Francesca Hogi, a 38-year-old attorney from Brooklyn, NY, was eliminated from her Bikal "Favorites" tribe during Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' Wednesday night premiere on CBS.
Francesca was voted out of her tribe at the 26th edition's first Tribal Council, the first elimination vote for Bikal. She had also coincidentally been eliminated first when she previously competed on Survivor: Redemption Island.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Francesca talked about her short-lived Survivor experience. Below is the first half of Francesca's interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: It's hard to know sometimes based upon the editing, so were you really surprised to be voted off? Had you come to suspect that would happen, or what was the situation?
Francesca Hogi: I had come to suspect it. I mean, I think by the time we left for Tribal Council, I knew that something was up. And by the time we were actually at Tribal Council, and you know, [John Cochran] wouldn't make eye contact with me, [Dawn Meehan] wouldn't make eye contact with me, you know, at that point, when they started talking, I figured. I've been there before. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So it was really more at Tribal Council when that feeling was solidified for you -- not so much before you left for Tribal?
Francesca Hogi: Yeah, it started before we left towards the end of the day, before we were leaving for Tribal. But by the time we were at Tribal, I was like, "Yeah, this is not looking good for me."
Reality TV World: Andrea Boehlke was shown saying that she decided she needed to vote you off because you had formed an alliance with her and Dawn on Day 1 but she didn't hear anything more from you "for a long time after that," which made her conclude that basically although she really liked you, you had your "own agenda" and there were more loyal people in her alliance with Phillip Sheppard. What are your thoughts about that.. I mean it was only Day 3... (Laughs)
Francesca Hogi: It was obviously bullsh-t. (Laughs) Wow, that's news to me. I didn't know that she said that. Yeah, that's not true. I talked to Andrea every day, I know the three days I was out there, so yeah.
I don't think that's the real story about why she wanted me out. So, I don't know. I think it had more to do with the fact that her main ally was Phillip and I wanted Phillip out, and Phillip wanted me out. So I think that probably had more to do with it.
Reality TV World: Why do you think she picked Phillip as her main ally?
Francesca Hogi: Well, you know, I mean, they played together before and they had a relationship the first season. I don't know. It's a good question. I think people talk about how much it sucks, or how embarrassing it is to be the first person voted out. But I'm like, "I think it's more embarrassing if you choose to be in an alliance with Phillip." (Laughs)
I think that's much more embarrassing. I would question my life choices after knowing him, but you know, hey, I don't know. That's Andrea's game, so that's a question for Andrea.
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Reality TV World: On Day 1, Andrea was shown suggesting that in addition to the two of you and Dawn, you guys wanted to get Brandon Hantz and Cochran and Phillip into a six-person alliance. Did you ever really feel that that actually happened and Phillip, and I guess Corinne Kaplan for that matter as well, were really allies you were betraying -- or who did you think your alliance was? Because from watching last night, it almost seemed like everybody but Malcolm Freberg was potentially an ally for you out there at one point.
Francesca Hogi: Yeah, wow, no. I never planned on being in an alliance with Phillip. My alliance, as I saw it, was [Brenda Lowe], [Erik Reichenbach], Brandon, Cochran, and Dawn and Andrea -- so basically everyone except for Phillip, Corinne and Malcolm. Obviously Phillip for obvious reasons. (Laughs) I think that's pretty obvious.
And Corinne and Malcolm, I think they hit it off pretty much from Day 1, so even though they were kind of talking about maybe working with other people, I thought it was pretty clear that they were an alliance within an alliance, and so, I didn't feel that I had an "in" with them. So I kind of just -- I mean, I got along with them perfectly well and I was perfectly nice to them, but I never considered them to be part of my alliance.
Reality TV World: You obviously correctly suspected Corinne wasn't really loyal to you, but you seemed to miss on Andrea until it was too late. Why do you think that was?
Francesca Hogi: I think I felt like, from my perspective, I was still not a threat to Andrea and I felt that more than trusting Andrea, I trusted Cochran. And so, I didn't think that Cochran would side with Andrea over me. So I kind of felt like, "Andrea can do whatever she wants to do," but I didn't initially think that she would really have anywhere to go.
Reality TV World: Even with Andrea, Cochran and Malcolm, the key to Phillip's alliance was Cochran and Dawn. And they showed Cochran talking about how himself and Dawn were essentially swing votes. You felt Cochran was loyal, but did you feel the same way about Dawn? What was your thought on that whole dynamic?
Francesca Hogi: Yeah, I definitely did feel that way about Dawn. Dawn, from Day 1, was telling me what a big fan she was of mine and how excited she was to work with me. And so, yeah, I felt with Dawn that -- I didn't see Cochran and Dawn as swing votes. I saw Cochran and Dawn as part of my alliance. So, yeah, that was my mistake!
Reality TV World: Do you think that last-minute plan Brandon and Erik came up with, that the three of you and Dawn and Brenda would suddenly vote for Andrea and not tell Cochran -- who was obviously aligned with Dawn -- played any role in Dawn and Cochran deciding to go with Phillip? Because it seemed a little odd that you guys were asking Dawn to keep something from Cochran when they were tight.
Francesca Hogi: Oh God, I'm so sorry, because I don't really remember this very well and I didn't watch the episode, so I don't know exactly what was shown. I'm going to be like the worst interview ever. (Laughs) I don't recall ever agreeing to keep anything from Cochran.
Reality TV World: Okay, they showed a scene in which after Brandon and Erik talked at the last minute, they both came up with a plan that the five of you were going to secretly vote for Andrea and keep it from Andrea and Cochran.
Francesca Hogi: No, I talked to Cochran about voting for Andrea right before we left for Tribal Council, so that didn't make it.
Reality TV World: Brandon and Erik, and I don't want to be mean, but they're kind of known as the two guys who got voted off after giving up immunity and are considered two of the worst Survivor strategists ever. (Laughs) On the show, it made it look like they came up to you with this secret plan to target Andrea at the last minute and you kind of went along with it. Did you ever have any concerns about going along with the plan since it had been concocted by two guys who don't have a reputation for being that bright?
Francesca Hogi: The thing is, is that it wasn't as though I tried, I mean, whatever you want to say about Brandon and Erik, I did not question their loyalty and I did question Andrea's loyalty.
So I felt like, I was like, "Okay." I felt that was completely viable to me. It's definitely at that point in the day when we had kind of been on the beach all day and you're starting to get this vibe of, "Okay, you know what? Andrea does seem to be acting a little odd, so I'm fine with that, yeah. Let's just vote out Andrea."
Above is the first half of Francesca's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.