Naked and Afraid

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Naked and Afraid
Naked & Afraid logo.jpg
Genre Reality
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 24
Executive producer(s)
  • David Garfinkle
  • Denise Contis
  • Jay Renfroe
  • Steve Rankin
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Renegade 83 Entertainment
Original channel Discovery Channel
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) – present
External links

Naked and Afraid is an American reality television series that airs on the Discovery Channel and premiered on June 23, 2013.[1][2] Each episode chronicles the lives of two survivalists—a man and a woman—who meet for the first time and are given the task of surviving a stay in the wilderness naked for 21 days.[3][4] After they meet in the assigned locale, the partners must find and/or produce water, food, shelter, and clothing within the environment.


The events of each couple's quest play out in a single episode. Partners strip down and meet each other. They are provided with rough cross-body satchels containing a personal diary/camera—for use when the camera crew is not there at night—and a map. They all wear identical necklaces with a center bead which is a microphone that has a wire that connects to a wireless audio transmitter hidden in the satchel. Some personal jewelry is allowed. Each survivalist is allowed to bring one helpful item, such as a machete or a fire starter. Despite the hardship that the teams realized by not wearing proper footwear, none of the participants chose to bring shoes.[5] There is a camera crew who are not allowed to intervene except for medical emergencies when it is "absolutely necessary." Cast mate Alison Teal reports that she was granted an "emergency" tampon.[6] A team is allowed to "tap out" at any point during the 21-day challenge. If they do not tap out, they must arrive at the designated extraction point on the final day to be picked up by a helicopter or boat or other vehicle suitable to the environment. Viewers are updated throughout with statistics including how many days have passed, the time, and the temperature. Naked And Afraid computes and then updates the cast members' PSR (Primitive Survival Rating), which is based on predictions and observations of survival fitness in skill, experience, and mental strengths. Before and after weight measurements are also revealed at the end of an episode.[7]

Rules/guidelines for participants[edit]

While the official website does not publicize rules about what the participants may and may not do, there do seem to be guidelines nonetheless[clarification needed], presumably[according to whom?] to keep the flavor of the show consistent between episodes. Hypothetically these rules might include:

  • Not venturing into particular places or off the map
  • Not obtaining assistance from the filming production crew except for medical emergencies
  • Not altering or using the supplied satchels for purposes other than carrying the diary camera
  • Not producing more sophisticated materials or tools. As of July 2014 no one has produced
    • A fish or bird net
    • Projectile launchers such as a sling, atlatl or bow (**Except Participant Forrest Galante, Panama- who created and used an elastic propelled pole spear from his dive mask strap)
    • Edged weapons of any sort
    • Piercing weapons beyond a sharpened stick
    • Fired clay objects of any sort (simple pit firing)


Season 1[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
1 1 "The Jungle Curse" June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) 104 4.15[8]
Shane Lewis and Kim Shelton have to survive 21 days in the Costa Rican jungle, despite a producer having survived a venomous snake bite.
2 2 "Terror in Tanzania" June 30, 2013 (2013-06-30) 101 1.70[9]
Survivalists EJ Snyder and Kellie Nightlinger survive in Tanzania's Serengeti Plain, putting their skills to the ultimate test.
3 3 "Island From Hell" July 7, 2013 (2013-07-07) 102 2.16[10]
Jonathan Klay and Alison Teal are marooned in the Maldives for 21 days and clash with sunburn and starvation.
4 4 "Punishment in Panama" July 14, 2013 (2013-07-14) 103 2.59[11]
Clint Jivoin and Laura Zerra have to stay 21 days on a Panamanian island, plagued with sand flies and threatened by snakes.
5 5 "Breaking Borneo" July 21, 2013 (2013-07-21) 105 3.27[12]
Survivalists Puma Cabra and Julie Wright have to survive 21 days in Borneo. They battle with sickness, starvation, wildlife, and fail to complete the challenge.
6 6 "Beware the Bayou" July 28, 2013 (2013-07-28) 106 3.61[13]
Billy Berger and Ky Furneaux survive 21 days in the swamps of Louisiana. They risk attack from deadly snakes and alligators, and their shelter is washed out by a storm.
7 7 "Bares All" August 3, 2013 (2013-08-03) 107 1.96[14]
Recap, extra footage and commentary with the season 1 cast including their families.
8 8 "Special: Double Jeopardy" December 8, 2013 (2013-12-08) 108 2.44[15]
Cassie DePecol, Forrest Galante, Manu Toigo and Russell Sage on the Panamanian coast. Despite Manu contracting dengue fever all four contestants completed the challenge.
9 9 "Bares All" December 14, 2013 (2013-12-14) 109 1.15[16]
Recap, extra footage and commentary with the episode 8 cast, including their families.

Season 2[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
10 1 "Man Vs. Amazon" March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16) 201 2.85[17]
Amanda "AK" Kaye and Tyler Steinle failed to survive in the Amazon rainforest after tapping out, season 1 castaways EJ Snyder and Laura Zerra arrive to complete AK and Tyler's 21 day journey.
11 2 "Damned in Africa" March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23) 202 2.04[18]
Jeff Zausch and Eva Rupert test their survival skills in the harsh desert of Madagascar's Massif D'Isalo. Their camp was badly burned due to attempting to cook a snake meat and barely survived.
12 3 "Paradise Lost" March 30, 2014 (2014-03-30) 203 2.08[19]
Alana Barfield and Keith Busch have a deserted island in Fiji all to themselves. Keith left early on day 12 due to seizures, Alana survives alone for full 21 days.
13 4 "Mayan Misery" April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06) 204 1.74[20]
Shannon Thomas and Leonard "Cass" Cassidy are challenged to survive in a flooded jungle of Belize.
14 5 "The Pain Forest" April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13) 205 2.30[21]
Firefighter Fernando Calderon and single mom Samantha Pearson endure relentless storms in a Malaysia rain forest.
15 6 "Meltdown in Bolivia" April 20, 2014 (2014-04-20) 206 2.39[22]
Vincent Pinto and Sabrina Mergenthaler face flash floods and heat exhaustion in a Bolivia jungle. Vincent suffered from stomach ache on day 16, and Sabrina suffered severe chest pain on day 20, one day short to end the 21 day challenge.
16 7 "Bares All: Starvation, Snakes and Strife" April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27) 207 1.59[23]
Recap, extra footage and commentary with the season 2 survivalists including their families.

Season 3[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
17 1 "New Season Exposed" June 22, 2014 (2014-06-22) 301 1.18[24]
Preview of the new season of Naked and Afraid.
18 2 "Primal Fear" June 29, 2014 (2014-06-29) 302 2.36[25]
Lindsey Leitelt and Luke McLaughlin challenged in a dense harsh land in Namibia.
19 3 "Blood in the Water" July 6, 2014 (2014-07-06) 303 2.12[26]
Dani Julien and Justin Bullard stranded with starvation and tiny predators in the Bahamas' Andros islands.
20 4 "Hearts of Darkness" July 13, 2014 (2014-07-13) 304 2.32[27]
Carrie Booze and Tom Touw survive with crocodiles and extreme heat in Cambodia.
21 5 "Jungle Love" July 20, 2014 (2014-07-20) 305 2.11[28]
Jaclyn McCaffrey and Adam Young survive in Nicaragua for battling with dehydration and freezing temperatures.
22 6 "Argentina Impossible" July 27, 2014 (2014-07-27) 306 2.11[29]
Survival coach Tom McElroy and pediatrician Lisa Coray fight with storms and dehydration in Argentina's Yungas forest.
23 7 "Playing With Fire" August 3, 2014 (2014-08-03) 307 2.43[30]
Corinne Kohlen and Chris Fischer are stranded on a deserted beach in Dominica. Corinne tapped out on day 13, and Chris left alone for full 21 days.
24 8 "Himalayan Hell" August 17, 2014 (2014-08-17) 308 2.15[31]
Hakim Isler and Phaedra Brothers tackle the high altitude and extreme cold of the Himalayan foothills in northern India. Phaedra battles food poisoning from before her arrival and suffers through bladder and kidney infections.
25 9 "Nicaragua Nightmare" September 7, 2014 (2014-09-07) 309 1.87[32]
Joshua Bell and Amanda Leigh face the hot and swampy jungles of southern Nicaragua while armed with only a machete and a roll of duct tape. Joshua leaves early due to dehydration and Amanda survives for 16 days.
26 10 "Botswana Breakdown" September 14, 2014 (2014-09-14) 310
Ashley Burns and Michael Jefferson (Survivor: One World contestant) surround on a dazzling heat in Botswana. Ashley tapped out for 4 days after suffering dizziness, while Michael evacuated on day 12 hurting his kidney.



The first season filmed in six countries, including the United States (the Louisiana Bayou). Panama was used as a setting twice in the first season, Nicaragua was also used twice as well in the third season. The second season visited six countries as well, using Malaysia as a setting once again (Season 1 shot on the Malaysian Borneo, while Season 2's survivalists were stranded in Peninsular Malaysia).

Continent Locations (season number)
Africa Botswana (3), Namibia (3), Tanzania (1), Madagascar (2)
Asia Cambodia (3), India (3), Malaysia (1, 2), Maldives (1)
North America Bahamas (3), Belize (2), Costa Rica (1), Dominica (3), Nicaragua (3), Panama (1), United States (1)
South America Argentina (3), Bolivia (2), Peru (2)
Oceania Fiji (2)

Casting call[edit]

On July 31, 2013, Discovery Channel posted a casting call and a dare to "survive the 21-day challenge" via their Twitter account.[33]

Naked After Dark[edit]

Following the success of the live talk show Shark After Dark, Discovery began airing Naked After Dark in season two, which airs after each new episode. Host Josh Wolf talks with castaways from the recently aired episode, shows behind-the-scenes and never before seen episode footage and has in-studio stunts.[34]

Pop Up Editions[edit]

Starting in June 2014, Discovery started airing special versions of the show with "Pop Up" text. These graphics shed light on the countries and the survivalists with interesting and often humorous factoids. These shows premiere on Wednesday nights.[35]


Critical reception[edit]

Brian Lowry of Variety found Naked and Afraid to be "typical of the genre, but it's still kind of a risible kick, if only for how seriously the show takes itself."[36] Melissa Camacho of Common Sense Media, and David Hinckley of the New York Daily News, gave the show 3 out of 5 stars.[37][38] Mike Hale of The New York Times expressed skepticism that the dangers implied by the situations faced by the couples in each episode were authentic, even by the standards of reality television, observing that the couple in the series premiere appeared to be cleaner and more shaved than he'd have expected. Hale also was not impressed with the interaction between the two participants, whose personalities he found uninteresting, stating that he found the snake bite suffered by the field producer shown in the beginning of the episode to be more riveting.[39]

The show is often replete with stock footage (both video and audio) of animals (particularly snakes) that are not from the region applicable to the particular episode and the narration is such that it often exaggerates the potential exposure to danger faced by the survivalists (again, this often involves, but is not limited to, statements about snakes such as 'they must trek through the cobra LADENED jungle'; or implying some element of danger from even non-venomous snakes, and other usually shy retiring animals).


Discovery Channel issued a press release which announced some Nielsen ratings milestones for the series. Naked And Afraid was the "#1 Ad-Supported program in cable among men on Sunday, July 28." They also noted that the program now shares the Discovery Channel record for the highest-rated survival telecast in the network’s history since June 2009. Forrest Galante and Laura Zerra are considered the respective fan favorite male and female survivalists to date. [40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bonin, Liane (May 28, 2013). "Discovery reveals even more with bare pairs on 'Naked & Afraid'". HitFix. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 28, 2013). "'Naked & Afraid' to Premiere Sunday, June 23 on Discovery". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ Kurp, Josh (April 7, 2013). "‘Naked And Afraid’ Star Explains How She Caught Fish With Her ‘Private Parts’". UPROXX. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ Kaplan, Don (April 5, 2013). "Discovery Channel bares all with upcoming 'Naked' shows". Daily News. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ ""Naked and Afraid" producer: "We didn’t develop the show to be exploitative, ever" Executive producer Denise Contis defends the premise of "Naked & Afraid"". 
  6. ^ "IMA:I'm Alison Teal from Discovery Channel's Naked and Afraid and Alison's Adventures — AMA;-)". Reddit. 
  7. ^ "Naked & Afraid review". Variety. 
  8. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 25, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Skywire Live' Wins Night, 'True Blood', 'Falling Skies', 'Mad Men', 'Drop Dead Diva' & More". TV by the Numbers. 
  9. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 2, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'BET Awards' Wins Night + 'True Blood', 'Dexter', 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Falling Skies' & More". TV by the Numbers. 
  10. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 10, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings:'True Blood' Wins Night, 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Dexter', 'Falling Skies', 'Devious Maids', 'The Killing' & More". TV by the Numbers. 
  11. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 16, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night + 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Sprint Cup', 'Real Housewives of NJ', 'Falling Skies' & More". TV by the Numbers. 
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 23, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night, 'Naked and Afraid', 'Falling Skies', 'Dexter', 'Devious Maids', 'The Newsroom' & More". TV by the Numbers. 
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 30, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night + 'Naked and Afraid', 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', NASCAR, 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. 
  14. ^ "Saturday's Cable Ratings: "Sam & Cat," "Haunted Hathaways" Top Viewers for Nickelodeon". August 6, 2013. The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' & 'Bonnie & Clyde' Win Night, 'Naked and Afraid', 'Shahs of Sunset', 'Homeland' & More". TV by the Number. December 10, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Saturday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: FOX Tops Demos with UFC". December 17, 2013. The Futon Critic. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  17. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 18, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Wins Night, 'Talking Dead', 'Real Housewives of Atlanta,' 'Naked And Afraid', 'Shameless' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  18. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 25, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Tops Night + 'Talking Dead', 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta', NCAA Basketball & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  19. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 1, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Wins Night, 'Talking Dead', 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'Shameless', 'Naked and Afraid' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 8, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Wins Night + 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'Silicon Valley', 'Married to Medicine' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  21. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 15, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Wins Night, 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'MTV Movie Awards', 'Silicon Valley', 'Mad Men', 'Drop Dead Diva' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 22, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Wins Night, + NBA Playoffs, 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'Naked and Afraid' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  23. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 29, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Wins Night, NBA Playoffs, 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'Mad Men', 'Devious Maids' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  24. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 24, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: World Cup Soccer Wins Night, 'True Blood', 'The Last Ship', 'Falling Skies','Devious Maids', 'Penny Dreadful' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  25. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 1, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'BET Awards' Leads Night + World Cup Soccer, 'True Blood', 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'The Last Ship' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  26. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 9, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night, 'The Last Ship', 'Falling Skies', 'The Leftovers', 'Devious Maids', 'Witches of East End', & More". TVByTheNumbers. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  27. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 15, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Tops Night + 'The Strain', 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'The Last Ship' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  28. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 22, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night, 'The Last Ship', 'The Strain', 'Witches of East End', 'Ray Donovan' & More". Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  29. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 29, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Leads Night + NASCAR, 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'The Last Ship', 'The Strain' & More". Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  30. ^ Bibel, Sara (August 5, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night, 'The Strain', 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians', 'The Last Ship', 'The Leftovers', 'Falling Skies' & More". Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  31. ^ Bibel, Sara (August 19, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night, 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'The Strain', 'The Last Ship', 'The Leftovers' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 9, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'NFL Countdown' Leads Night + 'Boardwalk Empire', 'The Strain', 'Naked and Afraid' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Discovery Twitter". July 31, 2013. 
  34. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 24, 2014). "'Naked After Dark' Hosted by Josh Wolf to Premiere Sunday, March 16 on Discovery". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ Lowry, Brian (June 21, 2013). "Review: "Naked & Afraid"". Variety. 
  37. ^ "Naked and Afraid". Common Sense Media. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  38. ^ Hinckley, David (June 21, 2013). "Two strangers test out their survival skills on Discovery Channel's new reality show 'Naked and Afraid'". Daily News. 
  39. ^ Hale, Mike (June 21, 2013). "They Didn’t Pack Sunscreen, or Anything Else". The New York Times. 
  40. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 30, 2013). "Discovery Channel's 'Naked and Afraid' is the #1 Ad Supported Program in Cable Among Men on Sunday July 28". TV by the Numbers (Press release). 

External links[edit]