Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 7, “The Sickness”

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 7 Kellie Freeze
Phaedra please to remain on Naked and Afraid XL.

Last week, we listened to Ryan vomit in stereo. And in the tease for this week, when Ryan said he was in “9 out of 10 pain,” I thought I saw the door of his shelter opening. An uninvited guest? His teammates? A lion?!? Tonight, Naked and Afraid XL Episode 7, opens to the sounds of a female in the same excruciating pain.

An ominous black screen informs viewers, “The following events take place over a 24 hour period.” My blood runs ice-cold.

Day 29
Ryan is sick. Very, very sick. He’s in so much pain that he relents and calls the medic. Fearful that he’s suffering from internal bleeding or kidney disease, the medical team evacuates him. If you had asked me to pick a survivalist least likely to leave Naked and Afraid XL, Ryan would have been at the top of my list. But then again, he did leave his group and try to survive solo, so I guess the odds of him getting eaten by a lion were significantly increased.

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 7
Ryan recorded his illness and it reminded by of the time I saw The Blair Witch Project. I wonder if I won’t sleep for 2 weeks this time too.

In the Tsonga Basin, the large group is preparing to hike to the Mkuza River and meet up with Ryan. This migration has been a long time coming, and Steven and Phaedra are still disappointed and resentful that Ryan left the group to have his solo experience.

The group finds the same Wollecaper (I have no idea how to spell this) fruit that Ryan ate on his own trek. And they pick a load of the sweet and sour fruit. Stacey remembers how the wild cucumber made her sick, refuses to eat the foreign fruit.

They also find the head of the monitor lizard that Ryan killed. They know they’re following his tracks and they hope that they’re close to the river. And when you’re close to the river, you’re close to lots of prey… and predators. Massive lion tracks and the dying sounds of a warthog remind them that they’re in perpetual danger. South Africa is no joke.

Jake and Steven scout for a good place to camp, while the rest of the group sits along the river and eat fruit. Darrin figures, “It’s one of those risk and reward situations; we either have nothing, or we have something.” Jake and Steven find and kill a puff adder, which is a snake that is no joke, but still – it’s a kill, so this location is looking better already. Then find Ryan’s camp. We know that it’ll be empty, but the two men are puzzled. Ryan’s blade and gear are there and he’s not, and it’s the heat of the day, when Ryan would normally be resting. The watch his diary cam and see his struggles the night before.

Naked and Afraid XL EPisode 7
That moment when you realize that you ate what Ryan ate…

And in a moment of gut-wrenching clarity, Jake realizes — it’s the fruit. He takes off at a sprint to the group yelling, “Don’t eat the fruit!!” He tells them what was on the video and as expected, everyone starts feeling nauseous. If you were one of the survivalists, would you force yourself to empty your stomach?

Poisonous fruit aside, they still have a shelter to build. Darrin feels strongly about not building camp along the river, so he and Kim head out to look for a better place. While they’re gone, the rest of the group starts boiling water, cooking the snake and collecting wood. But Jake vomits and lies down to rest while Phaedra and Stacey watch Ryan’s intense video.

Darrin and Kim think that Ryan’s shelter has the potential to be a great starting point for their group, and propose building there. And Darrin notes that Ryan’s lizard is woefully undercooked. They return to the group to share their findings and ideas.

Everyone but Jake eats snake meat, and is glad for the protein. But I wonder how many people will be throwing up their meals later.

Jake gets sick again and his face is as green as I’ve ever seen. It is cartoon green. He’s too sick to help the group, and Phaedra stays with him. It isn’t long before she’s sick too, and it’s the same panicked writhing as Ryan experienced. A producer of the show calls in a medic for Phaedra; she’s desperate to stay, but they want to move her to the safety of Bush Camp for an IV and observation.

Over in the new group camp, Darrin puts himself in charge of building the new shelter. Alyssa rolls her eyes at Darrin’s self-appointed chiefdom and self-importance. But everyone just keeps working. This isn’t the time for a power struggle, this is the time for desperate work.

They see medics removing someone on a stretcher and are shocked that it’s Phaedra when Jake staggers up to the group. Kim sums it up best, “What the F@#$ is happening?”

Up in bush camp, the medics give Phaedra an IV and painkillers and vow to watch her for a few hours before deciding if they need to evacuate her to a hospital. Back in the group camp, Jake can no longer take the pain and a medic is called for him too. The medical team thinks that Jake, Phaedra (and Ryan) may be suffering from gastritis from eating fruit infected by the saliva or feces from monkeys or bats. Eew. When Jake and Phaedra’s cots are set next to each other, they grasp hands. They’re both in agony; but they still reach out comfort each other. I love them!

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 7
My mom always told me that we wash our fruit in case a monkey pooped on it. I always thought she was kidding … turns out she was dead right.

The strange part of this illness is that others who have eaten the same fruit may be okay, as long as the fruit that they’ve eaten is clean. We’ll have to see if anyone else gets sick. Back in the ever-shrinking large group, Stacey is very proud of herself for not eating any of the fruit. But I bet she’s going to find herself in serious Florence Nightingale territory if she has to nurse the rest of the group back to health.

I wonder: are the producers not immediately evacuating Jake and Phaedra because they want to limit the number of tap outs? It wouldn’t be good TV if three (or more!) of the strongest people tapped out within a few hours. They may also have the benefit of insight into Ryan’s illness to know that this is something that can be treated in the bush. Or is this an action fueled by cost-cutting? … Hospitals aren’t cheap…

As the sun sets, we check-in on our sick survivalists. Jake and Phaedra are getting the luxury of cots and pillows and hydration, so if they can control the pain, this may not be all bad…

In the wild, the group has worked tirelessly to build their shelter. This seems to be the closest they’ve been to apex predators in this experience. But the massive task has been slowed by worry for their teammates and their own roiling tummies.

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 7
Let’s take a moment to give props to the medical crew of Naked and Afraid XL. They’ve earned it.

In the field hospital, Jake is able to rest, but Phaedra’s pain only gets worse. The series EP, Steve Rankin, makes the tough decision to evacuate her to the hospital. She’s devastated to be leaving Jake, but her life has to come before her pride.

Back in the large group, Kim starts to feel sick and the group calls for the medic. Her screams sound like labor contractions, and that’s not how you want to feel when you’re surrounded by lions. The medics come and recommend immediate evacuation for Kim. It’s especially tense because it’s dark, and Kim is loud. If I was a hungry lion, I’d be interested in what was going on. They load Kim into Phaedra’s ambulance and both women are taken to the hospital. And Jake’s not out of the woods either; he’s still in excruciating pain.

In the group camp, Alyssa, Kim, Steven and Darrin know hungry beasts are actively stalking them. And hopefully, their fragile and hastily made shelter can protect them.

By the looks of next week’s previews, the lions become even more relentless. And Jake is noticeably absent from the clips. :,-(

I hate to take any pleasure in the pain of others, but was the most exciting episode of Naked and Afraid I’ve ever seen! And I’m exhausted and terrified and can’t wait for next week. Do you think that everyone else is out of the woods? Is Jake’s absence from the preview clips foreshadowing, or clever editing? Is anyone hungry for some monkey poop fruit?

A note of little importance.
The XLR of the group falls from 5.9 to 3.9 out of 10.0.
Here’s my thought on the matter of XLRs…


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- Fire Starter -(Learned in Episode 6)
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 6 “Deadly Consequences”
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 5 “Rock Bottom”
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4 “Too Many Chiefs”
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. If any of you want to get REALLY worked up, I highly recommend watching MSNBC or CNN. Presidential politics this year is far more entertaining (& disturbing) than any reality TV show out there!

  2. The N&A contestant who I thought had the most potential was Eva Rupert.

    In her bio it stated that she attended Emerson College in Boston, a school renowned for its communication department and has sent many graduates into the TV/Radio industry. I’m not sure if she was a communication major while there, but her personality comes across very poised and articulate on TV. Either she received some training, or else is very natural at it, but she seems to have what it takes. I think she would do well providing commentary in sort of a N&A “post-game” show. Or otherwise as a master of ceremonies during the reunion show. She’s tall, for a woman (about 5’-11”) and has a commanding presence.

    Who can forget those long, sturdy legs striding across the dessert of Madagascar? Simply smashing…

    • OK RWB- you are a delightful person, but it’s becoming all too obvious that you may be confusing physical beauty with survival skills! And it is also apparent that you have a particular “body type/look” that you find attractive in women (Kim & now Eva..). FYI- Eva brought a kitchen knife as her survival tool on her 21 day challenge. It broke on the first day, & even the ever hilarious Jeff Zausch castigated her in a very funny posting on his website! She is a close friend (& perhaps more?) with Laura Zerra (once quoted as saying that a man’s body is extremely ugly). I suspect that Laura made Eva’s participation a condition of her repeat appearances. This has all been very cute digressions, but can we possibly get back to discussing survival eventually??

      • Al K, I was continuing the discussion from the previous posts that talked about N&A contestants who’ve had their careers extended by the DC (Jeff & EJ). I was merely stating that Eva Rupert was more TV-ready than Jeff & EJ, but not necessarily in a survival role. Also, I don’t think Kim and Eva share similar body types – they’ve got the same hair color, but that’s about it. (Gun to my head, I’d take Kim any day.)

    • Jeeze Luise Rwb, did you even watch last seasons XL? Eva turned into one of the bitch sisters. She and the other girls relentlessly harped on one of the sweetest girls ever on the show, Dani Julien. They were merciless in how they treated her. Eva was a horrible person, she and Alana Barfield led the pack of snarling bitches. Aside from that Eva isn’t even good looking.

      • KenO, I also disapproved the way the “Bitch Pack” treated Dani Julien – one of the cutest beach babes to ever walk the planet. Absolutely gorgeous all-round tan!

        And don’t get me going on Alana Barfield – she’s a bitch’s bitch.

        Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but I salivate over the idea of a Kim & Eva sandwich with me as the meat. Deeeelicious!

      • You’re so right Ken. Eva was NOT a nice person. She called Jeff her “brother” after their 21-day adventure. However, when Eva’s group was starving, E.J. and Jeff provided them with food and what did they do when Laura supposedly “caught” that little cayman. They ate it, discussed whether to give Jeff and E.J. any, and finally agreed to give them a portion of the bony neck from the cayman. Not too “sisterly” of her.

  3. KenO, Laurajane, AlK and Kellie. Dual Survival with TV Stars E.J. and Jeff. I tuned in for 15 minutes in the middle of it then CLICK OFF. I have had more fun stubbing a toe.

    • Hi J.C. I’m waiting now to watch it at 7:15 pst. Was it really that bad? Will Kellie be doing a recap on this show? You really turned it off? I’m going to have the house to myself in 10 minutes, making some dinner, and looking forward to 7:15. Will let you know if I join you in the 15 minutes.

    • Ok, J.C., I lasted 15 minutes longer than you; now I’m ready to turn it off and go to bed. I don’t quite get it; they’re in Brazil and it’s 109 and the first thing they do is try to be rescued by building 3 fires full of rubber tires to make huge clouds of black smoke (guess there’s no EPA in Brazil). Why are they trying to be rescued so soon? How long have they been there; how long do they stay? Why are they not trying to survive and only concentrate on being rescued; what’s the purpose of the show? Seems pretty stupid AND boring. Hey, that should be the name of Jeff and E.J.’s show: STUPID AND BORING. yawn, yawn Good night. 🙂

      • Love you Laurajane! Hard to believe these two are replacements for Matt Graham, Cody Lundin, and Bill McConnell.

      • In scenarios like this, with a stranded or disabled vehicle, I always wonder why they don’t just backtrack it to wherever they left the main road rather than striking out across the countryside.

        • In scenarios like this I was hoping Larry and Curly would just shoot themselves, oops, no gun. They could stab themselves but knowing these two they’d probably miss.

      • LAURA/KEN/JC- You guys got a lot further than I (I recorded it, so may suffer thru a viewing if in the right mood). I did turn on my TV last night, & it was being replayed. It was 45 minutes into show. One thing that you may have missed since you understandably couldn’t get that far in, which I found to be the funniest ever: The epic spearfishing misadventure, leading into the catching of one puny fish, followed by completely inappropriate hooting & hollering, & consumated by the totally disgusting consumption of it raw on the spot (Gollum,Gollum..)!
        And then of course is the totally disingenuous meal prayer.
        I want to like this show, but these guys are such yahoos & neanderthals. EJ looks awful healthwise, & perhaps his best years are way behind him (typical of some ex military who saw combat, but not all). There is also some pervasive fakeness to these guys, like they are mugging to the camera, & that being a TV star is more important than being a survival star. You may disagree with me, but I would prefer the asshole Joe Teti over either of them (with some hippie like Cody/Matt/Bill to compliment. I think this show has been sliding downhill for years now, & they are continually struggling to right the ship, with poor pairing choices dooming them (case in point the previous season, where they doubled down on the testosterone factor once Bill left.)I actually liked Grady (& even Dave)- the only (perhaps rare?) military types that I ever did. Your thoughts??

        • AlK. Thanks for the further recap. I never cared much for DS because of the set up. Such things as finding a brand new motorcycle with tool kit abandoned in the jungle or a stash of goods in the middle of the Arabian Desert is too much for me to choke down. The scavenging and use of “found” stuff for survival might just as well have been demonstrated in an abandoned warehouse in Hoboken.

          • “Set up” is right, completely staged but then again I’m thinking that N&A XL and N&A lite are quite staged as well….nothing is anything anymore.

    • Did you notice that when E.J. was fumbling in the pouch they found he starts talking about whether they can find “a little food, a little water or were these guys total morons?” You mean like you and Jeff? You didn’t bring anything either. This is like the two stooges. Every time EJ talks into the camera he’s snarling, every time Jeff talks into the camera he’s like Professor Survival. OK, so I watched the whole thing with both my wife and I exclaiming every few minutes “what a couple of morons”. And again, just as they did in their XL adventure they have to scream any time they accomplish anything, gather brush YAAH!, make fire YAAH! catch a miserable little fishy YAAH! Take a bite out of said little fishy YAAH! See the water YAAH! Jump in the water YAAH! Jesus what a pair of idiots. Dumb and dumberer, Bevis and Butthead, Larry and Curly. This was as pleasant as a root canal. We could have Cody Lundin and Matt but we get these two? OMG! Then we have to put up with Jeff’s survival gems and EJ’s snarling commentaries, oh well, it’s Discovery Channel/whatever.

      • KenO. Thanks for the recap. I could only endure 15 minutes of it. All the screaming these two do is repressed anger over their known (to them) shortcomings and making anything in the environment pay. They act like 12 year old boys. Good luck boys.

        • 12 year old boys, perfect description. They’re not survivalists but they play one on TV…..wanna buy one of my special survival knives? you know, like the one I broke on TV? Asshat.

      • Hey Moe…whoop,whoop,whoop,whoop..A couple of birdbrains & knuckle heads- We need to give them both funny nicknames. JC-any ideas?

      • You are confirming my worst fears, but since you guys were brave enough to watch it I promise to as well. (Ken- I hope you didn’t have a full stomach for this one..) It’s pretty apparent by all your postings that this show will not put any of us in a good mood- quite the opposite! Still, I will take one for the team. (I wouldn’t expect Kellie to waste her time on this trash, so it’s up to us..)

        • Al, how do we continue if Kellie doesn’t set it up? We’ll probably end up just writing on the final episode site cause I don’t want any of us to lose this great communication and repoire we enjoy as well as just having friends online all talking and griping about the same show. I don’t want you guys to go. 🙁

          • That’s a good idea-using the last episode of this show (& I am guessing they will have a reunion show next Sunday, or perhaps the following week?)

        • Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk should be what they yell when they kill something or find something or see something or finally make fire or something.

    • DC had the audacity of billing these two clowns as “Fan favorites”. Utterly disgusting. How could these two morons be fan favorites when they have no respect for the creatures they kill nor for the environment they’re invading.

      • Even then, the air headed “babes” had more going for them, they got the two dingbats to bring them food. I mean, why do it yourself when you can get a couple of nutjobs to do it for you?

        • Hi guys, so J.C. lasted 15 minutes, I managed 30 and Ken watched the whole thing and we all hated it BUT we’ll all be back next week to watch and bitch about it again. This forum is so much more interesting than the actual show. Again, how long do these guys have to last out there, is there an extraction point or are they just going to pollute the air by burning more rubber tires hoping that planes will spot their 3-fire call for help?

          Rwb is right; without the naked babes, they’re just 2 clothed stupid-ass men who actually drank the water straight from the hole EJ found without sterilizing it.

          • I love you Laurajane. You’ve nailed it, we’ll all bitch about it but we’ll be back next week to watch and bitch again…hilarious. There is much to bitch about with the 2 clothed stupid asses…aka Curlyl and Larry. There seems to be no point to their show except to sell their websites. What a couple of 12 year old morons desperate to prove how tough they are and failing at every turn. If EJ sent me one of his knives I’d send it back telling him I have a much more useful knife, a Moraknife….jackass.

          • LJ- have you never watched Dual Survival? It used to be great (if you program your DVR to record ALL, there are still some reruns of previous seasons- there was always one “hippie/naturalist” teamed with some ex-military type- Cody Lundin,Matt Graham,Bill McConnell were very real & talented TRUE SURVIVALISTS (that’s the way they have lived for 20+ years.) The format is a recreation of a scenario where some idiots theoretically get stuck out in nowheresville, & have to find their way out. Each episode is a stand alone affair, with different locations & scenarios. I truly you get to see Cody & Matt in action ( & then maybe you can then join us guys in our ritual Joe Teti “lovefest”..)

  4. KenO and Kellie. I continue to think that what this group needed was the intelligent and studious Don Nguyen. Don would have researched and known where to find plentiful plant food. Don would have been a “spark plug” to get them moving. I would have picked Don instead of Clarence. Poor Clarence placed himself in a life threatening situation due to his obesity and being “out of shape.” Don had no hunting skills but he would not have needed them. The plethora of “hunters” haven’t done well at all anyway. Don might have surprised them with his ability to plan and develop a plan the others could execute. Don’s ability to persevere and keep on going forward would have been an major asset. I am NOT trying to participate an argument but just engaging in a fanciful “what if?”

    • I agree. Don was nearly perfect, intelligence with no deep skills nor experience is still superior and would have helped this crowd immensely. They might have invited him but with his brains he probably has a good job and no further need to imbibe in a phony (as we’ve come to find out) “survival” escapade.

    • Don was the worst contestant on this show by far. Yes, he was smart but for 23 days didn’t accomplish much, seemed to be made of thin skin and the last person I’d want by my side to survive anything much less living in the wild. I’d take anyone with practical application experience over a book nerd any day of the week. I suspect that had he joined this season that the drama level would be over the top as he’d want to work very little but tell everyone else what to do. When he made his second partner carry the largest load I wanted to reach through the screen and smack him like his daddy should have.

      • Um, he accomplished finishing the challenge. What else was he supposed to accomplish? He was pretty amazing, applying what he read to real life. Much props to Don, nice job.

      • As a contestant in a “survival game”, I thought Don Nguyen did a remarkable job considering that he had little actual survival experience and was self-taught from study. And, both his partners tapped-out on him over the course of 23 days.

        • That’s right man. I forgot.. He was the only one to have to extend his challenge & never got due credit for it. Book knowledge is an extremely valuable start/tool. And those that don’t use it are farts/fools! (there’s my songwriter rhyming coming thru..)

  5. KenO. If you are interested in primitive hunting tools as I know you are; go on the internet and type in “Choctaw blow gun.” My Choctaw great Uncle had one of these which he claimed was 150 years old in 1948. With it, he was a deadly hunter of birds, rabbits and squirrels. Before Indian Removal from Alabama and Mississippi, the main Choctaw diet was from “the three sisters” (Maize, squash and beans) supplemented with small game added to the cooking pot. Of course, they had venison but the bulk of it was for jerky and pemmican which was easily carried on expeditions along with parched corn. They ate all kinds of plants and herbs which I have forgotten.

    • Yes, Blowguns. I am quite familiar though not knowing about our Native American Choctaw brothers variety. Seems early man was pretty cool and not just in one area. South American Blow guns I’ve seen and up close. They split wood, hollow out the center by scraping and then bind the to sides back together perfectly straight. They’re usually 8′-10′ long and they supposedly can knock a hummingbird out of the canapy 30′ or more in the air with the first shot. Their usual game is monkeys and a blowgun with a poisoned dart can take down nearly any large game. What a weapon, silent and deadly.

    • OBTW, thanks for reminding me about blowguns. They’re another “intuitive” weapon and you’d be surprised (well, maybe not you) at just how fast you can become extremely proficient with one. I’m still gobsmacked that Steven hasn’t figured out a)that atlatl darts should have fletching and b) he doesn’t seem to be able to use one with any accuracy whatsoever.

      • KenO. It is that Steven is only a legend in his own mind. Following one’s intuition and insight requires humility, patience and acceptance of natures gifts. Too many, especially Steven, Jeff and EJ think they can “beat” nature.

      • KenO. I never got to use Uncle Zeff’s blowgun. Uncle subscribed to the theory that children would destroy anything less durable than a blacksmiths anvil. I never touched any of his tools, his disapproving glare could melt a glacier. Making my own blowgun was beyond the time, skill and patience of a 10 yo boy.

        • Amazon has very nice modern steel blowguns and darts made of both steel and bamboo. Look to be fun. I’d get the 5′ blowgun just to see how really easy it is….good luck.

  6. Kim. Maybe it was the producers, maybe it was her, or maybe it was both, but what an exit!

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it.

    After wondering aloud, “What the f— is happening?” She knows full well what’s happening when her stomach begins to roil. Then, resigning to the position, she drops her buckskin top and awaits for the splash of her own vomit.

    I’m feelin’ you, Kim.

    Then the anguished, agonizing scream…

    I can’t lose the image of her white, naked body strewn on the stretcher (Why’d they take her bottoms off?) leaving the savannah.

    This isn’t the sedan I was thinking of. This is a tragic finish for the girl who overcame Gary Underhill, actually forged a bond with Darrin Reay, and braved the 40-day challenge.

    My worst thought though, is that her 15 minutes are up, and she’s going to recede back outta sight.

    • Rwb, are you saying that if you were there to rescue her you wouldn’t have said “Sorry Kim but in order to carry you out we’re going to have to remove your loin cloth, er, just to be safe.” I bet you would, then you’d be all like “I’ll ride in the back with her to keep her from tumbling around.” No doubt.

      • LOL!!!

        I found this little interview with Kim on the internet last night:

        At first glance, I’m reading the musings of a 21-year old that I remembered at that age. Still, very revealing. I was trying to find her birth date, but all I could come up with is that she’s a registered Democrat. I think that’s fitting after reading her interview.

        Kim seems to be a person who lives through her emotions. She’s sentimental – attached to water as a medium to her inner being. She has all the ear markings of a Scorpio chick…

    • BTW, after watching last night’s replay, it was Kim herself who took her bottoms off while lying on the stretcher!

      That little fox was obviously getting ready for… whatever happens next.

  7. This was NOT an exciting episode unless you think watching someone in a car wreck screaming in pain is an ‘exciting road trip.’
    This was a heartbreaking, brutal episode to watch. Four people got extreme gastritis and lay in the dirt screaming in agony for who knows how long before medics got there and provided some pain relief. So much of the agony was edited out to fit the show into its time slot. The producers should have warned the group that the first guy ate the fruit and the lizard and got VERY sick so don’t eat either. Them not telling group is damn near criminal. This was not a finger cut or thorn in a foot type pain people. This was agony. And what kind of PERMANENT damage might this have caused? This was over the top for me. No more.

    • XFan, I hate to agree with you but if you scroll down you’ll see my post in reply to Kellie (who I adore) on this episode pretty much mirrors your disdain. This episode was painful to watch, so much more so because of the amount of respect I had for the participants from the start. So much talent, so little teamwork…. what a shame.

    • I agree! I am very upset that the crew did not step in on this one! To do something like that for ratings in horrible

  8. Jake is going to be on Discovery’s “Out of The Wild”. Should be good. I’ve seen the other shows.

    • Judi. That was season 2 of “Out of The Wild.” The title was “Out of The Wild: The Alaska Experiment.” Jake did indeed make it out to civilization. They guns and ammo. It is an old show.

    • Judi. You might say Jake is a “property” of DC. My guess is that is the reason he wasn’t evacuated with Phaedra and Kim. A scenario is possible in which Jake is juiced up given a steak dinner and returned to the sufferers of XL 2.

      • They better not as that will be the last of any respect I have for the N&A franchise. All of the participants that were carried out by stretcher should be done with the challenge. All failed by the very definition of the word and none of them should be allowed to return. They were stupid enough to eat the fruits just like the ones that were stupid enough to drink unfiltered water, no difference. They simply are medically taped out and deservedly so.

  9. KenO-
    You being the slayer of the wild potatoe, I wonder what you might have considered for these survivor’s root,bark or grain eating options? My thinking is that even if they were finding adequate greens,nuts,etc that their diet was severely lacking in anything resembling a balanced native meal. And especially since they were so incapable of securing meat or fish protein, the land could have perhaps yielded some promising alternatives to sustain them? Thanx

    • The girls, being particularly more adept at finding food in most episodes of N&A, wound up harvesting cattail tubers. These tubers can be dried and pounded into flour to back rudimentary breads. Our survival “experts” (deemed such since they all, save Stacey, survived their 21 day episodes) don’t seem to be able to utilize anything but meat upon which to subsist while early man ate mostly edible plants and tubers. I have to admit that I’m not familiar with the plant life in South Africa but you can rest assured that if I were to be going there I’d be reading up on it extensively. One way you can be a bit safe is to watch what the animals are eating (aside from just grass) to get a good idea of what is edible. Those fairly poisonous fruits they all (except Stacey) would not have been so devastating had the “survivalists” used even a modicum of restrain and checked each fruit for signs of being nibbled on or having their outer skins compromised. Much as I do when harvesting my tomatoes knowing that anything that nibbled on them has left it’s saliva and therefore any bacteria. I don’t eat any that have been munched by who knows what nor would I do it in the wild. As we’ve seen having your body invaded by bacteria/micro-organisms is as dangerous as an animal bite. The bite of a Monitor lizard contains many bacteria that are life threatening, it’s why even the little ones are feared. I agree wholeheartedly that the participants consistently neglect their dietary balance. It’s a shame because it’s been said that many people die of hunger in areas where there is much food within arms reach if they only recognized it. Early man, even in this area, foraged for nuts, fruits, berries and tubers as well as killing small game. None of our “experts” consider much of anything besides meat and fish.

    • So, I thought why not google “edible tubers in South Africa” and was pleasantly surprised with the number of sites that came up including “Food Foraging in South Africa” which was excellent and a site called “Central Tuber Crops Research” as well as the entire research paper “Edible Wild Plants of Southern Africa”. All of these are outstanding and riveting reads (well, for me anyway). Considering the diets of early man were almost entirely plant based as were the Aztecs, Olmecs and Mayans. Plants are much easier to catch since none of them run very fast. You do need to know how to recognize them so the color photographs are helpful. Then you need to know how to prepare them and, for what it’s worth, ground grains aren’t the only thing to make bread out of. But, then again, you’d have to be focused on the whole world of plants, not the “meat” world to have any idea of what can be done. Most modern people, including nearly everyone on N&A XL as well as nearly everyone on this board are pretty ignorant of plant based foods and their flavor profiles. Of the plants I found one was wild garlic and several are herbs with flavor profiles that would help any meal.

      • KenO. Thanks for the research. We discussed this in an earlier episode. Warthogs exist primarily on edible roots and tubers and there were plenty of warthogs around. Our survivalists made the gross error of immediately “scarfing” the first bounty of fruit they blundered upon. No testing or checking, just “scarfing.” Alyssa, Steven and Darrin did appear to eat only harvested fruit with intact skins. We shall see! Karma (what goes around , come around) seems to be working with full effect.

        • Yes, we did. The abundance of warthogs tells us there is an abundance of warthog chow around, primarily tubers so, no shortage of tubers. Our gang, however, are short sighted and focusing in on the wrong chow, completely passing over what’s available while licking their chops on what eludes them.

  10. Ok then buddy, next time you should go out on the next xl challenge and we can all see your awesome survival skills. If you can’ t do what you say they should have done then you have no right to spout off about it.

    • I don’t know who you’re talking to since you didn’t say but, personally I have every right to speak my mind when all of these “experienced survivalists” aren’t doing much of anything. They haven’t worked together until they were almost done and then they would have taken game but they didn’t plan it well so they missed their opportunity. They should have worked that way from the start.

    • Additionally most of us watch N&A and N&A XL to see people adapt and survive using skills they’re supposed to have, that they have affirmed that they have and that they are supposed to have proven to Metal Flowers to have. When they don’t they should be called out just as someone who’s supposed to be a Chef should be called out when they can’t cool. You’re new to this board so you’re unaware that at least a couple of us (J.C. and myself) are in our 70’s, have a lot of experience and frankly don’t appreciate “experienced survivalists” fumbling and bumbling about in the bush with no plans and no cooperation with each other.

    • So, Randy, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you are pretty ignorant of survival techniques since you don’t seem to understand just how miserably inept our “contestants” are. If you had a clue you’d readily see just how glaringly incompetent they are. Especially in the “working together” part that would have made their lives much easier. Considering that there were 9 of them at the beginning of their stay near the water every hour that they worked would be 9 hours of effort. Every 5 hours of effort would equal 45 hours. Once you start seeing this you start to understand what they could have accomplished…..very disappointing.

      • KenO. Good tracking of the man/woman hours wasted. Over 3 to 4 weeks, the accounting of wasted time becomes huge. Accomplishments? Insignificant. Also, thanks for standing up and including me in the wisdom gained by age and experienced in a life time of doing.

  11. Barring another outbreak of illness an accident or an animal attack; I expect Steven, Darrin, Alyssa and Stacey to make it to the end. If Jake returns which is questionable, I expect he will make it also. I am ever the optimist.

    • OK. (but why me?) DR. ANON Y MOUS; JC (and the rest of us) want to know if you know what was wrong with Tawny..
      P.S.- I finally saw the extended tease clip for EJ & Jeff’s Dual Survival episode. Was it the intention of the producers to make it a comedy? Lots of failed trying to catch a fish, & when they finally do, it’s puny! And then let the whooping begin.. EJ looks worn out compared to last year, too. I may have to pass on this one.
      P.P.S.- I was suspicious as to what really happened to Tawny- no marks on her body from a fall. She seemed very spacey, and her injuries were internal (my first thought was perhaps appendicitis, & I still wonder if there are intestinal parasites brewing in all of the bodies that ate the rancid inyala way back when..)
      P.P.P.S.- My DVR doesn’t indicate a new episode for this coming week. Perhaps they are skipping a week before the grand finale?

      • Al K- My husband and I watched the first bit of “Dual Survival” and decided to pass. It was two guys trying too hard! Why was EJ dressed in a ridiculous Hulk Hogan head rag? And the whooping?!? It was embarrassing.
        I had hoped for better, but then I was reminded that EJ injured himself repeatedly on his N&A expeditions (Stepping on a thorn and slicing himself with his machete) and was known for insane mood swings (Screaming at an eel, and then blubbering when castigated by Laura). He’s like watching amateur theater, lots of theatrics without much substance.

        • Good for you Kellie, I will pass also! If I want comedy, I will pull out my DVD’s of the “Carol Burnett Show.”

      • Anything containing the words “EJ & Jeff” should be considered suspicious. What a couple of bozo’s. They’re more like Larry and Curly without Mo. They love to kill things and swear at them while they’re doing it, pretty sad doin’s for a couple of creepy critter murderers who actually aren’t very good at it anyway. Tawny, I think (I don’t know because I haven’t been able to contact Dr. Anon Y. Mous either) probably succumbed to extreme malnutrition which can damage internal organs. I’m wondering too, with what we know about “Metal Flowers”, if they didn’t sit down and discuss where they could put the “contestants” where they would have almost no chance for any success especially when they also control what the contestants are allowed. Personally I don’t trust Metal Flowers as far as I could throw them.

      • Al. Dr. Anon Y Mous sounded just like you with intelligent and forceful posts. So I was just testing the pseudonym.

        • Sorry, not me. I chose to use my real name as an act of trust & respect to all of you who do likewise, I suspect. Most folks seem very decent here, as well.. No need to hide behind an alias. Does Dr. Mouse have inside info? (there will most likely be a “reunion” show after the last episode, like there was last year, so we will hopefully find out the answers to our questions then).
          I must say that I have gradually been losing interest in this season- nothing really bad about the survivalists: minimal drama, & I think that I would like & get along with all of them. They have successfully bonded together as a tribe over the course of the show.
          Perhaps it’s because of what Ken & JC were saying- they just show such a lack of skill & ambition. Also, even though I am not skilled at hunting, some primitive intuition is telling me that there are tactics that would serve a large group well (didn’t ancient man hunt together?)

    • I saw on her Facebook live video that she had a cyst rupture on her ovary. Very painful, and very bad Lu k to have happen then and there

  12. Fitness? There are some comments on the “most fit.” Outdoor living in this hot and rugged environment requires a special physical and mental adaptation, conditioning and stoicism. Darrin has lived outdoors in the woods, plains and desert his entire life and I would call him the “most fit.” Gym rats are limited in their adaptability and conditioning. The musclebound Hakkim discovered this very soon in last years XL.

    • True that and Hakkim was a perfect example of a musclebound body builder. Jake is not, he and Steven as well as Ryan and Darrin all are good examples of well balanced and fit physical specimens. Darrin has always been one of our favorites (yours and mine) ever since his 21 day trial. He’s starting to shine now as is Steven. Jake coming back is iffy, and if he does it’s not fair. Whey they get pulled due to severe illness it’s time for them to tap or be tapped out, none of this leaving for a couple of days in R&R and then coming back unless they ALL get to do it. None of them are in good shape because none of them have done what they were capable of from the start. With the amount of talent that they had as a group there is simply no excuse.

      • Roger that! I try not to be too critical because of my history with PTSD (Vietnam) which resulted in Hyper vigilance to possible threats. I have a dry sense of humor (irony) that is natural to me. After PTSD, I watch myself because my dry humor can proceed to acerbic wit and become negative. It happens.

          • Naw, ou didn’t miss it, all is cool…I have a tendency to be extremely sarcastic, oh well, a bit of this a bit of that everything seems to balance out,

  13. First thing my wife said was, why did they not wash the fruit in some of their boiled water before eating it? Out in the wild that’s especially important. And yes, only intact-skin fruit should have been eaten.

    This whole episode reminded me of the old Agatha Christie novel “And Then There Were None”, except the murderer is nature plus their own stupidity/ineptness, and inability to work together as a team. It just floors me that after 29 days they could not even bring down a single animal to feed them all, especially when Darrin had a perfectly serviceable bow.

    It may well be that everyone will be tapping out before the challenge ends…I have serious doubts about the remaining people being able to last 11 more days.

    • My feelings exactly Paul. These are all supposed to be experienced survivalists and they’ve done squat. They’ve never worked together and could have, at least, brought down Nyala…

    • Are you kidding about the comment your wife made. These guys haven’t had anything serious to eat. The fact that they are so hungry, getting something in their stomach is what they really care about. How many times have you seen these guys washing their hands, cleaning the fruits or any food they eat. This is a survival situation. I hope the others make it through the rest of the days. Personally I think that South Africa has been a tough place to these guys and I am glad they chose it for this season. Let’s keep on enjoying Naked and Afraid XL

      • Well said! Starvation has hampered their brain activity. They haven’t had a decent meal for days. It is simple for us who have just stepped away from the dinner table to criticize them for a lack of clear thinking which is impossible for them. You and I will get a lot of “yes buts” for showing sympathy and understanding for these people. Many of them have been suffering for weeks from tick fever which further limits their endurance. I agree with you, South Africa is definitely a very tough place (the toughest ever on N&A and XL)and an ultimate test for these people. Give them a break! I am enjoying the show with it’s many frustrations.

      • Right, it’s a survival situation and the Lions, Leapords, Hippos and Elephants didn’t get them but micro-organisms did because they, in their panic to get food in them, didn’t bother with simple hygiene. They just started jamming an unknown fruit into their mouths without thinking about bats/monkeys, just started gorging. At least one of them led with “survival instincts” and wouldn’t eat them and guess what? She didn’t get sick. The rest of them were fuzzy headed and not thinking clearly because they were starving. Why were they starving? Because they didn’t work together to trap/kill game. When Alyssa gave them a plan, their first plan by the way, they nearly captured game. If they had been doing that from the first day they got together they would have worked it out. Gee, it’s South Africa, given em a break, shit there were hundreds of Nyala’s around when they first got there if they had a primitive thought in their brains they could have made plans then. There’s no excuse, they just failed. By the way, every place is a very tough place if you have no skills.

        • KenO. There is no argument with the reality that these people have not done well and failed. None of them have used their individual talents to benefit themselves or the group which frustrates me. They are only “expert survivalists” because DC has declared them that. Jake has failed with his good ole boy leadership. Long ago (the time is past now) it was apparent; the need to meet together and everyone must contribute ideas or a plan to succeed. Then work out a plan and the person most qualified becomes “task leader.” Darrin has all the knowledge they needed but none of them were willing to tap into his knowledge by asking for his help. Darrin kept telling them but they passed him off as a “know it all.” Meanwhile, it is fun and games and failure after failure. It is not Darrin’s nature to take charge except when he is endangered. The showdown with Steven is the only conflict in which he has participated. Everyone seems to be in love with the “team player concept” which is BS. Effective teams are made up of individuals supporting a task while seeking their place in the sun. None of these “expert survivalists” have anything resembling a “real job” so they have failed in teamwork.

          • J.C. you’ve mixed up the terms “Team” and “Team player”. They are not the same. This group has never worked as a team, they have no concept of “teamwork” and so they have failed miserably. Nearly all of them could have been “team players” had they any sort of real leadership but they haven’t, again epic failure. Under real leadership they could have been assigned fire making/firewood detail, latrine duty, plant gathering, medicine making, snare making and setting, fish trap building and setting, etc. These people knew they needed to hook up in a group but they somehow missed why it would be good. The only time they came close was when Alyssa drew a plan for them and then they didn’t execute it well….all so disappointing.

    • I’m constantly grossed out by the sight of the survivalists’ filthy hands whenever they’re shown eating. Why not sacrifice a little of the water to give your hands a good washing? They’re eating with the same hands that prepare food, swat bugs, use the bathroom and move brush. Yuck!

      • Well said Kellie. It’s a wonder they aren’t constantly sick just from poor hygiene and fecal contamination.

  14. “If you were one of the survivalists, would you force yourself to empty your stomach?”

    I am really surprised that not one of them (at least on-screen) did not immediately go off and stick their fingers down their throats to empty out their stomachs. And maybe also mash up some of the charcoal from the fire and drink that down to absorb what they did not throw up.

  15. Alyssa is great,she will end up working with whom ever is in charge,and she will do it with a smile on her face..Poor Phaedra,could not buy a good break..Kim did not seem to lose much weight.Maybe a love smitten producer was sneaking her snacks? haha

    • Alyssa is great and I’m with you, it doesn’t look like Kim has lost a pound (probably it’s been Rwb that’s been sneaking her snacks) and poor Phaedra (another great gal) she was nearly down for the count when she got sick….

  16. This episode was action packed and climatic! What Kellie calls “good TV” in spades. The Producers are still showing stock shots of animals that are not there (i.e. hippos) to “improve” the drama. Kellie, thanks for clearing up the reason Jake was shouting and running back to the temporary camp to warn them about the fruit. My HDTV squawked at that time and obscured his voice. It appeared that Darrin, Alyssa, and Steven only ate harvested fruit with intact skins. Good that Stacey remembered her “lesson learned.” Jake even discovered maggots in a fruit he had eaten. Ryan had even wiped up some of the broken fruit from the ground and ate it.
    Darrin reiterated the mantra of “safety first” which he has followed from the beginning. Alyssa and Jake were resisting moving their camp to a safer location but Phaedra tipped the scales. Darrin has the knowledge and even Steven has realized it. Alyssa will have to adjust her attitude. South Africa is no joke! The presence of snakes indicates there is some small game around; there were no snakes at any of the previous locations.
    So the Producers would have us believe there are only 4 left. Who can trust the lying, deceiving producers? Jake will either be there next week or he won’t. Did they ever tell us what happened to Tawny? If they did, I missed it so someone tell me please?
    Anyone who thinks hunting African Plains game is easy to harvest with primitive weapons and other means is wrong.

    • Action packed? They moved some brush and mainly got sick, wow, I’m impressed. Look, nobody said anything about “easy to harvest” but with a whole group they could have, early on, prepared a killing run to herd the animals into. Of course it wouldn’t be “easy” but it would be doable, much more doable than isolated attempts and killing individual animals with inferior weapons. American Indian tribes, again, made it a serious penalty for anyone hunting alone, it was a tribal hunt. That’s what it should have been here, set up a giant trap/run and funnel the animals into it. That’s how primitive man was successful. These people could have done it, they just didn’t. Plenty of drama? Yeah, exciting show? No. I’m with Rwb on this one, lucky if any of them make it another ten days. Not sure if Jake is coming back. Ryan, Phaedra, Kim, down for the count. Jake, rather iffy if you count the odds. Everybody else with low morale and sadness. No Darrin is starting to shine and so is Steve, Alyssa (who I like) will certainly have to change her attitude towards Darrin, he knows what he’s doing and now we’ll see what kind of a hunter Steve is.

      • I think that several people getting sick and needing to be evacuated constitutes as action-packed! The rest of this season’s episodes have been a lot of sitting around the campfire with one failure-filled “excursion” to find food.

        In this episode we saw three distinct locations (The old camp, Ryan’s river-side camp and the field tent) and several minor stopping points, (i.e. the fruit tree, the temporary river-side camp). It just felt more tense. The danger and the stakes felt higher than this season’s other lazy episodes. The producers had a lot more footage to work with because of the medical events, so they could edit the hour’s action felt heightened. I was still really wound-up after watching last night’s episode and didn’t fall asleep until very, very late. (I’m sure watching a youtube video of what happens to your skin after a puff adder bite didn’t help — it was very graphic).

        • Yes Kellie, I think the producers did a great job of sequencing all the events of Day 29 together. A clever use of Steven and Jake’s finding of Ryan’s diary-cam revealed Ryan’s fate to them. Otherwise, they’d have no idea. Communication is primitive for them. Everything has to be verbally communicated in person. Finding the diary-cam was huge for them.

        • Hi Kellie. Dramatic, yes, action packed, er, no. Lot of people getting sick isn’t action, well, to me anyway. I’d like to see them actually DO something, getting sick doesn’t count as “doing” something. It’s not even sad anymore. They didn’t do much of anything up to now, including hunting as a team which is why they jumped on something rather iffy to jam down their throats, they’re starving, they’d practically eat anything at this point. Starving, emaciated with weakened immune systems, no wonder they got as sick as they did. Not happy with this group. They had so much potential as a group but never made use of it. What a shame this season has deteriorated into sitting around (yet again) and getting sick. No, not happy at all, very disappointed.

  17. Wow, Kellie. I agree this could be the most exciting episode of N&A ever! So much drama packed into one 24-hour period! They’re dropping like flies. Evacuating people out like it’s the fall of Saigon. I wonder if the Bush Camp/Triage was set up because of the unavailability of ambulances.

    And My Kim!! Gone! And, oh, that agonizing scream! That not so sweet siren song wailing from that little vixen! That was no regretful wail of a failed mission, that was Pure Pain! If I can find a clip of it somewhere, I’d make it into my ringtone.

    Pigging-out on forbidden fruit as they stumble to the finish line, KenO is correct, the few remaining are “survivors” not survivalists…

    • First I’m quite sure that Kim didn’t consider herself “yours”. And, yes, a part of the agony in her scream had to be a wail of a failed mission. She had what it took to finish but she’s not going to. Phaedra was dying of starvation, poor girl, which is why she and the others gorged on the fruit before thinking about it. The saddest thing is Jake, what a horrible think for their morale and even more horrible for Jake who was the most fit of everyone there. Considering Phaedra and Kim both going to hospital along with Ryan I don’t see Jake missing the hospital trip as well, though we won’t find out until next week. A super sad, but not totally unexpected, semi-finale. They were all starving so they hopped on the fruit train, well, everyone but Stacey who had the presence of mind to say “um, I’m not eating that stuff”….she remembered the jungle “cucumbers” good for her, not stupid that one as starving as the rest but not starving enough to gorge on forbidden fruit, much props.

      • At this point, I’m wondering what’s in store for next week? They still have to cover 10 days, that’s a quarter of the challenge, plus extraction. I’m wondering if any of them even make it to extraction?

        • In one of the earlier Pop-up editions it was stated that XL2 was shot in South Africa from late February through early April of this year. On the night of Day 28, Ryan waxes poetic about the full moon and the constellation Orion. The full moon this past March was on March 23rd. Therefore, Day 37 was this past April 1st.

          So, if the show was indeed shot into early April, then someone has to at least make it to Day 37!

    • I’m wondering if Jake is due for a trip to the hospital as well, it looks that way. I’ll bet the producer isn’t going to take any chances. Is this the first time we’ve seen the producer hovering over the participants? I don’t remember any other times.

  18. I think the producers should have told them about the fruit, after Ryan left. They had to know it was the fruit but did nothing. Not entertaining to see people so sick. Not fair

    • They call it “survival” for a reason. They can’t tell them anything, they’ve got to know it for themselves. They can’t tell them how to make fire, catch fish, or not eat things they’re not used to. Too bad, so sad.

  19. Here I am at my traditional Monday morning peek of the show. I do this before breakfast and before bothering to watch the thing. It looks, for all intents and purposes, to be another extraordinarily disappointing show. Everybody’s sick, no shit, they’re sick because they’re miserable skills in hunting and fishing have left them is such a state of starvation they’ll rush right in and eat anything without thinking. I don’t even feel sorry for them at this point. They should be swimming in dried meat if they had only worked together as a tribe to hunt. Sorry I sound so mean but this group has fumbled and bungled along with no plan and no organization for way too long. Survivalists indeed. Geesh. I might post again after I watch it but there’s not much point. Very disappointed yet again.

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