A graduate of Freehold High School, Freehold Borough, was recently featured on a Lifetime television series.
Sonali Chandra, 35, who is a 2005 graduate of Freehold High School, appeared in Episode 14 of “5 Guys A Week” which aired on Lifetime on Sept. 21. The reality show is in its first season.
Chandra’s episode may be viewed online for free at https://play.mylifetime.com/shows/five-guys-a-week/season-1/episode-14
Each episode of “5 Guys A Week” follows a single woman who invites five men to move in with her at the same time. As the week goes on, the men are eliminated from the woman’s home until the woman determines who she will be in a relationship with.
Chandra was born in New Jersey and in 1994 at the age of 7, she moved to Freehold Borough with her parents.
After graduating from Freehold High School in 2005, she earned a degree in finance from Rutgers University in 2009. Chandra currently resides in Fort Lee, Bergen County, and is a fitness coordinator.
Chandra, who is the daughter of Indian immigrants, discussed her family’s strict values relating to dating and intimacy, her refusal to her parents’ request to enter an arranged marriage, and remaining a virgin until getting married.
Chandra expressed interest in appearing on “5 Guys A Week” after she saw a social media post from the show’s production company seeking single women looking to find love in a new way.
“Conventional dating methods haven’t worked for me and I don’t want my parents to arrange my marriage, so I was definitely open to a new strategy,” she said. “I was sick of being in my mid-30s, lonely and still a virgin. I applied, auditioned and was cast.”
Filming the episode was an experience that left a lasting impression on Chandra.
“It was thrilling and a surreal experience to film the show,” she said. “I had never done anything like it before. (The) production (company) treated me like a princess and it was a wonderful vacation from the ‘real world.’
“Even though the guys and I had microphones on us 24 hours a day and there were cameras everywhere, I was so in the moment that I forgot I was being filmed. My life story was accurately portrayed and I am honored my Indian culture has been showcased to audiences,” she said.
Following her appearance on the show, Chandra remains grateful for the opportunity to appear on “5 Guys A Week.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to find love on national television given that I am the daughter of Indian immigrants to the United States who does not hail from family money or connections,” she said.