Lisa Whelchel From 'Facts Of Life' Returns To T.V. In 'Survivor: Philippines'
You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have … Survivor: Philippines? Or so it is for former 1980s sitcom star Lisa Whelchel, 49, whom you may remember as the preppy Blair Warner from The Facts of Life, the popular series that ran on NBC between the years of 1979 and 1988 and also starred MacKenzie Astin (as Andy Moffet), Kim Fields (as Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey), Mindy Cohn (as Natalie Green), Cloris Leachman (as Beverly Ann Stickle), Nancy McKeon (as Joanne "Jo" Polniaczek) and, of course, everybody's favorite, George Clooney (as George Burnett).
Now Blair — ahem, Whelchel — is coming back to television as one of the 18 contestants on the new 25th season of Survivor, which will pit its competitors against one another in the Philippines. Whelchel, who hasn't acted in 20 years and is now a Christian author and public speaker, will appear on the show with former San Francisco Giants baseball player, Jeff Kent, 44, reports USA Today.
Survivor was an eye-opening experience for Whelchel. "I don't think 'fun' is the word I would use to describe my experience," she wrote on her website. "Those days on the island were the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It pushed me to my extreme limits physically, mentally, spiritually, and especially, emotionally. I'm so very grateful for the opportunity and I'm so glad I did it, but I think it's like childbirth…I may need to put a few years behind me and some perspective in front of me before I would ever consider doing it again."
Many of the other competitors in the new season of Survivor: Philippines, which returns to CBS with a 90-minute special on September 19 at 8:00 p.m. EST, will be former contestants who are returning to give it another shot.