Discovery Channel Sparks Next Reality TV Trend: Naked Contestants

Kimberly Potts
Yahoo! TV
"Naked & Afraid"
Kellie Nightlinger and Erroll James Snyder (EJ) on Discovery Channel's "Naked & Afraid.".

Remember when Richard Hatch insisted upon frolicking naked on the beaches of Borneo during the first season of "Survivor"? Discovery Channel's kicking that idea up a notch with its new reality series "Naked and Afraid," in which all its participants will be going buck wild, while buck naked.

Each episode of "Naked and Afraid" will follow two adventurers — one man and one woman in each installment — as they're dropped into remote locations with harsh weather environments. Each duo will be given a map and a video camera, but no food, water, or clothing, and challenged to find their way to a planned meet-up point that's anywhere from one to 10 miles from where they land.

A camera crew of four will follow the pair — to film them and swap out the memory cards and batteries from their cameras — but the participants otherwise must find nourishment and shelter, and, lest the episodes be largely covered up by blurring their naughty bits, a way to fashion some DIY clothing along the way.

[Related: Reality TV Makes 'Naked' Bid For Ratings]

The series, which premieres on Discovery Channel June 23 after Discovery's coverage of Nik Wallenda's live skywire walk across the Grand Canyon, will place the survivalists into "Survivor"-familiar locations like the Maldives, Panama, and Borneo, where their expeditions last for 21 days.

The prize for those participants who brave the wilds and their three-week adventure in their birthday suits: not cash, but rather, "their pride and sense of accomplishment," according to a Discovery Channel press release. Not to mention the video scrapbook of having appeared au naturel on national TV.

"Naked and Afraid" follows Discovery Channel's April series "Naked Castaway," in which British explorer Ed Stafford, the first human to ever walk the length of the Amazon River, spent 60 days surviving on the deserted Fiji island of Olorua with no food, tools, or clothing.

"Naked and Afraid," "Naked Castaway"… can "Real Naked Housewives," "Naked Wars," and naked pawn shops and storage facility auctions be far behind?

Discovery Channel's rundown of the "Naked and Afraid" participants:

EJ Snyder, 46, a military and survival expert from North Carolina
Skills: Tracking, building shelter, primitive fire, and weapons

Currently retired, Snyder says his interest in survival began when he joined the military at age 25. He credits childhood bullying as his inspiration to bulk up and better defend himself. Snyder also appeared in a pair of "Lost" episodes (as Redfern, a member of the mercenary team Charles Widmore sent to the island), and in History Channel's World War II reenactment series "Patton 360."

Kellie Nightlinger, 38, an underground miner from Alaska
Skills: Hunting, spear fishing, building shelter, and primitive tools

Nightlinger says her father began teaching her to butcher animals at age 3, and after jobs in the military and law enforcement, she mines rock in Alaska. While surviving in the Everglades for a week by herself, she had to kill a boar with only a knife, and she recently told the New York Daily News that while participating on "Naked and Afraid," she used her private parts to catch fish. "We were very hungry and needed fish for our survival... Because the water was so muddy, traditional fishing methods wouldn't work, so I had to improvise, adapt, and overcome."

Clint Jivion, 24, a survival instructor and country singer from Indiana
Skills: Plant identification, building shelter, hunting, archery, and trapping

Jivion says that, in addition to pursuing a career as a country singer, he spends time hunting, with 90 percent of his diet coming from his own hunting. He's against hunting just for sport, however, saying it's "disgusting and despicable; if you kill it, then you'd better eat it." You can listen to samples of his music at

Laura Zerra, 27, a horseshoer and taxidermist from New Hampshire
Skills: Hide tanning, hunting, primitive fire, plant identification, and trapping

A former vegetarian, Zerra says she was the black sheep of her family, because no one understood her love of wildlife exploration and adventure. She now not only eats meat, but also processes her own meat and tans hides. In 2008, she created her own survivalist adventure when she took a one-way flight to Mexico, hitchhiking her way around the country and back home.

Alison Teal, 27, a surfer and filmmaker from Hawaii
Skills: Plant identification, building shelter, making fire, and spear fishing

Raised by adventure-photographer parents, Teal accompanied them on trips to exotic locales by the age of two. She says she prefers to live by modest means, using her resources to travel rather than to settle, and her current residence is a grass hut that she built with her parents over the last 20 years. Teal chronicles her adventures on her Alison's Adventures website.

Jonathan Klay, 36, a security guard and one-time Marine Special Forces op from Los Angeles
Skills: Military training, hunting, and firemaking

Klay grew up in a small town, where he was played every team sport available. He joined the United States Marine Corps, and eventually the Special Forces, where he became a sniper. He works out daily, puts a high value on eating healthfully, and he's completed eight triathlons and four marathons. Klay also won an episode of Discovery Channel's "One Man Army" competition series.

Kim Shelton, 22, a student from Minnesota
Skills: Plant identification, tracking, hunting, archery, and bird language

Shelton grew up in England, but spent every summer visiting cousins in a wooded, remote part of Minnesota, which led to her love of rural life and wilderness exploration. As a college student, she has attended wilderness awareness school for two years and also teaches summer camp.

Shane Lewis, 40, an electrician from Connecticut
Skills: Building shelter, sourcing water, fishing, and plant identification

Lewis grew up in foster care, which he says forced him to learn how to adapt to ever-changing living circumstances. He dropped out of college to backpack around the world, and has now visited more than 70 countries. A self-described egomaniac with a disdain for youth culture, he says he's participating in "Naked and Afraid" to try to learn how better to allow himself to rely on others.

[Related: Check Out National Geographic's Reality Competition 'Ultimate Survival: Alaska']

Julie Wright, 30, a wilderness instructor from Washington
Skills: Tanning hides, tracking, plant identification, primitive fire, and CPR

Wright says she's used to standing out, as she stands at 6' 4" tall. She says as a kid, she used to fantasize about running away to live off of wild berries and frog legs, and that she's now living that dream as a professional survival instructor at a wilderness school.

Puma Cabra, 38, a tattoo artist from Nevada
Skills: Shelter building, trapping, hunting, and plant identification

Cabra's family ran a chop shop in East Los Angeles until his uncle was murdered by a gang, prompting the family to move to Mammoth Lakes. Cabra then became a professional snowboarder, and turned to survival as the sport took him to places that pushed the limits of his abilities. He says he can disappear for multiple days with nothing but his knife and his knowledge, and he has pulled himself out of six avalanches.

"Naked and Afraid" premieres Sunday, 6/23 at 10:20 PM on Discovery Channel.