People have been voted out of “Survivor” for beef jerky smuggling, banana theft, and being unlucky…but this season was the first time someone’s first sentence doomed them.
“They’re sizing us up like we’re prey.”
Those were the first seven words Francesca Hogi ever said to ‘Boston’ Rob Mariano and those seven words were enough for him to send her to Redemption Island.
I had a chance to chat with Francesca the morning after her elimination to get her thoughts on her relationship with Boston Rob, what life was like on Redemption Island, and Jeff Probst’s rapping skills.
Gordon Holmes: Good morning, Francesca.
Francesca Hogi: Good morning!
Gordon: Did I pronounce your name correctly?
Francesca: (Laughs) That was perfect.
Gordon: That wasn’t so hard.
Gordon: So, you were the first person ever sent to Redemption Island. What was that like?
Francesca: It was kind of tough. You’re the only person who has to do everything. Everyday collecting firewood to keep the fire going, that took all my energy. The shelter that was there was not much of a shelter. The first night I got there I had to make a bed and try to improve on the roof to give myself protection from the rain.
Gordon: Was the isolation a tough part?
Francesca: It didn’t bother me so much. I was very anxious because I didn’t know how soon someone was coming. I didn’t know if somebody was going to arrive and we were going to have a duel right away. I was afraid it was going to be Phillip and Phillip and I were going to be stuck there for a couple of days which would have been a disaster. Probably good television, but not good for me.
Gordon: What happened once Matt arrived?
Francesca: He and I were there together for a couple of days, and it was a couple of days of us wondering, “When is this duel going to happen?” We were eager to get going.
Gordon: You mentioned your buddy Phillip, he’s your B.F.F. right?
Francesca: People keep asking me if he’s really like that, and I’m not a mental health professional, but what you see from Phillip is what you get from Phillip. I don’t hate Phillip or anything like that, but I certainly don’t like Phillip. I don’t enjoy being around him. The thing I do wonder about Phillip is if he cries every time he sees that question mark that CBS puts after “Former Federal Agent” because they’re insulting his integrity.
Gordon: Did you find it odd that a man with such finely tuned powers of perception didn’t realize he was sitting on an immunity idol clue?
Francesca: That was pretty funny. I guess anyone could miss that clue.
Gordon: Why was Kristina so determined to make the big move to vote Boston Rob out early in the game. You seemed to think it was better to wait.
Francesca: I definitely thought it was too soon. I think Kristina was excited to be there and she found that idol and she thought it was her opportunity to make her mark. I think she got carried away. She got carried away enough to tell Phillip about the immunity idol which she knew was a bad idea. There was no talking her out of it.
Gordon: Rob said he targeted you based on what you said at the very beginning of the game. And, he targeted Matt for shaking hands with Zapatera. Is he super paranoid out there?
Francesca: Boston Rob is obviously a great player and he’s a really smart guy. I think whatever I said on the beach made him distrust me. Which is unfortunate because it isn’t how I meant it. I would have been happy to align with Rob. If I could turn back time I wouldn’t have made that comment because it obviously started me off on the wrong foot in the game.
Gordon: And Matt?
Francesca: I was shocked that he voted Matt out, but I think that had less to do with the handshake and more to do with his relationship with Andrea.
Gordon: Alright, first word association of the new season. I’ll give you a name, you give me the first words that pop into your head. Let’s start off with…Andrea.
Francesca: I call Andrea, “Dr. Dre.”
Gordon: Now does that make you Ed Lover or Snoop Dogg?
Francesca: (Laughs) Um…I’m going to choose Snoop Dogg.
Gordon: Smart choice. Matt?
Gordon: Boston Rob?
Francesca: (Laughs) Determined.
Gordon: (Laughs) Ashley?
Francesca: Natalie…”Survivor” mistress.
Gordon: Ooo… OK, Grant?
Gordon: Russell’s weird arm pimples?
Francesca: Oh… Russell’s weird arm pimples are extremely unfortunate.
Gordon: Also extremely unfortunate…me owning an HDTV last night.
Francesca: Once you see that you can never unsee it.
Gordon: OK, let’s finish this off with Federal Agent Phillip.
Francesca: I’m just going to say…unstable. That’s the kindest thing I can say about Phillip.
Gordon: What did you take from your time in Nicaragua?
Francesca: I’m probably more obnoxious than I realized. (Laughs) Things didn’t turn out the way I planned, but I was true to myself. If I could have been more insincere I probably would have done better in the game. That’s unfortunate for “Survivor” but makes me feel good about my life.
Gordon: Now, Jeff Probst had said on his website (jeffprobst.com) that before the game started he busted out a boombox and played Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” for the cast.
Francesca: Yes, he did.
Gordon: What was that like?
Francesca: It was very strange. The game hadn’t begun yet, so none of us had spoken a word to each other. He gathered us all around and he said, “Guys, I’ve never done this before, but I woke up this morning with such a good feeling about this season.” And he was inspired to play this song for us. And he printed out the words and we all had a little party moment before the game began.
Gordon: Did he actually rap along with it?
Francesca: He did.
Gordon: I am sooooo jealous.
Francesca: (Laughs) He was excited.
Any questions? Any comments? Our commenting system is down for the time being, but feel free to drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes or chat with fellow “Survivor” fans at the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Facebook page.