Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel joined the cast of this year’s Survivor, effectively launching her comeback. But how is the newly-divorced evangelical Christian doing on the show?
Last week, another Survivor was voted off, leaving Lisa as one of the top six finalists. She’s not the only famous face in the group – former Survivor Michael Skupin is there too, and retired baseball player Jeff Kent was voted off two weeks ago.
Later on in the show, contestants often compete to win phone calls or visits from loved ones. Lisa got a visit from her brother, Justice Coleman, who is a pastor. Coleman tells People magazine that he was suprised to see how tired and frail his sister looked.
“I almost didn’t recognize her. She looked absolutely ragged: physically and emotionally torn up. I was imagining a big smile on her face, since she was so deep into the game and doing so well, but she started crying so hard. I was legitimately concerned for her.” He describes his sister as a “Survivor superfan.” If he were a superfan, he’d know that contestants always look like hell once they’re this far along on the show, but it still must be jarring to see your own sister like that.
As for Lisa, she says she tried not to think too much about her family so that she wouldn’t get upset. “I tried not to think about my loved ones at home, except to pray for them,” she said.