Whelchel learns harsh facts of life on Survivor

Facts of Life kids Nancy McKeon, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn & Lisa Whelchel

Lisa Whelchel doesn’t look long for Survivor. The former child star, who played snooty boarding school student Blair in the horrible NBC sitcom The Facts of Life (1979 to 1988), was one of two “celebrities” parachuted into Survivor Philippines. It’s the 25th edition of the tribal game opera.
The 49-year-old actress looked like she realized she’d made a big mistakes minutes into Wednesday night’s 90-minute premiere. I recapped the episode for The Toronto Star; read it on-line here.
Whelchel decided going in she didn’t want her new tribe mates to know she was once a TV star. Michael Skupin, the former player from the long-ago Australian outback edition, recognized her right away and was confounded as to why she wouldn’t play the Fame card. That holds a lot of cred with the kids in the tribe, Skupin figured.
True, rookie players bow down to the likes of Boston Rob like he’s Wayne Gretzky. But even 50-year-old Skupin figured the kids half his age in this game would have no clue who Whelchel used to be. And, true enough, she was dismissed as the older lady who won’t mix by the babes in the bikinis.
So if you’re old enough to remember Facts of Life, seeing Blair as the Old Lady who gets Tossed First or Second on Survivor goes down about as well as a bag full of soggy Doritos.

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