December 08, 2003 12:00 PM

With her sweet disposition and wholesome good looks, The View’s new cohost Elisabeth Filarski Hasselbeck, 26, could pass for a pushover. An artist and accessories designer who reads the Bible daily and says she’s “always two minutes late on a joke,” she claims to be more of a dork than an entertainer.

Don’t be fooled, though: In addition to going through “living hell” to finish fourth on Survivor: The Australian Out-back in 2001, Hasselbeck has powered her way into the coveted seat vacated by Lisa Ling last December. Besting 20 competitors (Carnie Wilson among them) by acing interviews with subjects including Hillary Clinton and Tim Robbins (a self-described conservative, she told Robbins she didn’t agree with his politics), Hasselbeck says she was soaring when Barbara Walters phoned her on Nov. 21 to offer her the spot.

Married to Washington Redskins quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, 25, Ling’s successor has been honing her on-air skills as host of the Style Network’s The Look for Less (a gig she plans to keep). If she had an edge over her rivals, says chatmate Star Jones, it was because she did her homework and “hit the table like gangbusters. She’s a smart girl.”

And one who obviously relishes her new role. Glam she may be, but The View’s rookie promises never to become ayes-woman. Vows Hasselbeck: “I’ll get my hands dirty if I need to.”

You May Like