Discovery Channel Sparks Next Reality TV Trend: Naked Contestants
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."