After four days in South Africa, eleven brave souls remain on the 40-day survival challenge. Carrie Booze tapped out on the fourth day — a bit shell-shocked by the wildness of Africa. But while she is the first to leave, we know that she won’t be the last.
Last week, viewers were surprised when Stacey and Jake ganged up on teammate Clarence for refusing to drink from their sketchy water source and eat the food. Clarence isn’t my favorite Naked and Afraid contestant, but I agree that Stacey got really harsh really fast. Clarence has a different survival mentality then them, and while I think he’s lazy, he didn’t deserve to have his teammates scream at him. Survival is all about compromise folks, and 40 days is a long, long time.
Over in Sotho Gorge, Clarence claimed he’s going to leave his team’s disgusting water source in search of greener pastures. Clarence notes that their putrid watering hole is dwindling, and convinces his partners that they need to find a new camp with more reliable water. Their hike in search of better water will be thorny, but hopefully it will be fruitful.
The women of Swati Valley (Phaedra, Alyssa and Tawny) are feeling the effects of dehydration and lack of food. Someone in the group has brought a casting net and while Phaedra and Tawny try to use it, Alyssa fishes with a strand of the net’s monofilament and a bone hook. Neither method works, but I appreciate that they’re trying multiple ways. I wonder what would happen if they used the casting net to trawl the bottom.
In the steamy Tsonga Basin, Darrin and Kim roast in the sun. Darrin has put his buckskin to good use and has fashioned shoes and a loincloth for himself, and a bikini for Kim. And he’s teaching her some of his wealth of survival skills, which Kim appreciates. When they check each other for ticks, it’s utterly charming. They are a well-suited pair and in this early stage, “loving” is the wrong way to describe them, but there is a support that they are giving each other that transcends a human’s physical need for companionship. I’m glad that Carrie is gone; She would have been a third wheel.
Man land (Pondo Ravine) is where Angel, Steven and Ryan have set up camp and are trying to bring down big game to feed their bodies. Ryan is a motivated man and pushes his team to get down into their hunting blinds. I laugh at Angel’s ides of lying in the mud and waiting for a deer to prance up so he can grab it, but he doesn’t even get a chance because Ryan throws a spear as soon as a deer gets close.
Jake, Stacey and Clarence hiked through sweltering heat for over 5 hours. So far, Jake’s found an elephant print, and something grunted at him from the reeds. Just when I was about to bust Jake, (because I swear that in one of the shots, he was walking right next to water,) finds the water source of Swati Valley and meets Alyssa, Tawny and Phaedra. Jake’s teammates had followed his path and when Stacey sees the glorious lake, she leaps in and swims to a tearful introduction to new teammates. Later, the newly formed 6-pack enjoys a group swim
In Tsonga Basin, Darrin hunts while Kim stays at camp. Darrin puts on a GoPro and uses a bow and arrows to catch a Monitor Lizard. While it cooks, Darrin purrs, “Mmm, Lizard Kabobs.”
That night, the men of Pondo Ravine hear a lion outside of their camp and lots of other sleep-disrupting noises. A quick internet search says that a lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles away, but I think the chuffing and grunting doesn’t carry nearly as far. A lion 5 miles away is still freaky, especially when you’re the slowest meat for 100 miles.
The six-person team in Swati Valley is setting up camp life and team starts with the never-ending task of collecting firewood. The sun looks pretty high, so I wonder why they’ve waited this long to get moving for the day. They should have gotten firewood at sunrise. Phaedra and Jake find a burrow and decide to come back later to smoke out whatever may be living in it. Clarence’s plan for survival is to spend most of the day relaxing and conserving energy and his original teammates are annoyed.
The three men are hunting again, but Steven thinks having all three sitting and waiting is a waste of time and resources. Their efforts to hit a warthog with a spear fail and Steven decides that he wants to hunt alone.
Over in Swati Valley, Jake and Stacey badmouth Clarence to the rest of their group. What they don’t know is that Clarence has stealthily caught a fish while the other five laze around the fire. After they’ve eaten his tasty meal and he returns for more fishing, Stacey realized that she’s been an ass, and the group decides to stop talking trash about their food provider. They hear the trumpeting of an elephant and the entire group gets to witness an entire herd coming down to drink. “Those elephants working together is a perfect metaphor for our group,” says Clarence. And as African Music comes to an emotional build, he adds, “Sharing is caring. We need to stick together like those elephants do.”
“He is emotional in a spiritual way,” muses Stacey. Clarence is king for the day.
And as if on clue, it all goes to crap. A wicked lighting storm rolls into the sun-parched area and each camp hunkers down for a wild night. “We’re just going to lay here an take it,” says Darrin as he snuggles closer to Kim.
Kim’s not feeling well. She has a nasty bite behind her ear and worries that she may have contracted Tick Fever. Based on the nasty-looking bite and the notes on the Centers for Disease Control website, she may be correct.
In the Swati Valley, Jake and his team plan to catch the porcupine in the burrow they’ve seen. “Of course you have to go past a bunch of thorns to get to a porcupine,” says Clarence. The team is unwisely working in the middle of the day, when the sun is highest and the heat is at its most intense. Just before commercial break, Clarence feels woozy and calls for a medic.
It’s that time again… when we ponder Naked and Afraid XL‘s non-sensical and enigmatic measurement tool … the XLR!
Darrin’s lizard lunch raises the XLR of the Tsonga Basin pair from 4.3 to 6.6 out of 10.
Hunting failure dips the XLR of the men in Pondo Ravine from 8.3 to 7.2 out of 10.0.
In the Swati Valley, the merging of two groups raises their combined scores from 7.5 to 8.1 out of 10.0.
But I would expect the XLR of the Swati Valley super-group to fall because Clarence starts to hyperventilate while his teammates try to smoke a porcupine from its burrow. He gasps that he can’t breathe and I’m not sure if he’s exhausted, dehydrated, having a panic attack, or if the smoke they’re using is irritating his lungs. The medic recommends that they evacuate him due to heat stroke and dehydration, and he’s loaded onto the bed of a pickup truck and then into an ambulance. We already knew from scenes that he was eliminated. He is hospitalized for the next 48 hours and pulled from the survival experience.
Back in camp, his teammates lament Clarence’s departure. They’ve learned an important lesson about hydration and working in extreme heat; but sadly, it comes at Clarence’s expense.
Next week: The men fight, Kim doesn’t feel right, and the big group gets a fright.
Primitive Survival Item. Each survivalist brought a blade, and each trio was given a cooking pot. Each of the dozen survivalists was also 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)
Clarence- Fire Starter (Learned in Episode 2)
Alyssa- Fire Starter (Learned in Preview Episode)
Tawny- Fishing Net (Learned in Episode 2)
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)
Want more Naked and Afraid XL?
Recap: Episode 1 “Lions at the Gate”
Recap: Preview/Casting episode “Mission Impossible”
Jake Nodar’s 4 survival Tips