Interview: Honora Bowen of 'Naked and Afraid XL' Talks Supplements, Conflict & More

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As many viewers may already know, there has been some off-screen drama involving Discovery's "Naked and Afraid XL" and "Naked and Afraid." Particularly surround Honora Bowen a cast member we was on the latest challenge.

We contacted Honora to get her side of the story as it pertained to the tension between her and Chris at the reunion, Shane allegedly stealing food from a medic tent, trouble with the show's producers and the reality that many of the reality shows you watch on TV are for the most part pretty fictional, in her words.

You can check out the full length Q&A with Honora as she tells her side of the story below.

Let's start with the reunion show where there was obviously some tension between you and Chris. Is that tension still there and do you regret calling him a chauvinistic pig in the special?

"There definitely is tension between us.

We don't communicate at all so I should say there was tension between us at the reunion.

I don't have anything against Chris outside of the show and you know a lot of where I was coming from was I was very upset with the show itself and the producers because they had withheld a prescription from me."

"I tried talking about it several times at the reunion show but none of that footage is going to be used.

Basically the only thing it shows me saying is how Chris is a chauvinistic pig and I mean to be honest I do think he's a misogynist and I do think he's chauvinistic.

You know good people sometimes end up being misogynistic and chauvinistic so I'm not saying he's a bad person but I think that he definitely has something against strong independent women."

"I emphasize the independent part because he would have never bullied someone like Laura or Eva because they have a lot of clout in the 'Naked and Afraid' community, so he knows better, he knows that if he had done that he would have been perceived as a bully.

So, I think what he does is he bullies people he thinks are weak because of their independence and you know that does not make them weak."

"In his first episode he bullied Corinne, he bullied me and he bullied Dani Julien so I don't know what his interactions were like with the other four women but I can definitely say that Corinne was very upset with Chris for a pretty long period of time after their shoot.

I talked to Dani Julien in the airport and she was also upset with Chris."

The letter you penned really seemed to come from out of thin air.

You said that you had a really hard time in Brazil and that the shows producers weren't happy with you finding the nearby villagers area can you tell us what they told you?

"Jim who was the producer on that one told me that the shack belonged to the locals but it looked abandoned to me it looked like some homeless person had hung out there.

He said no the natives have rights to this place and they come on occasion."

"So, he made me give him back all the stuff that I had brought back with me.

I had tied basket, a pot with some fishing line to my waist and he made me give it back to him and said I was forbidden to go back there and he said this never happened, he said not to tell Matt, my partner, that I had been there."

How did it make you feel knowing that your father's death had become somewhat of a focal point of the challenge?

"I felt like they had kind of like a set persona for me right off the bat and I definitely felt like there was a lot of hypocrisy going on.

Because, I'd never really heard of the show when I was contacted to do it but I did a lot of research and I watched a lot of the episodes and I clearly recalled seeing a couple of episodes that clearly showed the contestants finding garbage, finding tools and being able to use them so I was confused as to why they wouldn't let me do that in this situation."

"They were trying to make it seem like much more of an isolated place than it actually was and the reality was there was actually a village a couple miles away. It was more than a couple of miles to get there, it was a really like an hour and a half car ride but over the sand dunes it's only a couple of miles.

Every single night we would hear this music blasting and it would be techno and reggae playing non-stop all night.

The locals actually came almost every single Sunday; I remember the first Sunday it was almost in the middle of the day and Matt and I were sitting in our little shelter weaving and all of a sudden we hear voices and one of the sand dunes and there's 20 people there playing soccer."

"They had their phones out and they were taking pictures of us and we tried radioing because it was productions lunch break and nobody was around. Nobody heard us and I walked up there and tried to talk to them in pigeon Spanish, which, doesn't really get across well to people who speak Portuguese.

I was trying to tell them we're shooting a television show and it was really awkward because I was wearing a palm leaf shirt that I made and I was naked underneath you know like no bottoms talking to 20 people and it was really ridiculous, probably one of the most ridiculous experiences I've ever had.


By now we know that there was obviously no ill intent towards Shane in the photos you released.

Do you support his choice if he did in fact take food from the medic tent and why? Is there any explanation for him tapping out if he was able to sneak food away?

"I absolutely do support Shane's choice in taking food from the medic tent. I think if any other one of the cast members had the opportunity to they would have done the same."

"I had a similar experience in Brazil where I was drinking empty Campari bottles just because it had calories in it. In Colombia I actually walked away from the cameras one day.

I walked over a mile away from our camp and I found a medic tent that was kind of like on the road and nobody was around.

Inside a box I found a smaller 10-pack box of Emergen-C electrolytes and I hid them in my machete sheath and I snuck them on my way back to camp, sort of ditched them under a tree, waited until later in the day, went and got them and brought them back to my partners."

"We buried them in a hole right in the middle of our camp and kept them buried and as soon as everyone left for the day we would pour a couple of them in our water bottle and share it between the three of us. So, I know that my partners and me basically did the same exact thing.

I mean when you're starving like that; Shane was out there for a much longer time than I was, you start thinking kind of like an animal and if there's food you're gonna eat it.

It is still survival, you know, what are the rules of it?"

"Even if production considers us to be cheating, at the same time your brain is literally getting cannibalized.

So are you gonna be like, 'oh, no I'm not gonna eat that,' no I mean I think any human being would do the same thing."

"I do think that Shane would have tapped out even if he had a storage of food, for sure. There is so much more to the survival scenario especially when you're interacting with other people and you feel singled out, you feel isolated, a lot is going through your head and your heart emotionally.

There are a lot of other factors out there, like of all that food he found none of that contained electrolytes.

I'm sure a little salt but how much sodium, how much potassium, how much magnesium was he getting out of that food?"

"Honestly, I could definitely still see someone tapping out after finding that food.

After a time enough is enough. I think that played out with Dani Julien she was so close to the end and she just decided enough was enough."

What can you tell us about the origins of the photos of Shane and do you think that they're real or photo-shopped?

"I do not think they are photo-shopped. I absolutely think they are real.

I had been getting quite a few private messages from Dani Beau regarding things that happened between her, Alana and Shane.

I know that she's very upset and I know when she heard that I was speaking about the medical side of what happened she instantly sent me those photos."

"Those photos had already been released to other cast members and I think what happened was she saw that I was speaking up and speaking out to the public so she figured well here if you want anything else to talk about, people are going to be paying attention to you, you want these photos.

To me that's what it seems like."

"I honestly don't think that she photo-shopped them at all.

I do believe what Dani Beau is saying and it's just a ridiculous thing to do.

Who would go out of their way to photo-shop something like that and then to come up with that story, it's just more logical that it actually happened."

Are you able to tell us what your conflict with the executive producers of Naked and Afraid and or if it has been resolved?

"They have not been resolved. My conflict with 'Naked and Afraid' really originated in Brazil.

In Brazil my partner told me on day one that he couldn't believe they let him take Adderall out there and that he did not have ADD and that he had finagled a prescription for Adderall which, is also a mild amphetamine prescribed for ADD a couple weeks before going out to Brazil.

He told me this on day one we were up all night talking and the whole time we were talking we weren't being recorded and there was nobody around, so, he could tell me this in privacy."

"We both were kind of laughing because we were both thinking, of that's great. I was kind of thinking you're going to be such an awesome partner Matt, he's not going to be hungry and he's going to be doing things. So, what happens is, if you have a medical prescription out there the PA's give it to you.

So, in his case he was getting fed Adderall twice a day, morning and afternoon by the PA's.

He wasn't doing anything and I actually do ADD. I used to take prescribed Adderall when I was in high school so I know how Adderall affects someone who has ADD and I also friends who abused Adderall and abused similar drugs and I know how it affects them when they don't have ADD."

"It's basically like speed because it's an amphetamine.

The difference is, if you're on Adderall and you have ADD it helps you focus.

If you don't have ADD and you use Adderall you act like you're on speed and a lot of people who are incredulous because I called him lazy, being on Adderall or being on Speed isn't going to turn a non-athlete into an athlete all of the time."

"What he was doing was pretty much like clockwork. When he got Adderall he would sit on his butt and he would talk all day long. He was talking to the crew-members and we weren't supposed to talk to them.

It drove me crazy because it felt like I was in a room with someone who was on Speed every single day and he wasn't getting up and doing anything. He wasn't very hungry but he was on amphetamines and I wasn't happy about that and I complained to the producers about it.

Simultaneously I was on Malarone and I found out that my partner was not on Malarone. I found out that Malarone has some pretty negative side effects on people."

"In Brazil I tapped out because of hyponatremia, which is what happens when you electrolytes are completely out of balance.

The narrator said I had extreme heat exhaustion which is not true I had hyponatremia which is the same thing that Hakim had in Colombia."

"That resulted in some long term health problems for me and those started to arise right before I was getting ready to head out to Colombia. So my doctor wrote me a prescription for Salts and one other Potassium for my kidneys.

When I showed up at Colombia I immediately gave the note to the medic and a few days later about two days because we started shooting, Steve Rankin who is one of the executive producers and the two field producers came into my hotel room and said that they were concerned about my doctors note.

They said that they could not honor it because it would be unfair to the other contestants. Then in the same conversation, Steven Rankin brought up Brazil."

"He said look we know that your partner Matt in Brazil was on amphetamines, we all know he did not have ADD, he had a fake prescription.

He was like but that would not have been good for the viewers, it would not have been good for the show, so we had to edit the show the way that we did."

"Now my show in Brazil was a complete farce. They edited me out building the shelter; they set up a tripod and they deleted every single shot of me building the shelter, they didn't show anything I did.

They didn't show me killing birds, they didn't show my fish basket and they made me look pretty much like a crazy person.

They threw me under the bus basically because Matt was on Adderall and I was tapping out for medical reasons because they couldn't portray what actually happened to the viewers. So they made up a fake story."

"I wasn't sure if he was implying that he thought I was lying with my doctors note but I had a real doctors note, it was on hospital letterhead, prescribed by my doctor, for a real problem.

He said that I could either go home or do the show without the doctors note."

"I had taken like two and a half months off of work and had saved thousands of dollars so I can pay for my rent and pay for a dog sitter while I was gone. I had also put on 30lbs of fat over the course of a couple of months before the show, so I had really invested so much into the show and I saw it as a chance at redemption. To be told that I could either go home or do it without my prescription really bothered me but I agreed to at least, try it and see what happens.

So we started filming and on day one I found out that Luke had two bottles of tinchure that he got to keep and we had like a dry bag that was always hidden off camera that had a radio, tampons and like, Malarone and it had Luke's tinchure. It had 'Clarks Blend' on it; his brother had made it for him.

It had cognac and fish oil and all these other herbs and he said that he got to take it in Africa as well and basically it had all this amino acids in it.

He let us try it, you know, it didn't taste good, but he was taking this as an alternative to he Malarone, to the anti-malaria medication, because it was supposed to keep mosquitoes away."

"Then Chris told me that while he was in his hotel, talking to Dani B., Dani B. was allowed to take B-Vitamins instead of taking Malarone. Here's where it get's weird. I have kidney problems, production knows this, you are not supposed to take Malarone when you have kidney problems, yet that was never an option, it was never discussed, that I could take B-vitamins or I could bring my own homemade tinchure, or take anything else other than Malarone.

It was either you take it or you don't. There was never an option.

So these people had these really awesome supplements, I mean when you're starving, B-vitamins are absolutely essential for your brain to function.

To have B-vitamins and to have this alcoholic tinchure with all these amino acids it in, either of those things are a huge advantage in a starvation scenario."

"So I was stereotyped.

I was stereotyped from day one just because of all of it, because in my first experience I was with someone who was like being with someone who was on Speed that didn't have ADD and in my second experience, I was just denied my doctors prescription and then found out other people were allowed to take supplements."

"I complained about it every single day, I complained about it every single time I was on camera, I pretty much refused to talk about anything but that because I was so pissed off. One of the field producers actually said oh yeah, a lot of the cast members get supplements.

So, at that point I was infuriated because I don't know who else got to take supplements but to hear that lots of the cast members got to take supplements, was like freaking bizarre because he was standing in my hotel room when Steve Rankin was telling me that my supplements would make it unfair to the other contestants.

He stood by and listened to that knowing that other people were taking supplements."

"So, to me it seemed obvious that this was deliberate. They obviously had no intention of me completing the challenge and if so they wanted drama out of me, they wanted me to be upset, they brought me on to the show for drama. I don't think the drama that I gave them was the drama they expected but I was infuriated. At one point after I complained enough, they went into town to look for salt pills.

They found like 10 packets of salt pills so; they said I would have half a packet every other day, or something like that. So while I was out there I did end up getting free little salt pills but I wasn't getting the other half of my prescription and I wasn't getting nearly enough salt as I was supposed to be getting.

They refuse to give me the other supplement that I was prescribed, so I mean I was just pissed. I feel like anybody in that situation would be pissed.

Are you still friends with the entire "Naked and Afraid XL" cast?

"To be honest I don't really have any shared experiences with most of them. I never got to go survive with most of them. I talk to two of those cast members sometimes and we're not like friends but Dani B and I message each other sometimes as well as Dani Julien.

It's like we're acquaintances. I would love to hang out with either of those girls, I mean, some of the other cast members seem totally cool.

I spoke with Shane a little bit afterwards and he seems totally cool.

I don't have anything against any of those people I think that they're all great humans and it would be cool to get to know them better but other than that no.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans, followers and supporters?

"I would say that try to keep an open mind and that mass media is run by the largest corporations in the world. What you see on TV often times does have some political drive behind it.

You know, just to try to watch it with an open mind. Pretty much everything you see on TV is fictional, even if it is reality TV."

Wanna read more on this? Check these out: Is Honora Bowen of 'Naked and Afraid' Outing The Show for Being Fixed and Contestants? (more); 'Naked and Afraid XL' Recap: 'Dirty Dozen Return Special' Season 5 Episode 10 (more).