After finishing fourth on Survivor: The Australian Outback in 2001, Elisabeth Hasselbeck did what many reality TV stars hope to do, but rarely achieve: She successfully transitioned into show business. First, she landed a coveted gig at The View table in 2003. While on the show, she regularly made headlines with her controversial opinions and massive on-air feuds. When she was suddenly fired in 2013, that made news too. That same year, she transitioned to Fox & Friends, but left that show and its spotlight in 2015 for personal reasons.
Since saying goodbye to Fox News, Hasselbeck has flown mostly under the radar and has yet to return to the small screen. But will she ever do so? It sure doesn’t seem like it. Here’s the real reason you don’t hear from her anymore.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck isn’t the same person she was on Survivor
Elisabeth Hasselbeck first rose to fame as a reality TV star, charming her way into the hearts of millions as a contestant on Survivor: The Australian Outback. She finished a fierce fourth on the show’s second season and, as host Jeff Probst revealed during a 2014 interview with HuffPost, not only was she a fan favorite, but "every guy on the crew fell in love with her. Every guy. We watched this young girl mature into this fighting phenomenon, and everybody wanted to date her. They thought about marrying Elisabeth. It was all in our fantasies."
Unfortunately, people change and, according to Probst, the woman he remembered from Survivor wasn’t the same person who later made headlines as a conservative pundit. "Elisabeth’s politics have certainly changed," Probst told the outlet. "I’m not sure what to make of where she stands. I’m not saying I align with her, but I like that she does not back down," he added before trying to end on a positive note, saying, "She’s compelling to watch. You’ve got to give her that."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s time on The View was a whirlwind of controversy
Snagging the opportunity to transition from reality TV to one of daytime’s biggest talk shows is nothing to scoff at, but Elisabeth Hasselbeck‘s accomplishment was shrouded in controversy. The Survivor alum was invited to join the ladies of The View in 2003, and ended up having a decade-long run on the show, but the experience was filled with negativity.
The most explosive moment happened on May 23, 2007 when the two went head-to-head over the Iraq War. The verbal battle made jaws drop, and after some ten minutes of debate, co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Joy Behar walked off the set. O’Donnell quit The View soon after that fight and Hasselbeck couldn’t seem to shake the controversy. She eventually left the show as well, in 2013 when producers declined to renew her contract.
Does Elisabeth Hasselbeck hold professional grudges?
Elisabeth Hasselbeck clearly isn’t interested in letting bygones be bygones. When it was announced in 2014 that Rosie O’Donnell would be returning to The View round table, Hasselbeck couldn’t hold her tongue on the matter, even though she had already left the show and found another gig co-hosting Fox & Friends.
Hasselbeck was actually on vacation when the announcement was made, but she called into Fox & Friends (via Talking Points Memo) just to declare, "What could ruin a vacation more than to hear news like this? Here comes to The View the very woman who spit in the face of our military, spit in the face of her own network and really in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there."
Hasselbeck didn’t stop there. She also took to Instagram to defend her O’Donnell opinion, writing, "When asked about Barbara Walters retiring, I provided my analysis. When asked about Sherri [Shepherd] and Jenny [McCarthy] announcing their departure, I provided my analysis. When asked about Rosie coming back, I provided my analysis."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s feud with O’Donnell defined her career
Following countless on-air fights and a very vocal criticism of The View’s decision to re-hire Rosie O’Donnell in 2014, it’s no wonder that their infamous feud has pretty much defined Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s career.
When The View celebrated its 20th birthday with a special titled The View: 20 Years in the Making, it was the infamous Hasselbeck-O’Donnell showdown that took centerstage, as producers focused on the day when O’Donnell finally snapped at her conservative counterpart in 2007, declaring, "Every time I defend [my opinion], it’s poor little Elisabeth that I’m picking on." Hasselbeck famously fired back, "Do not call me a coward… I sit there every single day and open my heart to tell people exactly what I believe."
Reminiscing about the epic fight, former executive producer Bill Geddie noted (via ABC News) it was "a horrible day to be in The View studios." Co-host Joy Behar recalled, "This was kind of personal, this conversation, [and] it became a big argument on the air, and then there was a split screen." Another former co-host, Michelle Collins, noted the split screen moment was full of "fireworks, anger, blood — it’s like Game of Thrones basically."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s coverage of the news often became the news
In covering trending news, Elisabeth Hasselbeck often became the news thanks to her consistently controversial statements. While reporting on Sandra Bland, for example, a 28-year-old Texas woman who was pulled over by police for not using her turn signal and was taken into custody after refusing to put out her cigarette only to be found dead in her jail cell three days later, Hasselbeck weighed in with this: "But, what if, I mean, there are times, I’m sure, someone has, in the history of this land, used a cigarette against a police officer, maybe chucked it at him, pushed it at him." Many thought she was suggesting that Bland was to blame for the outcome of her interaction with police, but Hasselbeck defended herself on Twitter: "I NEVER suggested Sandra Bland could have used a cigarette as a weapon. I asked whether it was wise to ask her to put it out. #StopTheLies."
Acrimonious scenarios like this were common throughout Hasselbeck’s TV news career. From her coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement, to her tone while interviewing former President Barack Obama, to her position on the sexual harassment allegations against the late Fox Chairman Roger Ailes, she had a knack for making waves and putting herself in the spotlight. Whether you loved her or loathed her, perhaps audiences and/or Hasselbeck herself tired of the constant finger-pointing.
A health scare took Elisabeth Hasselbeck temporarily out of the spotlight
Elisabeth Hasselbeck briefly and mysteriously disappeared from her hosting gig at Fox & Friends in 2014 and later revealed it was due to a major health scare. "I had a tumor in my abdomen," she told viewers. "Doctor said, ‘Look, you’ve got to get it out by the end of the month. We don’t like how it looks.’ I was facing something that potentially could have gone either way."
Preparing for the worst, Hasselbeck said she found strength in those around her. "Many women and people that I know have stared down the barrel of that cancer gun and … done remarkable things, courageously, to fight it, and so I knew if I got that side of news that I would be in their wings and, by their example, able to fight it," she explained.
After a suspense-filled week, the TV personality discovered that she need not have worried. She concluded, "I didn’t get that message and answer [of a cancer diagnosis] from my doctors. I got a clear and clean bill of health … and I’m really thankful."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck tearfully bid farewell to FOX
After joining Fox & Friends as a co-host in 2013, Elisabeth Hasselbeck bid a tearful goodbye to the show less than two years later on December 22, 2015. Unlike her drama-filled departure from The View, which left a bad taste in her mouth — in her 2019 book, Point of View, Hasselbeck wrote that she had been left with a "wound of disappointment and betrayal" — this goodbye was a bittersweet one.
The farewell began with a touching video montage, which brought Hasselbeck to tears as she thanked everyone, and singled out then-embattled Fox News CEO Roger Ailes — who she once called "the best man I have worked for" — for giving her "the opportunity to join you all in this family" and for "an outstanding amount of understanding and guidance when I made this decision to go home." The TV alum went on to reveal that the sign-off would mark the end of her small screen career because she had made the tough decision to focus her energy elsewhere.
Family comes first for Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s resignation from Fox & Friends came as a surprise to fans, but as she explained her reasoning, no one could fault her. Having decided to move to Nashville with her husband, ESPN commentator Tim Hasselbeck, and their three kids, Taylor, Grace (pictured above), and Isaiah, Hasselbeck revealed that she was hitting the breaks on her TV career to take on a "new position as CBO, Chief Breakfast Officer. "I am entering into a season where I want to start my day with my children first," she said during her on-air goodbye in 2015. "I’m in a season where the kids need the best of me, not the rest of me," she added, noting, "Mornings at home, right now, in our lives, are better with mommy." She concluded, "This is a really, really hard decision, but I know it’s the right one."
Looking back at her choice to leave TV behind, Hasselbeck told Fox & Friends in a 2019 interview that she has no regrets. "In leaving, Nashville’s been really good to us," she said. "I have to say we get a lot of the ‘why’s’ we moved, now, we do the ‘what’s’ first — We just heard God calling us there and did that in time."
Smaller gigs are more Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s speed
Having vowed to leave her talk show career and New York behind in order to focus on raising her kids in Nashville full-time, Hasselbeck turned to smaller, one-off roles, like hosting the 2015 K-LOVE Fan Awards (above) organized by Christian radio station K-LOVE.
"It’s such a blessing to be the host tonight with Kirk Cameron," she said on the red carpet (via Breathe Cast). "I’m such a super fan of K-LOVE," she continued, adding, "It doesn’t get much better than this to get to celebrate the artists, the athletes, the writers, the film producers, and those are just so loud and proud for God."
In addition to being an avid listener, Hasselbeck added that she took on the gig because "when the spirit moves you, it’s not like you can say no. However God wants to use me for His glory, I have surrendered that to Him and His plan," she proclaimed. "I am thankful to be here with my family and let the kids see a big party for God, and meet all my favorite artists."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck launched a gluten-free nutrition brand
She may be spending more time at home with her family, but that hasn’t kept Elisabeth Hasselbeck from finding innovative ways to keep working. In addition to taking on smaller gigs here and there, she also launched her own gluten-free nutrition brand. Called NoGii, it features healthy, gluten-free snacks and supplements and has become a regular staple on her Instagram feed.
According to the brand’s site, NoGii "has been a total passion project for Elisabeth, from being involved with the original logo and packaging design to product formulations." The site also notes that she used "her family and friends as a focus group" to test out her bars and protein powders, which she was inspired to create after being diagnosed with celiac disease. According to her mission statement, the brand’s goal is to change the perception of a gluten-free diet because "gluten-free living should not be a burden for anyone, but a lifestyle one can enjoy."
Moving to Tennessee gave Elisabeth Hasselbeck her life back
If you think Elisabeth Hasselbeck will one day grow tired of her life out of the spotlight, and return to television full-time, you’re wrong. As she revealed to The Tennessean in 2019, she doesn’t miss her time in front of the camera nor that period in her life because it had begun to take a real toll on all aspects of her well-being. "I was at my worst physical, personal and spiritual place," she told the outlet of the time leading up to her resignation from Fox & Friends. "I had lost my natural state of enjoying and playing with the kids," she elaborated. "I felt like a mom zombie floating through the rest of the day."
When she visited Nashville to host the K-LOVE Christian music awards, she not only fell in love with the city, but according to The Tennessean, the trip actually served a much higher purpose: It gave her "her life back."
"(God) was so generous to give me Nashville as a destination. He turned my doubt into direction," Hasselbeck said, revealing that was the moment she knew it was time to leave New York City and the hectic world of news behind. She went on to gush that even now "[Nashville] feels like a soulmate city to me here." So, don’t expect to see her back on the small screen any time soon.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck still can’t shake The View drama
Elisabeth Hasselbeck was fired from The View in 2013, but six years later, the drama she was involved in on the show still trailed her. In April 2019, audio of Hasselbeck yelling and quitting during a 2006 commercial break went viral, showcasing just how bad things got for her and why she hasn’t been keen to return to the spotlight.
Following a heated on-air debate about the morning after pill during which Barbara Walters chided her, Hasselbeck reportedly tore up her notecards, stormed off and yelled, "F**k that! I’m not going to sit there and get reprimanded on the air." As Joy Behar tried to calm her down, she continued, "What the f**k? I don’t even swear. She has me swearing. This woman is driving me nuts. I’m not going back. I can’t do the show like this." She threatened, "Goodbye! I’m off."
After the audio surfaced, Hasselbeck took to Instagram to justify her outburst, writing, "I used a bad word when frustrated. I was pregnant with Taylor and a big conversation about the value and the lives of the unborn took place at the View […] I used fighting words because I believe that God decides the value of the lives of babies." It’s no wonder then that when she was offered her old job back on The View in 2018, she flat out refused.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck is trying her hand at writing instead
Elisabeth Hasselbeck previously found success writing about her gluten-free lifestyle with 2011’s The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide and 2014’s Deliciously G-Free: Food So Flavorful They’ll Never Believe It’s Gluten-Free: A Cookbook, but in 2019, she decided to try penning an autobiography. The 224-page tome, released in March 2019, is titled Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom and covers her career, faith and personal experiences.
As she shared with fans on Instagram, "This one is *not* about gluten or my gut. It is about God and my heart. Decided on a cover with the help of the kids and sweet creative friends!!!" She admitted, "It feels a little scary to share so much (lessons learned the hard way/ big mistakes/ graceless moments ). So: I pray for His courage to work through me," she wrote, adding, "Praying thanks to all those on the journey who taught me such lessons on mercy and pursuit and grit and grace!!!"
Unfortunately, despite the juicy gossip it promised to deliver, and her faith in its success, as of September 2019, Point of View was ranked #35,881 in Books on Amazon, which is a constantly-shifting metric, however, it’s not even close to the Top 100.