This week, two new brave survivalists have accepted the challenge in Naked And Afraid “All or Nothing.” Their home for the next three weeks is West Nalaut, the Philippines. This tropical paradise is hella hot and humid hides many creepy-crawly (and deadly) secrets in its lush jungles including dengue fever-carrying mosquitos and the Philippine cobra, whose bite can kill a human in less than 30 minutes.
Let’s meet the chosen two…
Age: 38 years old
Current Residence: Monroe, Louisiana
Relationship Status: Married
Survival Skills: Hunting, Animal tracking, Primitive shelter building, Friction fire
My favorite thing about Jeremy? His discovery.com bio shows him hauling an awesome fish basket! And his intro video shows him making a friction fire with bamboo — awesome!! Could Jeremy be the first-ever N&A participant to be able to find a consistent food source? I hope so!
Beginning PSR 7.3 out of 10.0
Age: 26 years old
Occupation: Communications Student
Current Residence: San Francisco, CA
Relationship Status: Single
Survival Skills: Shelter construction, Plant identification, Botany
Cassidy’s discovery bio points to a variety of outdoorsy pursuits and I appreciate that she seems confident in shelter building. And I love her dad’s pre-departure-dinner plea to cover up, “You can be afraid, but don’t be naked,” he implores. Good luck, Daddy’s surfer girl!
Cassidy’s Initial PSR 6.1 out of 10.0.
Jeremy isn’t thrilled to be naked in front of a woman who isn’t his wife, it sounds like they’ve been together since they were young teens. Cassidy likes being nude and is fine with anyone seeing her in the buff. But they’re both excited to meet, I’m sure the pre-insertion anticipation has kept them up for days!
Each survivalist was allowed one primitive survival item. Cassidy brought a pot; Jeremy brought a roll of snare wire. They were also given a knife.
From the get-go, Cassidy is thrilled by her “good-guy” partner, who wouldn’t be? He seems ego-free and a great team-player. Because of the heat, Jeremy and Cassidy make water a priority, but first they need to locate a camp. After a red ant encounter, they head to the island’s bay. Cassidy heads straight into the surf. The surfer girl is in her element, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the water baby’s legs turned into fins and she swam away! Jeremy’s plan is to sleep out under the stars, so shelter can wait while he starts the fire-making process.
Cassidy finds a damp patch of ground and suggests digging a well down to the water table while Jeremy tries to make fire. Once they have fire, they’ll hopefully have a ready water source, can boil water and enjoy a drink before bedtime. After Cassidy digs for a while, she deems the water too deep to keep digging that night. Jeremy’s genius friction fire method is thiiiiiis close to working on night one, but he’s too dehydrated to finish the job. And it’s pitch black, which definitely makes working with tiny coals a lot more challenging.
Jeremy wakes up thirsty. He and Cassidy head back to where Cassidy dug in the dark the night before. After three hours of digging, Jeremy is completely in the hole. After 4.5 hours of digging, they find gross-smelling water. “It’s like something died in that hole,” says Jeremy. They look forward to coming back later and hope to find the hole full of boilable water.
That night is a sleepless one for Cassidy who gets chewed by mosquitoes.
Cassidy is using mud to soothe her bug bites and act as sunscreen. And Jeremy tries to make fire again, and fails again. Cassidy wants to find green coconuts and encourages Jeremy to take a dip in the ocean and sit in the shade to cool down.
Cassidy returns with her tote chock-full of coconuts. It’s like an early Christmas for her thirsty partner.
“I was ready to blow dust out of my mouth,” says Jeremy.
“Oh man, I love coconuts so much!” Cassidy giggles after a refreshing drink.
But one of the coconuts is rotten and Jeremy barfs up what he’s just drunk.
Somehow, Jeremy has just enough energy to dig deep and makes fire like a champ. Woo Hoo! Then he and Cassidy race to their well to begin rehydrating.
That night, nature calls and they visit the jungle potty. Jeremy leads the way into the jungle with his partner and they encounter a Philippine cobra! Run away team! Luckily, it was cold enough that the snake was moving slowly and they flee before they get a deadly bite.
Their well has a visitor. A rat is enjoying a swim and even though the rogue bather has contaminated their water, they’re going to boil it anyway and hey— free food. Jeremy tosses the rat to his partner who chops it with the knife. Mmm, rat. Or in the words of former N&A survivalist Darrin, “Mmm, rat kabobs.”
Now that they’ve had some food and water, they build a rudimentary shelter. And go about the survival game for the next few days.
The water level is falling in their well. They’ll either need to dig deeper or find another source of water. The changing ocean tides are affecting their water source.
Cassidy suggests they make a well out of a banana tree. Once they chop the tree to a stump, water will still flow up the xylem and collect in the stump’s bowl. It works!
The Cali charmer promised her pops that she wouldn’t be au natural the entire time. Jeremy helps her fashion a coconut bra. “It’s cleavage enhancing!” she giggles.
Cassidy is grateful that Jeremy used his precious energy to help her clothe herself. But now that Cassidy’s technically “covered,” why is the show still blurring much of her upper body?
While Jeremy looks for food to hunt, Cassidy discovers two “Jungle Chicken” eggs. They boil water and when Justin opens the egg, they discover a gross surprise — one of the eggs has an embryo. eeew balut. It is a specialty in the Philippines, so when in Manilla… But Cassidy is too grossed out to eat the baby chick. I guess I would be too, but that’s just my full belly talking. “Hangry Kellie” might be willing to lower culinary standards.
The fire has gone out, their well is dry, and they’ve eaten a fetal chicken. Can things get any worse for Cassidy and Jeremy?
The bamboo tree well is no longer potable. A frustrated Cassidy says, “Nature is like a chess game. You make a move and then it makes a counter-move.”
Cassidy thinks she’s at her breaking point. Jeremy thinks he’s reached his end; and even though his wife encourages him not to tap out, and not to cry, but he looks ready to end the misery.
“I think this is the moment that defines true character,” says Jeremy. In a surprise move (the episode is almost up) Justin says he’s not ready to give up. His wife’s words echo in his head and he still have more to give to his partner and this experience.
He gives making fire one more go. “Make it hot!” his partner encourages him. And when Jeremy finally gets a coal, they rejoice. That night, the fire renews them.
Jeremy heads to the well for the first time in a few days. It’s bone dry. He dejectedly returns to camp and he and Cassidy decide to tap out. They leave, arm in arm, and even though they’ve failed in their survival situation, I think they’ve found lifelong friends in each other. I’d like to think that Cassidy will soon travel from Cali to Louisiana to meet Jeremy’s wife and family.
They were a great partnership and if they’d been able to find a consistent water source, I think they’ would have made it the full 21 days. They were a good team and I think the support that they showed each other demonstrates their greatest Naked and Afraid success — being good people.
The trip’s toll
Over 13 days, Jeremy lost 18 pounds and saw his PSR fall from 7.3 to 6.1 out of 10.0; while Cassidy lost 9 pounds and her PSR tumbled from 6.1 to 4.9 out of 10.0.
Next week, it’s the Naked and Afraid season finale, and also the premiere of a Naked and Afraid-type show called Men Women Wild premieres Nov. 11. I’m not sure how this series differs from a similarly-titles series that appeared on Discovery in 2010.
Other Naked and Afraid Episodes
Recap: Naked and Afraid: “The Swarm” Season 5, Episode 4
Recap: Naked and Afraid: “The Darkest Hour” Season 5, Episode 3
Recap: Naked and Afraid: “Fear the Unknown” Season 5, Episode 2
Recap: Naked and Afraid Season 5 Premiere “Foresaken”
Preview Clip from Naked and Afraid Season 5 premiere
Casting Director reveals how to get on Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid casting secrets
Naked and Afraid XL reunion “Dirty Dozen Returns”
All images © Discovery Communications