Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Season Finale (Episode 8) “The Last Roar”

Naked and Afraid XL Season Finale Discovery
It's the final episode, but do our Naked and Afraid XL survivalists make it to the end?

We’ve almost made it, team. While our brave survivalists, Darrin, Steven, Stacey, Alyssa, and part of Jake are only 3/4 of the way through their 40-day South African survival experience, we know that tonight is the Naked and Afraid XL season finale. So either we’re 1) gonna have a heck of a lot of montages, 2) they’re gonna cut out a lot of the lying around, or 3) they don’t make it the full 40 days. I’m hoping for combo of Option 1 and 2; we have a whole lotta story to wade through before extraction.

Last week was insane. Three (and a half) survivalists were medevac’d from the bush. At the end of last week’s episode, Jake was in survival purgatory in a field hospital, and his fate was unclear. This is a reminder to all of us: do not eat dirty fruit from the Woolly Caper Bush. Wash it!

It’s hard to believe that Darrin and Steven wanted to pummel each other a few episodes ago, but in reality, those events were only a few days ago. When problems switch from mental to physical, how quickly those minor squabbles are forgotten!

Day 30
After a rough night, Steven, Alyssa, Darrin and Stacey still don’t know the fate of Jake, Phaedra and Kim. Jake limps into camp and reveals that his stomach feels like a baseball bat has hit it. He reveals that Phaedra was taken to the hospital and they tell Jake about Kim’s similar and equally dramatic exit.

Steven continues his tireless casting for fish while Darrin and Stacey hunt. Stacey is using Steven’s slingshot and spies a tiny bird waaaaay up in a tree. But like when David faced Goliath, the hand of God guided her stone to its mark. Stacey is tearfully overjoyed. It’s a small meal, but it’s a big deal. Aren’t you so glad that Stacey, who was severely burned during her Naked and Afraid outing in Croatia returned for Naked and Afraid XL? I am! She’s an incredible woman.

Naked and Afraid XL Season Finale
For Stacey, a little bird is a BIG deal. Discovery

But as it happens so often on N&A XL, every small victory seems followed by a tremendous hardship. And following in that theme, it rains that night and no one sleeps.

Day 31

Naked and Afraid XL Season Finale
Poor Jake’s baby blues are yucky yellow. Discovery

And in the morning, fate delivers another crushing blow. Jake looks horrible. His eyes are nearly swollen shut and have turned yellow — an indication of jaundice. Jake doesn’t want to leave Naked and Afraid XL, but the medical staff insists. His fight is no longer against the elements, Jake’s now fighting for his life. We don’t want our fearless leader to suffer irreparable liver damage, but we hate to see him leave. His partners are devastated to see him go. He’s been the glue keeping this wacky family together.

Steven puts it best. “There are so many factors out here that can kill you. The ones with teeth are threats, and the ones you can’t see are threats.”

Day 32
So we’re down to four survivalists. And eight days left. And Steven’s animosity towards Darrin continues. But Darrin knows that a big kill can ease the tension, so he tries to hunt.

Alyssa and Steven hunt too, but they come across a Cape Buffalo, one of Africa’s “Big 5” animals. The beast is massive, and drool-y, and dangerous, and awesome.

Naked and Afraid XL Season Finale
Cape Buffaloes look like something straight out of a cartoon. A scary cartoon. Discovery

I would love to see an animal as incredible as that from the safety of a photo safari’s Jeep. But if I were on foot, I would make the same decision as Aylssa & Steven, and decide, “it’s boma time!!”

Day 33
Steven and Alyssa chase a Monitor lizard around a mud hole. Darrin doesn’t even run, saying he doesn’t want to waste his energy on a fruitless hunt. His selfish, self-serving attitude further alienates himself from the group.

That night, it sounds like a herd of animals are stampeding outside of their shelter. How are these people able to catch a minute of sleep? The roars would haunt my dreams for years!

Day 34
At daybreak, the survivalists head down to the mud hole to discover which critters were making all of the noise the night before. (And perhaps find a few scraps from someone else’s meal!) They see the tracks of water buffalo and lions. The day is spent fortifying the shelter.

Day 35
Stacey and Alyssa set snares along the game trails.

Day 36
Alyssa and Stacey lie in the blinds and keep watch on the snares. And Stacey wonders if the lions are watching the snares too. I think they are; and if an animal gets caught up, The lions aren’t going to pass up an easy meal.

Steven checks to see if a nearby warthog den is inhabited, and decides that somebody is home. He comes back with elephant dung to smokes it out. Steven is crazy. Absolutely insane. Instead of tossing the flaming poop into the hole, Mr. No-pants-Crazy-Pants climbs inside the hole — into the stinking, smelling, and pitch black abyss — and places the poop near his prey. I would be afraid that I’d be impaled by the tusk of a charging beast!

When Steven hears grunts, he makes a hasty retreat from the pig den. He then cleverly sets the casting net over the hole’s entrance to ensnare the animal. But as soon as Steven leaves, the piggy pokes its head out of the den and slips under the net, going “Wee Wee Wee” all the way somewhere else.

Day 39
“The lions are crazy close!” Steven tells the cameras. Once the animals leave and dawn breaks, he checks his snare. He sees that his prey has slipped through the trap and while he’s disappointed, he’s not dejected.

“I have no hero left in me,” says Darrin who seems satisfied with preserving the little energy he has left for the next day’s extraction hike.

Steven heads to the watering hole once again; his unwillingness to give up is inspiring. He casting the net and he’s also turned his atlatls into fishing poles. And Steven’s unwillingness to give up is rewarded — fish strike his lines! And as soon as he sees the poles bend, he runs those fish right onto the shore. Soon he has at least three giant catfish on his stringer. “I’m Steven Lee Hall Jr.; kind of a big deal. Thank you, thank you, ladies and gentlemen,” he says as he bows to an imaginary crowd. Even days away from starving, Steven is still upbeat and entertaining.

Naked and Afraid XL Season Finale
Kind of in love with “kind of a big deal.” Discovery

And he gets to return to camp like a conquering hero. It must have been such a relief for the other survivalists to see Steven stride into view with meat. And with not just a bite, but a meal.

Darrin even takes a moment to thank Steven and apologize for their scuffle. Steven is proud that he can support his teammates. Up until now, he hasn’t felt like he was himself and wasn’t tapping into his potential. “I hate not being me; I’m a pretty freaking awesome dude,” he says.

The successful hunt raises the group’s XLR from 3.9 to 5.8 out of 10.0. Meh, no one cares about XLRs anymore; I’m telling you as a public service. An even better public service message is a reminder to wear sunscreen, use a seat belt, and always put babies to sleep on their backs.

That night, the lions are the closest they’ve ever been to the camp; they’re literally on the other side of the boma!! Thank goodness this is the last night!!

Day 40
Day 40 dawns and the survivalists look like children on Christmas morning. And the end of this experience has come not a moment too soon. If they had to stay in South Africa for another night, I have little doubt that the lions would finally push into their shelter.

Their extraction hike covers four miles of lion-infested territory. They’ll be walking along the river before heading into the foothills of the mountains. The hike is intercut with footage of a lion shot at a wildlife park, but it’s still exciting because I want the final four to get the heck out of Africa!

They get the coolest extraction ride ever — a private plane — they’re leaving Africa in style!

Naked and Afraid XL Season Finale
It’s a pretty terrible screenshot, but it’s still a pretty cool moment. Discovery

At the conclusion of this season of Naked and Afraid XL, I was glad that the personal dynamics of the group didn’t get in the way of the survival experience like they did in Season 1 of Naked and Afraid XL. Season 1’s nastiness became hard to watch. The four people who lasted all 40 days are incredible survivalists and share an unwillingness to give up. I admire how each of them never seemed complacent to sit and expect for someone else to do the surviving for them. They were all active participants in the process. And I could say the same for several of the others who were affected by “The Sickness”; I am confident that Jake, Ryan, Phaedra and Kim could have all made it the full 40 days.

And even the series seems proud of the quartet; they raise their final XLR from 5.8 to 8.3 out of 10.0.

But that number has no importance, the numbers I’ve been dying to see are the ones that show how much bodyweight our brave survivors left out on the African savanna.

Alyssa Ballestero lost 33 pounds
Stacey Lee Osorio lost 39 pounds
Darrin Reay lost 40 pounds
Steven Lee Hall Jr. lost 48 pounds

Naked and Afraid XL didn’t tease a reunion special, which is a shame. Last season, I liked finding out how the participants fared after they returned home and saw their experience on TV. It was an opportunity for some of the drama to come to a resolution. This season, I’m sure we’re all wondering about the people who were evacuated for medical reasons.

C’mon Discovery, make this happen! I would even host it for you. I work cheap, I’m friendly and much better at conducting interviews than writing recaps.
More Naked and Afraid XL
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 7 “The Sickness”
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. Anyone see Dumb & Dumber last night? Is there a new site to write in? I thought I was watching the reunion but it turned out to be an hour of “unseen” clips. Was there a reunion show?

  2. LauraJane, I posted some stuff on page 1 about how you can get a real life. Did you see it?

    • Bif, still no girlfriend I see. No hobbies, no sports, no intellectual pursuits just mindlessly and fruitlessly posting away like a 12 year old. Glad nothing’s changed in your life.

    • Sorry Reverend Dickhead, couldn’t find your post about getting a “real life” not that you have any suggestions since you are one lonely, probably homely, ignorant, nasty, did I mention perverted, human being. You never have anything to see except blasphemous remarks about those of us who actually enjoy this forum. My suggestion to you is DON’T WATCH IT, don’t comment on it. Just stay with your warped, hillbilly life and don’t forget to tend those sheep; you never know when one little curly sheepy might need your “services”. How’s your still coming; do you have any teeth Bif/Bob/Reverend”

      • I laughed so hard I am tearing up, & it went so far down my belly that I can take my morning poop 4 hours earlier than usual. Thanx, LJ..

  3. Wow….we have the same degenerate, pathetic creeps who keep coming to this site letting the whole worlds know they are degenerate losers who get their rocks off trying to catch a few glimpses of naked flesh.

    You creeps disgust me. Why do you keep lowering yourselves ans watch garbage like this? It’s the same old perverts again and again, KenO, JC Atwell, LauraJane. Get a life you miserable excuses for human beings.

    • Bif, as one of your so-called “miserable excuses for a human being”, I think that YOU are the one trying to peep at naked boobies in a dark room on a little tiny black and white tv with a jug of moonshine next to your raggedy ass filthy recliner that you found at the side of the road while picking up roadkill for suppa. Maybe it’s not boobs you’re looking at; maybe you’re trying to get a glimpse of Jake’s pee-pee while you’re jacking off.

      Are you a priest as well as a Reverend? Perhaps you’d prefer having little boys on N&A; now, you’d really get off on that, wouldn’t you?


      • Laurajane. Ryan Berenz is Kellie’ cohort who reviews several other shows. Ryan is one of the good guys.

    • Thanks for including me in your list of “degenerate perverted creeps” with J.C. and Ken; glad to be part of the group, love these guys. I won’t write you again cause you are one waste of a human being.

  4. laurajane. I posted some info on page 1 that might help you with getting your house done. Did you see it.

    • Thank you JC, yes, I read your post. So far, it seems to be going ok, just very slow but maybe that’s the norm. 20 days after my fire, another house burned to the ground, even worse than mine, and I went by there the other day and NOTHING has been done except to erect a chain link fence saying “KEEP OUT”. At least I’ve had the asbestos/lead contractor finish cleaning out the house for $17,000; damn. :(.

      Damn, I hate giving money away. The insurance company sent me a check for $165,500 to pay the contractor. I’ve never seen that much money in my bank account and surely don’t want to give it all away. I’ve been talking to Pat (contractor) about different things we can do to save some of that. I intend to make this loss my gain.

      They are providing me with a landscaper at a “nominal”l price of $13,000 to replace my ragweed lawn with sod and plant a few trees and bushes. It’s going to cost $280 per tree. I told Pat I will plant my own trees from Home Depot. He said it wasn’t the cost of the trees but the cost of his landscaper having to actually go and get it; think I can do that myself.

      Thanks for your advice. I appreciate everyone’s help; you guys are great.

      • I wish I had been given a choice of contractors and all their bids. He came the day after the fire and I was still in shock and Rudy, my ex whom I’m living with, was great and did most of the talking to the ton of agencies who were suddenly my “friends”. We didn’t know what to do and just accepted Sterling Construction. Contractors should have more compassion and not just jump on you to make decisions less than 24 hours after the fire when you’re not really in much condition to decide on anything.

      • LJ- rebuild your house at minimal expense, & pay for other stuff (yard/etc.) as you like/can afford. I would not trust your contractor, given what you have said so far. Another warning bell you just rang: You got perhaps a fair amount from your insurance company, but if your agent had to deal with the contractor instead of you, he would have kept the costs down considerably (they always lowball) Now you are possibly paying full price direct to contractor. This was your legal choice from the beginning- did your ex authorize this horrendous deal for you??

  5. I talk a lot about the women, but here’s a few statements about the men on the show:

    Jake – He was a great leader in a random setting because he didn’t have any agendas, and did what was best for the group. He held the group together through the Darrin/Steven spat. But I would never go clothes shopping with him.

    Clarence – (Rhymes with parents) I wonder what the Brothers think about this guy? I wonder if he’s too funked-out for them? It would take some time to find some common ground.

    Ryan – I think he has a lot of untapped potential, if he can ever come to terms with himself.

    Steven – A genuinely happy guy. He’d be great to have along chasing women in a barroom somewhere. Probably gets a lot of ass.

    Darrin – I’d put a leash on him and tell everyone, “This here darrin has the best indigenous survival skills ever found by man”.

    Angel – I’d have his family over to meet mine, and we’d have some nice family time together.

      • Really Kelly? (this is what you choose to respond to??) I couldn’t disagree more, & some of it is downright repulsive!

    • Um, Ok:
      Jake, he was a great leader because he didn’t lead and I wouldn’t go clothes shopping with him either.
      Clarence, there is no common ground with Clarence unless you like sleeping under mounds of garbage.
      Ryan, has a lot of untapped potential, also untapped personality, also untapped knowledge, also untapped lot’s of other stuff. He remains himself untapped.
      Steve, a genuinely happy guy, probably gets a lot of ass, no shit, no money but a lot of ass.
      Darrin, undoubtedly has spent more time than all of us put together living in the wild. It’s why he has no personality, no interactive skills but is a genuine good guy with no agenda.
      Angel, really nice human being, too nice for N&A….good luck to you Angel.

      • May I facetiously reply, since this is last licks/time for unbridled commentary?
        Tongue in cheekly- RYAN: he did “tap” out, willingly or not..
        STEVEN: maybe a lot of ass, but I prefer the other side of the torso! (obviously I am not Jake in disguise here..)

  6. I was overjoyed, that Clarence was pulled out of the challenge.
    I couldn’t stand him,…esp., for how he treated his partner in his 1st challenge, & how self centered/uncompassionate he was in both.

    I hated, at the end of his 1st challenge, when he had all his ‘friends’ surround him, as he triumphantly jumped off a bridge. Can’t believe someone as shallow as he w have so many friends.

  7. Al K. ADD. Ritalin is a Rx drug used to treat youngsters who have ADD and have difficulty focusing their mind.

    • F..k drugs, but thanx for your concern.. (have you seen the list of side effects?) I can focus on 14 hours a day of political garbage to regurgitate, & copyedit/proofread 2 published detective novels a year, but sorry- this is way low down on my priority list, man..

        • And I like it alot (but beer is cheaper, and legal). Unfortunately, pot does affect my mental faculties, so I only use it to disengage.

  8. If I were in a survival situation I would want to be teamed with Darrin and Alyssa. Darrin is lacking in social skills but does have survival skills. Alyssa always worked for the team without being showy. She also was the first to thank anyone who brought food.

    • RG – You could be the mediator because I don’t think Darrin and Alyssa get along well together.

    • I would gladly be a part of that team! None of you understand Darrin, it seems (and probably could not spend a full day alone, with your mind as your only companion, without going nuts..)

      • AlK. Wrong. I understand Darrin very well, because I was Darrin in my youth. I have walked in his moccasins.

        • Yes JC- I don’t include you in that generalized comment. You & Ken have always supported Darrin in theory, if not in practice.

  9. JC/KEN- since this is my first season on this posting board, I am curious: mostly it’s been the same people talking since the beginning. Now, after the last episode all these new people show up! Is that normal? Who do you think they are (some of the cast, incognito..?)

    • This is because there is a core group of people that are actually interested in the show and what happens on it. At the end there are people that, oops, find out about this forum and can’t help asking stupid questions or just being intentionally obtuse or intentionally annoying. Like Bif below who has posted the same drivel previously. Or Mike G over on page 1 who, supposedly is a near expert on gastritis but still has to ask “what specifically was the cause” proving there is such a thing as a “stupid question” when the answer was given both on the episode and in the forum. . . . contaminated fruit. Then he acts like it was an innocent question, like there may be hundreds of bacterium that cause it and he wants to know which one….any way, stick around they’re not done.

    • Al K – I read the comments on this board weekly for about a year before I posted. IMO, the XL Challenge is like the Super Bowl of the N&A season. People who normally don’t watch football will watch the Super Bowl and have opinions about it. Likewise, I think the XL brings out posters, even if it’s only temporarily.

      • Some of what you say is true however most don’t wait until the season finale to post. Typically these are the whackjobs that don’t have a genuine connection to the show.

  10. It looks like Steven had hairgel with him the whole time. Why did we never see him use his slingshot? Looks like they skipped a few days and extracted early. The footage and show doesn’t fit with the number of days. It looks like the film crew cut it short.

    • I also felt the challenge (?) was cut short but we’ll never know. I mean where’s the action in watching people being tortured for gratuitous market share?

  11. I can’t believe you total losers watch this crap. You are all a bunch of pervs with no life. You people disgust me.

        • Hi Al, Bif is a weirdo who went by a couple of stupid names and then started calling himself Reverend. Do you remember when I posted to Bif answering something completely stupid he had said and told him to go “fuck a sheep, ketch a possum fer suppa and take care of his still? I did it because he was badmouthing Ken and JC and I stuck up for them and, the very next day, I got a response from Reverend Moron telling me how I sinned and should repent for how evil I am? He was Reverend Bif and he never responded after that. I know they were the same person because of the poor grammar and similar contexts just like Craig/Aaron, one total basket case who wrote under 2 names.

          I also got an “attagirl” from JC and Ken. 🙂

          • I must have missed that, much to my dismay. Because it would have made me laugh so hard! Maybe JC is right about my mental deficiencies after all..

  12. My favorite quote of the show. Ryan watching a group of majestic African beasts says: Wow it’s just like a zoo! No Ryan It’s the real thing!

  13. I can’t believe noone was able to catch fish in that pond until Steven caught some at the end. Sounds like a production plot-line to me. Steven aka “The Jerk” suddenly becomes The Hero. Steven crawling into the warthog hole was the most foolhardy thing I’ve ever seen on a survival show.

    • RG. Foolhardy Indeed. If there had been a sow warthog or a big boar in the hole, “the jerk” would have many, many stitches and maybe a severed artery or two. They didn’t understand they weren’t catching fish because they were tossing the bait in the shallow water. In the heat fish go to the deepest hole they can find.

      • Right J.C. because if you know how to catch fish you wouldn’t toss the bait in the shallow end, amazing. Yeah, crawl into a warthog hole head first, brilliant since they’re as tame and harmless as a hamster.

    • Wasn’t Steven fishing in the river at that point? Nonetheless, I wonder if production didn’t stock the area with catfish, etc. just before they started shooting. 😉


      • Nancy, you feel wrong, neither of them did much trying. Jake only caught a couple of small fish and Steven got some catfish on day 29, pretty poor for people who supposedly “Tried and tried”….Ryan, we’ve come to find out, was emotionally crippled by his experience in war which is quite common and he’s excused as a result.

      • Nancy. A steer can try and try but will not produce results. Steven and Jake were steers.

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