'Naked and Afraid XL' Returns With A Dangerous New Location And A Few New Twists

The third season of Naked and Afraid XL takes place in Ecuador's treacherous Amazon basin, which is 100 miles from the closest city. According to The Hollywood Reporter, each of the nine survivalists will face the most difficult 40-day challenge yet on Naked and Afraid XL as they struggle to find food, water, and shelter in one of the most grueling and unforgiving environments on Earth.

On this season of Naked and Afraid XL, Cinema Blend shared that the participants will face the Amazon's murky swamps, rivers, and ponds, and the creatures that call these waters home such as anacondas, piranhas, and caiman. They will need to watch their step on land as well in order to avoid jaguars, poison dart frogs, and the deadly bushmaster, which is the largest venomous snake in the Americas.

This will be no walk in the park. There will be what is described as an alarming number of setbacks and injuries for the nine survivalists, and not all of them will make it through to the end during the most extreme survival challenge yet. As for the twists on this season of Naked and Afraid XL, there will be nine survivalists instead of 12, and another twist includes the participants receiving unexpected visitors.

As for the participants, Matt Wright is from Lakewood, Colorado, and served in the Air Force until an injury sent him back to civilian life. He is now a survival instructor, and his first Naked and Afraid challenge was in Thailand. He has a wide variety of survival skills that should serve him well in the Amazon, including building fires and shelters, water purification, tracking, trapping, hunting, and primitive fishing.

Russell Sage served in the U.S. Army where he discovered a passion for teaching. He is a survival instructor, and according to his Naked and Afraid bio page, he has taught wilderness survival, extreme weather survival, and basic hiking survival at Northwest Park in Windsor, Connecticut. His first challenge was in Panama, and he is skilled in primitive fire starting, wilderness/urban survival, primitive technology, snares, and traps.

Next is Charlie Frattini, a contractor from New York, and the 55-year-old's first challenge was in Colombia, so he has some experience in the Amazon. Charlie is a former Marine, having trained as a jungle expert in Panama and the Philippines. He spent six weeks learning jungle survival in the Philippines, and eight weeks in Panama where he earned the title of Jungle Expert. Besides Naked and Afraid, Charlie has hosted two construction-related cable TV shows as well. Overall, his skill set should be a big bonus for his new challenge on Naked and Afraid XL.

Lacey Jones is an Army veteran, and she owns a gun shop in Illinois. People shared that she grew up in Liberty, Maine, with no running water or electricity. Her first challenge was during the current season of Naked and Afraid in Belize, and she considers herself an extreme survivalist.

Giovanna Horning is a beer distributor and lives in Prescott, Arizona. Her first challenge was in Ecuador, and although she was pulled from the challenge due to flooding in the area, having spent time in the Amazon may give her a small advantage since she has already experienced what the environment has in store for the survivalists. Her top three survival skills include shelter building, trapping, and water sourcing and purification.

Amber Hargrove served eleven years in the U.S. Army with two deployments to Iraq, and currently, she is an instructor for the U.S. Army. Her first Naked and Afraid challenge was in the Florida Everglades, and her second was in Africa. She feels she has something to prove since she had to tap out for medical reasons on both her previous challenges.

Fernando Calderon is a firefighter, and his first challenge was in Malaysia. He describes himself as an adventurer, having traveled all over the world. He has climbed the highest peak in the Alps, backpacked through Patagonia, and spent time camping in the African plains. His self-taught survival skills include shelter building and hunting.

Shannon Kulpa is a stonemason and snow removal contractor hailing from Ogden, Utah. Her first Naked and Afraid challenge was in Trinidad, and her survival skills include shelter building and friction fire. Recently, she and her children have spent a lot of time in Costa Rica, and she hopes that eventually, she will be able to divide her time between the Utah mountains and the tropical coast of Central America.

Rounding out the cast is Matt Alexander, a truck driver from Jennings, Louisiana. His first challenge was in the Philippines, and his survivalist skills include hunting and tracking. He spent his childhood roaming the woods and learning to hunt and fish. He enjoys working with leather and making knives, which may come in handy on Naked and Afraid XL.

Are you a fan of the Naked and Afraid shows? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions concerning Naked and Afraid XL below. The popular series returns on Sunday, April 23 at 10 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.

[Featured Image by Discovery Channel]