Ooooh, this season is starting strong with a fantastic tease!!!
On Day 29, Ryan is nowhere to be found after suffering illness in the midst of lion-infested territory.
And it looks like the other survivalists drop like flies in South Africa’s searing heat. This is going to be an experience where the physical demands almost equal the mental challenges.
Last week, Naked and Afraid XL had a preview episode. I watched it and it basically reintroduced this season’s 12 survivalists and their experiences when they appeared on Naked and Afraid. And they gave us a map graphic. And I love maps, so here it is…
Let’s check in with our first trio of survivalists: Jake, Clarence, and Stacy.
They’ll be calling Sotho Gorge home; it’s also home of the ticks.
I was shocked that Clarence lasted 21 days in Honduras, so I have little faith that he’ll last for 40 days.
I was sad then Stacy’s butt got boiled in Croatia, and I want her 40-day experience to kick butt
And of course, Jake and I chatted this week and I think he could live in the wilderness for the rest of his life. I just adore him and his positive attitude.
The all-male team will be cooking in Pondo Ravine. Man Land is also home to a herd of elephants, so watch out boys! No one wants to be stomped to death.
Angel conquered a crazy partner and made an amazing trap on his 21-day experience.
Steven thrived in Alabama and has a joyful spirit that will be hard to break.
Ryan dominated the Everglades once he got rid of his bullying partner.
The Swati Valley is Predator rich and water-filled and will be home for Phaedra, Alyssa and Tawny. The ladies get to work, and Alyssa makes a fire like a boss. But immediately after, she steps on a massive thorn, slowing down her “Get it done” attitude.
Tsonga Basin is home-away-from-home for Carrie, Darrin and Kim. Darrin is so bizarre; how is he going to fare with these outspoken women? Their habitat has a great water source … and lions! I would faint to see those massive beasts in person. And I would also clap my hands like a little girl because — lions!!! How often does a person get to witness lions in the wild? Because are the lions in the zoo scary? Nope.
The first night in the wilds of South Africa was very loud. The camps have to deal with visits from big predators and I’m not surprised that no one slept a wink.
Man Land is in hunting mode. Steven fashion a pretty awesome spear-thrower, and Ryan turns some of his fishing line into a gorgeous fishing net.
Over in Sotho Gorge, Jake collects water from their dirty puddle/water source and it looks like liquid poop. When I interviewed Jake, he told me that their water was horrid.
While Carrie, Darrin and Kim walk from their shelter to their water source, it’s clear that Africa is freaking hot. Lava-like. A giant furnace. When it’s hot, I want to do little more than sit in the shade and drink beer. I can’t imagine being like, “Hey, It’s 110 degrees, let’s go hiking and carry this pot of terrible water around. And maybe later, we can run sprints with some lions.” Kim and Carrie want to move their shelter closer to their water source to limit the time they spend walking in the sun, but Darrin makes an awesome point saying, “I’d rather make it a little more uncomfortable for me to make it a whole lot safer for me.” Darrin may be strange, but he’s a great survivalist. I would probably pick him as my partner. I would be well-fed and entertained.
In Lady Land, everyone’s hard at work. Phaedra started feeling dehydrated pretty quickly and us sick all night long. Alyssa gets sick shortly afterwards. Gross. If you remember, Tawny has abandonment issues, so I hope her team rallies and doesn’t abandon her.
Team Girl Power regroups in the light of day and decides to take it a little easier until they’ve got hydration in control. And over in the mud puddle, Clarence catches a crab. But he can’t enjoy any of it, because he’s allergic to shellfish.
The camp at Tsonga Basin is tick-central so Carrie lines their shelter with ash. She claims that ticks hate walking through ash, and I like her thinking. I’ve always though that the survivalists should push ash everywhere, I don’t think mosquitoes are too fond of ash either. But despite having good ideas, Carrie is not doing well with the mental aspect of African survival. The sharp ground is punishing her feet and she can’t fathom the amount of ticks that she’s facing (and afraid of).
The Three Wise Men are hungry for meat and Stephen and Ryan set up a blind and settle in to hunt warthog. Before long, Pumba ambles up and settles into the slop. But he’s a giant and is no match for their small fishing line net.
That night, Carrie, Darrin and Kim sit around their fire and listen to the roars of a nearby lion. Carrie doesn’t seem like her heart is into this adventure.
Carrie is definitely shell-shocked: she’s got lions on one side, and elephants in the watering hole. It’s no surprise to me when she taps out. Kim and Darrin are disappointed, and to be honest, so am I. Carrie finally had strong partners who could challenge her and support her, and she abandoned them. She’s the first to leave, but I know she won’t be the last.
While Clarence rests in the shade, his teammates try to repay him for the meal he provided for them, by catching him a fish. Stacy and Jake ingeniously trap their watering hole’s fish, but Clarence refuses to eat any of the meal. And he’s also refusing to drink any water. My husband turned to me and declared, “Clarence is a boob.” What do you think? How is he going to survive for 40 days?
Over in Sotho gorge, Clarence’s partners are befuddled by his refusal to eat and drink. He calls their water source “Piss and S@#$” and tells his partners that he can’t stay at their camp. The relationship deteriorates to the point that Stacy and Jake yell at Clarence and he decides to leave their camp and survive on his own.
Ooooh, is it next Sunday yet? I love conflict!!! And stupidity!! I can’t wait to see what’s next.
The Naked and Afraid Personal Survival Rating (PSR) is a measurement that has always befuddled me. It seems to rise and fall with the tides, the producers will and with the exchange rate of the British pound sterling. Basically no one knows why the scores are what they are, and the show seems to assign them at random. In last week’s Preview episode, the narrator explained that to find the initial value of each team at the start of the XL season, they average the ending PSRs from each of the three contestants’ 21-day experience. Only Stacey didn’t have an ending PSR, so I believe they used her starting PSR from her Croatian experience.
The all-female team in Swani Valley has an initial XLR of 7.5 out of 10.0.
The team of Clarence, Jake and Stacey at Sotho Gorge start with an XLR of 7.4.
The strong all-male team in Pondo Ravine starts with an XLR of 8.3 out of 10.0.
Since they had a team member quit, the XLR of Tsonga Basin plummets from 6.7 to 4.3 out of 10.0. It’s a little harsh since Carrie’s ending PSR from her episode was a dismal 4.3. Did Darrin and Kim lose much when they lost Carrie? I mean, other than drama.
Primitive Survival Item. Each survivalist brought a blade each trio was given a cooking pot, and each of the dozen survivalists was allowed to bring one primitive survival item. I’m keeping track here:
Jake- Spool of wire (Learned in personal interview)
Stacey- Fishing hook and line (Learned in Episode 1)
Alyssa- Fire Starter (Learned in Preview Episode)
Kim- Bow & Arrow (Learned in Episode 1)
Darrin- Buck Skin (Learned in Preview Episode)
Steven- Sling shot (Learned in Preview Episode)
Ryan- Spool of 100-lb. Fishing Line (Learned in Episode 1)