So, a naked make-up artist and a naked sober coach are on a deserted island… what, this isn't the set up to a joke? No, it's what really happened on “Naked and Afraid” this week, and I was expecting a complete debacle. The make-up artist assures us she's a “girly girl” who works at the mall, while the middle-aged sober coach was a big time addict who totally digs adventures, dude. That's a recipe for disaster and certain death, right?
Not exactly. The make-up artist knows how to hunt and fish (helpful) and the sober coach likes to ride bikes (not useful, but he's fit). Their PSRs (Primitive Survival Ratings) are pretty decent — 6.3 for Keith and 6.1 for Alana. Okay, maybe they're up for sharks, venomous sea snakes, triple digit heat and cyclones. Doesn't Fiji sound like an idea vacation spot?
The two arrive at the nekkid spot, and Keith is worried that Alana might be attractive and his body will… react. Alana, on the other hand, is single, so she can't rule out a potential spark! Why oh why does anyone ever worry about this stuff? In about five minutes they're both going to be covered in mud, stinky and dehydrated. You will not have sufficient blood flow to get an erection, Keith.
The first thing Keith notices about Alana is she's cute — and she's ghostly pale. She's a redhead, which suggests to me she might actually burst into flame, but I will say she has some really nice tattoos. Shame they're going to be burned right off her body.
Keith brings the machete and Alana brings the fire starter (does anyone ever bring anything else?), and things start off well — they get a fire started quickly and build a pretty decent shelter. The problem is water. First, they try to purify some water, but can't get it warm enough to kill bacteria. Next, Keith cuts down a banana tree, which yields some kind of battery-acid flavored liquid. So, what's his next great idea? Cutting down a coconut tree. Of course! Because the banana tree was so great!
Alana tries to gently suggest Keith is being a stubborn goat, but no such luck. He wears himself out chopping away at the coconut tree. So, he's exhausted, they're both dehydrated, and they ring in day three without a drop of water. Yay!
Finally, they find a rain puddle to lap up, and there's no pondering about how to purify the water — it's game on.
So, this is great, right? They're hydrated, they have shelter… oh, wait. There's torrential rain and they spend the night not-cuddling for warmth. That may account for why they start getting really good and crabby as their “vacation” wears on. Keith gets diarrhea, which you would think would shut him up but not so much. He thinks Alana is a whiny, bitchy prima donna. Alana isn't too fond of him, either, especially when he goes all “Rambo” in trying to catch a sea snake and only succeeds in wounding one. There's more bickering in this episode than in most, and that's saying something.
Then, day 10 rolls around and Keith is just done. He's ready to go home, then changes his mind. He's going to approach this challenge as he approaches sobriety — one day at a time. Or one hour at a time. Or one minute. Let's just say incrementally. He may have just wanted to hang it up, because that night he has a seizure and has to be transported to a local hospital. On day 11, Keith officially taps out.
So Alana is going to quit, right? I mean, she can't go 11 days in the wilderness on her own, can she? Actually, um, she can. She eats crabs, gobbles down termites, and even creates a cute tube top and miniskirt ensemble (I'm thinking she used Keith's bag, unless a shipment of burlap washed up on the shore). On the 21st day, she drags herself to the destination point and waves for the helicopter to pick her up.
Alana, the shockingly pale make-up artist, is the first person to make it to the end of the 21 day challenge solo. Wow.
The final assessment of our power couple is appropriately topsy-turvy. Keith lost 18 pounds in just 11 days, while Alana lost 17 in 21 days. Her PSR went up to 7.0, while Keith's dropped to 4.5. And on “Naked After Dark,” fans vote overwhelmingly that women are tougher survivalists than men. It's hard not to agree after Fiji.
Were you surprised that Keith tapped out? Did you think they should have bypassed the sea snake? What did you think of Alana's survival skills?