5 Reasons to Tune in to TV Series “Naked and Afraid”


Thanks to reality television, we’ve gotten to know real housewives, Amish kids spreading their wings, and a certain family of fame-whores who just won’t go away. Amidst the good, the bad, and the ugly of the reality TV phenomenon comes a rare gem in the Discovery Channel series “Naked and Afraid.”

The show whisks away two survival experts to remote areas across the globe where they must survive for 21 days with no food, no water, and no clothes. From the first time we accidently caught an episode of this survival experiment to rabidly viewing the new, “uncensored” episodes from seasons past, this show had us at hello. If you haven’t yet jumped on the “Naked and Afraid” bandwagon, we are counting down our five favorite things about the show that you’re missing out on.

5. Literally Almost Dying

It’s hard to believe this ridiculous phrase isn’t part of a “Naked and Afraid” playbook that’s passed out to all the survivalists before embarking on their masochistic adventures. This is definitely the easiest way to tell who’s really terrified by what they’ve gotten themselves into.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, it’s folks with barely a scratch who seem to blurt out this confusing statement most often. It’s literally impossible to count how many times a contestant has breathlessly uttered those words, but maybe this phrase will be the first entry in the “Naked and Afraid” drinking game.

4. Spooning Adventures

Staying warm is an obvious concern, and with limited resources it makes sense that contestants would make the most of their body heat. And spooning for heat abounds, from over-eager nature boys like Puma Cabra, who couldn’t wait to curl up in partner Julie Wright’s spoon, to uptight Tom Touw who refused to cuddle for warmth in Cambodia with former marine Carrie Booze.

Despite all her efforts Tom won’t give Carrie the satisfaction of spooning for warmth, out of respect for his wife. Because Carrie is a “Maxim” Hometown Hottie getting rebuffed while she’s, well, in the buff seems like a first for the shivering marketing director.

3. Strange Sacrifices

Survival often forces us to consider doing things we never thought we could do. From vegetarian Jaclyn McCaffrey breaking down and eating some meat for much-needed protein to Lindsey Leitelt subjecting herself to a haircut by hatchet in order to make cordage for a bow drill, the ladies of “Naked and Afraid” seem willing to do what it takes to survive, even if that means having a bad hair day.

But Lindsey’s sacrifice didn’t end at her follicles. Later the home-schooling mom found herself invading a Hamerkop’s nest and cooking up all five baby birds for nourishment after almost three weeks with no protein.


2. Awkward Introductions

One of the best parts of every episode is the first time the new pair of adventurers meet face-to-face (and cheek to cheek, so to speak). It’s always nerve-wracking to meet someone new, especially someone in whose hands you’re putting your survival, but doing it in all your naked glory makes it even worse.

Every survivalist seems to approach the naked introduction differently. Some consider themselves “naked people,” while others get to work fashioning clothes even before they start building a shelter. It’s pretty telling when guys like commercial fisherman Chris Fischer emphasize how much they hope their partner is attractive over their ability to start a fire or hunt – maybe he should have gone on “Dating Naked” instead.

1. Jungle Fever

While it’s true that most contestants do not have near-death experiences on the show, some have contracted dangerous jungle fevers. The most noted is Manu Toigo, a 45-year-old survivalist who contracted Dengue Fever from a mosquito bite in Panama.

Manu didn’t really notice symptoms until returning home to Los Angeles after her episode wrapped. The fever causes massive hemorrhaging and there is no cure. However, Manu has remained a survivor and even though she continues to have a tough recovery, she doesn’t regret going on “Naked and Afraid.”

Do you think you could survive three weeks naked and afraid?

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Rebecca Edwards is a pop culture junkie who loves watching, reading about and riffing on her TV addiction du jour. She has been a writer for over two decades. Her current TV obsessions include "Shameless," "True Detective" and "American Horror Story."

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