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.
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
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?)
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.
It’s the usual — take off your clothes, meet your partner, avert your eyes — rigmarole.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Matt sees a bird in a nearby tree, but his shot misses the mark. Stupid slingshot. He agrees to set snares.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.