“I Didn’t Wanna Come Off As a Rude American”: Nina Twine Spills on Her Survivor Strategy
Speaking to POPSUGAR Australia on Monday morning, Nina said that in the moment, she was so focused on the challenge that she didn’t realise how bad it was.
“Initially I was like, ‘oh, that kind of hurt, but let me get up and do this challenge because I’m hungry!’” she said, “and then as you can see me kind of hobble, I’m like ‘oh man, this isn’t right, let’s just try to finish the challenge, I want this reward’. Thankfully, Mel won that shot, and then I was like ‘okay, I need help, this isn’t good’.”
With the Red tribe off to reward that afternoon, Nina hoped that the time to “relax, not put pressure on it” would be enough to keep her in the game, but as we now know, she’d actually suffered an avulsion fracture and was soon pulled from the competition.
As the news was announced to both tribes, host Jonathan LaPaglia said that he didn’t think we’d seen the last of Nina on Australian Survivor. Asked if she’d return for another season in the future, Nina’s answer was a resounding yes.
“I’m hopeful! I would definitely come again,” she said. “It’s definitely that kind of unfinished business — I know that’s kind of cliche, but I was just GONE.”
She explained: “There was no Tribal, there was no strategy, there were no votes being read, it was just like ‘BYE!’
“I do have that craving to come back and I hope I can make it to merge, I hope I can make it to the end, I hope I can win, but if I can’t, or if I get voted out, at least I have that closure, and at the moment I don’t have that closure!”
During the episode, Nina said that she couldn’t decide if the injury was worse than being blindsided, so we wanted to know if she’d decided one way or another now.
“I was just trying to make myself feel better because I kept crying and I was just trying to laugh,” she said, “but I do think it was worse because when you’re blindsided, it’s almost like ‘yeah, they saw me, they knew I was a threat, okay cool’, this was like ‘girl, you fell down a slide sideways’.”
Thankfully, Nina’s ankle is on the mend.
“I can jog now without any discomfort, I still have a little bit of tightness in the morning, it’s not gonna go away quickly, but I’m about 95% healed, it’s not bad,” she said. “It’s just a quick stretch, a little warm up and then I’m good to go.”
Coming into the game, Nina was determined to not play in the shadow of her mother, two-time winner and Queen of Survivor, Sandra Diaz-Twine.
“I knew people were going to categorise me, and I wanted to make sure that it did not stick,” she said.
In fact, one of her early game strategies was to distance herself from questions about Sandra and her presence in the game.
“One thing that I did on purpose is that when people would ask me about her, I would answer, and be like ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m cool’, but the second people would ask me about me or want to get to know me, like ‘what do you do for work?’ or ‘where did you graduate?’ I would then tell them ‘hey, I appreciate you getting to know me, because everybody keeps asking me about my mum, and I feel like you’re the first person to get to know me, and talk to me about me,’ and boom, questions about my mum stopped,” she shared.
Having previously auditioned for Survivor: David Vs. Goliath in the US, Nina said that she changed her approach to challenges when it came to competing Down Under.
“A lot of the time when Americans win they wanna celebrate, they wanna scream, they wanna shout,” Nina explained. “That’s kind of frowned upon [in Australia], so I was like, if I wanna celebrate I’ll just do a quick little fist pump or a ‘yeah!’ to myself, because I know they don’t like unsportsmanlike behaviour.”
In fact, Nina said that one of her main strategies playing Australian Survivor was to “not be so forward”.
“I knew that I wanted to get my point across and to hear everyone’s opinions honestly, but I was thinking ‘I need to be a little more cautious in how I say things, because I don’t wanna come off as a rude American, or someone who’s trying to tell you want to do’,” she explained. “That’s not who I am, but I know sometimes being overly direct can be portrayed as just being rude.”
Before her accident, Nina said that “everything was going to plan” in her game, in part due to her “genuine connections” with Josh and Shay.
“One thing that really helped [my game] was my relationship with Josh and Shay — especially Josh, because I could run a lot of ideas by him without judgement,” she said.
With both Nina and Sandra out of the game, Nina is now rooting for Josh or Shay to take the win.
“I’m so biased, because I really was so close to them, but I really want Josh and Shay to win!” she said. “I think there are a lot of really great players who are making a lot of great moves, even just based off this last episode, but who knows what’s to come? I’m gonna be biased and say one of those two because they’re my top people.”
Australian Survivor airs at 7.30pm, Sunday-Tuesday, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.
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