What makes Naked and Afraid so interesting is that the stakes rise higher with each installment. After the 21-day challenge, veterans return to the show for a more demanding 40-day challenge. In the show’s sixth installment, survivors must navigate some of the most untamed lands for a 60-day challenge dubbed naked and Afraid XL.
Suzänne Zeta was one of the show’s most memorable survivalists with her grit, hunger for life, smarts, and determination. The American television personality also has an incredible zero to hero story to boot!
Read on for all the juicy details on what happened to Suzänne on Naked and Afraid XL after she left the show.
Who Is Suzänne Zeta From Naked and Afraid XL?
Suzänne Zeta, formerly Suzänne Taylor, is a native of Virginia. She is a mother of four boys and says she is determined to raise her children differently from her own upbringing.
According to the survivalist and clinical research coordinator, she had a dysfunctional upbringing growing up in rural Ashwood, Virginia. She doesn’t divulge much detail about what happened, but she says her mother made her strong, albeit negatively.
As a mum now, Zeta says her children are her life. “Becoming a mom helped me to be who I am today.” She insists that she needs to keep herself strong and ”help my kids understand how to take care of themselves and be strong.”
For those who have watched Suzänne on all installments of Naked and Afraid, you will attest that this lady is incredibly mentally and physically strong. The tough times she endured growing up awarded her the skills to become one of the top survivalists.
Suzänne attended high school in Missouri at age 16. She later obtained her GED and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy at Saint Louis University and eventually a Ph.D. in Health Sciences and Occupational Therapy from the Virginia Commonwealth University!
This is such an incredible journey and story, and it attests to Suzänne’s grit and determination, which have always made her a formidable competitor.
Suzänne Zeta’s Journey on Naked and Afraid
Suzänne Zeta first joined the Naked and Afraid Discovery Channel for the 21-day challenge in the show’s 9th season. She completed the challenge in the Amazon Basin and participated in the 40-day challenge in the South African Savannah.
After the challenge in South Africa’s Valley of Banished, Zeta returned for the 60-day challenge, given that she qualified as one of the top 12 legends of the show.
Being a legend, Suzänne was brought back to compete on Naked and Afraid XL, filmed in the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana. This untamed land spots alligators, Tigers, and cottonmouth snakes.
The petite star of moderate weight and average height says her sons encouraged her to join the show, and she obliged. After an extensive interview process, Discovery Channel cast Zeta on the show’s 10th episode.
She was paired up with Anthony Coppage, and the two were left along the shores of the Soninho River, Brazil. According to the Discovery Channel, this region spots stinging wasps, unforgiving jaguars, and intense heat.
It is no surprise that the Health Sciences professional successfully survived the 40-day group challenge of Naked and Afraid season 9 and was called back for the unprecedented 60-day challenge.
In addition to her childhood experiences, she also put in a lot of work to build muscle strength, which helped her survive when she couldn’t find enough food in the wild.
Speaking to NBC12 in 2018 after her challenge in Brazil, Suzänne said of the ordeal, “You are free to fail. No one will prevent you from making a really dumb decision.”
She later revealed more about the effect her childhood had on her, “My childhood prepared me for this episode. My mom had a strong influence on my life but in a very negative way.”
Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid XL challenge in Lousiana was quite different from Suzänne’s experience in South Africa, which she seemed to love.
The former contestant quipped in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Who doesn’t want to wake up every morning and feel like you are in the middle of The Lion King?” But, despite the picturesque landscape and enthralling wildlife, Suzänne complained that Africa was ”so hot, you couldn’t sweat.”
Speaking about her motivation for joining Naked and Afraid XL, Suzänne said that in addition to wanting to impress her kids, she also wanted to make her younger self happy.
”Would that little girl be proud of me? Am I still as resourceful and independent, or did I become soft,” she revealed in her interview with the Times-Dispatch.
Well, going by her impressive survival skills on the Discovery Channel show, it is fat to say that young Suzänne would be proud of everything that her adult self has accomplished.
What is Suzänne on Naked and Afraid Up To?
The former reality series contestant is currently a motivational speaker, TV personality, and professional health expert. She is also the Vice President of Operations at VBHRC Virginia Catalyst.
The former reality TV star is an extreme fitness enthusiast, going by her Instagram account, which is full of photos of her and some of her children enjoying athletic-level activities.
During the show, the Discovery Channel former contestant divorced and remarried. Suzänne’s smarts and physical prowess might be impressive, but she isn’t fearless. In her interview with the Times-Dispatch, she revealed that her biggest fear was not the harsh weather or brutal predators.
“My biggest fear is potential ‘haters’ judging me on my actions and decisions to go into the show. Undoubtedly, there will always be haters in everything you choose to do.
Thankfully, Suzänne of Naked and Afraid did not succumb to her fears and instead went ahead and conquered the challenges that came her way. Way to go, Suzänne!