- Odd News
It was billed as the ‘Everest of survival challenges’ where contestants are stripped of even the clothes on their backs and dumped in a dangerous wilderness to fend for themselves with no help.
But a woman who appeared on Discovery’s new hit series Naked and Afraid was allegedly given rather more help than you might expect without viewers being told, MailOnline can reveal.
Kim Shelton was fed some bread, rice and baby food when she got food poisoning after eating a turtle's liver during the show’s premiere, a source close to the show has claimed.
The 22-year-old was apparently even hooked up to two IV drips - one in each arm - to rehydrate her while she was ill.
While no-one would argue with giving Miss Shelton the medical care she needed, many may raise an eyebrow as to why the four million who watched the show weren't told.
Viewers were also told fellow contestant Shane Lewis had 'hurt his foot' - but not that he had broken three of his toes a few days into the challenge which left him in constant pain, he said.
Lewis told MailOnline he was angry because the show made him look 'pathetic' because he was moaning without viewers knowing why.
In Naked and Afraid, which debuted on Sunday night, a man and a woman are each week sent to a remote jungle for 21 days with no food, water or clothes.
They are only allowed one personal item each and have to rely on their wits to get through.
Miss Shelton, whose family are from Walker, Minnesota, is described as a ‘survival instructor’ who is an expert at plant identification, archery and bird language.
Mr Lewis, 41, has backpacked around the world and is an extreme sports enthusiast who is an electrician by trade.
In their show the pair were sent to remote part of Costa Rica.
On the 14th day of their time in the jungle the couple’s shack burnt down when their fire accidentally set it alight.
The next day they were despondent but their spirits were raised when Miss Shelton catches a turtle which they cook and eat.
Miss Shelton says that ‘this makes me feel so good’ whilst Mr Lewis says that he feels his strength returning to him.
Later on however she feels unwell and starts vomiting and throwing up.
Miss Shelton has severe stomach cramps and sleeps for the next three days because she is so weak.
At one point she tells the camera: ‘I don’t think I can throw up any more, I don’t think I have anything left’.
She recovers on the fourth day - but no point do viewers see the extra assistance that she was allegedly given.
A source said that Mr Lewis broke three of his toes on the fourth day of the challenge.
Producers took pictures of the injury but in the end it did not feature in the final cut.
At the end of the show this meant that Miss Shelton seems full of energy because she has rested whilst she was sick - and Mr Lewis looks exhausted.
Reached on the phone at his home in New Haven, Connecticut, Mr Lewis, said that on the whole he had a positive experience on Naked and Afraid.
He told MailOnline that he learned a lot about himself and that Miss Shelton had taught him some tricks about making a fire.
He was however frustrated that Naked and Afraid made him look ‘pathetic’ towards the end because viewers did not know that he had hurt his foot.
He said: ‘When I agreed to do the show I said to the producers that if you’re going to do a real, raw show I will do it.
‘They said they wanted to show the reality and how difficult it was, but they went for the ratings.
‘They gave it the Hollywood treatment’.
Naked and Afraid is far from the only ‘reality’ show to take certain liberties with the truth.
TLC came under fire over its series ‘Breaking Amish’ about members of the strict religion who visit New York for the first time.
It later emerged that Kate, an Amish bishop’s daughter, had previously submitted images to modeling agencies which is at odds with the Amish stance against photographs, believing they represent 'vanity' which they deem a sin.
Two other cast members were portrayed as having met for the first time but in fact they had a child together.
MailOnline asked Discovery and Renegade 83, the Los Angeles based production company which made Naked and Afraid for comment.
In an interview with Salon.com, executive producer Denise Contis has denied they were taking advantage of the contestants.
She said: ‘We didn’t develop the show to be exploitative, ever.
‘We always developed it with our filter being ‘how do we protect and it make it a pure survival experience?’’