At the end of last week’s episode of Naked and Afraid XL, Jeff, EJ and Shane’s slumber was disrupted by a late-night visitor. The show’s producers aren’t sure if it was a jaguarundi or a crab-eating fox, but either way, that is a gato no bueno.
In this week’s episode, we rejoin the alpha male tribe moments after the growl woke them. I’m guessing this is the last sleep they’ll get tonight. If it was me, I may never sleep again.
Early in the morning, Alana and Danielle move closer to the extraction point —and what do you know, they’re heading where everyone else is: Piranha Lake!
Danielle is leaving a fruit and cashew-rich area in order to be closer to the extraction point while she still has the energy for such a strenuous hike. I think this could be a misstep for her. She has seemingly found the one area of the ecosystem that can support a vegetarian like herself; the other groups moves because a lack of protein and she isn’t willing to eat the animals that seem plentiful at Piranha Lake.
Once the sun is up, Shane, EJ and Jeff check out the giant paw prints left behind by last night’s’ visitor. And they are gigantic! Maybe they should consider putting a “wall of sticks”/ branches around their sleeping platform, like they do in Africa to deter lions?
The group of five — Eva, Laura, Dani Luke and Chris — have set up a temporary camp about a 1/4 mile away from the three men. They’ve finished the last of their dried mangos, and are read to hunt for food, and build themselves a more permanent shelter.
Even though Shane has eaten protein, she still so dehydrated that his body isn’t working correctly. He should spend a day being committed to rehydrating or he’s going to end up leaving!
While Jeff shows the group around the area, Chris sees two eels. The team makes a plan “I’m ready to get shocked,” says Luke, as he uses his arm to make a mini-wall to try to keep the eel in a small pool of water. It isn’t long before he’s shocked, stunned and the eel escapes. “You don’t play patty-cake with an electric eel,” laughs EJ, who has been watching from the shore.
Danielle and Alana are still trudging across the sweltering Savannah. It is a long, hot walk and before long, they find the group of 5 who welcome them into their group. Shane isn’t thrilled to see his former teammates, but Alana and Danielle are excited to work with others.
Once the three men join the group for a pow-wow, they decide that they want to remain a three person team, leave the group and start building their shelter. Shane is still so dehydrated that he’s soon spent. Seriously dude, lie in the shade for a day. Man the fire. Boil some water. There is no shame in taking a sick day.
That night, while the mega group site around their fire, a snake literally pops out of the ground under Chris’ butt! Chris isn’t nearly as freaked out as I would be; but he sees a meal, whereas I’d only see a fanny-snake. In a matter of minutes, the snake is shish-kabobed and everyone (but Danielle) enjoys a bedtime snack.
The group of 7 starts making their massive shelter. Over in the men’s camp, they’re busy chopping down trees while the larger group uses the resources on the forest floor. “Different strokes for different folks,” figures Luke. Over in Man-land, Shane is still hurting. Water is the main problem for all of the survivalists, or rather, a lack of water. There simply enough water. Every mouthful requires collection, boiling and cooling. it’s a long process that never nets enough to leave anyone feeling quenched. Shane is so desperate for water that he has dug a well and volunteers to drink fro it first. It’s selfless and Shane probably figures as the team’s weakest member, he’s one foot out the door anyway.
Day 28 night
Shane is actually feeling pretty well and Jeff expresses gratitude at his friend’s arrival in camp.
Jeff prays over the fire and miraculously, Shane is still feeling well after drinking the water for a few days. I hope he’s turned a corner! Jeff takes a tentative taste and think it’s delicious. EJ follows suit.
The large group tries to catch fish in Dani’s mosquito net while Jeff watches. He simply drops his fishing line into the water and pulls out a fish. He makes it look easy, but he’s also had times when his hook has come up empty. Very clever editing, TV makers!
Eva sees a snake in a tree and the group tries to coax out the slithering beast. “Now they’re shaking bushes, like a couple of monkeys,” laughs EJ with a grin.
I’m sure if the producers could add tuba music to this scene, they would, but instead they highlight the idiocy of the moment with string music.
Jeff has kept fishing and catches and eel to go along with his fish. I think he may have yanked the beast out of the water with just his fishing line. Jeff shares his eel with the other group. Danielle is town because she doesn’t want to have to ean an animal to survive.
The XRL continues to be a useless and arbitrary measurement which is supposed to measure the teams’ “Progress, Skill and Teamwork.” That’s like measuring the survivalists “Fun, Stink, and Pain.” I could throw a dart at a board and come up with equally random numbers. Or roll a 20-sided dice. Anyway, here are some random numbers.
The Alpha Males, EJ, Jeff and Shane have enjoyed a massive amount of protein and have potable freshwater, but Shane isn’t feeling well so their score has dipped from 8.5 to 8.4 out of 10.0
Danielle and Alana — who previously measured a 6.0 out of 10 have merged with “Team Nuts and Butts'” 7.5 to become a super team with a super-bogus score of 7.2 out of 10.0.
That night, nine of the 10 survivalists feast on meat. Danielle sits and watches.
Danielle is hungry and sets out along the lagoon looking for new food. Alana and Danielle see Shane passed out along the water’s edge. And they walk away, unconcerned.
EJ comes to bring Shane some food and sees that he’s just not getting better. Shane drags himself to his partners and tells them that it’s time for him to tap out. He is grateful for for amazing experience that he’s had with Jeff and EJ, but doesn’t want to risk his health or their success. “Brothers for Life,” promises EJ. And with that, Shane is gone.
EJ and Jeff let the rest of the group know that Shane has left. Before he leaves, Shane says, “I am tapping out because I am an alpha male, I am the alpha male.”
Shane is a strange bird, but I’m sad to be him leave. I wouldn’t want him as my survival partner because I don’t think I could trust him to not kill me, but he’s a heck of a hard worker, to his own detriment. I am glad that he found a few good friends, and hope that the issues that he had with his teammates was more the result of clever editing and TV “Manufactured storytelling,” and he, Alana and Danielle were able to leave this experience as friends. I’m not sure if would have had the courage to tap out.
Eva and Laura Show How to Make Fire
A few weeks ago, Alana said, “Survival is lazy.” I agree that in a true survival situation, you should conserve. But Naked and Afraid, (particularly Naked and Afraid XL) isn’t about waiting passively for rescue, this is about conquering an environment and I’d like to offer an alternative statement, “Survival is patience.” In order to be successful, you have to wait for opportunities, and be smart about how, when and where you expend energy.
Below, Eva and Laura show that making a fire with a bow drill requires so much more patience than I would have ever thought necessary. It makes me want to try this method! And if you want to apply to be on Naked and Afraid, this is a must-watch, must-imitate, must-master video.
Other Naked and Afraid XL recaps
Naked and Afraid XL Episode 8 “40 Days Filth and Fury”
Naked and Afraid XL Episode 7 “40 Days Falling Apart”
Naked and Afraid XL Episode 6 “40 Days Sacrifice”
Naked and Afraid XL Episode 5 “40 Days Death Match”
Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4 “40 Days Jungle Rich”
Naked and Afraid XL Episode 3 “Snake in the Grass”
Naked and Afraid XL Episode 2 “40 Days, No Escape”
Naked and Afraid XL Episode 1
Discovery announces new series, Naked and Afraid XL
Naked and Afraid Casting Secrets
How to get on Naked and Afraid
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