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Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs Favorites”
I have come not to mourn Francesca Hogi’s unprecedented second first elimination from the game of “Survivor.” I have come to celebrate the fact that she was not content to coast along as so many have done before. And in the words of the immortal Def Leppard…
“It’s better to burn out, than fade away.” – “Rock of Ages*”
I had a chance to speak with Francesca the morning after her heartbreaking loss and asked her about her shocking elimination, her Bikal tribe mates, and the fine art of rock cuisine.
*Yes, I know those lyrics also appear in Neal Young’s “My My, Hey Hey.” But what do you want? I’m a kid of the ‘80s.
Francesca Hogi: Hey, Gordon!
Gordon Holmes: Hi, Francesca…
Hogi: (Laughs) You sound so disappointed.
Holmes: I’ve never had a situation where everybody I know sent me emails saying, “When you talk to Francesca, give her our love.”
Hogi: (Laughs) Aww… That is so sweet.
Holmes: Because you know me, I love me some backstabbing and some deception, but…I didn’t feel clean last night when it was all said and done.
Hogi: (Laughs) It was a dirty, dirty move.
Holmes: I’m glad to hear you’re laughing. How are you holding up?
Hogi: I’m fine, I didn’t actually watch it. This obviously happened a long time ago and what can you do? It happened. You just have to keep it in perspective. There are much more important things in life. I wish this was the worst thing that ever happened to me, but I’ve actually suffered real loss in life. At least I get to be the polar opposite of Sandra.
Holmes: The Anti-Sandra.
Hogi: That’s kind of cool. All the hundreds of people who have played the game are somewhere in the spectrum between me and Sandra. I’m either the worst player or the unluckiest player. It’s kind of cool.
Holmes: Your attitude is amazing. I keep thinking of Russell Swan who was dealt two pretty bad hands in the game, and he had a rough time coming to terms with it.
Hogi: Thank you. But, what else can you do? It’s just “Survivor.”
Holmes: Today is Valentine’s Day.
Hogi: I’m in China, so Valentine’s Day was yesterday.
Holmes: When I have dinner with my girlfriend tonight, I was wondering if you had a recommendation for which wine goes best with rocks.
Hogi: (Laughs) I have so much heat for this comment, that I don’t even remember making. It almost makes me want to watch the episode so I can verify it, but I really don’t want to watch it. I didn’t think I was going home, I thought they liked me, I was an asset to my tribe. But, I’m not going to eat a rock. I will only eat a rock if Jeff Probst brings the exact rock that I had in my hand when I made that comment.
Holmes: So you’re willing to bet that CBS production won’t trek back to the Caramoan Islands to hunt down that rock?
Hogi: If they do that, I’m going to want some kind of forensic, CSI analysis to be sure it’s the exact rock.
Holmes: You and Andrea were in an alliance last night, but she was also a part of the new Stealth R Us. However, Andrea is someone who you had a relationship with before this season. You were both on “Redemption Island” and casts tend to become close with the reunion and all.
Hogi: Without getting into too much outside of the game, it’s no secret that I had a relationship with Andrea. For that reason, not that I was like, “Andrea, you and me to the end.” It wasn’t anything like that. But, I wasn’t targeting her, so as far as I was concerned she knew that and she didn’t have any reason to think any different. So, we have to ask Andrea why she made the decision she made.
Holmes: Can you walk me through the pre-Tribal scramble? All hell seemed to break loose toward the end.
Hogi: It was a stupid day. We were all in shock that we lost the challenge. No one wants to be seen as the person scrambling, so everyone sat around and we all just talked and told stories. Then we were like, “OK, we need to actually figure out who we’re voting for.” I thought that Phillip was an easy choice because he’s insufferable and he’s not particularly good in challenges, and nobody really likes him as a person. So, this is an easy choice. Let’s get rid of the insufferable buffoon who’s not helping in challenges. But, there’s logic in that and that doesn’t always work in “Survivor.” I knew there was a hidden immunity idol. I suspected that Corinne and Malcolm had found it and that they had possibly shared it with Phillip. And, this goes without saying, but Phillip was acting bizarre.
Holmes: I was going to say, you need to be way more specific than that.
Hogi: (Laughs) Right? Even more so than usual. So, I knew they were up to something. Phillip is going to assume that I’m going to vote for him, so we need to do something differently because they could have an idol. That was what started the whole scramble and the splitting the vote.
Holmes: And were you leading all of this?
Hogi: I wanted to take a backseat. I didn’t want to be the person that was calling the shots. I just wanted to chill out and fly as far beneath the radar as possible. But nobody was doing anything. It just turned into a big (expletive deleted) show.
Holmes: Alright, let’s do some word association. We’ll start with Brenda.
Hogi: Insane, buffoon, choose any of those.
Holmes: I’ll use them both. Dawn?
Hogi: He’s easy-going, but he’s not really. He’s calculating.
Holmes: And we’ll finish with Cochran.
Hogi: Oh…three-legged dog.
Holmes: My last question was going to be to ask what your takeaway from this crazy set of experiences is, but you hit on that pretty well at the beginning. I guess my last thought is how much it had to suck to take those long flights to the Philippines for such a short stay.
Hogi: Seriously, I was like, “Please let me go home.” I’d be gone a week, and it was an adventure, but whatever. But it felt like such a huge waste of time. I could’ve just stayed in New York. You know how people always say you need to say “Yes” to more things.
Hogi: I need to say “No” to more things.
Holmes: But you said “Yes” and now you’re in China.
Hogi: (Laughs) That’s true. I love it here.
Holmes: Well, thanks for your time and I look forward to talking to you before “Survivor: 30.”
Hogi: (Laughs) Now that is hilarious.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes