Tonight is a special episode that highlights some as-yet-unseen moments from Season 2. Discovery Channel describes this enthralling hour as containing all “the controversy, the fights, the pain, and the tears we didn’t see in the original episodes.” In other words, all these people are even more unpleasant than we initially observed.
The episode is called “Bares All” because there are just not enough plays to be made on the word “naked.” The subtitle is “Starvation, Snakes and Strife,” because Kvetching, Crotch Leeches and The Viewing Audience’s Persistent Astonishment That People Do This For No Monetary Compensation Whatsoever isn’t alliterative.
Twelve survivalists from six episodes will be mortified that moments they had thought ended up on the cutting room floor are now to be showcased. Fiji, Madagascar, Bolivia, the Amazon, Belize, and Malaysia will also get another loving look, and will probably still be scary and jampacked with terrifying insects and creepy reptiles.
Everyone’s first clothes-free meeting is reviewed. It’s like the morning after every drunken hook-up you ever had, only while standing in tall grass. The general consensus is that the moment is awkward. This show is very informative. This is followed by discussion about whether it is acceptable to cuddle/spoon/snuggle to share body heat when the temperatures plummet at night. Most of their spouses express a preference for the survivalists freezing to death. Furthermore, there was the issue of contending with “morning wood.” While I generally thirst for knowledge, that’s a little too informative.
Onto food, possibly the most challenging aspect of the 21-day stint. The participants ingested lizards, bugs, butterflies, snakes, crabs, snails, as well as various questionable substances. Jeff was willing to eat anything that scuttled by. He’s even been known to go through the Burger King drive-thru. Sabrina ate an entire parrot head, including the “crunchy” beak and the presumably gushy eyes. Note that the head was discarded by some other form of wildlife that didn’t consider it edible.
There is a montage of people describing the depth and breadth of their hunger. It’s like a Weight Watchers meeting from hell. Sabrina, who gets her energy from the moon, had an especially hard time during the day, and now an even harder time earning any respect from intelligent people. Exhaustion was another issue for everyone. One guy whose name I forget forgot his partner’s name.
Of course, building a fire seemed to be a challenge for everyone. As a result, they all risked hypothermia on a regular basis, in part because they steadfastly refused to cuddle/spoon/snuggle. Is it really more of a threat to a marriage to do that over taking off three weeks from work without contributing any income to the household?
Then there were the physical afflictions that arose from their conditions. Vince had serious hemorrhoids, which now explains why he was on all fours at one point. E.J. hacked his leg open, and Sabrina had massive abdominal pain induced by parrot-head-eating. Even if they could escape the dangers of snakes, pumas, and poisonous spiders, the mosquitoes, leeches, and ticks were always out in force. Genital areas are popular with these guys, as well as eyes. But at least you can wash them off your face with urine. Once again, I remind readers that there is no paycheck for this gig. The only ones being compensated are the vermin.
An interesting bit of trivia is that Eva used pebbles for toilet paper, although the logistics of that are not explained or demonstrated, while Jeff used leaves. His butt itched, but he wouldn’t scratch it because he ate with his hands. You would think he could use a stick, if you wanted to think about it at all.
Now we consider the emotional toll that being naked, starving, and dehydrated can take on a pair of strangers being filmed. Vince needed a lot of alone time, which is understandable since his partner was Sabrina. Another pair discuss a little too enthusiastically how they would enjoy having a dead body to eat. Left alone, desperately lonely Sabrina made a new partner from a rock with a smiley face drawn on it. She was pleased to have found an intellectual peer.
Next come the declarations that the show is not rigged, and that the challenge is truly as daunting as it appears. The cameramen ignore you and no one present will acknowledge your presence. It’s not unlike how you’d be treated if you were naked, unbathed, and had been defecating in a hole for two weeks while at a cocktail party. Previously unseen footage reveals how A.K and Tyler were really bitchy with each other. You just know the crew enjoyed that.
“Only the truly strong survive,” intones the narrator, leading into a segment about those who tapped out. A quitter insists that she chose to leave because she needed to get home to her husband and kids, which does not explain why she left them to pursue this cockamamie exercise in the first place. Another guy decides that having a seizure was a good reason to think of his kids. It’s also a good reason to think of having a complete neurological workup. Vince sends a message to Sabrina to assure her that he had been right to leave, since he contracted three terrifying diseases. She blames it on his “attitude,” and complains that he let her down. She’s a delight.
Now to weight loss. Turns out eating butterflies aren’t calorie-dense. “You can see your body cannibalizing yourself,” says Eva–ironic since she was one of the two who fantasized about having a human corpse to dine on.
Finally, there is the glorious day when they reach the extraction point, although no one explains why it’s called that and not “the end of their journey,” like on every other reality show. The sound of the approaching chopper is music to their ears. Tell that to Vic Morrow.
For all their agony and the trials of the experience, many of the survivalists have fond feelings for the places they were sent. “I left a piece of myself in Fiji,” says someone wistfully. Several pints of blood now being digested by leeches, most likely. What’s more, many of the partners who didn’t snipe at each other like hormonal teenagers formed meaningful bonds with each other, despite not cuddling/spooning/snuggling.
And they would all do it again! The mosquitoes were hoping you’d say that, you morons.