I’m not a huge fan of Survivor (I haven’t really watched it since season 11 Survivor: Guatemala) but I do like to see who will be playing in the new seasons. When I saw that CBS was hyping the fact that Lisa Whelchel would be a player I had to laugh to myself. Survivor is known for having good looking, model/bartenders as contestants but they do throw a bone to geezers like me either going old, bringing in past players like Michael Skupin, or in this case stunt casting with a former 80’s TV star like Whelchel. I really think that none of the youngsters on the island will really know who she is and probably still won’t if and when it is revealed by an older player.
For those who don’t know, Lisa Whelchel starred in the 80’s TV series “The Facts of Life” that ran from 1979-1988. She played snooty Blair Warner in a group of girls attending a private boarding school in Peekskill, New York. It ran for 9 seasons and 200 episodes. I don’t think many if any of the young people on Survivor will know who she is but Whelchel thinks it will be found out:
Whelchel even has a strategy on how to deal with her famous past. “I’m not going to volunteer it, but at the same time, even though there are a lot of young people and I’m sure they have no idea who Blair Warner is, there are some older people and even if only one knows it certainly will get around, so I won’t deny it.”
Whelchel also has something in common with another older player Michael Skupin – both are born again Christians.
Michael Skupin returns after his original season Survivor: Australia (season 2) when he fell into the camp fire and had to be medically evacuated. The film crew missed the fall into the fire but caught the aftermath. The skin falling off his hands was grusome.
It will be interesting if religion plays into the “drama” of the show. One article I read said that Lisa Whelchel found it hard to lie. I have a feeling that either she or Skupin will get into arguments with other players about religion at some point.
I do know that the stunt casting is an attempt by the producers to draw in more of the older demographic – those that remember Skupin and Whelchel.
Pretty soon we will get to see ‘D’ listers like they have on ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
One can only hope….