'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' castaway Francesca Hogi voted out first -- again
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/14/2013
Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' Bikal "Favorites" tribe eliminated Francesca Hogi, a 38-year-old attorney from Brooklyn, NY, from their tribe during Wednesday night's premiere of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Francesca was voted out of her tribe at the season's first Tribal Council, the first elimination vote for Bikal. She also had coincidentally been eliminated first when she previously competed on Survivor: Redemption Island.
"I cannot believe I got voted out first -- again. I'm not going to like cry about it, but I did make Survivorhistory. And the good thing about being voted out first again is I know how to deal with being voted out first. I guess I'm not cut out for Survivor. It's over and done. I'm no longer rooting for the 'Favorites.' I'm rooting for the 'Fans,'" Francesca said following her ouster.
Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' premiere broadcast began with the season's 10 first-time castaways traveling via boat and 10 returning players arriving via helicopters to a remote island in the Caramoan Islands. Both tribes were getting ready to play a 39-day game in which they'd live at separate camps on different beaches.
Following the introductions of a few of the newbies and all of the veterans, Survivor host Jeff Probst noted the returning players would be battling "the elements and their egos" while the new castaways must quickly learn the game in the franchise's second "Fans vs. Favorites" edition.
Jeff then welcomed the "Fans" to the island and explained they'd be playing against some of their favorite castaways from previous seasons. One by one, the favorites hopped out of their helicopters and were introduced to the newbies on the beach.
Brenda Lowe, a 30-year-old paddleboard company owner from Miami, FL, was quickly deemed "dangerous" by a few of the newbies, who seemed especially excited to see John Cochran, a 25-year-old law student from Washington, DC, and shocked to see Phillip Sheppard, a 54-year-old in software sales from Santa Monica, CA, and Brandon Hantz, a 21-year-old in chemical disposal from Katy, TX.
Once settled, Jeff told both tribes that two members from each tribe must race to retrieve a ring and then work together to get back to their flagpole with the ring while the other tribe attempted to stop them any way they could. The first tribe member to have one hand on their flagpole and one hand on the ring would score one point. The first tribe to earn four points would win Reward. They were playing for an early head start in the game in the form of fire, a flint, and 20 pounds of beans.
The "Favorites" ended up winning the challenge 4-1 at the cost of Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA, practically losing his shorts in the water. Both tribes then headed off to their separate camps and began building their shelters.
Shamar was very disappointed in his tribe's loss at the Reward Challenge but realized he wasn't able to control the game and all he could do was try to inspire his tribemates to do better next time.
The "Fans" soon discovered their rice and small amount of available water, and they knew it was mandatory to build fire fast to get water boiling. However, everyone was focused on building the shelter except for Shamar, who suggested they should put their energy into building fire instead. Matt disagreed, saying everyone should have a role and his job was going to be create the shelter because that's what he was good at.
Reynold thought Shamar was "nuts" and acknowledged they needed comradery around camp or things would get very ugly very quickly.
Meanwhile, the "Favorites'" tribe became known as Bikal -- which consisted of Andrea Boehlke, a 23-year-old entertainment host and writer from New York; Brandon; Brenda; Corinne Kaplan, a 33-year-old clinical consultant from Los Angeles; Dawn Meehan, a 42-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT; Erik Reichenbach, a 27-year-old comic book artist from Santa Clarita, CA; Francesca; Cochran; Phillip; and Malcolm.
Malcolm was happy to make a great impression on the tribe by snagging the game point at the Reward Challenge because he said it was good for his strategy. Phillip was all pumped up and said he was "ready to go," while Francesca still saw Phillip as a "crazy person."
Francesca hoped being the first one out her first time around onSurvivor would work to her advantage because she wasn't seen as a threat and therefore didn't think she'd become a target so early on. She believed she was capable of playing a smart, competitive game this time and assumed she'd be able to get along with everyone.
Andrea, Francesca and Dawn already started to talk about forming an alliance and getting Cochran, Brandon and Phillip onboard as well. They didn't want to get ahead of themselves, but Francesca thought it would be best to extend an olive branch to Phillip and bury the hatchet since they had argued so much the first time they played the game together.
Francesca told Phillip she was never gunning for him the initial time they competed on the show, and Phillip was just silent as she spoke. He admitted to cameras afterward he had moved on from their prior dispute but thought Francesca was "stuck in a time warp," and that annoyed him "greatly." Francesca still wasn't sure whether Phillip would go after her right away, but she said she'd eat a rock if she got voted out first again -- because it just "wasn't going to happen."
Over at Gota's camp, the "Fans" made fire thanks to Shamar's guidance and leadership. He said it "just had to happen," like coming home from war in Iraq. Matt appreciated Shamar's help at that point and said it was necessary to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Meanwhile, Phillip was conspiring at Bikal's camp with the intention of starting off the game strong and in power, utilizing some of "Boston Rob" Rob Mariano's strategy called the "BR Rules."
"Get in an alliance. BR Rule 2, get in an alliance within the alliance. BR Rule 3, get rid of your alliance before it gets rid of you, and by the way man, you don't owe anybody anything. It's all about family," Phillip explained.
Phillip immediately tried to make an alliance with Corinne, Malcolm and Andrea -- whom he believed was a real "strategist." Phillip planned to be in the background and play an undercover, behind-the-scenes game although he'd be calling the shots and giving out directions. He just didn't want to make it obvious to anyone but his core alliance.
Phillip then recruited Cochran and Erik for his alliance as well. Phillip told Erik not to get nervous and trust him 100% percent because he'd have the numbers, and although Phillip insisted he was simply the messenger and "errands boy," the way Phillip approached Erik just rubbed him the wrong way.
"So Phillip basically said to me, 'You're with me or you're out. It's not even a choice, which drives me nuts. The fact he came to me with this fear mentality, the Boston Rob-style, I don't want to be with him. He's a combative, idiot loser, who makes everybody crazy," Erik said.
At Gota's camp, Reynold and Allie secured a Final 2 alliance and swore to God on it. He thought he had paired up with a "not-obvious choice" because she would most likely fly under the radar since she "wasn't the cutest girl" but was cool and likeable. Reynold's gut instinct told him he had made the right decision, and he assumed she felt the same way about their deal.
That night, Eddie and Hope decided to stick together and work with one another, as he thought they had made an instant connection. He called Hope the southern belle he had been looking for and figured Reynold and Allie would join them. Later on, Laura noticed Reynold and Allie were intensely cuddling, not just for body warmth. She said it wasn't a smart move and they'd be soon targeted because romantic couples were a threat in the game.
Meanwhile, on Day 3, Cochran said weather-wise, it was not his environment. His entire body was sunburned red and his feet swelled up like "a little pregnant woman," according to Brenda. Cochran said he was exhausted and actually felt like crying, but he intended to still crack some self-depricating jokes and remain strong and confident "with a little swagger," basically attempting not to be the "same freak as last time."
Over at Gota's beach, Reynold, Eddie, Allie, and Hope became an official alliance of four. Eddie called it "the cool kid lunch table back in high school," insisting no one else would be able to sit at their table. Laura then shared her snuggling theory with Sherri, and Sherri agreed that Reynold and Allie had been hooking up and they could become dangerous.
As a result, Sherri and Laura made a pact to work with Michael and Julia. Although Michael gave the girls his word, he planned to keep options open from both sides in order to eventually determine what would be the best thing for him.
In addition, Michael and Matt hit it off, and Michael asked where he stood and what option he wanted to go with -- meaning which of the two established alliances. Matt noted they should just keep working together and if they continuously won immunity, they wouldn't have to make that decision for awhile.
On Day 3, the castaways met Jeff again and he explained the rules to what would be their first Immunity Challenge.
The tribe members learned that each tribe would be divided into pairs. A pair from each tribe would be required to race out and up a four-story tower. At each floor, there were three crates filled with sandbags. They had to toss them over the side and smash them, race back down, and then the next pair could go. Once a tribe tossed all 12 crates over the side of the tower, the remaining pair would race in, grab the sandbags, and attempt to land them in a series of targets.
The first tribe to get one sandbag in each of their six spots would win immunity and be safe from the vote at the upcoming Tribal Council session while the losing tribe would be forced to vote off one of its members. In addition, if the Gota tribe won the challenge, they'd receive flint.
In the end, it was a tight race but Gota won.
After the challenge, Bikal realized the race was extremely close and they just didn't have luck on their side. Francesca then started strategizing right away. She told Cochran they should vote for Phillip or Corinne. Cochran noted he liked Corinne, and while Francesca agreed, she admitted she didn't really trust her because she was sort of playing dumb about how things worked. Cochran was pleasantly surprised how he was getting along with everyone on his tribe, calling it the "aloe to his sunburn."
Francesca then announced to Cochran, Brandon, Corinne, and Andrea they should vote for Phillip, presuming everyone would basically be onboard except maybe Malcolm -- who seemed tight with Phillip. Andrea agreed after Francesca said she didn't think anyone would resist, but Andrea was kind of thinking about a different plan -- to stay with her alliance with Phillip.
Andrea had formed an alliance with Dawn and Francesca on Day 1, but Andrea thought Francesca was being flaky and had her own agenda, so she figured her alliance with Phillip was more secure. As a result, Andrea warned Phillip about Francesca's strategy to vote him off, and both castaways decided it would be best to target Francesca.
Erik and Brandon agreed with one another they wanted to vote out Phillip because he didn't give Erik a choice and that scared him. Erik wondered whether Phillip might've actually had the numbers to control the game, and he didn't know what was up his sleeve because he was silent and didn't feel the need to scramble.
Brandon then shared the news with Francesca that Phillip had been bragging to Erik he had the numbers, and Francesca didn't understand how Phillip and Corinne could possibly pull that off. However, Francesca clearly wasn't overconfident and said she could be voted out first twice, which would be "the worst thing ever."
Meanwhile, Cochran and Dawn were teaming up. Cochran was skeptical how Dawn would react to him since he had kind of screwed her over by voting her out the last time they played together, but Dawn insisted they were like family.
Cochran was willing to work with her because she was "honest to a fault" unless she had reinvented herself over the years to play a more cutthroat game. He then started to believe Dawn had changed because she was willing to vote off Francesca even though the women had become friends.
Dawn was concerned about what was in their best interest, and she felt like herself and Cochran were the swing votes. Dawn and Cochran promised each other a Final 2 alliance.
Afterward, Francesca told Dawn to vote for Phillip, but revealed her alliance wanted to split the votes between Phillip and Corinne in fear the two of them, with Malcolm, had found a hidden Immunity Idol already. Francesca told her group -- Dawn, Brandon, Erik, and Andrea -- she was paranoid because Phillip was calm and Malcolm wasn't talking to anyone.
However, Brandon was starting to turn on Andrea. Brandon admitted he was afraid of her because she seemed like such a strategic player and he was more intimated by her than anyone else out there. Other people were struggling to get a read on Andrea as well, like Dawn. Erik then told Francesca he and Brandon didn't trust Andrea and thought she was playing both sides because she was caught talking to everybody.
Erik then suggested to Francesca that with Brenda, Brandon and Dawn, they vote Andrea out and not tell anybody. Therefore, Andrea and Cochran still thought they were splitting the vote between Phillip and Corinne. Francesca said she trusted Cochran but not Andrea.
Afterward, Brandon told Francesca they had nothing against Andrea, they just believed she was a very smart player. Francesca didn't have time to get to the bottom of things before running off to Tribal Council, so she was worried about the way things were going to play out. Cochran was confused about whom to vote for as well, as he wondered whether he should vote off Francesca because he liked her and said he did have morals and a sense of shame.
That night, Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' 10 members of the Bikal tribe arrived for their first Tribal Council session -- the first session of the season overall.
Brandon told Jeff there seemed to be no real leaders in the bunch.
Jeff then announced that although this was Francesca's second time playing the game, she didn't have much experience. Francesca argued that no one really felt secure because plans were changing and people were getting paranoid. Phillip then admitted he knew his name was being tossed around. When asked why she should stick around, Andrea told her tribe she was good in challenges and worked hard around camp.
Jeff then revealed the votes. Six castaways had voted to oust Francesca fromSurvivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites, while four tribemates voted for Andrea.
The episode's closing credits later showed that Francesca, Brandon, Brenda, and Erik voted for Andrea. Cochran, Dawn, Andrea, Malcolm, Corinne, and Phillip all voted for Francesca.