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Naked and Afraid XL preview, the 14 survivalists bare all and risk lives to win

This is not the island resort paradise one would hope for on Naked and Afraid XL. Pic credit: DIscovery
This is not the island resort paradise one would hope for on Naked and Afraid XL. Pic credit: Discovery

Could you do this? Be naked and afraid — filmed for the world to see?

Meet the new round of contestants who not only throw their clothes down but also throw caution to the wind. In the process, they compete to be the one who can finish the journey on Discovery’s most bare-all reality show.

We have 12 elite NAA survivalists hoping to survive 40 days, and this season includes two “All-Star” survivalists hoping to survive an unprecedented 60 days… Naked and Afraid…literally.

There will be 14 survivalists in total, testing their survival skills on land and sea. The challenges will stretch them to their limits, as we have participants who willingly signed on to compete over a treacherous 40 days and 40 nights on an isolated island completely detached from civilization.

Think Alone (History’s similar and more clothed survival series) but with no clothes and more people. This is distracting for a bit until everyone is used to being naked and around each other.

The cast

This season’s survivalists are:

  • Gabrielle Balassone, Maryland and Christina McQueen, Kentucky
  • Duke Brady, California and Rylie Parlett, Maryland
  • Dustin “Duck” Campbell, Louisiana and Russell Sage, Texas
  • Max Djenohan, Washington and Nicole Terry, Massachusetts
  • Charlie Frattini, Maine and Manu Toigo, California
  • Angela Hammer, Minnesota and Jeff Zausch, Idaho
  • James Lewis, Florida and Laura Zerra, Alaska

Note that only the all-star duo Laura Zerra (Alaska) and Jeff Zausch (Idaho) will have to complete the Naked and Afraid 21-day and XL 40-day challenges.

So, they’re essentially Pacific Northwest bada**es to reckon with on this round.

The logistics

Four teams of three are assembled. They arrive by boat to the island,

Location is confirmed to be in the South China Sea, and how they are dropped will force them to swim through shark-infested waters to “sun-scorched deserted islands of jagged rock beaches and impenetrable cliffs.”

Additionally and to keep things really interesting, the two all-stars are set to embark on what is described as an “unprecedented 60 days” plopped into the harsh equatorial wilderness.

The tasks

The 14 survivalists must work together to establish and build shelters to live in and do the perfunctory food, fire, and fresh water making.

They must also survive snake-filled jungles, typhoons, sharks, insects, and inhospitable conditions while staying sane while doing all this.

While all 14 survivalists bring the skills, the elite duo of Laura and Jeff will attempt something beyond anything they’ve ever done — an insane 60 days surviving the elements.

First, these two will take on a 21-day Naked and Afraid challenge and immediately launch into the brutal 40 days of XL if they hold out.

Naked and Afraid XL Backstories

Many survivalists have previous obstacles to make up for including Charlie, seeking redemption after his Day One tap-out in his previous attempt on XL, and Manu, who nearly died after contracting dengue fever during her 21-days in Panama.

As veteran survivalist Russell said (via Discovery’s press release), “if the Devil owned property, he would rent hell out and live here.”

We’ll be charting the progress of everyone and hoping there are no serious injuries this go of it!

 Naked and Afraid XL premieres Sunday, June 2 at 8 pm ET/PT on Discovery.

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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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