Extreme temperatures, bug bites, and contracting potentially life-threatening conditions like dengue fever are just some of the issues the contestants of Naked and Afraid have to face.
The hit reality TV show on Discovery Channel launched the careers of mightily successful survivalists like Laura Zerra, Jeff Zausch, or Suzänne Zeta. Needless to add, it also spurred a range of horror stories. So, do the contestants of Naked and Afraid get compensation for their efforts? How much do they make?
How much do the contestants make on 'Naked and Afraid'?
Naked and Afraid shows everyday people at their most vulnerable.
Whether it be about keeping away from wild animals or trying to survive a night without being eaten alive by a swarm of overly zealous mosquitoes, the contestants of the show have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario at all times.
Unlike the winners of Survivor, who receive the handsome sum of $1 million, those appearing on Naked and Afraid are more likely to be motivated by the prospect of being able to live to tell the tale. It's understood that Naked and Afraid contestants don't receive any prize money. According to a rumor, however, they might receive a stipend to get them through the 21 days far away from civilization.
The production team likely covers the flights, two nights in a hotel, and $5,000 in cash to compensate for lost wages, as per Nicki Swift.
As a casting director named Kristi Russell explained in a previous interview with Channel Guide Magazine, some contestants also receive training before being sent to a mystery location with only a radio transmitter and a bag to see them through three weeks' worth of intense mental and physical challenges.
"We gave them each the amount of training that they would need so that they would be able to survive out there, so fire, shelter, and water," Kristi told the outlet in a 2015 interview. "Those are the three basic survival tools that you need to have to have a chance, and that’s what we really focused on."
It's uncertain if the guidelines have changed since then, however.
Some believe that 'Naked and Afraid' contestants get access to medication as well.
According to outlets like TV Overmind, Naked and Afraid contestants might be able to request essential items like sanitary products. Contact lens solution and sunscreen might be available as well, as per Reality Blurred.
Nevertheless, contracting illnesses poses a very real threat for most contestants. Take, for instance, Anastasia Ashley, who quit the show after just six days because she developed a full-body rash after being bitten by sandflies, as per Daily Mail. Meanwhile, Manu Toigo had to tap out after contracting dengue fever, as per TMZ.