All The Ways Discovery Channel's 'Naked And Afraid' Duped You

Discovery's Naked and Afraid has earned a reputation similar to that of other reality shows. Some contestants claim there are myriad ways the show isn't real, stating not only were they misrepresented, but that producers aired outright lies. Many contestants have done interviews or Reddit AMAs to share their stories of being in Naked and Afraid episodes, hoping to set the record straight about interactions with their partner, the crew, and locals. 

If you've seen The BachelorDeadliest Catch, or any of the numerous Real Housewives shows, you've probably guessed that reality TV is scripted on some level. But Naked and Afraid has apparently faked not only dialogue, but causes of injuries, the sources of contestants' food, and the supposed remoteness of the show's filming locations.

  • They Sometimes Have Access To Modern Conveniences

    In one of several reported instances where contestants gained access to modern amenities, former participant Jeff Zausch said producers gave his partner a tampon while filming the show. Other stars claim to have taken food and supplements like salt, chocolate, and Emergen-C from the locals and crew.

    Honora Bowen, though, stated producers withheld prescription medication from her. If tampons are okay but prescriptions aren't, the producers have puzzling priorities.

  • Speaking The Truth Is Not Encouraged

    In an interview, former contestant Phaedra Brothers says one of the crew members gave her a curry dish that caused food poisoning. The producers encouraged her to go on with the show, even though she would begin the challenge in a bad place health-wise.

    When her episode was released, producers made it look like she drank dirty water and caused the illness herself. Brothers says she posted comments on the show's site about the truth, but Discovery deleted them because they didn't line up with the show's chosen narrative.

  • Storylines Are Scripted

    Considering every reality TV show has writers, how real things truly are should be pretty clear. Not only have participants said producers instigated fights, but that they also instructed participants to lie.

    Honora Bowen said producers told her to say her magnifying glass was a gift from her father, when in reality the crew gave it to Bowen before the show. Bowen also said that her storyline, which revolved around her father's passing, was predetermined.

  • No Prize Money? Yeah, Right!

    The show claims contestants brave the wild solely for a sense of personal pride and accomplishment, but former contestants have revealed that Discovery offers an "incentive" to contestants who make it through the full 21-day challenge. 

    The monetary prize given to those who complete the show is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000.

  • The Wilderness May Not Be All That Wild

    The production camp is reportedly very close to contestants, and the filming location is usually not too far from civilization. The show clearly isn't as remote as it claims.

    Some contestants say they've interacted with locals, heard music playing, and were allowed to do as they pleased as long as the cameras weren't rolling.

  • Food Is Sometimes Planted By Producers

    Reddit thread notes it's suspicious that right as a candidate is nearing the end of the show or is close to starving, they miraculously catch an animal. There was one contestant in particular who supposedly captured a deer in a snare.

    Viewers were quick to note the deer didn't show any indication of being caught in a trap - such as marks around the neck.