‘Naked And Afraid’ Reality Show Rings True To Its Name

Naked And Afraid, a new reality show on Discovery, is giving viewers a taste of what it would be like to survive in some of the world’s most extreme environments.

As the show’s title implies, Naked And Afraid leaves two naked survivors to fend for themselves during each week’s episode – one man and one woman – two total strangers, completely in the nude.

Billed as the “Everest of survival challenges”, the show’s executive producer claims the naked aspect of the series was never meant to “exploitative”, but rather that the choice to have contestants bare all was part of the show’s aim to create the most realistic survival environment.

“We always developed it with our filter being ‘how do we protect and make it a pure survival experience?'” explains Discovery producer Denise Contis in an interview with Salon.com.

The premise of Naked And Afraid is that the two newly acquainted contestants will be left on their own with no food, water, or clothing and must survive for 21 days with only one personal item allowed per person to help them in their journey.

Contis notes that, interestingly enough, no contestant chose clothing as their personal item – they all preferred practical tools such as goggles, a small cup, and a machete.

As for how contestants felt about the idea of being naked throughout the show? According to Contis, it was never an issue – actually the survivors “really embraced” the experience of being nude. 

“What we all found really interesting was, once they hit the ground, once they’re on location, within minutes, it’s irrelevant to them that they were naked, completely irrelevant, not a plot point,” she shares.

“They were in survival mode. Their focus quickly shifted: I need to get food, I need to get water, I need to get shelter.”

Episode one, which aired Sunday on Discovery, was titled “The Jungle Curse.” The show’s second episode, “Terror In Tanzania,” is set to wow viewers on June 30.

Naked And Afraid contestants range from a 40-year-old electrician from Connecticut to a 24-year-old singer-songwriter to a 46-year-old ex-military man. Each survivor, regardless of their age or profession, has been selected for the show based on their previous experience such as backpacking across the world, attending wilderness awareness school, or working in law enforcement. In spite of the show’s title, the producers have not sent anyone into the wild that wouldn’t stand a chance.

Discovery channel executive, Craig Coffman, says the idea of the show “is to push the ball down the field”. With so many reality shows in existence today, he believe it’s difficult to convince an audience that they are watching something extreme.

“Having no clothes just takes it to the next level. It’s the ultimate test and makes survival exponentially more difficult.”

Naked And Afraid debuted June 23. Will you be tuning in to this new survival series?