Naked and Afraid Mellissa

Melissa Miller, 28, is shown here leaving her 21-day survival challenge in the Amazon tropical rainforest of eastern Ecuador. She was unable to stay for the extended 40-day challenge because of a family health situation at home.

Melissa Miller, a recent competitor on Discovery Channel’s TV show “Naked and Afraid,” had to go home and watch the show herself after inviting the public to watch it with her at Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar in Fenton on Sunday, May 21.

 “I was so busy just talking with people, I really didn’t have a chance to watch it,” said Miller. “I was so surprised by how many people were there. The response has been very positive.”

 Miller, 28, a Fenton native, was selected by the Discovery Channel to appear as a contestant on this three-week survival journal, after an extensive application process.

 Male and female competitors are placed in one of the most remote locations on the earth, and have to survive using their own skills and courage, making their own shelter and finding their own food and water. 

 Only about half of the contestants, who are mostly survivalists and ex-military, survive for the three weeks.

 No one knew until watching this episode whether Miller and her partner, Chance Davis of Virginia , would survive for 21 days in the remote, piranha- and insect-infested tropical rainforest region of the Amazon in eastern Ecuador, considered to be one of the most remote, dangerous locales in the world.

 “We were inundated with rain,” said Miller. “I was swearing. I thought I went the whole three weeks without swearing.”

 In one of her many memorable survival moments, Miller climbed a tree, grabbed a snake, killed it with her bare hands and then cooked it for dinner to share with Davis.

 People who watched the show seemed to connect with Miller, a 2007 graduate of Fenton High School. The comments on “Naked and Afraid’s” Facebook page have been overwhelmingly positive about this particular episode and felt that Miller has been one of the show’s strongest survival contestants since the show debuted in 2013.

 One fan, Tamie Beeman, commented, “Thank you for being such a strong and inspiring woman. Other women need to see that we can do anything and are more capable than we realize.”

 As a successful survivor, Miller and Davis were both asked to stay on for the 40-day “Naked and Afraid XL” challenge, but Miller declined because her boyfriend’s father has been battling cancer, and she felt the need to return home.

 In the end, Miller was very pleased about how she was portrayed on the show and also that the show’s producers didn’t shy away from talking about Miller’s past struggles with depression and anxiety. “We do things for a reason,” said Miller. “This was about my own emotional and personal journey. I’m really glad they brought that out in the show.”

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