Last 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!!!”
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?
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.”
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.
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.