Despite being alone in an extreme environment, no one has ever died on Naked and Afraid. The participants are surrounded by producers, specialists and cameras, who can allow them to medically tap out if they’re pushing their limits.
As shown in the latest season of Naked and Afraid XL, some of the cast members were asked to stop fishing in a lake that contained crocodiles. The specialists warned that the crocodiles were now stalking them, and just because they hadn’t attacked yet didn’t mean they wouldn’t.
Honora Bowen Came Close to Death
During Season 3 in Brazil, Bowen arguably had the closest encounter with death. She was taken out of Brazil on a stretcher after her partner, Matt Strutzel, found her passed out in the sun and she was unresponsive.
The cumulative effects of hunger, exhaustion and heat stroke have taken their toll on Honora’s body. Matt finds her passed out, completely exposed to the sun’s blistering rays,” the narrator says.
Strutzel tried to get her to squeeze his hand, but when she remained unconscious he called for medical help. Honora was rushed to the hospital, with cameras documenting her the entire time. One of the producers can be heard on the phone saying she is “passed out.” Once at the hospital, the cameras stopped filming once the nurses and doctors took her into their care.
Bowen has been a controversial member of Naked and Afraid. She wrote a lengthy blog post, where she alleged parts of the show were not authentic. She claimed the area of Brazil they were in was not that remote, and she could hear music until the early morning. She also claimed that Strutzel was allowed to take Adderall, which allowed him to keep up his energy and talk a lot.
Bowen also claimed that Naked and Afraid producers instigated the tension between her and her partner. She said they would randomly be asked to do “on the fly” interviews where they would poke her about Strutzel and her late father, who had recently passed away.
She titled the blog post, “How Naked and Afraid is Like a Nazi Experiment.”
Bowen claimed she tried to tap out earlier but that producers encouraged her to continue. It wasn’t until she “pretended” to pass out.
I pretended to be basically catatonic. I let my body go limp, because honestly it was pretty close to that point anyways. They had been checking my blood sugar at least once a day, and it was wavering around 40-60, which is incredibly low for a person. I was pretty close to going into a coma for real. So being limp and playing dead actually felt amazing, in that I was going to get to leave there and I didn’t have to take one more fucking step in that fine, fine sand. I had taken enough extra steps for these people, both literally and figuratively.
Manu Toigo Contracted Dengue Fever in Panama
Bowen isn’t the only participant to have a close call. Manu Toigo from Season 1 actually got sick after she returned home from Panama, according to TMZ. She didn’t know she had contracted dengue fever after being bitten by a mosquito.
Days after she arrived home, she started to experience a severe headache in between her eyes. It then progressed to a fever, which led to nosebleeds and gum bleeding. At its worse, Toigo, who was 45 at the time, wasn’t able to stand up.
She went to the hospital and was doctors told her she was anemic. Her condition continued to worsen, and the doctors diagnosed her with dengue hemorrhagic fever, one of the most severe forms of dengue fever. Doctors gave her plenty of fluids and plasma and she was able to recover. TMZ reported she got treated “just in time” to make a full recovery.
She was hospitalized for two weeks, and at the time, she was still experiencing pain all over her body and was going to physical therapy. Despite her sickness, Toigo doesn’t have any regrets about going on Naked and Afraid. “Hell no … most epic experience I could ever have done,” she told the publication.