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The Untold Truth Of Naked And Afraid

There’s more to Discovery’s Naked and Afraid than people running around sans clothing, trying to start fires by rubbing two sticks together. A lot of planning goes into it…as well as some dirty deeds behind the scenes. Here’s the naked truth about Naked and Afraid.

It’s kind of fake, allegedly


Lo and behold, it’s another reality show that’s received allegations of fakery. Controversial contestant Honora Bowen outed Naked and Afraid in a blog post in late 2015. In her post, she mentions that she was told to refer to a magnifying glass she used as her father’s magnifying glass, while filming Naked and Afraid XL. Her complaint here stems from the fact that she was trying to survive. Meanwhile, she had to deal with being coached on how to act at the same time, which can be distracting. What’s worse, producers made sure they didn’t miss out on exploiting her father’s death.

Doctors without lockers


In the same blog post, Honora Bowen also relates that while out on a walk one day, she stumbled upon the production company’s medic tent. So of course, upon discovering it, she rummaged through it and found some Emergen-C, which she took and shared with contestants. And she’s not the only one with sticky fingers. According to Bowen, during filming for Naked and Afraid XL, fellow contestants stole food from medics. And for revealing this truth to the world, Bowen received the honor of being threatened with lawsuits. Ahh, show business…

There is some real danger


Despite the allegations of artificiality against the show, the people who appear on Naked and Afraid face actual dangers. But some of the dangers get toned down for the TV screen. In the very first episode, contestant Shane Lewis broke three toes while four days into filming in Costa Rica, according to the New York Post. However, when the episode aired in 2013, the audience only learns that he injured his foot somehow. The severity of the injury isn’t disclosed, which is a strange choice given the nature of the show. The choice also disappointed Lewis, who said, “[producers] wanted to show the reality and how difficult it was, but they went for the ratings.”

A producer nearly died


While Lewis’ foot kind of got swept under the rug, producers milked the injury of one of their own for all its worth, according to the New York Post. During filming in Costa Rica, one of the producers suffered a bite from a fer-de-lance, one of the deadliest pit vipers on the planet. Quick and irritable, the fer-de-lance’s venom can cause bleeding of the gums and nose, gastrointestinal bleeding, and vomiting, among a slew of other unpleasant symptoms. In order to save the producer’s foot, doctors needed to hack of a five inch by twelve inch section of the flesh. It’s lucky that medical specialists were there, even for contestants.

The contestants get assistance


Broken toes and poisonous snakes aside, contestants of Naked and Afraid don’t truly have much reason to be afraid. That’s because they benefit from medical attention as well. As the New York Post relates, in the premiere episode, hungry and desperate, contestant Kim Shelton killed, cooked, and ate a poor defenseless turtle. As a result, she became violently ill. For the subsequent three days, Shelton was shown sleeping and suffering, yet on the fourth day, she was feeling much better. How? Unbeknownst to viewers, medics nursed her back to health with two IVs and some baby food. Now, hopefully, no reality show will ever allow any of its contestants die for the sake of ratings. So the producers of Naked and Afraid are in the right for having doctors on set. However, disguising the fact that medical attention is given to cast and crew is kind of dishonest, and potentially dangerous for anyone who sees the show and thinks wild roasted beach turtle is a good meal choice.

Contestants don’t mind the nudity


The people who appear on Naked and Afraid like hanging out in the buff for your viewing pleasure. It’s a good thing too, considering the nature of the show. During a panel at the TCA Summer Summer TV Press Tour 2014, contestant Dani Julien said the naked aspect of the show “adds another element to the survival challenge.” However, there is one caveat. While contestants don’t mind appearing in their birthday suits, some of them wish the pixelation was handled differently. Former contestant Justin Bullard said, “They could have made my blur spot bigger.” Buck up, little guy! But even though contestants are okay with showing some skin, some viewers are downright irate about it.

One Million Moms hates it


The collective of eternally disapproving individuals that is One Million Moms objects to the existence of Naked and Afraid. But considering this group finds problems with just about everything, that’s not much of a surprise. The ornery old ladies have blasted the show, referring to it as “offensive,” “inappropriate,” and “soft porn,” according to Christian Post. As part of their mission against the show, they’ve taken to calling show sponsors, asking them to stop buying ads during the show, and it seems to be working. According to One Million Moms’ website, they managed to get both Delta Faucet and Mars, Inc. to pull ads from not just the show, but the network as a whole during a 2016 marathon. Looks like One Million Moms actually accomplished something, and that’s really the surprising and frightening thing here.

Some contestants don’t think others can hack it


It stands to reason that not everyone who survives Naked and Afraid would survive a similar-yet-actually-life-and-death situation. During a Reddit AMA, former season one contestant Forrest Galante had some choice words about co-contestant Cassie DePecol. According to him, DePecol only appeared on the show with the hope that it would lead to fame and fortune (because it worked so well for Richard Hatch after Survivor). They should give Forrest a show called Naked and Throwing Shade.

 

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