Nadiya and Natalie
Did Natalie and Nadiya lose The Amazing Race, falling short in fourth place, because of karma from keeping James and Abba's money? "We lost because we raced poorly for two legs," Natalie tells TVGuide.com. "No karma because we didn't steal the money; we found it." The twins say they have no regrets about not turning the $100 over to the rockers, but would they have had the rockers asked if they found their money?
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How close were you to the Beekmans?
Natalie: We were probably 45 minutes behind. We left like 10, 15 minutes from the caves before them, but we drove completely in the opposite direction — probably about half an hour there. Then we realized we went in the wrong direction and drove another half hour back. I knew we had lost at that point. We lost an hour. That's enough time for us to know what we f---ed up. [Laughs]
Why were you so bent out of shape about the Beekmans being on your tail? Was it just because of the Speed Bump?
Nadiya: I think them beating us the leg before definitely put a chip on our shoulders and that was the reason we had the Speed Bump. And we were invested in this "dream team" final with the Chippendales and Trey and Lexi. We didn't race with Josh and Brent the entire Race until Spain. We never interacted with them. Then we finally got to get to know them going to Spain and we love them. They're awesome.
It seemed like you underestimated them.
Nadiya: Well, out of them and Abbie and Ryan, Abbie and Ryan were the stronger team. I think even the Beekmans would say that. But it was really impressive to see how they turned it on those last two legs. Natalie and I were not expecting that. And they deserve that win. It doesn't matter how you were the whole season — you only win the $1 million by winning the last leg, and they did that.
Was your anger more about you guys losing your cool than them?
Natalie: Yeah. Our personalities are so much more aggressive than most of the teams. I think the only team similar to us is Abbie and Ryan. That's why we always went back-and-forth at one another — they were just as competitive and cutthroat as us. Obviously, when we started messing up in Spain, it started unraveling, so the more we kept falling behind, the more frustrated we became. It was absolutely nothing against the Beekmans. We love them. It's just friendly competition. Me and Nadiya made up with Abbie and Ryan on the mat, and everybody thought we hated each other. It's all part of the game. We watched the finale with the Beekmans. We're so happy for them. I think it's cool to race really hard and to know that that's not real life. It's a competition version of ourselves in a competition setting.
Did you realize you were letting the Beekmans psych you out at the dog food Detour?
Nadiya: Yeah. The Beekmans played it so well. They stayed so calm, cool and collected. Even when Natalie and I were trying to rile them up, they were fine. At one point, I said, "Shut up! Enough talking!" We were being more destructive to ourselves than to them because they were so calm the whole time. While we were racing, we called people names and it's all in good fun. And Natalie and I call each other names as well. We were always in the front of the pack when we did this and I think being in the back really frazzled us. We were really scared we were going to be eliminated.
Your U-Turn plan was pretty great. Was it hard getting the Chippendales and Trey and Lexi on board?
Nadiya: They thought it was a good idea, but I feel like we can't always count on people to execute. Even though we came up with the plan, we didn't know if they would still do it. And we didn't know it was the first time it was ever done. We assumed someone had to have done it before. We were so happy they did it. We told them in France, "It's us three now." But you saw that as soon as me and Natalie were out of the picture, the Chippendales and Trey and Lexi worked with the Beekmans.
Did you really expect them to wait for you while you did the Speed Bump? Would you have?
Nadiya: Well, we just thought that if they stayed, the Beekmans would've too since the Beekmans had been following us. Natalie and I stick to our word, whereas, I think other people just do what's easy at the time. At the end of the day, we know that it's everybody for themselves, but we still wanted the three of us in the final.
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So the rockers' money — people either love you for keeping it or hate you for keeping it and think you lost because of karma. Are you surprised at the reaction?
Natalie: [Laughs] We lost because we raced badly. ... I feel like the people who watch the show for the competition aspect, they saw it as us taking advantage of a potential game-changer. We have no regrets about keeping it. The people who attack us and call us thieves and go as far to say we should be arrested in Bangladesh, I think they're watching the show for a more emotional reason. Maybe the rockers were their favorite team. That's their opinion and it's fine, and I understand why they're upset because in real life, it's different. But this is a game and we found the money. We didn't steal it. If we had done something illegal, we would've been reprimanded by The Amazing Race; we would've gotten a penalty. We obviously were smart enough to check if it was against the rules. We were OK'd 100 percent by production, so we said, "You know what? We're going to keep it." The people who complain about it can start a petition to try to change the Amazing Race rule.
Did you know it was the rockers' money?
Nadiya: We had an inkling it was either the rockers', Abbie and Ryan's or monster truck's. We knew it wasn't Trey and Lexi. Honestly, if it were anyone else's besides Trey and Lexi's, we would've kept it also. That's why we split it with them. But between those three teams, we weren't close to them, so we decided to keep it. No guilty conscience. On top of that, the rockers did not mention once when we reconvened at the airport that they had lost money or needed money. They're secretive and sneaky about it as well, so Natalie and I were like, "No team has even mentioned that they lost money, so screw it." If people want to let their pride get in the way, then that's fine.
Would you have given it back if they mentioned it? Trey and Lexi said they would've.
Natalie: Obviously the whole sequence of events would've been different had someone come up and said, "Hey, guys, we lost our money." Maybe we would've given it back or given them money without saying we found it. I can't really say.
Did you think you could've been penalized when you picked it up?
Natalie: Yeah, definitely. The first thing we did was ask production and they OK'd it because the money was found, not stolen while in a team's possession. And seeing that the rockers lost everything in the next episode, it's more them being frivolous and careless with their belongings.
Nadiya: And the rockers got why we did it. They understand that it wasn't stealing and we kept it because it's a competition.
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Why didn't both of you learn to drive stick?
Natalie: We decided Nadiya's responsibility was to learn stick shift. We knew that's an aspect of the Race. She dropped the ball on that and she admitted that it was completely her fault. Until then, we were always in the front. That's when it started spiraling for us. The last two legs for us were our worst.
Nadiya: I learned stick while I was in Sri Lanka and I practiced there. I was practicing on a really, really old truck. The torque on that is much different than on a brand new Ford Eclipse or whatever they gave us. On the older truck, it never stalled. I was feeling comfortable with it. We took off fine, but at the first red light, I had to stop and start again, and horns are honking and Natalie's screaming at me like a crazy person, the pressure just got to me. The difference in the clutch balance was extreme. I should've practiced in a newer car. I took responsibility. We had a chance to beat the Beekmans at the windmills and we messed it up again. There's no one to blame but us.
What are you up to now?
Natalie: I'm just doing the school thing. ... We're just going to see what happens. People don't seem to be ready to let go of the twinnies even though there are a lot of twinnie haters. [Laughs] We're either really hated or really loved, and that's fine with us!