This week we’re going to the far-away and exotic destination of Florida. Yup, Naked and Afraid spared no expense and booked this week’s participants a flight on Southwest and it taking the to the Sunshine state, during the rainy season. Have fun!
Let’s meet the people who don’t get a stamp in their passports…
Age: 29 years old
Occupation: Mortgage loan originator, Bartender, Single Mom, Firearms model
Current Residence: Spokane, Washington
Relationship Status: Single
Survival Skills: Fire, Water, Shelter, Knots
Tawny’s a devoted mom and is taking on this challenge to show her daughter that anything is possible. She has a tragic background that makes it very hard for her to trust anyone. If you want to shed a few tears over all that this woman has endured, head over to her Naked and Afraid bio. It’s heartbreaking and really, really honest. And long. She says, “This is either going to make or break me.”
Tawny starts her 21-day experience with an initial Primitive Survival Rating (PSR) of 7.2 out of 10.0.
Age: 28 years old
Occupation: Office Clerk
Current Residence: Hollywood, Florida
Relationship Status: Married
Survival Skills: Trapping, Purifying Water, Making Cordage, Shelter Building, Knot Making, Fire Making
Julio was born and raised in Colombia before moving to South Florida where he’s lived for the past nine years. Julio learned to love the outdoors at his grandfather’s farm, and was taught many life lessons from his father. He says that he devours every survival book he can find, which may not mean that he has much real-life experience. Julio totally lucks out by getting to survive less than 4 hours from his own backyard.
Julio starts his 21-day experience with an initial PSR of 7.4 out of 10.
Julio loves spiders, Tawny loves her daughter and their home for the next week is Florida’s Seminole Forest, home to:
Diamond back rattlesnakes
Giant mosquitos, 20x the size of a normal mosquito
Lots of poisonous spiders, including the golden silk orb-weaver spider
Tawny reveals that she’s afraid of spiders, which makes Julio laugh because he collects the arachnids. But Julio admits that he’s afraid of small dogs like Chihuahuas. I’d rather run into a nest of small dogs instead of a nest of venomous spiders.
Although they don’t do the normal, “Let’s look in our bags” scene, we see that Julio and Tawny have a cooking pot with lid, a magnesium fire starter and a blade of some kind.
Tawny and Julio seems to get along pretty well form the start. They both are upbeat and quickly find an area near a stream to build a shelter.
That night, Tawny sees eye shine from some kind of big critter and it leads to a night of no sleep.
Julio goes in search of food (without a knife!) and makes the very ill-advised decision to try to catch a rattlesnake with a log. The snake ends up being pretty small, but it’s a minor miracle that he isn’t bitten. Tawny is pretty psyched that her partner has already found food, and it’s only day 2!
It’s a small meal, but a big victory for #TeamJawny.
After they’ve eaten, the rain begins and Julio and Tawny scramble to secure their shelter. Their fire burns out, and they can’t get it relit, so their night is cold and buggy.
The terrible night before has both Julio and Tawny’s spirits pretty low. Julio is able to catch a tiny anole that he names “Fernando,” and feels horrible for killing it. It’s a meal that almost isn’t worth eating, and makes him gag, but he’s able to choke it down. I guess calories are calories, no matter how small.
That night, Julio is not himself. He’s been down all day and says he misses his wife. This is usually foreshadowing that someone will not last the entire 21 days. Tawny comforts him but worries about his deteriorating mental state.
Julio is still a head-case. He’s acting Shane-crazy. To make her partner feel better, Tawny heads down to the stream to catch tiny fish. But she has to scramble out of the shallows when she spies an 8-foot alligator. Tawny’s catch of a dozen or so fish is smaller than she’d like, but she’s hungry and excited for food. But Julio claims that he isn’t hungry and refuses to eat. Tawny is pissed that her partner isn’t taking in calories. He’s no good to her if he’s not mentally and physically strong.
Tawny catches another anole, but Julio still refuses to eat. He stares into the camera muttering, “What the hell and I doing here? I don’t belong here.” Later, he makes some psychotic-sounding comments to Tawny. He’s definitely doing off of the deep end. Tawny may want to sleep with one eye open tonight and is worried enough about her partner’s mental health to confront him. She lets him know that she’s concerned, and Julio admits that he’s thinking about doing really bad things to himself and others.
Producers decide that Julio is a danger to himself and others, and removes him from the experience. This is the first time I’ve seen production do this, and thank goodness they did, because he was about to go loco. Julio feels guilty, but Tawny simply adds Julio to the long list of men who have let her down in her life saying, “My life was destroyed by people like him.” Hey Naked and Afraid, awesome job casting this week. Are there any mental health questions in your application? Also, is there post-show counseling that you can offer both Julio and Tawny?
That night is Tawny’s first alone….
…well, not really alone. She wakes up covered with hundreds of bug bites.
Now that Tawny is alone, she needs a little help catching some food. As if on cue, Tawny spies an otter dragging a fish onto the shore. She sneaks over and when the otter hops in to the water, she ganks the fish! Thanks otter! She doesn’t care that the otter had ben gnawing on her grub mere moments before, it’s food and it’s hers. “Sorry, not sorry!” she calls to her new BFF. But the otter fails to see the humor in such a “basic bitch” comment, and just scowls. High five Tawny — for stealing supper and for dishing snark.
A little bit of rain, but nothing much to report here. Except — remember that time when Naked and Afraid brought someone mentally unstable on the show?!? Me to. I totally remember that, because it was like 10 minutes ago.
Tawny talks about her adorable daughter whom she calls “The light of my life.” Sweet girl, your mom is tough!
Tawny plays eye spy with some bear poop. And pokes it with her stick. Later, the bear stops by camp to borrow a cup of sugar. Not really, it pokes around the camp, but once it catches wind of Tawny’s tang, it runs off.
But that night, Yogi returns to investigate. If I were Tawny, I would be losing my mind with fear. But Tawny is way tougher than I am.
The bear continues to stalk Tawny. She looks exhausted and I wonder is she’s slept in days. Her mind is clearly elsewhere because she accidentally sets her shelter on fire. She’s so brain-dead that she pokes at the flamed for a few seconds before realizing that she’s in serious danger. She finally exits the raging inferno and says, “I have no words right now” as she helplessly watches her shelter go up in flames.
I feel bad for Tawny, but she’s a really tough woman, so I hope she regroups, refocuses and rebuilds.
Tawny spend the night before lying on the ground, but with the start of a new day comes a new plan. She makes a small, but cute shelter. But she’s only one small, cute person, so she doesn’t need anything more complicated.
Morning breaks and Tawny knows that she’s only an extraction hike away from a trip home. But first, she needs to step into some bear poop. Take that bear! Tawny’s extraction hike forces her to meander along the snaking river but she meanders too much and gets lost. But she takes a moment to regroup and finds her bearings and is back on track. When a muddy truck rolls up, she leaps in without a care of who is driving it. It could have been the bear driving, and it wouldn’t have mattered at all to Tawny.
She triumphantly rides off in the truck’s bed and calls, “Florida, I will not miss you!”
Over the course of 21 days, Tawny lost 21 pounds. She dominated the wilds of Florida and her PSR rose from 7.2 to 7.9.
Julio is doing better mentally and physically (than goodness), but his PSR plummets from 7.4 to 4.1.
Holy crap. Naked and Afraid is no joke, but Julio was clearly not meant for this experience. And props to Tawny not only for completing the adventure, but keeping your eye makeup and hair looking good. I know that appearance was the least of your concerns, but you still looked adorable. And I hope that your daughter gets more proof of what a fearless female she has for a mommy.