Is Naked And Afraid Fake?

Television connoisseurs have long faced criticism from non-believers who claim that their beloved reality TV is completely fake. These allegations of inauthenticity, strategic editing, and even script usage are nothing new; they've been around since reality television first came to prominence in the late '90s and early '00s. Yet, some reality TV shows appear to be more "real" than others. When "Naked and Afraid" came along, something felt different to viewers. Seeing two strangers rough it out in the wilderness together — sans any clothing or dignity — felt authentic. But some naysayers suspect the show might be more scripted than previously thought.

Per IMDb, "Naked and Afraid" premiered back in 2013 on the Discovery Channel where it became an immediate success for the network. The show spawned two spinoffs, "Naked and Afraid XL," and our personal favorite, "Naked and Afraid of Love." But is it "Naked and Afraid" or a naked charade?

Fans have noticed a few inconsistencies

Eagle-eyed fans of "Naked and Afraid" have noticed several inconstancies, which they believe prove that the two contestants featured on each episode may occasionally receive a helping hand from the production crew. Fans have taken to Reddit to surmise that contestants are provided more food than the show indicates.

Many fans took issue with an episode where the contestants catch a deer in a snare trap, suggesting that the scene was staged. "The deer was ridiculously planted," one fan wrote. "Where was the snare? I couldn't see it around her neck. Another Reddit user pondered: "How did the deer they caught die? This was the first time I've suspected that the food could've been planted."

Another user noted that the contestants seemingly always manage to find something to eat right in the nick of time: "We call it the 'day 19 snake' because they always catch something on day 19, usually a snake. It's so predictable it's laughable at this point." While the contestants can tap out at any time during the 21-day challenge, they must rendezvous at the designated extraction point on the 21st day to complete their mission, according to Although it's certainly likely that the production crew plants food to help the survivalists succeed, we don't think they're responsible for the 12-foot, 80-pound anaconda that recently made an appearance.

Some contestants have spoken out about the show

If you are a "Naked and Afraid" die-hard, you might want to stop reading here. Because some of the show's former contestants have spilled the tea, and it's hot. Honora Bowen, who appeared on the third season of the show, had this to say on her blog: "The locust that my partner gave me was after I had gone hunting for locusts for days, and it fell on a cameraman who gave the locust to my partner and told him to give it to me." A single locust is hardly a big deal, but Bowen further claimed that the same cameraman "was also constantly feeding us ideas to make things more interesting."

Former contestant Blair Braverman once revealed that the first day of filming was strictly for TV. "I'd follow the script, if not by words, then by action: Two people remove their clothes, walk to a landmark, meet each other, and offer whatever joke or earnest greeting they've rehearsed," she wrote on Outside. Braverman does concede that after the first day, "the rest of the challenge is up to them," and no script or plan is provided. 

So, is "Naked and Afraid" real or fake? Well, it looks to be a little of both. Contestants are placed in a remote location without clothes and tasked with surviving 21 days, but the producers still need glamour shots — even if it means re-shoots and providing a little extra food to make it happen.