Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' eliminees Natalie Anderson and Nadiya Anderson talk (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/25/2014
The Amazing Race: All-Stars eliminated Natalie Anderson and Nadiya Anderson during Sunday night's premiere broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 24th overall season and third all-stars edition.
The "Twin Sisters" team, who finished in fourth place on Season 21, became the first team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's first Pit Stop at Guangzhou Opera House in Guangzhou, China in last place.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Natalie and Nadiya talked about their very short-lived The Amazing Race experience. Below is the first half of their interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: The first obvious question is, can you believe you girls were the first team to get eliminated and how did you feel walking away from that experience?
Natalie Anderson: Yeah, I mean, never in a million years would I have thought Nadiya and I would be -- ever -- the first eliminated. I don't think anybody -- any of the fans, whether they love us or hate us, would ever expect us to get out first. I don't think the "twinnie" haters would ever think they'd get that lucky that we'd be out first.
But you know, it was really surreal walking up to the mat, you know, Nadiya and I were obviously hoping and praying they were going to tell us, "Oh yeah, don't worry, it's a non-elim."
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you girls were really confident going into the season then that you could defeat all these returning all-star teams?
Nadiya Anderson: Yeah, I think me and Natty are confident. Natalie and I are just -- the first season, we were very confident that we could win and we did exactly the same things this season.
I don't think we would've signed up to come back to The Amazing Race: All-Stars unless we thought there was a good chance that we could win the million. I mean, that's the first reason we came and that's the second reason we came back on the show, to win $1 million.
Reality TV World: In your final words, you girls mentioned how you couldn't believe it was so difficult to work together. What do you think happened there? Would you attribute your demise to just bad luck and a bad day, like you had said during the episode? Or maybe you think nerves got in the way or the fact you put a lot of pressure on yourselves because you're part of an all-stars cast this time around?
Nadiya Anderson: Yeah, I think it was a lot of factors. Obviously me and Natalie played a huge role in how we let ourselves unravel, and on top of that, we're not used to racing in the back of the pack. We're never used to racing [thinking] not to get last. The last time we were racing, [trying] "not to get last" was when we got eliminated in France.
We're usually always in the Top 3 or 4 and we're always racing for the No. 1 spot. So it was just dealing with that the first day back racing was just really overwhelming, and I just think we didn't handle it properly. And on top of that, also, bad luck, bad timing.
I think the fact they let somebody -- for the first time in, I think, The Amazing Race -- they let people lead us to the store because it was such a crazy neighborhood.
That played a huge factor I think, because we just got crazy people leading us to all the wrong places whereas other teams got lucky with who was showing them around. So it was a little bit of everything I think, and it was just a really -- we just had a bad day and we were just off our game that day.
Reality TV World: Five teams are featured from the The Amazing Race's 22nd season and three teams are from the show's 18th season. That made you girls one of only three teams who weren't from either of those editions. So do you think that was an advantage or disadvantage for you girls? Like maybe you thought those groups of returning teams formed instant alliances or something like that?
Natalie Anderson: I definitely think that we would've had a big advantage if, say, we were racing with "The Chippendales" [Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis] or [Trey Wier and Alexis "Lexi" Beerman] just because, you know, you know people so well and it's not fake. Like with the Afghanimals, [Leo Temory and Jamal Zadran], we didn't know them at all.
But, you know, we clicked with them on the first ride over and we decided to race with them. Little did we know that our personalities and their personalities were definitely not a good mix whereas with other teams, we balanced out. If we were with Trey and Lexi, we'd kind of have a balance because we've raced 11 legs with them, so we know how to give and go.
Whereas with the stupid Afghanimals, we were with them and we were all just out of control. They were nice guys, but it was just like, you know, not a good mixture putting us together.
And also, the other three teams didn't have anybody from their original season at all or they had also already been on all-stars, so basically every team had raced with a previous -- at least one other team besides us. We were the only team that didn't have anybody that we already raced with.
Reality TV World: During Sunday night's episode, you called Leo and Jamal "a hot mess" and what not, but you girls also admitted you had been hot messes. (Laughs) So were there specific things that caused you to be displeased with the Afghanimals or was it simply just overall personality differences?
Natalie Anderson: No, it was just that their personalities and our personalities were way too similar I feel, so we just need somebody who's going to counterbalance the craziness, and we didn't find that in Jamal and Leo. And when Nadiya was like, "Yeah, they're a hot mess," it's exactly how we are. It just made it x2 hanging out with those fools.
Reality TV World: So it seemed like things got a little better when you girls began working with Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth. Could you talk about that a little bit, was that a better match-up for your team? And did they actually help you at all or did the group effort just cause more confusion?
Nadiya Anderson: I think, definitely, we should have just done our own thing like we've done in previous seasons. In previous episodes, when we were in our first season, I think me and Natalie were quick enough and strong enough to work completely on our own. We never, ever relied on anybody else to help, and I think that's what we should have done coming in as well this season.
You know, then when we started getting flustered and we started realizing we were falling behind, we kind of looked to other people. But we should've just done it on our own, because we probably would've been better off on our own.
Jamal and Leo are really cool guys and we had a -- it was actually fun and crazy fun racing with them, but it was not productive. It was totally counterproductive. Obviously though our luck is, you know, as soon as we left them, they found the clue. So apparently we should've been with them the whole time. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: While you were looking for one of the three correct dress shops, you ran into the teams who had been on the second flight. How long do you feel you were working on the task up to that point, and then how long did it take you overall to finally finish it?
Nadiya Anderson: Before the other teams got there, we had been there for two hours -- more than two hours -- running around in the streets in Guangzhou. It was insane, like, you know, we had not even realized so much time had elapsed. And then, you know, we kind of got like, "Oh!"
It kind of felt like we were in denial, like we had just been running around for maybe 20 or 30 minutes. And then when we saw the other teams, we were like, "Holy balls! It's been almost more than two hours and we've been running around and made absolutely no progress." It was just really depressing seeing the other teams.
Reality TV World: The show made it look like you girls passed the correct dress shops on more than one occasion when you were basically standing right in front of them. Was that accurate? Did you kind of just run by the correct shops because you were stressed and couldn't focus?
Nadiya Anderson: Yeah! We were literally in like a five-foot, maybe 10-foot radius of the stores that had all the clues in it, two of the stores that had the clues in it. We just kept, like, going back down the same street, same stores, same alleyways. And, you know, we just got so crazy that, at the end of the day, everything was like blurring together and we just weren't seeing straight.
Above is the first half of Natalie and Nadiya's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion. Also, click here to begin reading our exclusive interview with William "Bopper" Minton.