Natalie and Nadiya have ‘no regrets’ about keeping the rockers’ money on ‘Amazing Race’
Even though Natalie and Nadiya Anderson faced plenty of backlash for not giving back money that belonged to another team on “The Amazing Race,” the twins tell CTV.ca they stand by their decision.
“Me and Nadiya have no regrets about keeping the money. It was all fair game and that’s why it’s called ‘The Amazing Race,’” says Natalie, who finished in fourth place with her sister.
The incident happened during an earlier leg in Bangladesh when “rocker” team James and Abba dropped $100 while looking up flights at a travel agency. The twins found the money and even though they suspected it belonged to the rockers, they decided to keep it, with the support of fellow team Trey and Lexi.
“Nobody said anything about losing money. If maybe the rockers had come up and said, ‘Hey guys, we lost our money, blah blah blah,’ (it might have been different). If they wanted to be sneaky about it and be quiet about it I’m not going to go around and ask people, ‘Oh my God, did you lose your money?’ and offer it to all the teams, and we didn’t 100 per cent know whose it was,” continues Natalie.
Without any cash for the rest of the leg, the rockers took to begging in the streets in order to continue.
“At the end of the day, the guys in Bangladesh who gave (the rockers) their money, they got some air time (on TV), so it’s pretty cool,” adds Natalie.
The twins say they saw James during last Sunday’s “Amazing Race” finale in New York City and tried to make amends.
“We reached out to them at the event and we said, ‘This is the way me and Nadiya chose to play the game. I hope there’s no bad blood,’ and we sent them an e-mail but didn’t really hear back from them. I think they understand it’s all part of the competition.”
While they received their share of criticism over the controversial decision, the twins say they also had plenty of fans who supported what they did.
“(Fans) have been (wondering) why people are getting so sensitive about this issue. It’s a game, and me and Nadiya feel the same way . . . What’s $100 compared to a million dollars that we have a chance of winning?” says Natalie.
She adds that they also received a lot of support from their Canadian fans.
“The fans from Canada were absolutely amazing . . . we just want to say thank you to everybody out there who was tweeting us and thanking us and Facebooking us. We love you guys. It made up for all the twin ‘haters’ we had.”
The 26-year-old sisters from Edgewater, N.J., who grew up in Sri Lanka amidst a civil war, were eliminated from the “Race” right before the final episode of Season 21 after getting lost on the way to the Pit Stop in France. They were beaten to the mat by “Beekman” goat farmers Josh and Brent, who went on to win the million dollar prize.
The twins were quite vocal during the “Race” about how unhappy they were that Josh and Brent were still in the competition because they deemed them the weakest team, and say getting beaten by them “was a hard pill to swallow.”
But the twins now acknowledge that the Beekmans really “showed up” the last two legs.
“At least they beat us and then they won the whole thing so we felt like ‘our’ spot wasn’t really taken and wasted. They took our spot and then they actually kicked ass,” says Natalie.
Natalie and Nadiya say there are no hard feelings between the two teams and they have stayed in touch since the “Race” ended.
“We’ve been up to their farm, we actually watched the finale with them and their family, with our friends and family, so it was really nice . . . They love us and we love them,” says Nadiya.
“They’re great guys and them winning it all really just shows how good they are. They deserved to win.”
Now that the “Race” is over, the twins are looking forward to whatever comes from the exposure they received on the show.
“It seems like the people who really liked us and were drawn to us during the ‘Race’ are not willing to let go of their ‘twinny’ time on TV every Sunday night,” says Natalie.
“It was really hard to come so far and lose but at the end of the day we just have to look forward to what opportunities are in front of us.”
Full episodes of “The Amazing Race” are available online at CTV.ca.
About Sheri Block
Sheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!