Recap Naked and Afraid Philippines “Contaminated”

Naked and Afraid Philippines Kellie Freeze
After only two weeks in a Philippine jungle and Karen has gone from "fifty and fit" to "scary skinny."

This week, Naked and Afraid is heading to the Philippines. And the promos promise a time that stinks. Literally. Let’s pinch our nones and dive in.

Naked and Afraid PhilippinesMatt Alexander
Age: 33 years old
Occupation: Self Employed Truck Driver / Leather Works and Knife Making
Current Residence: Jennings, Louisiana
Relationship Status: Single
Survival Skills: Hunting, Tracking
Matt was born and raised in Louisiana and spent his childhood in the woods, hunting and fishing. Matt’s a good ol’ boy with chauvinistic ideals and admits he hasn’t prepared much for the challenge.
He says, “I don’t get scared of nothing”
Matt’s Initial Primitive Survival Rating (PSR) 6.6 out of 10.0

Naked and Afraid PhilippinesKaren Coffee
Age: 51 years old
Occupation: Ata-home mom of 2
Current Residence: North Carolina
Relationship Status: Married
Survival Skills: Fishing, Hunting, Navigation, Shelter Building, Palm Weaving, Wild Game Preparation for Cooking
Karen grew up in New York and preferred spending time outdoors with her younger brother, making primitive shelters, looking for bugs to identify, fishing, hunting, and being active through sports. She learned navigation, boating and fishing from her childhood summers on her family’s boat. She aspires to become a fit/adventure model when this challenge is completed.
Karen says that she is a “control freak”
Karen’s Initial PSR 6.3 out of 10.0

Primitive Survival Item
The duo will share a machete, Matt has brought a sling shot and Karen has chosen a fire-starter. A sling shot?!? Unless this guy is David and there’s a giant somewhere in the jungle, I think this is a useless bring.

Let’s get to know the Marsalis Jungle!
Home to: Hardwood trees (Um, scary?)
Monitor lizards
Poisonous toads
Wild boars (Matt is a pig man, so I hope they come across a few!)
Philippine spitting cobras
The area also fell victim to a vicious typhoon, which has littered the ground with sharp rock fragments.

Day 1
It’s the usual — take off your clothes, meet your partner, avert your eyes — rigmarole.

Naked and Afraid Philippines
Matt, meet map.

Once they’ve met and started hiking, they disagree about where they should build a shelter. Matt is a man of few words ( and what few words he does utter sound backward/sexist) and Karen is a chatty gal and quickly takes the lead. Matt is obsessed with finding bamboo and heads on a walkabout to find some. He finds a few sticks and heads back to camp. While he was gone, Super Karen builds a fire to boil water.

That night, Karen gets a headache from overdoing it. She feels so miserable that she’s considering tapping out!

Day 2
The next morning, Matt and Karen are on the hunt for food. Matt’s eagle eyes spy a banana tree and although he assumed that his lady-partner would have been the one on fruit-finding duty, he climbs the tree and whacks down a giant bunch.

Day 3
Karen’s tooties are feeling the burn, so she’s hoping to stay close to camp. They spend the day fortifying their shelter and making a windbreak. They caught a glimpse of a lizard, but it escapes into a hole.

Day 5
Matt can’t stand listening to Karen bitch about her sore feet any longer, so he fashions shoes for both of them out of the bark of a banana tree. Karen is so happy that she lets the entire jungle know.

Matt and Karen have been eating nothing but bananas. Lots of them. But they want meat. Monkey meat? Maybe. Matt has also heard wild chickens. Karen wants to set a share trap, but Matt wants to wait for them and use his slingshot. They butt heads for a while, not realizing that their ideas aren’t mutually exclusive. You can do both!

Day 6
Matt sees a bird in a nearby tree, but his shot misses the mark. Stupid slingshot. He agrees to set snares.

Day 7
Karen is a snare-setting master. She deftly ties her snares, and I wish them luck. Matt and Karen both admit that they’re grumpy when they’re hungry, so let’s get some grub in their bellies — no one likes to be hangry! While they walk, they find a hole and their noses let them know that it’s a skunk hole. Matt’s never snared a skunk before, but he’s willing to try. I have to say, Matt’s very observant!

Day 8
Matt and Karen are rapidly losing weight. Both started the 21-day adventure quite slim, but they’ve already emaciated and they’re only 1/3 of the way through!

Day 9-14
Matt and Karen are just walking skeletons. They have the chills because their bodies have no fat reserves and they get dizzy whenever they stand up. This seems to happen to Naked and Afraid’s slimmer contestants. This would not happen to me. I’ve heard a few contestants say that they intentionally gain about 10 pounds before insertion so their bodies have available reserves.

Naked and Afraid Philippines
Pepe may think that he doesn’t stink, but my late-night Photoshop skills do.

Day 15
Matt feels like he has the flu and Karen moms him back to health by giving him a purpose for the day and assigns him fire duty. That night, the smell of skunk wafts into camp and they hope that they’ve caught a skunk in their trap. While Matt pretends he’s a human toothpick, Karen finds Pepe le Pew in the trap and stabs him. When you stab a skunk, it unleashes a malodorous torrent that nearly brings Karen to her knees. But she returns to camp, with a triumphant look on her face and a putrid cloud of pride surrounding her.

Matt skins and prepares the carcass, which looks revolting. As the narrator describes the dangers that skunks carry (lots of rabies and stink-filled sacks near their butts that could contaminate any meat the reeking liquid touches), I’d have to be really hungry to eat it.

Day 17
On night 17, Karen is rudely roused by something dropping onto her head. It’s a poisonous toad, and as much as Karen would love to eat it, she knows that it would be fatal food.

Day 19
Matt and Karen are roused form a mid-morning nap by a monitor lizard scampering through camp. Matt ambles after it and pins it in a crevice while Karen follows with the machete and stabs it in the head.

Naked and Afraid Philippines
After only two weeks in a Philippine jungle and Karen has gone from “fifty and fit” to “scary skinny.”

The narrator warns that because monitors are scavengers, the only parts of them that are safe to eat are leg and tail meat. But Matt and Karen don’t have that knowledge. While he eats eating a chunk of meat that I guess is not from those “safe zones,” Matt tastes skunk, letting him know that the monitor has eaten the innards of their skunk friend. That’s not good.

That night, both are racked with diarrhea.

Day 20
Both Matt and Karen are feeing a lot of pain after eating potentially contaminated meat. Matt entertains the camera crew with a cacophony of flatulence and belches and seems to suffer near-constant “bowel elimination.” Matt wonders how they’re going to be able to complete their arduous extraction.

Day 21
Karen and Matt face a challenging hike to extraction and they look like a stiff breeze could blow both of them over. They could have chosen a longer — but easier — trek, but they’d like to get the torture done as quickly as possible. Karen is so exhausted that her demeanor has changed from perky to pouty. She’s got so reserves left and is having difficulty breathing due to fatigue. Matt digs deep and leads his partner to the waiting truck.

Naked and Afraid Philippines
There is no “he” or “she” in “TEAM.”

After 21 days, Matt pays Karen the ultimate compliment: “This woman here, is stronger than most men I know.” Agreed.

Matt lost 25 lbs. (18% of his bodyweight!!)
Matt’s PSR rose from: 6.6 to 7.2 to 10.0

Karen lost 12 pounds
Karen’s PSR rose from: 6.3 to 7.2 out of 10.0

What did you think of this duo? Why didn’t they use bananas as a constant food source? How did Karen’s other snares fare? Were there any fish or snails in their water source? A slingshot?!? I still can’t get over it.

15 Comments

  1. Kellie,
    Have you noticed that there are two basic classifications when selecting survival items? There is a world of difference between what is important and what is essential. Three essentials are: Knife, sure fire starter of some type and a cooking/boiling water pot. Everything else might be important but is not essential when you only get 3 items (seasons past they only got 2). Such things as paracord, sling shots, hammocks, swim goggles and mosquito nets and the like may be important but are not essential to survival. Duct tape and magnifying glass are ridiculous choices.

  2. Here’s a question I’ll post to those with survival experience: How would you keep bugs away? Time and time again, I’ve seen participants on Naked and Afraid with chewed up hides. There has to be a way to keep from getting chewed. The nights seem to be the worst for the N&A kids, because the bugs love a sitting target. I have seen a few survivalists cover themselves with ash; would it work to build your shelter atop a bed of ash?

    • In some Central and South American countries indigenous people use some kind of plant called chopa, chaco (spelling?) or some such which they crush and rub on themselves. I always had Army repellent (green can of course) so I paid little attention. I was never ever naked in the jungle and shudder at the thought. At night we wrapped ourselves in our ponchos (one man on guard) and they still ate me. I am one of those people with type O negative blood and naturally generate extra B vitamins. All of which make me a smorgasboard for mosquito. As a farm boy we crushed garlic and mixed it with mineral oil. I have been told that if you eat enough garlic, mosquito won’t like you-I never tried it myself.
      Perhaps you Dad can remember some natural repellents?

      • Far out J.C. I’m type O negative as well. Now I know that when in a group of people they all wonder why I’m getting eaten alive while they’re getting nothing. Never knew why I was a mosquito repellent for everyone else.

    • I just recalled that in training we were told that in a pinch to look for plants with uneaten leaves and no insects buzzing about them or landing on them, they would be good candidates to crush and test as a repellent on a small area of skin. Common sense.

      • Um, N&A occurs in so many different locations it would be hard to cross reference the many different plant that would repel mosquito’s/sand fleas/biting gnats but not have a toxic effect on humans. The best, easiest is the mud-up approach however minimally it lasts. We lived in Florida for over 25 years, camped in a Cheyenne, 16′ Tipi for many seasons and never once was bit by a mosquito or, for that matter, a red ant or a spider. The mosquito can’t take even the smallest amount of wind so, in a Tipi when you have this cone shaped interior which developes a venturi affect they just can’t get you. When the Tipi is set up correctly it has a liner and an outer wall. The outer covering doesn’t touch the ground, about 6″ off the ground. The liner goes all the way to the ground and folds under towards the center of the Tipi. Now you have a space between the outer cover and the inner lining that allows air to be sucked in from outside. With the slightest warmth inside the air starts to move upwards, then getting constricted by the conical shape it moves faster, pulling air in faster and creating this upward wind which both removes smoke and pulls any flying insects up and out the rain flaps. No mosquito’s, really, really efficient way to keep them away. One might, given enough time as well as research materials, find the right plant to do the job but dicey at best…..many oils work but hard to come by in unfamiliar bush.

  3. Painful, not fun to watch. Skunk? Karen is not a lightweight.
    Looking forward to alone for my survival fix.

    • Hi Judy. Karen isn’t a “lightweight” but she doesn’t seem to have much in the skills department either. I mean, she was ready to tap out the first day, glad she didn’t but that’s no indication she really knew much. Both of them were seriously depleted, skeletal actually. This speaks volumes of their skills which obviously would not fill volumes. Of course my comments are predicated on the fact that we don’t know the “real” story until someone finds a post by one of the participants that tells us they weren’t allowed to chop trees or catch game or something or other. The people on “Alone” seem to be much more prepared, at least they’ve actually been vetted.

  4. I agree with J.C. that they came out (and in) looking like survivors of Dachau. I saw a pop-up rerun over the weekend and it said the 2 weirdest “survival” tools brought were by Honora with her magnifying glass and the hillbilly with the blue duct tape. This slingshot makes the 3rd. Just yet another unexciting episode.

  5. I was starting to feel a bit better after last weeks pair but this week started out really bad. I’ve been around a lot of rednecks but Matt takes the cake. I was thinking “I’ll bet this guy couldn’t catch cold much less any kind of animal” but, I was wrong. He did catch cold but it was Karen who nabbed the first critter (seems it’s always the woman that makes meat first). Right off the bat Matt brings a slingshot, whoa sterling choice? He’ll get a pig with that….?? He might as well have brought chewing tobacco for all the good it did him. Karen looked like she might have been a whole lot better but as it turns out she didn’t do much better and was damn near ready to tap out on day one. Geesh. Just watched the trailer for this seasons “Alone” and the producers of that show at least put them through their paces before letting them loose on the environment. But Naked and Afraid? What do the producers do? Just ask them questions? What are the questions? “Are you a survivalist?” “Hell yeah, I drive a truck” It’s getting to be a joke, almost not worth commenting on. Well, at least Matt and Karen got to bond over. . . wait for it. . . . diarrhea. Now there’s a first. Maybe they’ll be friends for life… Chalk this weeks pair up to another epic fail even though they made it to the end they were still losers.

  6. Kellie,
    A very disappointing episode! I wonder if our survivalists will ever learn that there are 3 priority items: some kind of knife, a fire starter, and a sturdy pot with lid of at least 10 quart capacity. A sling shot??? For all the good it did them, Matt might as well have brought a yo-yo. I suspect Karen had trouble with her feet because of pedicures with callus removal- I thought I saw that she had fresh toe paint. They could have hung the green bananas to ripen, instead they tried to cook them, which is a waste of the resource. I have the same questions you have at the end of your fine and objective synopsis. The “pig hunter” made no attempt to get one (if he did we weren’t shown it). A positive was that Karen was given the same PSR as Matt-a nice change and recognition of truth. Kacie said in the uncensored version of her episode that knowledge is more important to survival than a particular skill set. KenO provided a link, in which a man who coaches survivalists said the same thing. It takes common sense and ingenuity (adaptability?) to survive whatever strange environment you are in. So many of our military trained survivalists look bad because they fall apart in applying the common sense knowledge they should gained along with their trained skills. There is no substitute for Human reasoning and ingenuity. At extraction, Karen and Matt looked like survivors of Dachau.
    My general opinions only, I will leave the detailed criticism to others.

    • J.C.- I agree that a keen sense of intuition is an extremely valuable asset and it isn’t given enough credit. And your assessment of the gravity of the survivalists appearances is spot-on. While we were watching, my husband had a similar observation that Matt looked like he had survived an ordeal far longer than 21 days in the wilderness.

      Would you rank the slingshot above or below paracord and a magnifying glass in survival item stupidity?

      I cheered out loud when Karen’s PSR was raised to equal Matt’s; but think she may have deserved a tenth or two more.

      • Thanksfor your reply.
        Paracord “might” have some use but would be down on my list of survival items. The slingshot and magnifying glass are worthless and subject to easy breakage. If Matt wanted a sling (not a sling shot, but the sling David used against Goliath) he could have fabricated one of natural materials at the site.

        I did admire Karen’s tenacity; she kept trying to improve their lot; whereas, Matt had clearly given up and was waiting and starving until day 21. I agree her PSR should have been higher than his.

        If anyone doubts the reason survival if the species depends on women; this episode is proof.

      • I would rank the slingshot in a much different position if the moron actually knew how to use it. From the look of it he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn much less a critter of any sort no matter how close he was to it, especially using rocks as ammo. Yes, Karen’s PSR should have been risen a bit more than Matt’s but, truth be told, Karen wasn’t much better of a survivalist regardless of her strong will. Another episode of marathon starvation, not of skill or ability unless you count starving yourself to the point of near unconsciousness as a skill.

    • The use of a slingshot is all about who is using it. If the individual using a slingshot could actually hunt with it then it would have been a different story. I know people that can take a lot of things full of protein out of trees with a slingshot, so its relative.

      Also, no way should Karen’s PSR been as high as Matt’s or been raised more than Matt’s. She was looking to quit on the first day and wrote him off as “too little” blah blah blah right after meeting him. She had zero skills. Matt also kept them fed with good stuff. If she hadn’t brought that skunk into camp then the lizard wouldn’t have eaten it and it would not have been contaminated. Everyone knows you don’t mess with skunk. No it’s not hardcore; it’s stupidity.

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