Published June 19, 2013
LOS ANGELES – It is one thing to be stranded in a remote area of the world and fight to stay alive. It’s another to do so sans clothes. In the company of a complete stranger. With cameras rolling.
The Discovery Channel bares all, quite literally, with its new series “Naked and Afraid,” where each week a man and a woman – who have never met before – find themselves without food, water, and pants, exposed to one of the world’s most extreme weather environments. For 21 days, they have to do whatever it takes to make it through.
Yes, there are people out there crazy enough to step up – or rather strip down – to the challenge.
“It was a new adventure; it is something I had never done before. I had no idea how it would turn out so I had to see what would happen,” Laura Zerra, who was stationed with Clint Jivoin on a secluded island near Panama, told FOX411 Pop Tarts column. “The really intense first three nights we stayed up walking the beaches because we were afraid of being eaten alive and it was just miserable. I have never gone for so long without any sort of sleep.”
Miserable perhaps, is an understatement.
“Sleep deprivation, people don’t realize, is huge, and it was just such a mental state,” Jivoin said. “That mindset is crooked.”
As for the no clothes part, well that took some serious lessons in self-confidence.
“You don’t really get around that. Shelter is your number one priority and your first shelter is clothing. It was extremely difficult, the whole being naked in front of a stranger,” Jivoin continued. “We hit the ground and that was it because you could get hypothermia at 4.30 in the morning because of the rains. It doesn’t matter if it is 80 degrees out, if you’re soaking wet you’re going to get cold quick.”
But the nightmare only got worse as natives on the island proceeded to take a bite out of them – and their makeshift garments.
“Let me tell you the bugs can get you and the clothing we had on did not help the situation at all,” Zerra laughed.
And while there was no “Survivor” type $1 million giveaway, the couple revealed there was one kind of bonus.
“I lost 21 pounds in 21 days… We weren’t eating much, and we did such high-task work that if you were going through a normal day you need to intake a certain amount of calories just to keep your weight, but what we were doing was extreme,” Zerra said. “A good day would be us having coconut-flavored snails. A bad day was having snail-flavored coconuts.”
Jivion’s weight plummet a whopping 40 pounds in just three weeks.
“The best thing out there is a fruit called the water apple,” he added enthusiastically. “Only we depleted our resources within a week.”
“Naked & Afraid” premieres on the Discovery Channel Sunday at 10.20pm ET.
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.