Naked and Afraid is a hit US reality series that tests contestants’ survival skills when they are left in a remote location for 21 days to fend for themselves.

All they are allowed is one personal item, such as a hatchet or a fire starter, but aside from that, they must survive without clothes, food, shelter and water for the duration of the challenge.

Survivalists can ‘tap out’ at any point during the 21-day challenge, but if they choose to go all the way they must arrive at the designated extraction point on the final day to be collected by a helicopter or boat.

Bug bites, isolation, and food poisoning are just some of the problems survivalists have to face but do contestants get paid for their trouble?

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What is the Naked and Afraid prize?

  • There is in fact no cash prize for appearing on the show.

Unlike the winners of Survivor who receive $1 million for battling it out in a game of survival on an uninhabited island, those appearing on Naked and Afraid are said to believe that money is not the main factor for wanting to appear on the show, rather they actually want to find out if they can survive in the wilderness.

As Season 2 contestant, Jeff Zausch explained: “What I always say is ‘This is who we are. This is what we are made of’. Some people were made to be race car drivers. Some people were, you know, made to be CEOs of companies. We were made to push the limits of what’s humanly possible”.

Although there is no actual cash prize for winning the show, the contestants are compensated for their time. Casting Director, Kristi Russell revealed that participants are given a ‘weekly stipend to compensate for their lost wages’ from their day jobs which amounts to $5000 in cash.

They are also given flight tickets to and from the survival challenge location, alongside two nights paid for in a hotel.

Are Naked and Afraid XL contestants paid?

In Naked and Afraid XL, the contestants are expected to survive a whopping 40 days in the wilderness.

For the extra time spent battling the elements and eating bugs and insects, Naked and Afraid XL contestants reportedly took home $24,000 US dollars, which is almost five times as much as what contestants would receive for the 21-day challenge.



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Jaspreet Kaur
Jaspreet Kaur

Jaspreet has graduated in English and Journalism and Digital Marketing Management at Coventry University with two years of experience in writing for an online student newspaper. In her spare time, you will find her watching every series of Love Island, Too Hot to Handle and Ex on the Beach.

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