This week’s episode wastes no time. We’re off an running into the wilds of somewhere as we meet this week’s survivalists.
Dani Julien-Age 27 from California. Nature Lover. Adventure Lover. Looking forward to pushing herself to the point of death “I wore cute underwear today.”
Justin Bullard-Age 29, Firefighter paramedic form Florida. Married. Good-ol’-boy. Hunts Turkey, Gator and Deer. “I do a lot of killin’.”
This week’s location is the Andros Islands in the West Indies. For those of us with a map, (which is everyone), this is part of the Bahamas, one of my favorite places to vacation. It’s also not too dissimilar from Justin’s home climate in Florida, so hopefully he’ll see plants and animals that he’s used to.
Dani brought a machete
Justin brought an orange fire starter
Highlights of the Andros Islands
Caribbean reef sharks that aren’t afraid of humans
Toxic poisonwood trees
Okay, so even the trees are trying to kill you too. Perfect. But they’re in the world’s 3rd largest reef, so there could potentially be a lot of fish and crustaceous to catch.
PSR (Primitive Survival Rating)- a measurement of skill, experience & mental toughness
Both possess intermediate skills, Justin 7.6 and Dani 7.4 out of 10.0
In 2008 Dani was volunteering abroad in Tanzania and her house was broken into. She hid from the intruders and survived, but her roommate was murdered. His death was incredibly traumatic and when traditional therapy didn’t help, she discovered wilderness therapy and fell in love wit the outdoors. Holy crap, give Dani a few points for mental toughness already! Thankfully Dani wasn’t cast in a Naked and Afraid episode in Tanzania.
The Andros Islands are home to mysterious blue holes. They look so beautiful, but the holes are deep and the rocks are jagged. A few braids of palmetto stalk and Justin and Dani are rockin’ some rad flip flops.
A few strikes from the fire starter and they have a nice fire started.
Now onto water. The blue holes are unique because the deep holes are fed by sea water, but since sea water is more dense than rain water, a layer of fresh (but possibly contaminated) water floats on the top. Justin and Dani hypothesize that since the sun’s UV rays are so strong, the water at the top should be radiated enough to zap any water nastiness. Good luck with that gang. I would for sure not be drinking water from the blue hole’s stagnant edge though. When Justin says that the water tastes like fish water, my tummy rolls a little.
Back at camp, Dani and Justin are feeling chipper. Justin: “If I have me a cold beer and a guitar I’d be all right. I already got me a naked chick.” Watch the hilarious scene below:
The bliss in camp is short-lived — that night, Dani has mud in her butt-crack, and camp is visited by a wild boar.
Justin runs blindly into the dark in pursuit. Of the boar, not the dirty buns.
Justin’s attempts to catch the pig are unsuccessful, but then they start digging for crabs. Dani catches a few and laughs exactly like Julia Roberts. Justin is upset because he, as the man, should be the provider. But remember, boar aren’t strolling around hoping to be impaled by sticks; The Lord of the Flies wasn’t real. Catch the small stuff with tiny brains. If you set traps you may luck upon the big stuff.
That night, a plague of gnats attacks their juiciness. Fun. Millions of them on their fannies. Why has no one ever chosen mosquito netting as their survival item. I can survive cold, I can be hungry, but put a few bugs on my naked bits, and I’d be miserable.
Dani gets her period. That’s great because bugs hate the smell of lady-blood. Right? No? Oh Crap. Sorry Dani.
The rains begin.
Justin burns a termite mound in an attempt to repel the gnats. That doesn’t work. It never works. Is there a Naked and Afraid handbook, because this was tried unsuccessfully last season. Why didn’t the survivalists eat the termites instead of destroying their mounds? Remember Jane Goodall observing chimps using sticks as tools to get termites? Termites=protein. I bet they’d taste terrible, but if they’re willing to walk up a stick right into your food-hole, I say, have at ‘em. But they don’t.
I’m feeling so itchy watching Justin and Dani get eaten alive by bugs. Poor Dani looks like one big mess of itchy dots. That would totally be me. I am manna for mosquitoes.
Fed up with being fed upon, Dani and Justin move their camp to the beach. The blue hole is a dead zone devoid of fish, razor rocks, and full of bugs. Once on the gorgeous beach, let’s hope there’s some fresh water.
But the beach is covered with garbage. Dani starts crying and picking up trash. And vows to use what she can. It’s a little melodramatic because I swear I saw a shot of some clothing. Pants for your parts! On Naked and Afraid, flotsam and jetsam are gifts from the sea.
Justin collects a few bottles and boils water.
That night Dani can’t find the fire starter. Who does no one ever wear that thing like a necklace? It has a little neck cord for that exact purpose. Or maybe tie it to your giant tote bag.
Firefighter, but not fire starter, Justin starts freaking out about keeping the fire lit.
The next few days, the twosome eats only coconuts and sea snails. I thought Dani was an expert at primitive fire. Can’t she make more? Justin starts getting pissy because he has to babysit the fire. And then he gets pissy when Dani catches a fish. Justin refuses to eat Dani’s fish. Too bad for him; more fish for her.
Justin can’t stand that his traditional Southern roles of man providing and woman cleaning have been flipped. “The woman takes care of the dinner and the clothes.” Exactly. Dani brought home dinner, dude, so even get over it, and either catch some food or shut the f@#$ up.
Then Dani questions his primitive hunting skills. “Were you prepared coming into this situation?” Trouble in paradise.
Dani and Justin aren’t talking.
A storm sets upon them. And they remarkably keep the fire going. But they are forced to communicate, so the rain was a good thing.
The hungries make them slow and cranky
Justin finds a Bahamian boa. And it looks tasty. A few whacks with a stick, and dinner is served. Now that’s Justin’s man-snake is happily reinvigorated, there’s tranquility at camp.
With full bellies, Justin and Dani build a raft out of garbage. Is it totally gross that I would have been trying to drink any bits that might have been left in the empty soda bottles that were strewn on the beach? A sip or two of Sprite would have been welcome calories.
As the I-don’t-like-you-but-I’m-not-going-to-let-you-die-because-that-would-be-jerky twosome traverse the razor-sharp reef, Justin cuts his feet on a sea urchin and bleeds into the shark-infested water. The show seemingly takes pity on them and instead of making them swim through 2 miles of sharks (Because they’re surrounded by friends of Jaws) they are picked up by seaplane.
Over the course of the 21 days, Dani and Justin faced hardship and lack of food, but I think their greatest accomplishment was Dani not pummeling Justin when he got all 19th century about gender roles. Did he not see that she was a force unto herself?
Weight loss and PSR change
Dani lost 15 lbs. and her PSR increased to 8.1
Justin lost 28 lbs. and his PSR improved a bit to 7.8
So what did you think of today’s episode? I was hoping for a little more yelling from Dani at Justin, but she seems like a pretty calm, cool woman. And Justin, despite his backwards ideas of what a woman’s role should be, seems pretty calm too and able to put personality conflicts aside for survival’s sake. Unlike prior episodes, I never felt like they were in a dire situation. They had water, they had fire, it wasn’t freezing, it didn’t rain a lot. All in all, I think they had it easy. That being said, I would have died about 5 minutes into the episode. The second the boar strolled into camp, I would have become catatonic.
Like Naked And Afraid? Check out these recaps:
Season 3, Episode 1: Namibia,
Season 2, Episode 1: Peru, Episode 2:Madagascar, Episode 3: Fiji, Episode 4:Belize, Episode 5:Malaysia, Episode 6: Bolivia
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