Batter up, “Survivor” fans — baseball legend Jeff Kent is stepping onto the field!
CBS announced the cast for its upcoming 25th season of “Survivor” on Monday (August 20), a list that includes the former National League Most Valuable Player and another familiar face in the form of Lisa Whelchel, best known for playing Blair Warner on “The Facts of Life.” The two will compete alongside 13 other new players positioned across three tribes when the new season, set in the Philippines, debuts on September 19 with a 90-minute episode.
Kent and Whelchel are hardly the first famous faces to join the “Survivor” family. Football legends Gary Hogeboom and Jimmy Johnson previously played the game to mixed results. (Hogeboom was the 12th contestant voted out in “Guatemala,” while Johnson was evicted third during his season.) Professional poker player Jean-Robert Bellande and professional wrestler Ashley Massaro both competed on “Survivor: China” as well. In all cases, the issue of how fame might impact their chances in the game weighed heavily on these players. In interviews with Entertainment Weekly, both Kent and Whelchel confessed that they’re going through similar dilemmas over the star power they bring to the game.
“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 said about how she plans to use her reputation in the game.
Kent, for his part, said, “You know, there are not many tall white guys with mustaches walking around still these days. I’m hoping my reputation’s not big enough that these people know who I am.”
Beyond Kent and Whelchel, other “Survivor: Philippines” contestants include 25 year-old bartender Malcolm Freberg, 41 year-old sex therapist Denise Stapley, and former Miss Delaware Katie Hanson. Additionally, three yet-to-be-revealed returning players are in the mix this season. All three of these contestants previously exited the game due to medical emergencies, a clue that significantly narrows the list of possible returnees. Their identities will be revealed later this week.
Tell us what you think of the “Survivor” cast thus far in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @roundhoward!