Lisa Hagan, ‘Naked & Afraid’: Why The ‘Cajun Mermaid’ Accepted the Challenge

Naked & Afraid Lisa Hagan

Discovery Find out why Lisa Hagan decided to appear on "Naked & Afraid."

Lisa Hagan, a self-proclaimed Cajun mermaid, is a two-time breast cancer survivor who wanted to take on Naked & Afraid, the Discovery show channel where survivalists spend three weeks in the wild with only their skills. In Lisa’s edition of Naked & Afraid, she and her partner, Joe, are stranded on a Bermuda island.

Louisiana-native Lisa decided to do the show to honor her friend, Julie Fleming, who died of breast cancer before Lisa could tell her she was picked for the Discovery series. Julie introduced Naked & Afraid to Lisa, a registered nurse who is currently helping patients infected with COVID-19 in Louisiana.

Lisa felt her friend’s presence during the adventure. “There were signs of her all along the way. I knew her spirit was out there with me. I wasn’t going to let her down,” she told the Lafayette Daily Adviser.

The Cajun mermaid hopes to inspire others. “Life is all about perspective. Find something positive every day. It shouldn’t take dying or doing something as hard as surviving to do that. You should be living, not going through the motions,” she told the publication.

Lisa Was Nervous Going Into The Challenge

Lisa was initially afraid to participate in the series, but it quickly went away once she was on the island with Joe. “I had such anxiety about that and that was a hard part for me. It’s all about survival, so you automatically kick into survival mode. So, that went away after the first few hours,” she told WECT. “But it is it was a big fear and a big concern that I had to be naked with a strange man but it all worked out.”

She doesn’t regret the experience. “I think the whole challenge gave me more of a sense of self and I really felt accomplished like there’s nothing I can’t do,” she told WECT.

A preview clip for Sunday’s episode shows the duo stranded on a raft. “Oh my God we’ve been out here a long time,” Lisa says. “It still looks so far away.”

The show gave Lisa a PSR (primitive survival rate) of 6.9. Joe earned a PSR of 7.3

Joe, an Army veteran and divemaster, hopes they’ll make it. “We may be able to ride out the current to the next island,” he says, before noting they’re at least four miles away. They soon realize they’re not alone, spotting sharks in the water.

She Made Shoes With Her Dreadlocks

A second preview clip shows Lisa asking Joe to cut some of her hair off so she can use her dreadlocks to make shoes.

“I’m making some huarache style flip-flops with the palm fronts we have,” she tells the camera. “I’m using pieces of my hair to poke through wholes to use for cordage because I’m afraid the cordage will chaff my skin and cause an opening where infection can enter.”

While the sacrifice left her with a little bit of a bald spot, she wasn’t worried. “When it comes to survival, who cares what hair looks like,” she says. “We need shoes right now just to maneuver this island.”

Fastening shoes from hair was a first for Joe. “I’ve never used dreads to make anything so it’s a little different for me,” he says.

Upon meeting Lisa, Joe joked their situation is “the stuff of nightmares and dreams all mixed together.”

To find out what happens in the end, don’t miss Lisa and Joe’s episode of Naked & Afraid Sunday, March 22 at 8 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.

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