May 19, 2011 04:47 PM by Ryan Haidet
She made it all the way to the final three by sticking with “Boston Rob” Mariano for the entire game on Survivor: Redemption Island. But when it came to the jury, nobody gave Natalie Tenerelli a single vote. Immediately following the live reunion show at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, Natalie talked with me on the red carpet to explain her strategy, what it was like to be on the show away from her mom and why she believed Boston Rob was the best person to align with. Watch the video and read the full article to see what Natalie had to say!
Ryan Haidet, RealityTVMagazine: Congratulations for as far as you made it in the game. I know you talked about missing your mom and missing home during the show, so what was it like making it that far in the game on your own?
Natalie Tenerelli: For me, I’m just like so proud of myself for the way I played and I think a lot of people are looking at me thinking, “How did she get there? Why did she get there? She doesn’t deserve to be there.” But, I deserved to be there just as much as anybody else that was sitting there in the final three. I mean, Rob and I just had completely different strategies and you can say that one is better than the other, but it’s a strategy and I got to the end. Rob was more aggressive and he made bolder moves. I just kind of slipped under the radar. I thought that would get me the million dollars just because I didn’t really have to hurt many peoples’ feelings. The only person that I had to betray was Ashley because everybody else thought they were going to the end with Rob. I figured Rob has played this game four times, come on! Please. Give somebody else a chance.
Ryan Haidet: Weren’t you a little bit nervous that maybe Boston Rob wasn’t going to be honest with you and keep his word? We’re standing right next to Grant, and he’s the perfect example.
Natalie Tenerelli: At first I was a little weary of the whole alliance with Rob, but then I thought about it. I’m like, I’ve seen him work before. I’ve seen his alliance with Amber and it’s obviously just made it to the point where they’re married with two kids. So I just really trusted him. In this game it’s hard to trust people and they say that you shouldn’t, but you really have to just stick with something and go with it — just hope it’s the right decision.
Ryan Haidet: Are you a little upset that you didn’t get a single vote from the jury — especially Ashley?
Natalie Tenerelli: I’m a little disappointed, but it’s not gonna hurt me. I’m just gonna still move forward. I’m only 19 years old. I have so much to offer and so much to do with my life. I think a million dollars isn’t the most important thing.
Ryan Haidet: Tell us about that day your mom stopped by and had the chance to visit camp.
Natalie Tenerelli: Oh my gosh. Just seeing my mom was the most amazing thing. It might look to the average person like it’s not that big of a deal. I think it was like day 30 that we ended up seeing them. But you are just completely deprived of everything and just seeing somebody that you love and cares about you so much, it just means the world.
Ryan Haidet: What’s next for you?
Natalie Tenerelli: Right now I’m kind of in a transitional period in my life. I just got done with this, and now I’m just kind of going to school. I’m a dancer, so hopefully something will come out of that. I’m kind of just taking it day by day.
Ryan Haidet: Thank you for everything. Congratulations again.
Natalie Tenerelli: Thank you so much.
Check out my interview with “Boston Rob” Mariano — the winner of Survivor: Redemption Island:
Check out my interview with Phillip Sheppard — the runner-up of Survivor: Redemption Island:
Game images courtesy of CBS. Red carpet photos by Melissa Fouse.
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