She took the good, she took the bad, and now Lisa Whelchel is taking on the jungles of the Philippines as a contestant on the 25th season of CBS' Survivor, premiering Sept. 19 at 8/7c. The actress, who portrayed snobby Eastland schoolgirl Blair Warner on The Facts of Life and now travels as an inspirational speaker, says she's not afraid of the show's harsh conditions. "I love the idea of being out in nature and just roughing it," the mother of three tells TV Guide Magazine just days before the game started. "I genuinely like people, and I like to know their story and connect with them."
Whelchel, 49, admits that she's "worried about being the oldest woman [in the competition.] I hope I have a few days to prove that I have strengths that are worth keeping." And she'll try to keep her TV past a secret. "I probably won't come out and say it, but if somebody does recognize me, I won't deny it," she says. "It was a wonderful time in my life and I love it, but it really was a long time ago!"
Other famous faces in this year's cast include retired Major League Baseball player Jeff Kent, a five-time All Star who won National League MVP in 2000 while playing for the San Francisco Giants, and former beauty queens Katie Hanson (Miss Delaware 2011) and Angie Layton (Miss Utah Teen USA 2010).
For the first time since 2003's All-Stars season, the newbies will compete in three tribes of six players. And in typical Survivor fashion, they will encounter a game-changing twist within the opening minutes of the competition as three former castaways who had all been medically evacuated from their previous seasons will be welcomed back in an attempt to complete their game. (The identities of these players will be revealed later this week).
Here is the complete list of new Survivor: Philippines castaways divided into their three tribes:
Current Residence: Silver Spring, Md.
Occupation: Insurance Sales
Current Residence: Newark, Del.
Occupation: Former Miss Delaware 2011
Current Residence: Austin, Texas
Occupation: Retired MLB Player
Current Residence: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Current Residence: Shawnee, Kan.
Occupation: Track Coach
Current Residence: Los Angeles
Occupation: Business Student
Roberta "RC" Saint-Amour
Current Residence: New York
Occupation: Investment Banker
Current Residence: Terry Town, La.
Occupation: Computer Engineer
Current Residence: Dallas
Occupation: Former TV Teen Star (The Facts of Life)
Peter "Pete" Yurkowski
Current Residence: Holmdel, N.J.
Occupation: Engineering Graduate
Current Residence: Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Current Residence: Danville, Va.
Occupation: Tire Repairman
Current Residence: Provo, Utah
Roxanne "Roxy" Morris
Current Residence: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Occupation: Seminary Student
Current Residence: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Occupation: Sex Therapist