Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:43 AM ET
Lisa Whelchel is a survivor, no matter what happens on "Survivor: Philippines."
The former "Facts of Life" star turned reality-TV castaway divorced her husband of 24 years earlier this year, but they remain good friends, E! News confirmed Thursday.
"The divorce was final on March 1, and (I) went out to be on 'Survivor' on March 10," Whelchel told People about the split. "Going out to 'Survivor' was helpful for me, to divert my attention and not just dwell on the loss.... It was painful to realize that it wasn't going to work out."
Whelchel, 49, and her pastor ex, Steve Cauble, 61, have three grown kids together -- and they all gathered to watch the "Survivor" season premiere Wednesday night, she said.
Happily, Whelchel's Tandang tribe was totally safe!