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Naked and Afraid XL exclusive: Mother of all lightning storms descends on Jeff and Laura

Jeff and Laura are racing to the shore for their lives. Pic credit:
Jeff and Laura are racing to the shore for their lives. Pic credit: Discovery

Imagine you are caught at the shore as a terrifying lightning storm is crashing all around you, and you are wide open and vulnerable, a target for instantaneous death?

Welcome to the exclusive preview Monsters & Critics has for Discovery’s Naked and Afraid XL, where the 60-day stalwarts Jeff Zausch and Laura Zerra are toughing it out for two months minus clothes and creature comforts.

They have to create their shelter, make their fire, hunt their food and try to keep each other from going to the dark places of their minds.

In the clip below, we see Jeff and Laura getting to shore as they try to secure the boat ahead of the tide line while bolts of lightning are hitting all around them.

After her failed attempts to get the front end of the boat up to the mark where it won’t be swept away by the tide, Jeff urges Laura to secure the fire and she races off down the beach only to find their encampment swamped and no fire to speak of.

This is really bad news.

Fans know that last week, the tribe headed by Manu Toigo met them on the beach and were greeted, then turned away. The two felt their dynamic was perfect and adding three hungry women would not be good for their longer-term chances.


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What is the most that you’ve ever paid for fresh coconut water? 🥥 . . #NakedandAfraid XL starts SUNDAY at 8p on @Discovery.

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Manu was the one who tapped last week, her brother had a devastating jaw cancer diagnosis prior to her leaving for this production and she was torn up about not being there for him.

It was quite sad to see her leave.  She was a level headed and competent player.


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I’m not sure what Jeff just said but judging by Laura’s face he is WRONG. 👋 . . #NakedandAfraid XL starts TONIGHT at 8p on @Discovery.

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At this point Jeff has sent Laura to tend the fire as he manages the boat out of the surf. Pic credit: Discovery
At this point, Jeff has sent Laura to tend the fire as he manages the boat out of the surf. Pic credit: Discovery

This show is no joke, people have been hospitalized and suffered in the making of this series.

The core of Naked and Afraid XL is the 40-day challenge, where a threesome of past participants is set and they try to survive the location — and each other. They can encounter other groups and either agree to merge or in Many, Jeff and Laura’s case, not.

Idaho native Jeff Zausch and Alaskan Laura Zerra begin with the 21-day challenge which then turns into the 40-day challenge, in a bid to make it to the 60-day mark, which will make it the longest continuous stretch that any participants have survived.

Only the smartest and the most mentally adept and flexible will be able to do this. Luck factors too. Last week, the two had a windfall of delicious bananas.

Zausch and Zerra seem to resonate in humor and admiration for each other too, and that is another plus.

The two mastered their 21-day challenge and commenced with the 40-day run along with the other 12 survivalists who must navigate the shark-infested South China Sea, hoping their stretch of the deserted islands of rocky beaches and jungle-filled cliffs yields shelter and food.

Tune in to see the fallout of Manu’s departure and how Jeff and Laura manage with this storm, as well as the others who we are following closely.

Naked and Afraid XL airs Sunday at 8 PM on Discovery. Viewers can also watch the digital series Naked and Afraid: Savage, that chronicles Zausch and Zerra’s adventure.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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