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Jeff Kent confirmed for ‘Survivor: Philippines,’ co-starring Blair from ‘Facts of Life’

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(CBS)

Jeff Kent is coming back to compete, just not in the pennant race. As The Stew reported in June after others reported it first, Kent will be a contestant on "Survivor: Philippines" come Sept. 19. Lisa Whelchel will also be on the show; she played Blair Warner on "Facts of Life." Whelchel actually gets top billing above Kent in this post on Entertainment Weekly. And Kent probably likes it that way, for he no doubt will use this slight by the media to help get himself fired up to do major "Survivor" damage.

Few ballplayers, past or present, would seem to make a better choice for what many say is the seminal reality game show of our time. Kent is capable of smiling (note the photo), but beneath those pearlies — as anyone who has followed baseball somewhat closely the past 20 years — is someone with a face that is much more comfortable doing this. Truer to reality, Kent frequently was an angry competitor. He even tangled with his own teammates in the dugout — Barry Bonds, no less — in order to prove he was the alpha male.

Kent doesn't deny his reputation, or even bother to sugarcoat his personality, but he's also 44 years old, and he adds a caveat for anyone placing their bets :

''I've been competing my whole life. That's what I do. I'm not here for any TV stardom. Not here to look good on TV. I don't have my tan going and I'm not in shape."

Not being in shape might hurt his chances of winning. And having such pasty white skin might lead to a bad debilitating sunburn. But Kent is resilient. And wait until he gets near Blair Warner. That will get the juices and, perhaps, the melanin, flowing.

Everyone who watched "Facts of Life" knew it wasn't really Mrs. Garrett who ran the show. Blair might have mellowed a little once Jo came along, but Eastland always was her domain. There's a reason the show's irrepressible theme song (just try repressing it!) includes the lyrics "The 'Facts of Life' are all about you." It was always about you, Blair.

Take it away, Robin Thicke's mom!:

Jeff Kent and Blair Warner are going to come to loggerheads on this show, just like Bonds and Kent in the dugout that one time. And Blair's not going to have Tootie or Natalie or even George Clooney there to back her up this time. (Clooney has been off with the Congress to Africa to solve that thing.)

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