Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4: “Too Many Chiefs”

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4
Mo' People, Mo' Problems.

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4 is the halfway point of the 40-day South African experience. So are they half-dead? Half-starved? Half-crazy? Or a little each??

Day 17
At the end of last week’s episode Jake, Phaedra and Alyssa went on a scouting mission to look for more people. We last saw Jake atop a cliff calling into the abyss and now we see that Kim and Darrin are the recipients of his calls. Kim happily welcomes them with lots of naked hugs. It looks like she has a colorful bracelet, where did it come from? Darrin seems a little apprehensive to join a larger group, he works better alone and knows that each kill will have to be spread among more mouths.

Jake, Alyssa and Phaedra welcome Kim and Darrin to join them, so they do. Kim puts on a Pharrell Williams-sized hat and seems instantly happier to have more people to talk to.

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4

Back at camp, Tawny and Stacey — the self-named “blond-terage” gather firewood while Tawny recovers from Tick Bite Fever. Hey-Tawny has a bracelet too! What gives?!? She and Stacey find a bizarre wild cucumber and gobble it up, without waiting for their teammates. Later on, both women get sick so either their empty bellies were unhappy to be eating such acidic fruit, or it was a little bit of Karma.

The Pondo group is down to two men who don’t really seem like they care for each other. Ryan doesn’t think that Steven can handle the job of fire watching. Ryan is a moron and condescending in his dismissal of Steven’s skills; there are so many creaks, groans and growls around camp that even I could watch the fire.

Day 18
Now Phaedra has Tick Bite Fever. And while the narrator describes the disease’s symptoms, we are treated to extreme close-ups of many, many ticks. I feel itchy and hope I never find anything that looks like that anywhere on my body.

Over in Pondo, Ryan still doesn’t trust Steven, so he heads to the highest point to look for the smoke of another group’s campfire. But first he finds an aloe plant, which will soothe his sunburnt skin and provide nourishment — the insides of the plant are edible.

Jake is determined to get food for his team and heads down to cast the net. Phaedra says what we’re all thinking; Jake is shouldering the load without bitching about it. He just gets things done. She wishes that she could help him and I wish someone, anyone would help him. Jake catches a fish and gives it to Kim and Darrin who haven’t eaten in 11 days. They look like children on Christmas morning.

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4
Kim and Darrin are in the pre-meal zone.

He humbly says, “The joy that I just got from giving those two a fish, was more joy than I’d ever experienced actually eating a fish.” Some Naked aand Afraid fans don’t share my love for Jake, but This is why he is awesome; he is tireless, he is humble, he is hella skilled, (he is hot), and he is 100% unselfish.

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4
Jake = Good guy.

While the mega group watches Kim and Darrin eat, Steven and Ryan are on the long, hot trek to join them. And while they’re walking, Steven loses Ryan’s precious aloe. Ryan is pissed, but I gotta ask: if your aloe was so precious, why didn’t you carry it?

When Steven and Ryan arrive above the lake, the women get absolutely giddy to hear male voices. They primp, and check each other’s teeth, and greet Ryan and Steven with many, many naked hugs. Alyssa, who previously said that she was glad to be in a group with only women, clings to Ryan as if her life depends on it. Hopefully Jake will finally get the help he needs.

That night, all nine survivalists cram themselves into the shelter that earlier in the day held 5. Stacey reports, “We are all sitting around camp and there are so many testicles in our camp. Everywhere you look there are pinched-off, stretched-out, goofy-looking testicles.”

Day 19
After a snug night, they adjust the shelter to sleep all nine people. The former-fivesome sees Jake as their leader, but he doesn’t care about leadership as long as the work gets done. Altruism at it’s finest. The best leader is the person who least wants to be one.

A few of the day’s highlights:
The group forms a human bulldozer to widen their shelter.
Kim almost pulls down a tree atop herself.
Poor Phaedra accidentally drinks untreated water and has to force herself to throw it up. The rest of the group feels badly that they sat there and watched as she did it and come up with a labeling system for the water pots.

Day 20
Ryan sets snares to try and feed the group. Alyssa and Jake also make snares using Jake’s wire and someone else’s paracord. While they work, Ryan offers unsolicited advice and Jake and Alyssa roll their eyes. “Bitch, please,” mutters Jake.

Darrin grabs Kim’s bow & arrow and tries to hunt, but he fears that he larger game has already smelled their large group and has left the area.

After Jake and Alyssa set snares, Ryan comes and reties them. It’s a jerky move. But all will be forgiven if the snares catch something.

That night, a massive storm rolls overhead and dumps rain onto the group. The dirt floor of their open-air shelter quickly turns to mud. Needless to say, the night is long.

Now that we have a nine-person group, Naked and Afraid throws up their hands and basically admits that the PSR rating is a sham. They award the entire Mega Swati Group an XLR of 7.6 out of 10.0. I call this Oprahing: “You get a 7.6! And You get a 7.6; Everybody gets a 7.6!!!”

Day 21
On a normal episode of Naked and Afraid, this would be the end of the journey, but in an XL adventure, the fun is only half over! Everyone is pretty emotionally spent at this point; they need a big meal to lift their spirits. Usually the Naked and Afraid crew gods gift the famished people when they’re at their lowest with a half-dead snake, so keep your eyes pealed…

As if on cue, Tawny, Steven, Kim and Alyssa watch as a herd of impala walk through their snared area. “They look like cheeseburgers with legs,” says either Alyssa or Kim — two of the funniest people in the group (Jake and Stacey are up there too). Finally, a female impala gets entangled.

And even though at least four people are watching and running around yelling “Snare! Snare! Who has a knife?!? Snare!!,” no one has actually made a single, stealthy step in the direction of the animals until now. Jake decides that it’s faster to swim across the lake than run around the people who are stumbling over themselves and leaps into the water, showing off an incredible swimming stroke.

The episode ends before we see if they’re able to catch the beast (technically, they’ve already caught it, but it sounds gross to say, “stab it until it’s dead.”), but based on the racket they’re making and the clips of next week’s episode, my guess is no.

It’s our first episode where no one tapped out! Yay! So, what do you think of the large group? Safety in numbers? Too many cooks? Many hands? Too soon to tell? What other clichés apply?

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4
Shark photo by Justin Stephens/Syfy; Ryan photo courtesy Discovery; Photoshop is all Kellie.

Also, tonight was Syfy’s fourth annual Sharknado movie, Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens. One of my coworkers interviewed Cheryl Tiegs and Gary Busey in advance of the fun flick and I overheard Jeff while he was on the phone with Busey. It was — hands down — the most hilarious half of a conversation that I’ve ever witnessed. When he hung up the phone, the entire editorial department broke into applause. In honor of the times when we have a bizarre interview and are still able to polish that turd into a gleaming jewel (Teigs was delightful, Jeff reports), I have created this fun photoshop. And please read Jeff’s article while imagining the human befuddlement that is Gary Busey.

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 snare wire (Learned in personal interview)
Stacey- Fishing hook and line (Learned in Episode 1)
Clarence- Unknown -left in Episode 2
Phaedra- Paracord? (Used in Episode 4)
Alyssa- Fire Starter (Learned in Preview Episode)
Tawny- Casting Net (Learned in Episode 2)
Kim- Bow & Arrow (Learned in Episode 1)
Carrie- Unknown -left in Episode 1
Darrin- Buck Skin (Learned in Preview Episode)
Angel- Unknown -left in Episode 3
Steven- Sling shot (Learned in Preview Episode)
Ryan- Spool of 100-lb. Fishing Line (Learned in Episode 1)

More Naked and Afraid XL
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 3 “Human Prey”
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 2 “Man on Fire”
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 1 “Lions at the Gate”
Naked and Afraid XL Season 2 preview
Interview With Jake Nodar
Jake Nodar’s 4 butt-kicking survival tips


  1. What do you all think? * Since tick-bite fever is by name & nature classified as A FEVER, are the people least affected by it the ones who spend time in the lake? Haven’t been keeping that close a track, but that’s what I would do (pleasantly surprised that there are no crocodiles in there- any thoughts regarding that?) Cool down, boys & girls! Eagle-eyed observers respond?

  2. Testing.. signing in under different name, but it’s Al K just the same.. Wanted to see if it was possible, since both Laura Jane & RSB/RWB did it in same week (it’s the couch detective in me!)

  3. Kellie. You asked what cliches may apply to the 9 member group? I have consulted my copy of THE SORCERERS MANUAL, Chapter 15. Reminds me of the childhood story of “The Three Sillies” who sat crying while the wine drained from the barrel because the drain cock had been opened. The sillies sat and cried. Moral of story: DO SOMETHING! The nine sillies are doing nothing and will descend with scorn upon whoever does/or tries to do something. Mark my Sorcerer’s words. Still waiting for Darrin to show them how to do it and get scorn. Steven won’t listen. Ryan is an ass hole, and Jake will become sharp tongued and sarcastic. Alyssa will help. The others will become judgmental and start taking sides. The producers will be happy as the drama unfolds. Then they wild catch/kill “pity food” as they did last year.
    I hope The Sorcerer is wrong because I like all the cast.

      • KenO. Jake has been “riding high in the water” on all the attention he is getting (as you have noted). He will change to his “true self” as soon as someone else seeks “a place in the sun.”

        • Call me an optimist, but I would like to think that Jake has been “rising” to the occasion, & is a “changed” man.. (I was very critical of him until recently..). The sexual connotations are not intentional, but keep “popping up” nonetheless.. Am I subliminally homophobic,or just a funny guy by nature..?

  4. I apologize to all of you for signing in as Amelia twice this morning. I don’t know why I did it other than to be someone else for a minute and not Laurajane, the poor woman whose house burned down. I would like to thank all of my friends, KenO, Al K, and J. C. for your kind and sympathetic words and suggestions. The house is coming along very slowwwwwwwly, have to keep ragging on the insurance agent and the contractor to get off their asses and DO SOMETHING.

    I’ve missed writing as much as I don’t always have access to a computer but have been trying to keep up with the show by trying to find reruns during the week. For some reason, I just can’t get interested in it as I did with XL1. At least all the nasty and messed up personalities from XL1 made it more interesting. I’m waiting to see something exciting on this one but haven’t seen it yet.

    So, Good-bye Amelia, back to Laurajane. 🙂 and thanks again to all of you.

    • Sounds like your agent & contractor would fit right in on XL. It took 8 months to get my house back. The whole basement was toasted, & heavy smoke damage upstairs. Contractor was very slow- many other projects, & insurance jobs are low priority (they accept the work for volume’s sake, but the rate is much lower). Watch out for corner cutting & inferior materials used. Your agent sounds like a dick, & you may need to go over his head? Good luck & stay strong. You have a place saved here with your name on it (whichever name you care to go by..)

  5. I believe these people are eating more than we are being shown. Except for Phaedra who seems to be wasting away; the others appear far too healthy for people with only a handful of food in 21 days. If poor Phaedra didn’t have bad luck she wouldn’t have any luck at all.

  6. According to the Dual Survival site, Jeff and EJ will be battling “harsh obstacles in Moab, Gulf Coast and Brazil’s Sierra Do Mar mountain range.”

    • So Moab, Utah seems to be the Mecca of Survivalism…

      Not only is it teeming with survival contestants, but now is the site for survival contests…

      • Rwb. It is beautiful scenery there, it is a very small town in the middle of nowhere. It isn’t the end of the world, but you can see the end from there. I once had a job offer there. Very sectarian so I said no at wife’s urging.

  7. I’m going to miss Sunday night’s show. I’m flying out early Sunday night for a week-long vacation in Iceland, and I’ll be en route while the show is airing. If I can find internet access in Reykjavik, I’ll log on to read Kellie’s review sometime during the week, and respond from there. Otherwise, I’ll have to pick it up next week.

    Have a great show everybody!

      • The bad boys of XL are none other than the howling, hollering eel-killing JEFF & EJ. The preview called them the (and I’m not sure I’m correct) “KINGS OF NAKED & AFRAID”. Should be interesting.

        • I think this show is a little boring because everybody is sick from either tick fever or just frustrated because taking down big game with a snare & a stick is a bit much.
          Plus nothing seems real with those plugged in phony animal shots.

        • I can hardly wait NOT to watch it myself. Nothing like two arrogant, overblown, testosterone filled rednecks trying to appear as if they are “survivalists” to elevate one’s interest. Geesh, N&A is getting desperate.

    • Judi. I see that Cody is suing Joe for threatening to kill him (Cody) several times in front of witnesses? Who needs soap operas when we have Dual Survival?

      • Joe Teti, what a dick and a liar. I hope Cody wins his suit. Another moron who’s mental attitude is to conquer nature instead of living with it.

        • Yes Joe likes to embellish a bit & Cody, an aging hippie (not too many left) luvs his plants & I believe the planet.
          They are interesting, like only older guys can be.
          Matt Graham is back on Live Free or Die. I wonder how much they get paid for the airtime.

  8. Kellie,
    A pop up edition said Angel brought fish hooks and left them for his partners. I just thought you might want to complete your list. It would help them if the group would inventory their tools and decide who might use what and who carries what. You get my drift… We have yet to see Steven’s sling shot for example. I still remember the jerk in India who wouldn’t let his partner use “his” knife. I also remember Bo Stuart and Debbie who made a rack for “our” tools. Again, you get my drift….

  9. All Kim’s admirers need to head for Moab, Utah and look her up. She needs you!
    She is a struggling single mother. Take a large bank roll and it will improve your chances. Take her away from all this!

    I am having a cynical day. Pay no attention.

    • It is no fault of Kim’s that she grew up with nothing; in a trailer with her siblings, a drug addict mother and a deadbeat father. Now the father of her child doesn’t support them. I hope someone will love her and take her away.

    • It looks like Kim, Phaedra and Tawny all have similar lives. They all could use some help though they all are quit adept in the bush.

      • KO. They aren’t very good at choosing men. Adept in the bush is a very important skill. Hummmmmmm…..

          • Perhaps you were being prophetic? I think it will be Kim. Tick fever must really suck,& sitting around doesn’t allow it to metabolize out of the system. You say Phaedra, but may under-estimate her grit? Naturally skinny,too..Summary of tonite’s episode says “Steven & Darrin don’t return from hunting trip- everybody breaks camp to look for them..OH NO!- my 2 favorite guys (um, Jake is the “man” right now anyway,haha?). And wasn’t the very 1st tease @ Ryan disappearing from a hunting blind?? What a Mind-F..K! (& will the trek put the final nail in lazy-girlitis)? Looking forward to later tonite- talk @ it after.. (KenO- guess U can’t read anything here til after you had your breakfast Monday?)
            P.S.- I didn’t want to hurt JC’s feelings, but you are funnier!

    • JC
      Kim is a total TV fantasy, but I love it anyways. Sometimes actually meeting someone in real life isn’t as good as the fantasy. Maybe I’m just in love with her motiff. But, “dreams are what makes life tolerable”.

  10. Start looking around folks, as you are nearer 40 days; maybe Moses will appear and lead you to the promised land.

Comments are closed.