Recap: Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 3 “Snake in the Grass”

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 3 Kellie Freeze
Tricky Dani.

10 days ago, 12 survivalists were brought to the Colombian badlands in what can only be described as the world’s toughest survival challenge: No Food, No Water, and no Clothes. They’ve been divided into four groups in the area’s four distinct topographies and already, one of the survivalists has been unable to continue in the harsh and unforgiving environment and tapped out.

Jeff, Hakim and EJ begin their journeys in the hot and volcanic Roca Diablo (Devil Rocks), but Hakim tapped out on day 4. Jeff and EJ have located a water source and caught fish.

Laura, Eva and Dani are in the scrubby desert of Rio Negro (Black River) where they have been able to catch and eat small minnows.

In the swampy jungle of Cano Verde (Green Canyon), Luke and Chris are dealing with unpredictable partner Honora who threw several of their survival items into a river.

In El Bosque (The Forest), Alana and Danielle are critical of unstable partner Shane, who, despite worrisome statements, has been his team’s workhorse and has even made a workable bow.

Let’s join the eleven remaining survivalists on Day 10

Luke (Who has the patience of a saint) tells Honora that he’s done with her. In the last episode, she threw Luke’s water bottle knife into the river. She also stole Chris’ fishing wire and tossed it into the jungle. And although she threw her knife into the river, Luke found it and returned it to her. And she still treats him like garbage. I would have given her a swift slap across the mouth.

Honora, still steaming, decides to tap out. And as a final insult to her teammates, she leaves with her machete. She came back on the show because when she was in the Brazilian sand dunes, she was “Medically evacuated” after blowing up at her partner. This time, she willingly tapped out. Perhaps she needs to realize that it’s not her survival skills that fail her, but she fails herself.

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 3
Good Luck, Honora. May you find happiness, health and help.

Over in Manland, EJ and Jeff are hungry. Powerful hungry. Their attempts at hunting and fishing have been unsuccessful. But they find a turtle, who looks remarkably like the turtle that Alana found near her camp, but let go. They take their pet back to camp where they make a pen before gathering water.

In Ladyland, hunger is raging too. Eva and Laura, longtime friends, are unknowingly shutting out Dani.

Shane, whose work ethic is unwavering, is annoyed by the laziness of his partners.

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 3
Bearded bromance

Now that Honora is gone, Chris freedives in the river and is able to find Luke’s water bottle and knife. The ability to undo some of Honora’s damage is a major victory for the men. And, they have something to toast with when drinking pretend beers.

Back at EJ and Jeff’s camp, they stumble back into camp and find — surprise, surprise — Yertle has disappeared! Upon seeing that dinner has strolled away, EJ reflects, “Hunting is serious business. Killing creatures needs to be done with reverence, grace and thankfulness.” I wouldn’t count on EJ remembering this moment of karma longer than it took for him to utter that cliché. I bet the next time they catch food, he’ll still scream at it.

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 3

Day 11
Dani doesn’t know her place in the group and walks alone in search of food. A change in the wind wafts the smell of smoke into Dani’s nose and she heads off to investigate.

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 3
Tricky Dani.

Luke and Chris dine on almonds and Black Palm fruit “Nature’s candy.” Dani stalks them, which is beyond weird; people with food would be my new BFFs. Once they discover her, Chris and Luke find it strange that Dani was lurking outside of their camp, instead of coming to say hello like a normal person. Who isn’t happy to see other people? But, Dani is an otherwise cool and hard-working and considers moving in with team Bromance and hints that she may being her soul sisters too.

Luke and Chris aren’t too keen on 3 more hungry mouths joining their camp.

Over in El Bosque, Danielle sees the capybara that Shane shot archery practice at a few days ago, but shoots down his idea to build snares. A lividly frustrated Shane leaves the camp, swearing off his teammates.

Laura and Eva catch minnows and miss their teammate. But they don’t miss Dani enough to save any fish for her. Good thing the guys fed her. Once she’s back at camp, she tells Eva and Laura about the guy’s bounty and admits that she had wanted to leave the camp. But suddenly, she also wants to stay with her team. It may have been a inelegant edit, but I’m confused — does she want to live at the guy’s camp, or be with her gal pals, or merge the two?

Day 12
Jeff and EJ are still mad at the loss of their turtle and after a lip-smacking dinner of 2 grasshoppers, a cockroach and a lizard, they consider looking for a camp with better resources.

Day 14
Shane has moved out of camp and builds himself a pretty sweet vine hammock. I know that Shane is bizarre, but he’s really entertaining to watch. I’m sure Alana and Danielle are wonderful people and great survivalists, but they make terrible TV. It’s beyond boring. I like having Shane around to inject a bit into the unknown into their world.

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 3
Shane has made his bed out of spite and vines and he’s gonna sleep on it, gosh darnit!

That night, the starving ladies of Rio Negro try night fishing in the caiman-infested water. Their nets come up empty and they decide to move into the guy’s camp.

Day 15
Shane’s work on Camp numero dos continues. While his partners slather themselves with mud, he ruminated on his dislike for them and decides that he wants them to “earn” their survival experiences. He’s tired of toiling for their benefit. Which is true, but really spiteful. When he tells them they’re lazy, Alana tells Shane, “Survival has to be lazy.” In that case, I would be awesome at surviving!!! I survive every weekend.

The season-long XLR is the survival rating of the team, which fluctuates as the teams find success and failure. In the second episode, the team’s scores are as follows:

The gaining and then losing of a major meal keeps EJ and Jeff’s PSR at 7.1 out of 10.0
Uncertainty leads to Eva, Laura & Dani’s PSR plunging from 8.6 to 7.7 out of 10.0
Trouble in the group makes Danielle, Alana & Shane’s PSR dip from 7.3 to 6.9 out of 10.0
Now that Honora has left, Luke and Chris’ PSR rises from 6.6 to 7.0 out of 10.0

Survival Stuff
Jeff: Fishhook and line
Hakim: Magic ninja blade
EJ: Unknown (Maybe a pot?)
Laura: Bow Drill kit
Eva: Pot
Dani: Mosquito net
Luke: Water Bottle
Chris: fishing kit (Lost)
Honora: Bow Drill kit
Danielle: Unknown
Alana: Unknown
Shane: Metal Canteen

My thoughts:
I was sad to see Honora leave so early in this episode. She was a train wreck that I’m sure sucked to live through, but was fun to watch. My Hilarious coworker calls that a “Dumpster fire.” It’s sucks, and stinks, but you can’t look away. I like it.

When EJ and Jeff managed to lose their turtle, it seemed more like a moment that would happen on Alaskan Bush People, not on a show with elite survivalists.

I’m confused by Dani.

I’m also confused by Shane. What used to be fear is turning to fearful admiration. I wonder how he would do if paired with Dani… she’s a strong loner too. That could be interesting.

Phew! I’m back to being caught up with my Naked and Afraid XL episodes. Just in time for me to head to LA for the Television Critic Association’s Summer Press Tour.

Has anyone watched any episodes of Alone on History channel? I’d love to know what more about it. My brother-in-law told me that it’s great, but I have yet to catch an episode.

42 Comments

  1. Those who cannot stand criticism or accept responsibility for what they did always blame the “edit.” No, that is just BS. They make themselves liars as well as incompetents.

  2. Chris and Alana should have been placed on the same team, now that would habe made for some good TV viewing. I hated watching them on their own previous episodes, where they both were nothing but mean and nasty to their partners. I hope they both get their up and comings.

  3. I want an episode where they cast a bushman alongside one of these survivalists and see how they measure up.

    Poor shane lol, one can only laugh watching him trying to cope with two brats.

  4. Shane has behaved honorably the entire time. He is the one doing most of the work. The two women are what you would call “shrews”. They act like immature kids. Shane got screwed when partnered with these two losers.

    • Shane has made mistakes and said some things without splendor, and on his own admission doesn’t have every survival skill, but after watching him gracefully accept Alana’s bullying as a way to admit his own miscue’s, I confidently say he is a better man than I. I’d buy him a beer if I ever meet him, a guy like that you can trust to have your back no matter what. I’d love to watch someone bully Alana like she is Shane or control Danielle like Alana is doing. Women’s movement moved a step backwards with these two, what a shame.

    • Love Shane’s attitude. I would be proud to know that he had my back. And Alana is a bully, plain and simple.

  5. Kellie,
    Your comments on this episode 3 indicate a grudging admiration of Shane’s work ethic and even a bit of empathy. You probably have noticed that his partners are using the time honored female bullying technique of nagging, criticizing, condescending voice, belittling and ridicule. In other words mouth fighting (male term). Shane is always entertaining to watch as he struggles to cope.

    • It was an interesting match up, but in a true survival situation, Shane would be the only one standing. Yes he works his ass off but its all for the good of the group and I’m sure the cave men of the day didn’t have time to sit and mug for the camera or create some of the mean girl crap that is being served up to him. I have known many men like Shane, and sure they were a bit much, but you knew you could count on them. I think Shane should be on show Alone.

    • I admire Shane as a survivalist and my heart breaks for the lack of kindness that he’s been shown in his life. Episode 4 was really heartbreaking. I know that survival is tough and some people act irrationally when they’re hungry (I expect that after a few days without food, I’d turn into an A+ b!tch), but the treatment Shane is receiving is ugly. I hope that EJ and Jeff welcome him into their friendship.

      • Mean spirited people always identify themselves as nasty regardless of gender. I do not like them male or female.

      • Kellie, I appreciate your column on this show and your take on each episode. Is there a way you might be able to set up a “like” and “dislike” button for each post? There are many posts that are outstanding observations on each individuals actions on the show. Thanks….

  6. Please, PLEASE do not have Honora return for any more episodes. This show has enough interest without adding a drummed up antagonistic element to it. This show is about true survival in nature and is near the border of looking like The Kardashians, Real Housewives, and The Bachelorette series. C’mon folks, the gal has no survival skills what so ever, and it is a disservice to think we as viewers NEED to have her on there. In a true survival situation she would have most likely been abandoned or giving the choice of cutting the b.s. or sacrificing the chance to survive. There are plenty of kick ass women who get it done, how about giving us someone who is on par with what this show is about.

  7. Kellie,
    Shane is making the same mistake he made in his 21 day challenge; he is working himself to exhaustion on shelter building and wood gathering. Let his partners do this and maybe we can see them doing something. He needs to spend more time scouting for food sources and making a serviceable spear and throwing stick (club), setting snares etc. The problem he is having with his bow is with the arrows which are crooked (he can make an arrow straightener from a piece of wood with a round hole), the arrows have no points or fletching (weight forward and rear drag to keep the arrow flying true to aim). Shane has all these skills and needs to focus on priorities and forget his partners “approval.”

        • The previews of tonight’s episode bear me out.

          On his own, Shane STILL can’t hunt worth a damn whereas Alana, who is doing just fine fishing on her own.

          And I’m sure Shane’s decision to switch to a spear over a bow and arrow has nothing to do with Dani Beau’s comments on her Facebook page that she was the one making arrows for Shane because he had no fletchery skills.

          • I agree with Matt, Alana is just bullying Shane because he’s trying to be nice. Like Matt said, Shane STILL can’t hunt, so he returns to his group for help (after Alana chose to already eat without him (after she already set free a turtle)), and she again ridicules him. How can a guy be that nice to someone treating them so poorly? I couldn’t do it, Shane is a better man than I am. Alana had a fire starter in Fiji and couldn’t boil water. Keith should have let that sea krait bite her and we wouldn’t have to listen to her b**tch again. I’d pick Shane over Alana any day of the week, she is easily the most hated person on this show.

  8. Honora was just useless. She was useless in Brazil and she was more useless on XL. All she did was wine. The two guys (in her group) were very understanding but in the REAL WORLD, she would have gotten her a_ _ beat for throwing the guys survival tools in the river.
    One thing I don’t understand is NOT ONE GROUP TOOK A MINUTE TO VISUALLY SURVEY THEIR LOCATION. That should have been the “first” thing at least one person of each group should have done.
    The women in Shane’s group are also useless. I remember them both on previous Naked and Afraid episodes where they just laid around waiting on day 21. Useless. Shane is a hunter. Plain and simple. He should have been in the alpha male group of Jeff, Hakim and EJ. Since Hakim is gone, maybe Shane will find his way to the alpha male group. There he will shine.
    Do any of the survivalists know that termites can help keep mosquitoes off you? They are everywhere in South America. Just take a hand full; rub them on you and there, you have a natural mosquito barrier on your skin (something I learned at age 10).
    To sum up, there are some survivalists who should not have been asked back for this challenge (especially some of the women). I have the upmost respect for the alpha female Laura.
    You don’t have to have military training. Just common sense and the respect of your environment to be on this program. As EJ says, “THIS IS NO JOKE”.

    • I like your common sense comment about orienting yourself to the surroundings. This applies to not only the outdoors but just driving around the city. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you are and where you want to go. All simple common sense.

      • I think EJ was the only person who oriented himself; he climbed to the highest point immediately and that’s how his teammates found him.

        • In fairness, most of the land looks like flat open plains. EJ and his team were in the one place that had elevated ground to go to.

    • Shane? A hunter? Bah. It is a poor hunter who blames his weapons for his failures. And Shane can do nothing but blame others for his failures. If he was such a great hunter, how could he not manage to catch turtles when the “lazy” Alana managed it? 😉

      • Odd, I’ve been watching every episode of Naked and Afraid as well as intently watching XL and I’ve never heard Shane blame anyone for his hunting failures. Please enlighten us.

    • Honora is whiny and useless brat…but Jeff is also whiny. He was condescending toward her from day one and whined about nobody ‘riding his coat tails’. He never gave her a chance. He contributed greatly to the messy dynamics within the group.

  9. A frivolous question. How can these men and women survive without coffee or tea? I will not leave the house without my 2 cups of coffee (only 2 per day). Maybe caffeine withdrawal accounts for some of the bizarre behavior we see. LOL

  10. Kellie thanks for the review. I try to keep in mind that N&A XL is a TV show and I don’t personalize it as so many fan comments seem to indicate they do. I do have impressions that: EJ and Jeff think they can overpower nature; Laura and Eva are buddies and Dani J feels left and explores and had a good time with “the guys;” Dani J appears to be a very real person; Chris and Luke are beginning to prosper without the distracting anchor (Honora); Shane is still in self pity but is doing most of the work while the hyper critical Alana and the perpetual patronizing smiling Dani B reflect their attitude of superiority and wait on us.

    • Dani B. has commented – both on Twitter and on Facebook – that the show’s editing is doing a disservice to Alana and herself, making it look like they just lay around when the truth is they were limiting their activity to the cooler parts of the day while Shane was walking around all day cutting trees down.

      https://www.facebook.com/xDaniBeau/posts/1023218217697890

      Kellie is right, though. Smart survival makes for dull television. Better to emphasize the wannabe Tarzan as he struts around than to look at the women who know what they are doing as they boil water, harvested food, made cordage… ryv.

        • Nor does it change the fact that Shane’s wood-cutting was destroying their natural shelter and exposing them to greater heat needlessly.

          • I didn’t say anything about Shane. I was only referring to Dani B and she spoke like that in her talking heads and during her original episode. Not just towards Shane.

          • BS, Shane was working to “make a shelter” which provides both shade from the sun and cover from the rain as well as cover for their fire. Try again.

      • I don’t think think condescension can be created through editing. Both women are very condescending. And the one that set the turtle free was selfish, on top of lazy.

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