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Sanford Resident to Star on “Naked and Afraid”

Sanford’s own Charlene “Cheeny” Plante will hit the screen April 10 as a participant in the Discovery Channel’s survival series Naked and Afraid. On the show, a man and woman who haven’t met before are left to survive in a wilderness location for 21 days without clothing, food or supplies. They are each allowed to bring one tool with them, and they are also provided with a pot to boil water. A camera crew is present, but is not allowed to help them in any way except in an emergency.

After graduating from Sanford High School in 2008, Cheeny entered the Air Force where, as a Senior Airman, she became a SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) instructor. At that time, there were only about a dozen women serving in this capacity. She returned to Sanford two years ago and is currently employed painting houses and lobstering, while pursuing her goal of becoming a registered Maine Guide, which she will achieve next month. She hopes the exposure from her appearance on Naked and Afraid will be a boost to this new career.

Charlene “Cheeny” Plante as a SERE instructor in 2014.

Cheeny was initially invited to appear on the show four years ago after the producers discovered her through social media. The first time around, they were unable to find just the right partner for her. Then the pandemic intervened. She was finally able to film her episode in August 2021. Although she wasn’t a regular viewer of the show before participating, she has since formed a bond with other cast members who keep in touch online.

She can’t reveal the location where the show was filmed before it airs, but previous episodes this season were shot in Mexico, Zambia, Botswana and Colombia. The series is in its 14th season.

Pilot’s Cove Café will host a live viewing party for the show, which airs Sunday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. Dinner and bar service will be available.

Cheeny is not the first member of the Plante clan to appear on TV – cousin Zack Plante was featured on National Geographic’s “Wicked Tuna” in 2020.

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