One man and one woman sign up to survive in a remote jungle for 21 days on the Discovery Channel reality show “Naked and Afraid.” The hit series just started Season 6, but it has some fans wondering if the show is scripted.

When it comes to whether the show is real, it all depends on someone’s definition of reality. For instance, in the Season 1 premiere, Kim Shelton was given rice and an IV drip after she got food poisoning from eating a turtle’s liver, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported. This was not shown during the episode. Also, her partner, Shane Lewis, had broken three toes before their challenge in Cost Rica, but the show made it seem like he hurt his foot during filming. Lewis was frustrated with the show, saying “Naked and Afraid” made him look “pathetic.”

"They said they wanted to show the reality and how difficult it was, but they went for the ratings,” Lewis said. “They gave it the Hollywood treatment.”


But here are some things that are real, as told by contestant Jeff Zausch. The survivalist gave some answers to viewer questions during an interview with TV Critics in 2014:

Are they really alone? While the camera crew is there during the day to film them, the participants are by themselves when the sun goes down. Cast members are given a radio and whistle to contact the crew if they need them.

What happens if one of the women gets her period? Zausch said his partner was given an emergency item: a tampon.

Were they ever given help? Despite what the Daily Mail article said, Zausch denied the crew gave them aid, even though they asked for Snickers and bug spray.

Why are contestants naked? This answer comes courtesy of Dani Julien, who told TV Critic that surviving naked is harder since clothes could be used for shelter. “Clothing, it protects you from bugs. It protects you from the sun. It provides so much that most people don’t really realize. And so stripping that away, taking that away from us, just adds another element to the survival challenge,” she said.

Season 6 of “Naked And Afraid” airs Sundays on Discovery Channel at 10 p.m. EDT.

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