LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Andrew Shayde is no stranger to reality TV, competing on The Amazing Race with his dad in 2002.
But this year…America will see him…and we mean really see him…take on one of the toughest reality shows, Naked and Afraid in Africa.
“Naked and Afraid, they call it the Everest of survival challenges and it is absolutely brutal” said Shayde.
The show puts two strangers together in extreme environments for 21 days with no food, no water, no shelter…and no clothes.
“Your brain clicks into something else like that doesn’t matter I need water, I need fire, I need shelter, I need to not get eaten by that lion over there and your brain just goes to everything else that matters at that point” added Shayde.
Though it was an adventure of a lifetime for Shayde, the decision to go on the show wasn’t taken lightly because he works in fundraising for the Lexington nonprofit Arbor Youth.
Arbor Youth is the only emergency shelter in Central Kentucky for children who are homeless or have suffered from abuse and neglect.
The organization is funded 1/3 from federal, state and local government, 1/3 from private grants and 1/3 from private donors, according to Executive Director for Arbor Youth, Lori Clemons.
Shayde doesn’t work directly with the kids, but his involvement in a show…without clothing…could be seen as controversial.
But Clemons says he has their support.
“I’m not expecting negative feedback or anticipating it, but at the same time I would not be shocked if there is a call or an email and I would address it and hear them out and explain to them what our thought process was” said Executive Director of Arbor Youth, Lori Clemons.
Clemons says they weighed the pros and cons when Shayde approached them with the opportunity and ultimately Shayde’s participation was approved by the board members. She says that donors to the organization have also showed their support.
She says the youth in the shelter have controlled TV access.
And she says that although it isn’t the ideal show…she hopes it will start conversations and bring awareness to Arbor Youth Services.
“We need people to understand why we must continue to exist and Andrew going on to a crazy reality show just gave us another reason to have that conversation” said Clemons.
And for Shayde…he says that if anyone were to see his episode, he hopes they take away that it’s okay to go out of your comfort zone, and you can do anything you set your mind to.
“Although it seems the word naked is in the title, there’s nothing sexual about Naked and Afraid. It’s literally the concept of Adam and Eve, if you are literally dropped out there, everything taken away from you, everything from the modern world, can you survive with nothing? And I’m proud, I’m really proud of what I did in Africa and I’m so excited for everybody to get to see it.”
Shayde’s episode is scheduled to appear on the Discovery Channel on April 18th.
A Lexington man took on one of the toughest reality show challenges, Naked and Afraid. But, the decision to go on the show was not taken lightly.
— Kaitlyn Shive ABC36 (@KaitlynShiveTV) April 7, 2021