Despite her twin sister Nadiya Anderson being the first person voted out in San Juan del Sur, Natalie was able to integrate herself into the majority Fab Five alliance for most of the game, making subtle strategic moves, building close relationships, and keeping herself off everyone's radar. After her closest ally, Jeremy Collins, was blindsided by Jon Misch, Natalie played the game more aggressively and was able to pull the strings and orchestrate the blindsides of Jon, Alec Christy, and Baylor Wilson. Her strong social game, physical prowess, and tactical gameplay earned her the respect of the jury and the title of Sole Survivor in a 5-2-1 vote.
In Winners at War, Natalie's pre-existing relationship with Jeremy made her a target and led her to become the first person voted out on Day 2. However, she made the most of her record 33 days on the Edge of Extinction, controlling the game from behind-the-scenes by sending advantages to many players in the game, allowing her to accrue Fire Tokens. She was able to use her Fire Tokens to gain three advantages in the second re-entry duel, which helped her return to the game on Day 35. She went on a run following her return, playing two Hidden Immunity Idols and winning the Final Immunity Challenge. However, her decision not to take on Tony Vlachos in the final four fire-making challenge herself was viewed as a safe move by the jury, who considered Tony's assertive gameplay more impressive. Natalie ultimately finished second to Tony in a 12-4-0 vote.
Retrieved from CBS.com
Name: Natalie Anderson (28)
Hometown: Colombo, Sri Lanka
San Juan del Sur
Natalie, a former contestant on The Amazing Race, competed on Survivor: San Juan del Sur with her twin and Race partner, Nadiya Anderson. When it was time to separate into tribes, Natalie was placed on the Hunahpu tribe. Natalie was quick to bond with Jeremy Collins, who she even deemed her "designated twinnie". At the first Immunity Challenge, Hunahpu came from behind after Coyopa struggled with the puzzle. This victory became bittersweet as Nadiya ended up the first boot of the season. Natalie was upset when she learned of Nadiya's elimination to the point of tears, with some of Natalie's tribemates comforting her. Julie McGee then won the Hero Duel and fishing gear for the tribe. However, the tribe was forced to trade their fishing gear for a new flint since the first one was lost by Jon Misch. At the Immunity Challenge, Sumo at Sea, Natalie faced off against Val Collins and won. Hunahpu would win again after Kelley Wentworth won the rematch against her opponent, Jaclyn Schultz.
At the next Hero Duel, Wes Nale won the duel for Coyopa over his father, Keith. After the duel, Jeremy publicly outed to the tribe that one of Coyopa's members was former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker, infamous for his racist and homophobic Sports Illustrated interview. At the Immunity Challenge, Natalie was paired with Jon for the challenge. They participated in two separate rounds and won both, which was critical for Hunahpu winning the challenge. After the win, Natalie started to yell at John about his past. Eventually, John became sick of the yelling and said he would knock her teeth out if Natalie was a male. At the next Hero Duel, Hunahpu started clapping with the exception of John's girlfriend, Julie, when they learned that John was voted out. Jon won the duel over his girlfriend, Jaclyn. However, Hunahpu ultimately lost their first Immunity Challenge. Drew Christy included Natalie in on his plan of voting out Kelley because of fear of her leading a women's alliance. Natalie, who was annoyed with Drew's laziness and false accusations, thought Drew was ridiculous because the season had more men than women so it would not make strategic sense. Despite that, Natalie's alliance with Jeremy allowed for the women to turn the tables. At that Tribal Council , the women plus Jeremy banded together to take out Drew and was successful, eliminating him in a scattered 5-2-1-1 vote.
On Day 10, instead of a Hero Duel, there was a tribe switch. In a random draw of buffs, Natalie would stay on Hunahpu with Jeremy, Julie, and Reed Kelly. Jon, Keith, Kelley, and Missy Payne were transferred to Coyopa and were replaced by Alec Christy, Josh Canfield, and Wes. When showing the newcomers the Hunahpu camp, Natalie revealed that Hunahpu had very little rice left. At the Immunity Challenge, Hunahpu easily destroyed the new Coyopa tribe. The tribe then pleaded for more rice and was willing to give up anything. The next day, Jeff Probst came with rice but took all of the luxuries Hunahpu accumulated up until that point. At the Hero Duel, Reed won the tribe a Survivor barbecue over Coyopa's Baylor Wilson. Reed selected Julie to join Baylor on Exile Island. However, Natalie volunteered to go to exile with Baylor instead. While on exile, Baylor shared her clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol with Natalie. Hunahpu won the Immunity Challenge, keeping Natalie safe from elimination.
On Day 16, the tribes' Tree Mail heavily implied a merge. This was true and the tribes enjoyed a tribe feast. Because of their time on Exile, Jeremy and Natalie were easily able to get Baylor and Missy on their side. Jeremy clashed with Josh with each trying to get the other voted out. However, their campaign to eliminate the other was postponed because of Julie quitting the game. At the next Reward Challenge, Natalie was teamed with Reed, Jeremy, Keith, and Wes and won a trip to a Survivor taco bar. The castaways enjoyed the feast of tacos, but no strategy was discussed as everyone was on different alliances. At the Immunity Challenge, Jeremy won individual immunity. Afterward, at the first Tribal Council after the merge, Josh was voted out in a 6-5 vote.
At the next Reward Challenge, the castaways were separated into two teams and had to face off against each other in one on one matches. Natalie faced of against Jaclyn twice and won both rounds. Natalie's team consisting of herself, Jeremy, Wes, Reed, and Alec won the challenge. But Jeremy and Natalie gave their rewards to Jon and Jaclyn as a way to cement their alliance with them. After Baylor won immunity, the alliance intended to have a split vote between Keith and Reed. However, at Tribal Council, Natalie was stunned when Jeremy was blindsided out of the game.
After Jeremy's blindside, Natalie was angry with Jon and wanted revenge for her fallen comrade. At the next Reward Challenge, Natalie was teamed with Baylor, Missy, and Wes but they lost. Wes was sent off to Exile, and Missy was allowed to go on reward because of Reed giving his spot to her. Back at camp, Natalie wanted to look for the idol with Baylor. She sent Reed and Keith away to find firewood while the women would get water. Natalie was able to successfully find the idol, much to her and Baylor's delight. At the Immunity Challenge, it ultimately came down to Natalie and Reed. However, Natalie claimed in a confessional after the challenge that she started seeing stars, and her eyes were closing. Natalie realized that she wasn't going to last much longer. Natalie bartered for food and Jeff returned with pizza, chicken wings, a cookie, and a tall glass of water. Natalie stepped down and Reed won immunity. The plan was to split the vote between Keith and Wes. However, Reed anticipated that plan and wanted to vote out Jon. At Tribal Council, Keith said to "stick to the plan", which alarmed the others of Reed's plan. Before the votes were read, Natalie told Jon to play his idol. Jon did use the idol, which prompted Keith to play his. All votes against both men were voided and Wes was eliminated.
Jaclyn thanked Natalie for saving Jon. However, Jon told Jaclyn not to give anyone else credit for anything. Natalie believed that Jon was concerned with making himself look like the mastermind to the jury. At the Reward Challenge, Natalie and her allies swiftly eliminated Reed, Keith, and Alec from the challenge. However, the challenge ended with Missy winning by default because it became clear that the remaining participants in the challenge would throw the challenge until they have the person who they wanted to win. Missy picked Baylor and Natalie to join her on the trip to the horseback ranch. Natalie revealed to Missy that she and Baylor had found the idol. However, the women were worried about Jaclyn flipping to the men. At the Immunity Challenge, Keith won immunity and Reed was voted out at Tribal Council in a 7-1 vote.
At the next Reward Challenge, Natalie emerged victorious over Jaclyn. She exiled Alec and picked Jaclyn and Jon to join her on reward. However, Natalie picked the young couple because she wanted to further make them unsuspecting of a blindside. Natalie then decided to enact her vengeance on Jon. Natalie informed Baylor of her plan and told her to not tell her mom about Jon's blindside. Although she was uncomfortable about leaving her mom out in the dark, Baylor was willing to vote out Jon. However, Jon won individual immunity. Jon wanted to split the vote between Alec and Keith, with the latter being kicked out. However, Natalie decided to vote against Alec, only telling Baylor of her intentions. Alec was voted out in a 4-3 vote.
Jaclyn, Jon, and Missy were confused because Alec was eliminated instead of Keith. When it was learned that Natalie voted against Alec over Keith, she played it off as a mistake. Baylor was laughing when Jon was eating up Natalie's lie. At the Reward Challenge, Natalie was teamed with Baylor and Jaclyn but they lost. Natalie was the one who was sent to Exile Island. On Exile Island, Natalie reflected on the fact that this was the longest she went without Nadiya. At the Immunity Challenge, Natalie won individual immunity over Jon. Natalie wanted to do a split vote between Jaclyn and Jon in case the latter used his Hidden Immunity Idol. Natalie asked Baylor to get her mom to write Jaclyn's name down. Although Missy had her reservations, she did vote against Jaclyn and the vote was a 2-2-2 vote. When it was time to revote, Jon was voted out.
After Tribal Council, an upset Jaclyn started to yell at Natalie for her betrayal. Natalie was happy about Jaclyn's outburst because it would discourage people from working with her. Although Natalie had a deal with Missy and Baylor to make it to the end together, she was not against making it to the finals with Jaclyn and Keith. Keith won the next Reward Challenge, which was for an advantage at the final 5 Immunity Challenge. Afterward, said advantage helped Keith win immunity. At Tribal Council, Natalie, wanting to add to her resume, decided to use her Hidden Immunity Idol on Jaclyn and blindside Baylor.
Despite Natalie eliminating her daughter from the game, Missy was not angry with Natalie as she didn't have to vote out Baylor. The women then agreed that Keith should be the one taken out next. At the Final Immunity Challenge, it was originally between Keith and Natalie. However, Jaclyn solved the puzzle first, which allowed her to win final immunity over Natalie. Natalie was worried about Jaclyn and Missy turning on her. However, the women voted out Keith at Tribal Council.
At the Final Tribal Council, Natalie's opening statement was that she was deserving because she fulfilled the criteria of outwit, outplay, and outlast more so than the other women that she was beside with, and elaborated on each one. Natalie ended her statement by saying that she believed that the bright move for Missy and Jaclyn should have been voting her out last Tribal Council over Keith. Jeremy advocated for Natalie, telling the jury that they have no choice but to award her as he considered her to be the best player. When the vote came, Natalie was declared the Sole Survivor over Jaclyn and Missy in a 5-2-1 vote.
|1||Hunahpu Tribe Immune|
|2||Hunahpu Tribe Immune|
|3||Hunahpu Tribe Immune|
|5||Hunahpu Tribe Immune|
|6||Hunahpu Tribe Immune|
|7||No Tribal Council|
Josh, Keith, Wes
|Sole Survivor, Day 39|
^1 In "This Is Where We Build Trust", Keith used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Natalie's vote against him.
^2 In "Let's Make a Move", the vote ended with a 2-2-2 tie between Jaclyn, Jon, and Keith, forcing a revote. Natalie did not change her vote on the revote.
Winners at War
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|1||Denise||Adam, Ben, Danni, Denise,|
Ethan, Parvati, Rob
|Voted Out, Day 2|
|1||On Edge of Extinction|
|Returned, Day 35|
|Runner-Up, Day 39|
^1 In "It All Boils Down to This", Natalie used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 4 votes against her. Also, Ben used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Natalie's vote against him. Because Natalie and Ben both used Hidden Immunity Idols and negated all the votes cast at Tribal Council, a vote restart was held between the two non-immune players, Denise and Sarah. Natalie changed her vote to Denise on the restart.
^2 Also in "It All Boils Down to This", Natalie used a Hidden Immunity Idol, but did not negate any votes against her.
- Natalie considered moving to Sri Lanka to open a CrossFit using her winnings.
- Natalie, along with eight other former castaways, competed on a Survivor edition of The Price Is Right primetime special that aired on May 23, 2016. Natalie and her partner, John, did not make it up on stage.
- On April 12, 2017, Natalie, along with Brian Corridan and Brice Johnston, appeared on an episode of Pen Fan Forum hosted by Andrea Boehlke to discuss the seventh episode of Survivor: Game Changers.
- In the fall of 2020, Natalie competed on MTV's The Challenge: Double Agents. She was medically disqualified from the show in the fifth episode, finishing in 25th place (13th out of the 15 female Challengers). After the episode aired, she revealed that she discovered she was pregnant on the show and was pulled from the competition. Natalie miscarried sometime after her departure.
- Natalie and her sister Nadiya Anderson are the first castaways to first appear on The Amazing Race before competing on Survivor. They were followed by Mike White in David vs. Goliath.
- Natalie and Nadiya are the first pair of sisters, and first pair of twins, to have played Survivor together.
- Natalie and Nadiya are the fourth and fifth contestants to have dual citizenship, following Aras Baskauskas, Todd Herzog, and Abi-Maria Gomes. They would be followed by Peter Baggenstos.
- Natalie and Nadiya are the first Asian-American castaways to compete on Survivor to be of South Asian heritage.
- Natalie is the only one of the Final Three in San Juan del Sur to not receive the jury vote of their loved one. This was because her loved one, Nadiya, was eliminated pre-jury.
- Natalie is first Sole Survivor to share her first name with a previous winner. She would be followed by Chris Underwood.
- Natalie is the first Asian-American woman to win Survivor and the first Asian-American Sole Survivor since Yul Kwon.
- Natalie is currently the only castaway to win Survivor representing another primary CBS reality TV series.
- Natalie lost 35 lbs. during her time on San Juan del Sur.
- Natalie is tied with Michele Fitzgerald for the most challenge wins (tribal and individual) for a female Sole Survivor, with 13. She is also the Sole Survivor with the fourth most challenge wins, only preceded by Bob Crowley (14 wins), Mike Holloway (14 wins), and Tom Westman (17 wins).
- Natalie won the RHAP Fan Favorite Player of the Season award with 49% of the votes.
- On February 24, 2015, Natalie was elected Miss Survivor 2015.
- Natalie was originally cast in Game Changers, but she backed out at the last minute and was replaced by Sierra Dawn Thomas.
- Both Natalie and Nadiya experienced being eliminated first in two different reality series.
- Natalie is the first person to be voted out on Day 2.
- Natalie holds the record for the most time spent on the Edge of Extinction, with 33 days in Winners at War.
- Natalie is one of two returning players to have reached the Final Tribal Council every time they competed, along with Michele Fitzgerald.
- Natalie is the first and only woman to return from the Edge of Extinction.
- Due to the nature of the Edge of Extinction, Natalie became the third person to be removed from the jury, following Neal Gottlieb in Kaôh Rōng and Chris Underwood in Edge of Extinction. Unlike Neal however, Natalie and Chris would have been eligible to join it again had they been voted out after returning to the game.
- Due to her return from the Edge of Extinction towards the end of Winners at War, Natalie holds the record for the fewest Tribal Councils attended by a finalist, with five.
- Natalie is the second former winner who became the runner-up on her returning season, following Parvati Shallow.
|Sole Survivor Titleholder
San Juan del Sur
|Survivor: San Juan del Sur Castaways|
|Survivor: Winners at War Castaways|