Recap: Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 7: “40 Days Falling Apart”

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 7 Kellie Freeze

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 7Last week, we big adieu to strange and endearing survivalist Shane as he tapped out after 30 days of emotion abuse at the hands of his teammates Alana and Danielle and the physical affects of starvation. It’ll be interesting to see if Alana and Danielle become nicer people now that the object of their ridicule is gone, or if the bad girls turn their venom on someone else.

Hunger turns grasshoppers and spiders into breakfast, and elevates an eel into a crave-able food alongside a cheeseburger.

The survivalists have been in Colombia for 30 days, which is 29 days and 23 hours longer than I would have lasted. I would have been done-in by a thorn in the foot. Speaking of thorns, I spent the weekend at my family’s cabin and I had to remove over a dozen splinters from my two boys’ feet after they walked on the old wood deck and dock barefoot. You would have thought I was chopping off their legs based on the screeching. At one point, my six-year-old son cried, “It feels like you are torturing me!”

Splinters are no fun. I also spent several frantic minutes searching for both Chapstick and a nail file this weekend, which makes me very aware of the many small irritations that the survivalists on Naked and Afraid XL are putting up with in addition to the obvious discomforts of being cold, thirsty, hungry and bug-eaten. My N&A experience would basically be a montage of me trying to file my nails, forge sunglasses, pick thorns out of my feet, wash my hands, and maybe trying to brush my teeth with something. But I would be awesome at getting firewood and getting eaten by bugs.

Oh, and let’s talk about bug bites!!! This weekend, I helped trim a few gnarly, old apple trees and I have a cluster of about a dozen bites on my shoulder that are insanely itchy. My neck and shoulder looks like hamburger because as much as I know that I shouldn’t itch, I can’t stop myself. They are added to the 40 other mosquito and bug bites that I earned at the lake (It’s a pretty rustic place), so if I ever had the amount of bites that some of the N&A people have gotten, I’d tap out for that reason too.

Day 31
EJ rocks Shane’s bow and heads into the scrub in search of food. Now that 7 more people inhabit their hunting grounds, they need to hunt farther and farther afield. Those two men have a great strategy of hunting early, and hunting often.

Team “Jungle riches” is subsisting on grasshoppers, locusts and tarantulas for food. “Tastes like burnt popcorn,” says Alana. Dani is enjoying two roasted cashews for breakfast, but I’d consider her teammate’s brekkie, “cash-eeew.”

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 7
For Dani, one is the loneliest number.

Dani goes on another savannah walkabout, which her teammates resent. Dani isn’t a social butterfly, and would rather be alone. I remember that about her from her first Naked and Afraid experience. If she were able to find some food for her teammates, perhaps they’d be a little more forgiving.

The rest of her team heads out at 11:30 in search of food. Laura grabs a lizard by hand (like a boss!), but 1/7 of a lizard isn’t a meal for seven people, so they keep hunting en masse.

They sees a stingray and uses teamwork to stalk it. Alana ungracefully pounces on it and the redheaded assassin isn’t lethal. Laura’s aim is true, but her blow isn’t lethal either. Chris delivers the ultimate blow and after they BBQ the meat, lunch is served.

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 7
Is this the Mega-group’s motto, “Won’t share, Don’t care”?

The evil 7 decided not to share their food with the two men in the other camp. Which turns awkward when EJ strolls into camp as they’re smacking their lips over their mid-day meal.

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 7
That awkward moment when your secret meat isn’t so secret anymore.

EJ returns to camp empty handed and he and Jeff are rightfully miffed that the other group isn’t willing to share with them when they’ve shared two eels. They think that hunger is showing the others’ true colors.

Day 32
As soon as Dani leaves camp to get water for the camp, the rest of the group bags on her. She hasn’t been putting wood on the fire during the night. Dani comes back to the group and apologizes for not putting in the work that her group perceives that she isn’t doing. Quickly, her apology turns into everyone staging an intervention, telling her that they don’t trust her. Dani takes their abuse and promises to be a part of the team.

Over in his camp, Jeff promises, “I will keep another eel before I leave here on Day 40. That’s a fact.” It’s a bold claim, but Jeff has the hunting chops to deliver.

Eva finds a dead squirrel on the forest floor. She brings it back to everyone to decide if it’s food or not food. My non-hungry body is screaming, “road kill is not food!” Because of — you know — rabies and Hantavirus. But they are hungry and food is food. They figure that as long as they don’t eat the brain and spinal column. Oh, Luke is eating the spinal cord? Nice. If he starts foaming at the mouth, use your machete in defense.

That night, Dani reveals that she may want to go solo.

Day 33
The next morning, Dani walks over to EJ and Jeff’s camp. She’s interested in a change of pace. And team. She’s tired of trying to survive her group’s drama. Jeff and EJ don’t want to add a third to their group, but they offer Dani their support. So they have her back, but don’t have her back enough to let her live in their camp. Why were they so willing to remove Shane from a difficult situation and not Dani?

Jeff spies a 6-foot caiman and tries to use Shane’s bow. And misses. But he’s not discouraged “I’m gonna find something, and shoot it in his face.”

Jeff sees another eel in his favorite hunting ground. And spears that mama jamma right through the head. Since Jeff can’t do anything silently, his guttural screams alert the other 7 survivalists who come to offer him aid. He gives Chris a “Nah, bro, I’m good” vibe. Touché.

Yeah baby! This is what I live for! This is what I live for right now!” screams Jeff. He totally sounded like Macho Man Randy Savage.

“Take that Colombia! Raaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!”

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 7
Jeff is the epitome of a good man.

Jeff dons the eel like vestments and offers a prayer of thanksgiving and decides to share it with those who previously would not share with him. He is truly the bigger man. He comes into their camp like a champion and offers to share. And he apologizes to Chris for turning away his help. Again, Jeff is loud, but totally classy. I hope Jeff’s grace makes the other survivalists realize what schmucks they are. While they hoard their bites of food, Jeff and EJ continue to share their bounty. When EJ discovers the reason for the festive mood, he and Jeff share a few manly yells.

Luke says to Jeff “I wish I could repay you, but I don’t know how.” Um, naked broga, anyone?

Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 7
Proof that Danielle and Alana are terrible linguists and terrible people.

Danielle, Alana and Eva start calling plotting against Dani. Danielle says she hates that she and Dani share a name. She and Alana hope that she’ll tap out. Then they joke that she and Shane should have been paired together. By the editing, it appears that Dani may have overheard them. That night, Dani confronts the group. And instead of apologizing for being jerks, they basically say that they don’t care about her and that they’re “over her.”

XLR
EJ and Jeff are thriving as a duo, and their rating rises from 8.4 to 8.5 out of 10.0.
The mega group of Dani, Eva, Laura, Chris, Luke, Alana and Danielle is eking out bits and bites of food, but they are acting like jerks, so their rating slips from 7.2 to 7.1 out of 10.0.
Jeff perfectly sums up the drama in the other camp “Drama is erupting. You get one giant group of people, you all start starving and surviving together and all that creates is a big pot of crap. And I’m so glad that I’m not swimming around in that big pot of crap right now.” Me too buddy. When you act like crap, and you treat people crappily, you start to smell.

Day 34
Dani has spent the night alone. And she decides that it’s time to tap out. She wasn’t prepared for the mental torture that she faced at the hands of those who were supposed to be her teammates. Before she left, she saves a frog who was being eaten by a snake. It’s a fitting metaphor for her experience. “That’s the way that nature works, eat or be eaten.” I wonder if her former teammates are filled with shame when they watch this.

 

Other Naked and Afraid XL recaps
Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 6: “40 Days Sacrifice”
Naked and Afraid XL, Episode 5: “4o Days Death March”
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 Channel Announces Naked and Afraid XL
Casting Director reveals how to get on Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid Casting Secrets.

73 Comments

  1. E.J., and the Sarge,..made a BAD nistake,..in constructing a raft that was NOT /Dynamic’,..(meaning, it was big & ‘square’,..enabling the water/current to push it off course MORE than EASILY!

    That’s why the OTHER TEAM was recused first,…despite the ‘ALpha teams’s ‘s.,,.stupid ‘Machismo’s’!!

  2. I can’t wait til tonight’s episode (Sun Aug 30th). Let’s see if team Tatooed canthuntorfish, consisting of Mr. CantCounsil, Mr. Babesmasher, Ms. Viper and her tatooed tootsies can reach the extraction point before team Screaming Mimi’s consisting of Sgt. bone Crusher and the eel killer. Let’s see if they can do it without bad mouthing Shane and Dani J. or telling us how “Spiritual” eel killer was to share with them. Actually I can’t wait for this back biting, skill less posers marathon to be over. It was very interesting at first until you realize none of them can build an adequate shelter nor start a fire without being supplied with tools. None of them ever caught anything but Lizards, insects and Turtles that they couldn’t manage to eat. The screaming Mormon managed to stab 3 slow moving and blind eels, wowee but that’s about it. Nobody ever made an arrowhead nor an effective arrow though Shane made what looks to be a serviceable bow, not sure of it’s strength. Maybe next season they can have anybody that comes close to Dual Survival’s Matt Graham or even hippy Cody Lundin. Nobody has ever come close to the kind of skill that Ed Stafford of Marooned who survives 30 days with no clothes and zero tools either has. Now that’s exciting to watch. N&A, drama queens except for a very small couple of pairings but still lousy hunting skills, pathetic shelter building and sad fire making. We’ll see what “Episode 8” brings to the table but I’m not expecting much.

    • Agree! I really enjoyed your prose and descriptions of the “superheroes.” The maligned and abused Shane and Dani J. actually made “Gypsy wells.” Dani J made a healing ointment. Paired together, Dani J. and Shane would have been the boss team.

  3. Has anyone else noticed, the arrogant participants who make mistakes and do not take responsibility for them. It is always the “edit” that made them look bad. So they become liars as well as incompetent.

    • Disagrees that the ‘edit’ makes them look bad.

      They ARE ALL BAD,…regardless of edits, if you pay attention.

      NO ONE finishing this challenge deserves it!

      They were ALL ‘Out for ‘themselves’!

      The ‘Nice Guys,…’finished last/got out!’!

      • You know Craig, I think I agree with you. There are none left that I respect. There’s only two camps left; Camp Sarge with the Neanderthal and the Tattoo Brigade with all the losers that can’t hunt and can’t fish. What’s to watch? More back biting? More whining? More “YAH BABY THIS IS WHAT I’M HERE FOR!” assuming he means to kill eels because he hasn’t done much else. Is this what they revert to when they lose their magic underwear?

        • KenO=

          I agree with you,..in that, the ONLY person I like, is the ‘Sarge’ (if that is the partner of the pair that got all those eels.

          But,..i they should have taken Dani in,..& even if she she all of DEAD,..& they had to carry her on their backs,..they could have finished the challenge,..which I know they are going to!.
          They needed to be ‘Compassionate’,. Rather than ‘BADASS’,..which I hate!
          They were doing so well!

          • Craig, going into the last two episodes Sarge and Laura were my favorites. What a team they were in the regular N&A episode. However I’ve since changed my mind on both of them. Laura for joining the evil girls and dragging Eva with here and Sarge for not leading his team and reining in Jeff’s screaming and rewarding the bad behavior of team useless. I agree that Sarge should have taken in Dani that he didn’t proves the lie to his stating that he hates bullies. He’s shown himself to be a crass misogynist and someone who won’t stand up to bullies but just hangs his head.

      • Thank you Craig and KenO, I was beginning to think I was alone in my disgust with ALL of the remaining “survivors.”

      • Sorry Craig, I did not make my statement clear enough. I should have stated that they “blame the edit for their clear lack of character.” They always make excuses for their clear and abundant failures.

        • Acknowledged,..and, I even more agree with you.

          Tonight’s ‘finale’,..will be bittersweet,….but, hope to see Shane, & Dani back (sure bet that it’ll happen, I think), in the future.

          The Producers of the show would be dumb NOT to have them back.

  4. I couldn’t help but respond to what is being said. When Laura and I believe it was Eva were talking about Dani and Laura said she didn’t trust Dani I wish she would just leave I grabbed my chest in disbelief. I really thought Laura was a better person then that. It’s a damn far cry from not putting wood on a fire to actually saying I don’t trust her. Dani has went through alot, she didn’t need that from Laura. I DON’T TRUST HER. Laura has became as big of a loosing bitch as Alana. I believe I was watching the same episode when Dani did come over to E J and Jeff’s camp to ask for help and let them know what was going on next door and I heard Jeff’s words were NO we will try to help you in anyway we can but we are doing fine and don’t need all the drama. That’s a no in anybodies book.

    • Very well put. Jeff, for all his blustering about how spiritual he is and how Godly he is he only shares his food to get praise from the girly group. His ego is what drives him to scream and practically beat his chest about what a great hunter he is. All you have to do to spear a giant eel is sit by the shallows and wait until one of them comes lumbering by, not much to it. Then scream “YAH BABY” over and over again like a 12 year old. It was even getting old over in the camp he was feeding. If he was so spiritual why didn’t he help Dani out? He’s a jerk, never thought much of him the first time and he’s still a screamer. “Hey look at me I killed a creature”, not impressed.

      • If catching an eel was so easy why hasn’t the other team been able to do it. Jeff was wrong to turn away Dani but at the same time. Both EJ and Jeff have been very vocal about staying a 2 person group.

        • The gang of 6 are too lazy to take any risks. They have the “let someone else do it” attitude.

        • Catching an eel is that easy, all you have to do is have patience, doesn’t require any special skill. The others are just too lazy and self-centered preferring to sit around gossiping and back biting to do any real hunting or fishing.

        • Elizabeth and KenO. Old fishing trick. if you recall that when catching the second and third eel, Jeff made little splashing sounds in the edge of the water. The large predator fish are attracted to the vibrations because it resembles a small animal or frog that has fallen into the water. The second eel was attracted and grabbed Jeff’s baited hook. The third eel swam slowly to investigate and got within spear range and Jeff nailed it. The trick works in quiet water and requires patience and quiet. I was taught this by a great uncle (Choctaw) and used it as an 8yo farm boy to bring home large mouth bass and catfish to my beloved Grandparents. It also works for northern pike but be careful you don’t lose and fingers!

          • If she was a guy “Sarge” would have counseled her for three days, determined that he didn’t know the full story because he “wasn’t there” and would have turned him away, seeing as how it worked so well with Dani J.

      • I agree!

        This CONSTANT, mostly (but NOT exclusively ‘habit’, of ‘yelling your lungs out’,…MACHO thing (again,..NOT limited to males),…makes me SICK!

        Not only, does it demonstrate a lack of compassion, for the creatures killed (& ALL, jus for a measly TV show,,…..&,..NOT for ACTUAL SURVIVAL,…YET!,…but it also show a STUPIDIDITY in ‘ENERGY USE’,..of people that are ‘SOPPOSEDLY’,…at ENERGY LIMITS!!!

        • PS= I was and AM , on Shane’s side,..BUT he kept up BURNING his energy,..as mentioned,..by continuously exclaiming how “Bad Ass”, he was (which, was not true, cause he,…..let’s be real folks,..failed!

    • Dianne,
      We live and learn don’t we? Some of those we thought highly of have fallen off their pedestals and exposed their character flaws and are now just nasty people and politicians. The weakest of them blame the “edit” and say the producers show clips that make them look bad. They must think we are stupid and can ignore the reality that if they don’t do it or say it there would be no “bad” clip available to be shown. At least, Alana and Danielle B. (nasty and condescending) are running true to form shown it their previous 21 day challenges and I call them the viper twins. The “alpha males” are entirely ego driven but have 2 epic fails: they failed Hakkim at the beginning and Dani J. in episode 7. Elsewhere in these postings are links to their excuses, bullying tactics and outright lies. “Alpha Males” I don’t think so. The rest of them are now the “gang of 6.”
      The heroes are the victims: Shane and Dani J.

      • I couldn’t agree any more,..as you said everything I was thinking, & have seen.
        Esp. about the Editing’ making the bad people look bad,..it just isn’t so!
        Even Danielle,, on her personal page (forgot if it’s facebook or twitter, etc.), claimed that,..& also claimed that Sane & her are good friends/show a picture as proof.
        I think she went to such trouble, ONLY, because she’s gotten deaths threats.
        Sad,, that all the bad ones are gonna be the ones to complete the challenge.

        They are ALL cold, out only for themselves, hateful and insensitive to anyone outside of their ‘Clique’.

    • I respect Sargent Major E. J. Snyder for his Service and thank him. He is now a civilian and MR. E. J. Snyder and is not doing well with the transition. He shows many less than desirable qualities. Especially when he becomes a bullying windbag. He has many exceptional qualities but is not the perfection he and many others think.

      • “Sarge” has the same trouble as many career military men have. They have been consumed with the “warrior” mentality and feel that everything is a ‘fight’. You can’t ‘fight’ mother nature, it just won’t work. You can find that ‘sarge’ has a website, http://www.ejsnyder.com/, and is selling a copy of the knife he’s used on N&A called “Skullcrushers extreme blade” and it’s only $240.00, wow. Meanwhile Cody Lundin has used a $15.00 Mora knife, perfectly adequate survival knife if you don’t include chopping down trees. E.J. reminds me of Joe Teti on Dual Survival, always thinking in terms of combat. It’s like they’re stuck in a loop and there’s a “bad guy” behind every tree.

        • You are right on the money. Matt Graham a genuine hunter gatherer uses only a simple drop point knife. In one episode he used nothing but hands and wrists (his words). He made knives and scrapers from stone.
          When career military men retire, many of them cannot adjust to the loss of the military “caste” system. Those with ranks above E7 and O4 (Army) generally but not always, adopt the attitudes of 17th century European Nobility. They can do no wrong and bluster and bully away any criticism. Criticism is solved with; Off with their heads, or to the dungeon, or deport them to the Colonies.

    • Jeff during a Q&A on his FB page said that he and EJ did share their water from the well Shane dug with Dani and only Dani, because Shane would have wanted them to.

      • Wow, and they did it because “Shane wanted them to”. Now I’m really impressed with them, they couldn’t do it out of willingness to help her, compassion or sense of Team loyalty.

  5. In terms of the question, “Why were they so willing to remove Shane from a difficult situation and not Dani?”, I think a lot of people wonder what was different. I have not heard any explanation from E.J. or Jeff beyond what they said on screen — my interpretation of which is that they had formed a highly effective dyad and they didn’t want to bring drama into their group. As I recall, Jeff and E.J. were just as cautious about letting Shane join the team, before they got a glimpse of Alana undercutting him and his explanation of how that was a regular occurrence. I’m not surprised that they were again reluctant to expand their team.

    Had Dani J. showed a personality or energy level that was more compatible with the group, or had she couched her request in terms of “If I can’t change teams I’m going to have to tap out”, perhaps they would have offered to let her join them — but if it would simply amount to her sleeping at a different fire before going off each day to do her own thing, with their continuing to share their food with the larger group, it probably would not have been apparent that her changing teams would have a significant impact on her ability to complete the exercise. From what we saw on the show it was not their rejection over her overture that caused her to drop out — it was the backstabbing that occurred after she apologized to the big group and expressed that she would try to be a better group member.

      • Aaron,
        Thanks. I am pleased to hear that Luke has some small; if belated, sense of conscience and decency.

      • Jeff,
        You & your partner should have told her that, when she went to you guys for help (even i could see, she was in very desparate emotional need).

    • Here’s what EJ has to say when responding to a rather negatively put similar question:
      “Honestly Dude, you are only seeing what they want you to see. I tried helping Dani for three days to cope and be there for her. Most of what was going on was happening away from me, so by the time I heard about it all, Dani was moving forward with her decision. I was the one she chose to tell that she was leaving and wasn’t happy about it. I also was not there with that group to know both sides of what was going on or all events that led up to this. So…
      1. I hate bullies as a victim of bullying.
      2. DO NOT Question me about where I stand on the issue !
      3. You do not know what I do in my community about it cause you have NO CLUE obviously, or you wouldn’t be questioning me.
      4. I will continue to stand up for the little guy and against bullying the rest of my days!
      Enough said….seriously folks…please do your homework before you make assumptions!”

      • KenO,
        Now you can see why I have great respect for Sarge and was bewildered by what we were being shown. Sarge is a carbon copy of the SGM’s I knew in the Service. They always took care of “their” men (no females in those days). They still scared the s–t out of us. Your “Gunny” was probably the same way.

        • I too have great respect for the man and you are correct our Master Gunnery Sgt’s commanded the same, if not more, respect. However note the inconsistencies in Sarge’s comments. He states that he counseled Dani for three days, yet he also states he “was not there with that group to know both sides” so obviously during his “three days” of counseling he didn’t believe her. He “hates bullies” but yet he distinctly bullies any of those that might question him. This is typical military behavior, bluster and shout down subordinates. Notice, as well, how the dynamics of their dynamic duo has changed now that Jeff has made all three kills. I agree, as well, that the very first “survival” decision they made was wrong. In a climate that hot you first hydrate before prolonged physical effort. Choosing to build a large shelter prior to securing water was poor judgement.

          • Thanks. Personally, I would not have needed to hear “both sides.” A distraught woman before me asking for help would be all I would need to know to take her in. Dani wasn’t asking them to go kill the other group, she just wanted refuge. I detect excuses. I have an incurable Sir Galahad streak and do not apologize for it.

          • KenO, Your perceptions are astute and pointed. It was a “no brainer” that Hakkim needed water and not demonstrations of sympathy. They did not take immediate action to find water. Hakkim would have been safe alone with a member of the production crew. Dani got lectures on “we have a good thing here” and we “don’t want drama.” Both incidents were epic fails for the Alpha Males and no excuses will make them go away. My Choctaw Grandmother once told me the greatest warriors were those who dedicated themselves to helping the weaker.

          • J.C., mythoughts exactly. Who needs to know both sides when the injured party is right in front of you? Also I love American Indian philosophy as my wife and I were Indian hobbyists for many years.

          • I agree with JC. True strength is shown by helping those weaker or in need. Dani was clearly in need and the Alpha groups failure to offer support is a failure on their part.

  6. Kellie,
    There was no mention of what was happening to Dani during the home invasion and murder of her roommate and best friend. I do not want to know or would not pry, I can only imagine the trauma she experienced.

  7. It’s very hard for me to see Laura, being reduced to a “follower”. She is the ALPHA female in “the gang of seven” and is being underutilized.
    On day 32, food has become a necessity. The eel that Jeff caught was large enough to share but seeing how “the gang of seven” didn’t want to share their “meager” catch with the ALPHA MALES made it quite clear they were selfish. My hat is off to Jeff who caught another eel and DID SHARE it with “the gang of seven”.
    Once again, the NOTHING in “the gang of seven” (Lana), is at it again. She has successfully voiced her DISLIKE for Dani and Dani over heard her. Knowing that the ALPHA MALES don’t want to be a trio and the “gang of seven” don’t care very much about her, she decided to TAP-OUT. Good luck, Dani. Hope to see you again on another adventure of NAKED AND AFRAID. Now, you have “the gang of six” and the ALPHA MALES.

    • David,
      I too had some favorable before the fact opinions of some of the people and as the show progressed I realized I was completely WRONG about Chris, Laura and Luke. Live and learn.
      Sarge is still hanging in there.

    • Although it didn’t make the final cut, I have heard that Luke gave part of his personal share of the sting ray to Jeff and E.J., which is not even close to their receiving an equal share but would have been a nice gesture.

      Part of the problem with the “group of seven” is that they are worn down by hunger and fatigue. When I think about how patient Luke could be with Honora, it’s unfortunate that he was not able to bring out his counseling experience and a to show a bit more patience with Dani J. — who was simply having difficulty integrating into a group, and was not out to harm or sabotage any other team member. At this point, the big group seems to have in many senses reverted to junior high school behavior, but that’s not entirely surprising given their prolonged physical and emotional stress and hunger.

      Had they wanted Dani J. to attend the fire at night and she was not waking up, an obvious solution would be for her to take the first shift. If she wanted to maintain solitary activities during the day, they could have discussed what she might do on her sojourns that would increase her productivity for the team even if she was not present for their group hunting activities.

      • Coulda shouda woulda. What team productivity are you talking about? They are living by leaching off Jeff and Sarge. Where have you heard your special information and who is your secret source? David made a clear thinking post, yours is obfuscation often practiced by lawyers.

      • Personally I feel better knowing there is someone on the gang of six that has some small level of decency left. Thank you for the information.

      • Had they wanted Dani J. to be the fire watch they should have assigned it to her, it’s not clear that they did though they seem to have expected it. They didn’t seem to have any systems in place for hunting, gathering or fire keeping.

    • Going back to this observation: “It’s very hard for me to see Laura, being reduced to a ‘follower’. She is the ALPHA female in ‘the gang of seven’ and is being underutilized.” My theory:

      When you look at the manner in which the teams were composed, it seems like the producers wanted to have two teams that would dominate their environment (Laura, Eva and Dani J; Jeff, Hakim and E.J.), and two other teams that would have a lot more drama.

      I think that the producers wanted the all-women team to demonstrate that women could dominate the environment and power through the forty days. I think that they underestimated the bond between Laura and Eva, and they did not anticipate either that Dani J. would take so long to find her team or would have a hard time feeling like she was part of the group, and I don’t think that they anticipated how those developments would result in a group dynamic that became less than ideal.

      I think that the producers anticipated considerable drama from the other groups. They knew from the prior shows that Shane would likely work hard to dominate the environment, and that Alana was likely to let him do the hard work while, in relative terms, she coasted. It was clear that there was a mismatch of personalities and approaches to survival within that pairing. Dani B’s vegetarianism could also be anticipated to add some drama, particularly if/when she found herself short of sources of protein. Having Shane paired with two women made it far less likely that he would find a like-minded partner, even if it was not anticipated that Dani would fall behind Alana.

      For Luke, Honora and Chris, you had a grouping that was almost certain to provide high drama. Honora didn’t complete her prior effort, her behavior was at times pretty dramatic, and some of her behavior at that time verged on self-sabotage. Pairing her with Chris, they would have known that they were all-but-certain to see sparks fly. Luke, the yoga-performing wilderness counselor, could have been anticipated to play the role of peacemaker.

      The editing of the show didn’t highlight the working dynamic between Laura and Eva prior to their joining the big group, but there did not appear to be any drama prior to their being joined by Dani J. I suspect that the editing underplays Laura’s performance prior to their joining the large group and that part of what we’re seeing within that context @30 days into the exercise is the result of fatigue. Laura is clearly capable of performing at a very high level, so it’s a shame to see the female “alpha” team becoming part of an unhealthy larger group dynamic rather than showing off the skills and the better sides of the personalities of its members.

      • Aaron,
        A comment on the Producers and other Hollywood types. They have only one mantra: MAKE MONEY FAST. They are often wrong but seldom in doubt.

  8. J.C.- If Dani was reeling from the trauma from the death of her friend, it makes me even more upset at her teammates, particularly Luke. He is someone who prides himself on being a wildlife therapist, yet failed three people with fragile emotional states. He failed Honora, Shane and now Dani, whom I bet are much closer to the temperamental teens that he works with on a daily basis than the rest of his strong-willed team. The “in it for me” mentalities of the teams is starting to get disgusting. I understand that completing the task is a personal goal for all of them, but I’d be much more proud of achieving the feat with all teammates intact, rather than culling those who aren’t 100%.

    • Thank you! A priori, I had expected much more of Luke, Laura and Chris. The character flaws came out. It is my fault for expecting too much of them. I wonder if the Producers removed all the knives from Dani J.’s back? Completing the challenge by trampling the rights of others is an empty victory. It is comforting to note that the “gang of 6” must live with themselves, that is punishment enough. The only “heroes” are Sarge, Jeff, Dani and Shane.

  9. Kellie, You may not have noticed but Dani mentioned a home invasion and the murder of her best friend before the insertion event. She had committed so she went on XL. She said “I hope I can make it.” Later she mentioned it on an uncensored version and the Producers showed a newspaper clipping. You and some others appear to think Dani was strange or weird; she was not she was still traumatized. Then she was left to wander alone for 4 days. Laura and Eva were friends outside the show (Eva called it “the survival community”) and Dani went looking for food and found Chris and Luke who had driven off the pitiful Honora. Dani returned to her group and eventually led them the camp of Chris and Luke. All was well, then they joined Sarge, Shane and Jeff at the lake and were joined by the viper twins. The gang of 6 formed and like a pack of wolves began to shun, laugh at, backbite and ridicule Dani. Chris is the male equivalent of Alana and Luke is a wimp who goes along to get along. All 6 of them are mean people and mean people suck. After Sarge and Jeff rejected her plea for help, she left the next day. Good for you Dani!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I do not know Dani or any of these people personally. I do not do Facebook or any other social media so everything I know about the show comes from the show, previews and the uncensored versions.

    • I watched Dani’s survival tactics when she was along for four days and believe me, SHE CAN TAKE CARE OF HERSELF. Kudos, Dani. Being somewhat distracted because what went on with her BEFORE coming on this challenge, she struggled to keep her head in the game. Kudos, Dani.

      • David, I concur, Dani J. was certainly competent and could have survived even without the help of Jeff and EJ. She was easily the sweetest and most competent woman on the show. Hated to see her tap out when it was oh so obvious she could have finished.

    • I think Honora has to own the circumstances that led to her leaving her team. Once Honora switched modes from team member to saboteur, there was really no choice but to exclude her from the group.

      • At the risk of engaging in hyperbole, Honora’s actions were bordering on homicidal if in fact the group had been isolated. She is untrustworthy and mentally unbalanced. I would imagine that if you are in a survival environment you need to have the mental strength and agility to be able to get along even with people that you don’t like for the sake of meeting the challenge.

        • Um, I think Honora didn’t have much choice in how she reacted. She was being attacked by two men, relentlessly and couldn’t physically fight back. She was weak emotionally before she ever came on the show and what the two men did to her was inflict intentional distress on her. Had she been a male she would have called them out either directly like “Lay off or I’ll kick your ass into next week” or indirectly by just leaving to be on his own depending on his level of skill. Honora couldn’t do that and was emotionally distraught. So, what did her “team mates” do? Help her? Nope, they continued to harass her. Not my idea of what real men do. Real men are like “We’re a team, one for all, all for one, we all make it to the end together, what can we do to help” not “what can we do to destroy a team mate.” Not impressed with ether of them.

          • No, she wasn’t being physically attacked, and she received considerable patience in light of some very bad behavior.

          • Agreed.

            Both of those guys seem to ‘look’ down’, on women.
            Can’t stand that hippy guy, & the other guy has a temper.
            They attacked her emotionally, 1st!

          • Aaron I never said she was physically attacked. She was attacked relentlessly even though it was obvious she was an emotional wreck. I also think that Luke and Chris need to own the circumstances that they created to destroy her even more.

          • Honora was the biggest piece of garbage, mentally unstable with many preconceived issues. She sabotaged the team and glad she tapped out. Big disgrace, “Un-honora-ble” ! The worst on that team by far.

    • We are fans of Sarge and Jeff, Shane, the Ninja (in his brief time there), Luke (in spite of his group circumstances we hold onto hope for him) and definitely fans of Dani’s. I think when all is said and done this wonderful group of good and solid characters was victorious; whether they lasted 1 day or 40 days, they are the true survivors.

Comments are closed.