Natalie Anderson says one of the hardest things about participating in Season 29 ofSurvivor was not having her twin sister Nadiya (who was eliminated in Week 1) in the competition with her. But, at the same time, Natalie believes she never would have been able to pull off her well-deserved victory if she hadn't been forced to play the game on her own.
"If Nadiya was there, I wouldn't have been able to pull off what I did," Natalie told TVGuide.com the day after her victory.
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Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water kicked things off with a blindside on Wednesday's premiere, when Nadiya Anderson — one half ofAmazing Race alums The Twinnies — was unexpectedly ousted by her tribe.
Along with her twin sister Natalie, Nadiya competed on The Amazing Racetwice. In Season 21, the love-'em-or-hate-'em Sri Lankan pair came in 4th place, and in the 2014 All-Star season they were the first team to go home.
Jeff Probst teases Survivor's "unorthodox" Season 29
With Nadiya's tribemates aware of her (at times ruthless) approach to reality competitions, they decided to eliminate her as a threat at the first chance they got.
"It was just such a shock to me that this Amazing Race stuff haunted me so much," Nadiya tells TVGuide.com. "I got eliminated for something that had nothing to do with Survivor, and that sucks."
For its 29th season (Wednesday, 8/7c, CBS), Survivor is reviving its Blood vs. Water theme — in which loved ones compete against each other. This time, however, all the players are new to Survivor, as opposed to in Season 27, when "Blood vs. Water" made its debut.
"Blood vs. water had such a positive response from the audience that we fell in love with the idea and decided, let's just do it again and let's twist it and not bring any returning players back, and see what that does to the dynamic," host Jeff Probst tells TVGuide.com. "And it definitely shifted it. People came in out of the gate saying, let's let loved ones dominate this game and try to get as deep as we can with as many pairs. So right from the beginning there was a new strategy."