MCHS teacher, sister finalists in contest

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NATIONWIDE – A Magoffin County High School teacher and her sister are finalists in AMC’s “Talking Dead” Ultimate Fan Contest.

MCHS math teacher Samantha Rose and her sister, Sabrina Arnett, who is the manager of the Sweet Frog in Paintsville, have watched “The Walking Dead” from the show’s beginning, and have traveled as far as New York and Los Angeles to watch the premieres. In entering this contest, the sisters hope to travel to LA once, again, to be featured on the “Talking Dead.”

“Talking Dead” is a live after-show that serves as a platform for discussion for “The Walking Dead,” with hour-long episodes that follow the new episode of the show, and includes host Chris Hardwick, fans of the show, actors, producers and TV enthusiasts, recapping the episode and providing sneak-peaks. 

“We would get to fly to LA, appear on an episode of ‘Talking Dead,’ get to sit on the couch and be a part of the whole hour,” Rose told the Independent.

Rose and Arnett are not just run-of-the-mill fans, only watching the show on Sunday nights.

“We’ve traveled all over the country for this show,” Rose said. 

The pair regularly attend different conventions and are scheduled to go to the upcoming HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati. In 2015 they traveled to New York City’s Madison Square Garden for the premiere.

“It was amazing,” Rose remembers. “We didn’t have good seats, but we were able to watch the celebrities – all the cast – be interviewed and we got to watch the episode with everyone that night.”

In August 2016, they won a costume contest at the “Walking Dead Day” in Cynthiana, Kentucky, the hometown of the comic book writer, Robert Kirkman, who created “The Walking Dead.”

“We got to meet him and got an autographed picture from him,” Rose said.

In October 2017, they flew to Los Angeles for the season 8 premiere at the Greek Theatre after Sabrina won another contest.

“We got to meet the celebrities on the red carpet and everything,” Rose said.

In total, they’ve met nearly all of the cast members, since they started going to conventions in 2013. Rose said out of all of them Normal Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon on the show, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, stood out the most.

“They were both extremely nice and went out of their way to make us feel important and like they were happy to meet us,” Rose said.

When they met Morgan, they wore shirts that said “NEGAN’S WIVES,” and when he saw them he joked with them about it and said, “There’s my wives!” 

The sisters made their video for the current contest in January and found out in February they were finalists when they received an email, requiring them to sign a release for the video.

For their submission they had to prepare a 30-second video highlighting why they would be the best guests on “Talking Dead” and show off their fandom. 

“I personally think ours is the best because we were the most creative,” Rose said. “We change outfits, playing eight different characters from the show. I think we were the most creative and put in the most effort.”

Arnett and Rose’s video has been staying pretty high in the rankings, but have some strong competition between a blogger and a YouTuber, who are having their followers vote for their videos against all of their competitors.

Rose said no other show has compared to how they are with “The Walking Dead.”

“It’s a hobby for us,” Rose said, “Sabrina collects the action figures and has actually been featured as an ultimate fan on McFarlane (Toys) website. I always joke that she spends all her Sweet Frog money on action figures and collectibles. Sunday night at 9 o’clock, we have to be watching the show. It’s not a big deal for me where I’m a teacher, but she always schedules herself off so she can watch it.”

Rose said they are so thankful for everyone supporting them as finalists, specifically thanking MCHS Principal Chris Meadows and Magoffin County Schools Superintendent Scott Helton.

“Everyone has been so supportive, letting the kids hang up posters, and the kids sharing it on social media,” Rose said. “I want to thank everyone who’s voted and shared it. Mr. Meadows even includes it in his announcements in the morning!”

The videos of all the finalists are available at, and the public can vote for and against videos an unlimited amount of times between February 25 and March 19.

To vote, wait for all of the videos to load on the page, then click the green up arrow to the right of the video titled “Sabrina and Samantha.” After a vote has been cast, the percentages will appear, not only indicating the video’s status, but also confirming that the vote has been counted.