As we neared the end of Season 21 of The Amazing Race, one team has stood out above all the others for their loud voices, big egos and even bigger personalities. Yep, I’m talking about the Sri Lankan twin sisters – otherwise known by their catchphrase, “Twinnie!” – Natalie Anderson (@NatalieeAnd) and Nadiya Anderson (@NadiyaaAnd). With this leg of the race taking the teams through Barcelona, Spain, the final four teams duked it out for a spot in the Final 3 in the race for $1 million. Between the Speed Bump (lacing a corset), the Detour (Chow or Plow) and the Road Block (picking mushrooms), the Twinnies found themselves at the bottom of the pack and the last team to reach the Pit Stop. The Yak got a chance to chat with Natalie and Nadiya to discuss their roles as the most nerve-grating team, the story behind the stolen money, and their thoughts on remaining friends with the other teams.
The Yak: As fans of the show, you must have been heartbroken to make it that close to the end and get eliminated right before the Final Leg.
Natalie: It was tough.
The Yak: After speaking with the Texans (Trey and Lexi) regarding the stolen money from the Rockers (James and Abba), there was talk about speaking with the Production Team and you had received the okay to keep the money and share it amongst yourselves. Were you surprised at all with how it was portrayed on the show?
Natalie: Yes. Me and Nadie were completely caught off guard with the advertisements. What was bad was the reactions of people who were taking the event as it was shown. For us, we would go back and do the same exact thing we did the first time. I have no regrets keeping the money. It was completely within the rules. It’s not a real-life situation, it’s a fucking race, and me and Nadiya have no regrets. You know, me and Nadie have thicker skin then Lexi and Trey and we did feel partially responsible, so I feel bad for them, but they had a great attitude about it and we realized that you can’t please everybody, so what can you do?
The Yak: In speaking with some of the other teams, there has been talk that you two had such fun-loving spirits and were so easy going during the non-race moments. We had hoped to see more of that during the race. You did have some great moments, but it seemed like it was edited to make you look like you were the nastiest of the teams.
Nadiya: You know, the way that me and Natalie are, we have so much personality and what you see is what you get. We don’t fake it. We can’t fake it, so I think we gave the show a lot of stuff to work with, and it’s easy to portray us in a certain light, but at the end of the day, we have no regrets and we can’t go back and say, “We wish we had done certain things in a certain way.” However, with the racers and the people that know who we are in real life, they know who we are as people and that’s what matters to us.
Natalie: Also, there are a lot of teams that are so cute and so nice and so everything else, me and Nadiya had those moments, but what’s more interesting to watch: 11 teams competing nicely together or… every team needs an asshole team, and we happened to be it. We were assholes, and we just own it.
The Yak: What was the hardest challenge for you on the race?
Natalie: For me, the hardest challenge was the windmill challenge. You know, Nadiya and I got there at the same time as the Beeks. When we got to our blades, we didn’t realize they were numbered, so we had to take them off and put them back. They also didn’t show it, but the windmill guy was really cute and I was getting distracted. Me and Nadie were joking around the whole time, and we weren’t paying attention, so we messed up.
Nadiya: You know, it’s a testament to how we are because the windmill challenge was the only challenge we struggled with during the entire race. It wasn’t a difficult challenge, it was just a matter of me and Natalie focusing and getting the job done, which we didn’t execute the task, so it was really up to us to have done a better job. It wasn’t the challenge that was a problem, we were the problem.
The Yak: What was your favorite part of the race?
Nadiya: My favorite part of the race was racing with Natie and having a great time, winning or losing. Just having an awesome time and that was the best part. Having fun at every moment, winning or losing.
Natalie: For me, it was also just meeting everybody. Watching the finale with Josh and Brent and being able to enjoy with them and congratulate them, but still walk away with friends. I like our relationships, so that was pretty cool.
The Yak: Speaking of the relationships, since the race has ended, have you kept in touch with any of the other teams beyond the Beekman Boys?
Natalie: Yeah, we’ve kept in touch with almost everybody, except for the Freakazoids – the Monster Truckers (Rob and Kelley), we don’t talk with them, but who cares? With everybody else, for me and Nadiya, the people we can see being friends with in the long run, we’ve been in touch with Abbie and Ryan, Lexi and Trey, who will always be our “best friends from the race”. We’ll always be friends with them. Also, the Beeks, Jaymes and James, who will always be close to our hearts. Brittany and Caitlin. We love them all.
The Yak: After you had found out that you had been picked for The Amazing Race, did you do anything special to prepare?
Natalie: Nadiya and I did the more physical training. We did some kind of country memorization, but no extreme mental preparation. We started Cross Fit, and we cross fitted hardcore – 5 days a week. We focused on upper body strength because we knew we were going to go against tough guys. Cross Fit was our number one prep we did for the race. As a testament, we were running around with our backpacks, and our backpacks weighed 45 pounds each, but it never slowed us down.
The Yak: So, what’s next for the two of you?
Natalie: We get so much feedback and so many responses from people, and I feel like people are not ready to say goodbye to us. All our Twinnie Fans are completely amazing. They’ve stuck with us through all the drama this season, and we’ll see what’s in the works, but our fans are just the most amazing people. They’ve been so supportive.
The Yak: We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us!
Natalie and Nadiya: Thank you so much!