Matt and Brooke Wright both appear on the long-running reality show this season
First he went to Thailand, where his camp was flooded. (He filmed a filmed his marriage proposal in the jungle.) From there, he went to Belize for a Naked and Afraid challenge with PEOPLE’s Steve Helling. Then he went to Ecuador, where he showed his wilderness skills by hunting a wild boar. And finally, he was marooned alone in Africa.
All the while, Brooke has watched. She has listened to his stories. She has interacted with his fans. She has been as supportive as humanly possible. But when it came to doing the show herself, she always said no.
“He’d come home with all these stories, and they all sounded cool,” Brooke tells PEOPLE, “but when anyone asked if I was going to do the show, I was like, ‘No, I’m good.'”
But finally, Brooke gave in. Before she knew it, she was stripping down in Africa, all in the name of adventure.
“Getting naked in front of people is weird for me,” Brooke tells PEOPLE, “and most of the crew are dudes, so there’s that, too. In that minute, I’m like, ‘Okay, this is crazy.’ But I was there, so I might as well do it.”
Brooke, an avid survivalist, is lethal with a bow and arrow. She says she felt comfortable with her skills — but she also knew she’d have to prove herself. (Naked and Afraid has a legion of superfans who watch the show religiously, and they are huge fans of the Wrights. Failure wasn’t much of an option.)
Matt tells PEOPLE that he knew Brooke would shine in the wilderness. “I know what she’s capable of doing,” he says. “I was dying the whole time to hear how she was doing. Each day would pass and I’d get no news — and I knew that was a good thing. I knew she was killing it out there.”
And did her hunting skills come in handy? PEOPLE has seen the episode but is sworn to secrecy.
Matt and Brooke both appear on this season of Naked and Afraid — but they’re not doing the show together. The day after Brooke got home from her adventure, Matt left to film his own Naked and Afraid experience.
“It was hard to leave her the very next day,” says Matt. “I got to hear the highlights, but you really do take several days to process the whole experience when you come back. I missed a lot of that.”
“But I was really happy knowing that she went out there and kicked ass,” says Matt. “I’m really proud of her.”
Brooke tells PEOPLE that she’s earned bragging rights of her own. “Now whenever Matt talks about doing the show, I can be like, ‘Yeah, Matt. I know. I did it too,'” she says, laughing. “It’s something unique we share.”
And if they called her to do it again? “Absolutely,” she says. “I would do it without hesitation.”
Matt’s episode of Naked and Afraid will premiere Sunday, March 24 (8 p.m. ET) on Discovery Channel. Brooke’s episode airs a week later, on March 31.