By David TroppensJun 2, 2017
I have a confession to make.
Since the first day I saw a promo ad for the television survivalist show ‘Naked and Afraid’ (N&A) I knew I’d be an addicted fan to the show.
I love these off the grid shows. I love the Alaskan shows. I love ‘Alone’ a cable production that places 10 individuals in a inhospitable place with the person remaining the longest winning a nice cash prize. I love them all. But, of them all ‘Naked and Afraid’ ranks as my favorite.
Seeing these survivalists last 21 days without clothes and plenty of bitting bugs is actually pretty inspiring. It’s also reasonably educational. From these shows I’ve actually learned weeds that are edible, and have tried a couple located in my own ya ros rd to taste them (not terribly tasty).
So when I noticed that Fenton resident and ex-Fenton athlete Melissa Miller was going to be on the show, I was pretty pumped. This was someone I at least have talked to and know a little about.
After watching the show, all I have to say is Melissa was amazing. I actually am a Facebook member of a few Naked and Afraid fan sites, and when I say Miller arguably ranks among the top five survivalists in show history, and it’s not my Fenton bias skewing my viewpoint. Many of the other addicted fans of the show have made comments similar to mine.
What a go-getter she was on the show. If she wasn’t grabbing dangerous snakes with her bare hands, she was putting her body directly over campfire flames for hours to protect her and her partner Chance’s fire. She created the fire. She created the shelter. She was just one bad-(fill in a three-letter word her) survivalist. And when her partner was struggling with the 21-day challenge, she listened and emotionally supported him, helping Chance complete the challenge.
The show has been so popular that it now takes some of the ‘all-star’ survivalists and creates a new 40-day challenge show so that the survivalists can test their skills not only for a longer period of time, but also with a larger group. In fact, for the first time in show history, when Melissa and Chance were rowing their man-made raft down a piranha-infested river toward their extraction point, the pair actually ran into the 40-day group who started their venture in the amazon the same day the pair did, just at a different location.
They were given the option to stay with the group or go home. Citing a health issue among a family member, Melissa left. Chance remained, as he returned to the other group. Watching her 21 days, it became very apparent that if she stayed, she not only would’ve flourished during the next 20 days but due to her even-keeled and respectful mindset during the first 20 days, she probably would’ve become the group’s new leader.
In a way I was glad she didn’t stay. This means if they do the 40-day show next season, she’s available to do the entire challenge from the start. I have no clue how Melissa would top her 21-day experience if she did do the 40-day show, but I’m guessing she’s up for the challenge. Maybe she can take down a wild boar with her bare hands, build a three-story shelter or save the life of a fellow survivalist from a jaguar attack with a sling shot. After watching the 21 day challenge, nothing would shock me.
So, if I have any pull in your decision, Melissa, please do the 40-day challenge next season. We’d love to see you thrive in some other crazy inhospitable area of the world. But if you decide to end your television surivialist days with this episode, congratulations on your success. You will live in N&A history with the show’s fans.