Missy?" It would be Missy, but I had had a pact with Missy from back in the day.
And even though she did me wrong by voting out Jeremy, I knew that this would kind of even it out, so she would forgive me. And I also think that keeping Missy around allowed me to use her as a deflector and convince Keith that Missy was a threat.
If I kept Baylor around, then I wouldn't have had that opportunity to convince Keith that Baylor was going to be a big threat in the Final 3 and have somebody else protect me going into the Final 3.
And I just, you know, Baylor voted [Nadiya Anderson] off and I just kind of felt like it would feel really good to blindside her and send her home at that point, because you know, she was part of the reason why Nadiya went home Day 3.
Reality TV World: I know you said you kind of blacked out and don't remember, but what would you have done if Jaclyn had told you she hadn't voted the way you told her? Or what gave you the confidence to believe she was telling you the truth?
Natalie Anderson: When I say I don't even remember asking that question, I don't even remember what she said. I just remember saying before -- when they started talking about idols, Missy and Baylor, and I was mad because I was like, "Damn, these girls are trying to blow my cover because I'm trying to do this move," and Jaclyn had no idea I had an idol.
And if people knew I had an idol, if Jaclyn knew I had this plan, they all would've voted for me and I could've just been duped into playing my idol for somebody else. But I don't remember anything.
I just remember saying, "You know what? This is what I said I'm going to do and so I'm just going to do it now. Because if I don't, what am I going to do? Play the idol for myself and then get to the Final 4 that's not as exciting or good for my game?"
Reality TV World: What do you think would've happened if you went to the Final 3 with Keith? Do you think you would've beaten him?
Natalie Anderson: I think I would've won with Keith because we kind of went over this with me, Missy and Jaclyn. We talked about this last night after we did our press and we were driving back. I said, "Jeff went over the scenario if Keith had gone to the Final  with the two girls, he would've won. But looking at it, Jeremy would've voted for me, [Alec Christy] probably would've voted for me."
He told me he would've voted for me. Both [Reed Kelly] and [Josh Canfield] would've voted for me. And if I voted off Missy, Missy would've voted for me. And if I voted off -- and then Jon and Jaclyn would've voted for me too. So I would've won with Keith as well, but I just didn't want to risk it because he had many connection with the jury. Because [Wes Nale] was a guaranteed vote and the guys liked him.
Reality TV World: Do you think having been on The Amazing Race twice before helped prepare you for Survivor or gave you an advantage in any way? Maybe it was something as simple as being comfortable in front of the cameras.
Natalie Anderson: I don't think it gave me any advantage as far as the competitions and stuff. One thing I said though, and I said this to Jeff, "The Amazing Race gave me an advantage and it was the fact that I had lost a million bucks twice," especially in my first season -- coming so close and then not being able to race in New York, which would've guaranteed a win for me and Nadiya.
It allowed me to say, "You know what? Forget the million bucks, I've already lost that twice. Who cares if I lose it again. Let's just play this game pretending that there's no money at the end and I'm doing it solely for the satisfaction of playing the way you want to play and getting back at people and proving to people that you're doing it for something else."
So playing for Nadiya, Jeremy and myself and then getting the million bucks was the best thing that ever happened to me, because I had already lost it twice. I never thought, "Oh my God! What if I go home? I will literally lose a million bucks."
I didn't even worry about that because I'm used to that feeling, you know? I think that was the advantage that I had, was that I've been in the situation where a million bucks was on the line and I already lost it. So I didn't give a sh-t about losing it again.
Reality TV World: How much harder than The Amazing Race do you feel Survivor is now that you've experienced them both?
Natalie Anderson: You really can't compare the two, like, The Amazing Race is a crazy -- it's crazy while you're racing but you get to check into an awesome hotel, you get to eat, and the biggest thing is that I was with Nadiya the entire time. And in this situation, I wasn't with Nadiya.
And no matter how hungry or tired I was, the only thing that brought me to tears on Survivor was thinking about Nadiya and over Nadiya getting voted off. It's crazy because I never cry and I just think you can't compare the two, like, the elements, the fatigue, the hunger -- everything on Survivor was ten folds as hard as it was ever on The Amazing Race.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised Baylor wasn't mad at you for voting her off and that she actually said it was a really good move?
Natalie Anderson: Yeah, you know, I was really surprised at her reaction. I had to watch it with her and the cast, and she was being a really good sport. I think she realized that, you know, me and Baylor never made an agreement. And they didn't show it, but at the Tribal, Baylor's question to me was, "Should I vote for you and why?"
And I said, "Yeah, you should vote for me because I never made a promise to go to the Final 3 with you, but I made a promise to Missy back in the day that I would go to the Final 3 with her, and I made that happen." And she was a really good sport, you know, I would've been mad. And so, Baylor took it and handled it really well.
Click here to read the first half of Natalie's exclusive interview with Reality TV World.