"Survivor" contestant Lisa Whelchel's brother says the survival challenge is taking its toll on the former "Facts of Life" star after visiting her in the Philippines.
The self-proclaimed superfan of the reality show had no idea how difficult being a contestant would be, and Justice Coleman says she's struggling mentally and physically. Thirty-one days into the TV challenge, Whelchel clearly started to break down, he says.
It took a visit from her 28-year-old brother, which will air on Wednesday's episode, to help lift her spirits. But the reunion wasn't exactly how Coleman had imagined it would be, and he tells People magazine that seeing his sister for the first time in over a month was an exceptionally emotional and difficult experience.
He explains, "I wasn't prepared to see her at that level of desperation. It was immediately obvious she had hit rock bottom. ... She broke down in my arms and was sobbing so hard, and it was hard for me not to cry. I wasn't expecting her to be at the end of her rope. She is a 'Survivor' superfan, and so I imagined her enjoying the game and having a blast. I almost didn't recognize her. She looked absolutely ragged: physically and emotionally torn up. I was imagining a big smile on her face, since she was so deep into the game and doing so well, but she started crying so hard. I was legitimately concerned for her. ... My sister has always been my role model growing up. In fact, she still is."
Whelchel continues her fight to outlast her competitors, going against the five other remaining players on Wednesday.