Those who only know her as “Blair” from Facts of Life may be surprised but the thousands who saw Lisa Whelchel at Women of Faith know from her intro video that Lisa always wanted to be on Survivor . . . and this fall, she is! Thanks to an audition video recorded backstage in San Antonio at the 2011 Women of Faith event and a flurry of Twitter support, Lisa made the team of castaways for Survivor: Philippines.
“I knew last year,” Lisa admitted, “and at the last Women of Faith I couldn’t tell anybody.” That was difficult but “surviving” Survivor: Philippines was even harder. “Emotionally,” Lisa said, “it was like an earthquake inside.” The show’s motto is “outwit, outplay, outlast” which translated to what Lisa described as “this epic battle” between wanting to be the “good girl” who reflected God and His character versus a burning desire to win the game. “Even if you’re the nicest person in the world,” Lisa points out, “you have to vote people off one by one.”
“It’s so funny,” Lisa muses, “the Facts of Life theme song is just such a pithy little jingle [but] it’s the theme song for my time on Survivor. ‘You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both…’ As a Christian I really thought it was only ‘you take the good’ and then you either deny the bad or pretend the bad away. But I am good and I am bad; I am human and I am filled with God’s spirit. Accepting myself, all that was in me, and being OK with that is very freeing.”
Lisa was in the audience at Celebrate What Matters in Oklahoma City. “I loved it! I think my favorite part was Ballet Magnificat! but I loved the live band and everything.” Like many of you, Lisa has been coming to Women of Faith events for years. “I went to Women of Faith before I was a speaker; even while I was on the platform I would go see the other team.” Why so many repeat visits? “I have always been ministered to when I go,” Lisa says. “That’s always the case.”
The season premiere of Survivor: Philippines airs tomorrow, Wednesday, September 19, at 8/7c on CBS. You can be part of a virtual watch party by following Lisa on Twitter at @LisaWhelchel and be sure to vote for Lisa for fan favorite!
What will be your favorite part of Celebrate What Matters? Join us in a city near you and find out!