If George Mladenov is the ‘King’ of this season, there’s no doubt that Nina Twine is the ‘Princess’.
The 24-year-old daughter of five time player and two time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine, Nina was keen to make her mark in Samoa for Heroes vs Villains, after being forced to withdraw from Blood vs Water in 2022 due to an injury.
From her expert analysis on alliances, well thought out strategy and strong social game, Nina proved herself to be more than just the daughter of a Survivor legend, stepping out from the shadows and cementing herself as a player in her own right.
But after 43 days, Nina’s torch was finally snuffed after the flip vote [George] sided in the favour of long-time ally Matt.
Speaking with TV Week the morning after her on screen departure, Nina said it’s been a great season to watch back, both as a fan and as a player.
”I love it. It’s been super entertaining,” Nina tells us.
”It wasn’t super fun watching my elimination episode back, but I knew I was going home period.”
Elaborating further, Nina said that she was ”genuinely shocked” to see how close George came to voting in her favour, and blindsiding friend and ally Matt.
”I knew that I had swayed Gerry a bit [during their 24 hours in isolation] and Matt before he receded back into his shell…. I pitched the way I pitched at tribal council hoping someone would say ‘screw it, let’s do it,’ [blindside George]” but sadly that wasn’t the case.
”I was shocked watching it back and seeing that Matt was genuinely considering getting rid of George and that George was thinking about possibly getting rid of Matt.
Nina admitted it was more than a ”little frustrating” to see how close her fellow tribemates came to voting in her favour.
”That’s the problem with the game. You’re not there for every challenge, you don’t know what everyone is thinking unless they tell you….”
Post merge, Nina was one of several who were keen to up the ante in their strategy and build their resumes of moves made in the game up.
Question is, does Nina regret not playing a hard game faster?
”I would have gone home sooner,” Nina says.
”Hindsight is always 20/20 but in those moments, I made those decisions and that’s what got me to the top five. I’m thankful for what I was able to achieve [making top five], I’m considering that a win. I take everything I did as a blessing and stand by it.”
We were also curious to see how Nina saw her game progressing if George had voted out Matt.
”My best route to the end would have been Liz and George, because I tried, along with Simon and many other people to get Gerry to flip and it just didn’t happen.”
But it’s not all negative for Nina who is more than keen to give her two cents on the final two as a member of the jury.
”What I want to see is a player that knows what they did and why they did that. Someone who is confident in their game, someone who is going to own every part of their game, whether I agree with them or not.”
Nina’s mum has also been cheering her daughter on from her home in the US, telling us that the Survivor great has been ”loving” the season.
”She screams at the TV whether for a good reason or a bad reason, she’s enjoying every single person, what they do, say, how they act, how I act and react…. she’s just a full-on Survivor fan.
”Yes, she’s a Survivor legend, but she’s a fan at heart. I mean if I call her during the show I could be dying and she wouldn’t answer,” Nina laughs.
So with a second season of Survivor wrapped up, and a new crop of friends, will Nina ever consider making a permanent move down under?
”Australia is definitely on the cards but it’s a little bit hard at the moment with my partner and dog in the US. But I’ll still end up back in Australia whether it’s for a vacation or moving or another season of Survivor.”