Is Naked and Afraid real? The show’s inconsistencies detailed

Naked and Afraid is a top-rated show on the Discovery Channel. It brings together a nude male and a naked female, who are strangers, deposits them in a remote location, and films their survival journey for three weeks. The showrunners allow each survivalist to bring one bag and a survival item. 

The showrunners film the contestants during the day, leaving them to film themselves with a camera at night. Intervention by the camera crew should only happen during extreme medical emergencies. The creators allow the contestants to leave the challenge any day. 

Early in the series, contestants were allowed to bring a survival item before filming. Participant Honora Bowen said the creators allowed them more survival items:

“My partner and I each brought four survival items with us to Brazil, which is standard for the show. He brought four knives, and I brought a water filter and three knives. Production decided against the filter and asked each of us if we’d be willing to bring a fire starter.”

The show’s claim that participants must hunt for food is also false. Some participants claimed they managed to steal food from the filming crew. Also, have you ever noticed that food seems to magically appear when the contestants are getting desperate for a meal? The showrunners reportedly plant those meals for the cast. 

The cast isn’t supposed to receive medical assistance, but The Daily Mail reported that Kim Shelton was given two IV drips and food when she suffered from food poisoning. Stacey Lee Osorio told Refinery 29 that the crew gave her a tampon:

“Yea, you pretty much just wear a tampon and try to be as discrete [sic] as possible. It’s pretty uncomfortable and gross, but at least we get that one luxury. Thanks, Naked and Afraid.”

The crew is also usually very close by, and even if they weren’t, there’s often civilization near the ‘remote’ location filming happens. Executive producer Steve Rankin told Reality Blurred that the crew needs fast access to a medical center with a trauma room. 

Have you ever wondered how the cast never gets lost while heading to the extraction point? “If they go off track during that walk, they might just have a little nudge from the producers,” Rankin said. 

Naked and Afraid is guilty of misrepresenting some storylines. For instance, Honora Bowen’s magnifying glass hadn’t come from her late father. She explained:

“[I was] told to repeat and call it ‘my dad’s magnifying glass.’ This was something I agreed to at first, because I have studied theater my entire life. So to me, I was appeasing the producers by showing them what a good actor I was, which they were asking me to do.”

Shane Lewis had more than a minor foot injury, as the showrunners led us to believe. Per The Daily Mail, he spent most of the time in constant pain after breaking three of his toes. 

Phaedra Brothers didn’t get food poisoning from drinking dirty water. She told Channel Guide that her stomach troubles stemmed from chicken curry provided by a crew member. Brothers said:

“I told one of the Indian men who was a part of the crew, that I had been eating only granola bars because I was afraid of getting sick from eating unsanitary food. He said that I needed to eat protein and he made this really great chicken curry dish.”

There are a few things that the crew gets right, including the duo’s lack of sexual intimacy during the episodes. Lee Osorio told Refinery29 that the focus is solely on survival:

“We all talk and get very intimate, because talking is all you can do. But everybody loses their libido, because you feel like you’re dying, so the last thing you think about is having sex. But I was so glad to have my fellow survivalist, Jake, there. He was so hot. I had something to look at to pass the time. And he’s gay, so it was super safe.”