Fans of the show know that every season, a resolute group of men and women find themselves facing some of the most dangerous environments, predators, and weather conditions around. The participants will find themselves struggling for survival in several different locations, ranging from the dangerous jungles of Nicaragua to Florida, where one pair will face the fury of Hurricane Irma.
Everything they do is not without peril and is compounded by the fact that when first starting out they have no clothing, fire, or shelter that could offer some protection from the elements and from the predators that sometimes get a little too close for comfort. Food and water is also an important priority for the participants, and there are times when their struggles to procure them becomes a life-or-death situation.
Many cannot endure the 21 days of deprivation and hardship and end up tapping out after realizing that no matter how difficult they thought the challenge would be, it was much tougher than anything they could have imagined. Then there are those who, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, seem to find the willpower to push through whatever pain and discomfort they are feeling in order to complete the challenge and come out on top.
The Futon Critic shared that on this season of Naked and Afraid, the survivalists come from all walks of life and include a fashion tour producer, a retired marine, a biologist, and a Muslim-American woman. Amal Alyassiri faced a tumultuous and difficult childhood as an Iraqi refugee before her family came to America when she was 10. Amal told People that she has some very good reasons for wanting to become a part of the Naked and Afraid family of participants.
“I took this opportunity to paint a different picture of Muslim women,” Amal said. “We are fierce, we are strong, and we are able to make our own decisions.”
On her episode this season, Amal is paired up with Duke Brady, and they are the ones who are evacuated when Hurricane Irma races toward Florida. As if that weren’t enough, when they return to camp, they must deal with hungry bears that are prowling around the area.
Alyassiri went on to say that although there were times in her life where circumstances were out of her control and that she often had no choice in the things that occurred when she was a child, this is one thing that she could choose to do.
“I chose to be out there. I chose to stay. I could wake up each day and know I needed food, fire, shelter and water. I had so much power over my destiny out there. It made me feel very strong.”
Other survivalists undoubtedly feel the same way on this season of Naked and Afraid, and it can be very empowering to conquer a situation that looks dire and hopeless. Besides dodging a hurricane, there will be physical and mental issues, as well as serious injuries and infections, for many of the participants to deal with. Predators, flash-flooding, and harsh climates only add to the challenge like never before. Those who make it the full 21 days will definitely have earned any and all bragging rights.
The new season premieres on Sunday, March 11 at 10 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel. Fans of the show can also use the Discovery GO app to catch up on previous seasons and to view the season premiere of Naked and Afraid.