While the focus of last night's Survivor episode was a tribe's desperate attempt to send an enemy back to his troll hole—or the purgatory of Redemption Island—another contestant was sent home for good.
She didn't even get to keep her buff as a souvenir.
Not that she'd want to— Francesca Hogi hasn't even seen the first episode featuring that epic Tribal Council that made hers a household name. Sort of.
Read on for more from the Castaway who will forever be known as Francesqua:
What kind of cruel parents would name their daughter "Francesca"? It's lovely, but not even a former federal agent can pronounce it.
I have experienced a lifetime of people mispronouncing my name, but not in such a repetitive and spectacular fashion [as Phillip did during the first Tribal Council].
Why haven't you watched the first episode? You were a part of history!
I was there and I remember how I felt. It wasn't a positive experience. I guess if someone has to go out first, I definitely went out with a bang. And I was the first person to go to Redemption Island, so I am now an obscure Survivor trivia answer now.
Let's talk about your "special" friend, Phillip.
It's pretty obvious when you meet Phillip that he's a character, and that can go one way or the other. So I was like, "Oh boy, this one's going to be interesting." The first day we were out there, I did get along with Phillip. But it didn't take long for us to clash—and once we clashed as you can see it got pretty ugly, pretty quickly.
I certainly didn't choose to be in an alliance with Phillip—I never would have made that choice proactively, that sort of happened by default, and I never trusted him. He liked to talk way too much. He always wanted to prove how much he knew and how smart he was and an authority on everything, so I knew that this was the type of person to not tell a secret to.
Unfortunately, I am not sure if that really made a difference in the end—it was really Rob who wanted me out. Rob got what he wanted. I am not sure if Phillip's freakout really made a difference. I think all it did was show everyone how "lively" he is.
Do you believe that Phillip is a former federal agent?
Actually, when he said it I didn't even question it—I didn't have any reason to disbelieve him. I guess I just didn't care because it was so irrelevant. I don't think he was, but I don't know. I have not conducted any background checks on Phillip, I am not a "human lie detector" like he claims to be, I have no idea. He could still be undercover—he could be that good. He could be punking us all. If he is, I take my hat off to him, because he is doing an outstanding job.
What was Redemption Island like?
[The work] was tough but the isolation wasn't bad—it was actually kind of nice to have a couple of days to myself. When Matt came I was shocked—I probably would have only been more shocked if it was Rob. Matt is such a sweetheart and we really bonded out there.
Did Matt attribute his blindside directly to Rob?
He knew that it was Rob—Rob was 100 percent in control of his alliance—but we spent two days trying to figure out why. What did he do wrong, how did it happen? It sounds to me like Matt's relationship with Andrea is what has Rob really worried, more so than Matt shaking hands with the other team.
What was your reaction when the great Boston Rob joined your tribe?
I was definitely not glad when I found out Rob and Russell were back in the game, just because they obviously have such an advantage over the rest of us. But I was super happy Rob was on my tribe. I was a fan of his from watching him on the show, and I like him in person too. He's very nice and smart and obviously a really good player, but it was unfortunate for me.
I think I would have had a much easier time in the game if he wasn't there. Or even if Russell was on my tribe instead, that would have been better. As you can see what's happened with Zapatera, all of them are united—they viewed Russell as a threat and just got him out. Not that I agree with them throwing a challenge—at all—but I understand why they all wanted him out of the game.
Rob is charming and fun to be around, so he had a very different reaction. Everyone would say, "Oh my god it's so much fun to have Rob here, he's going to be our new best friend," but I'm like, "OK, yeah, great, best friend—but we're gonna vote him out eventually right?"
What is your opinion of Rob's groupies?
I like them all actually. It's all working out for them—they're young, they're all taken with Rob, and they all know they're in good positions. So yes, they do seem to have stars in their eyes but it's perfectly smart of them to align with him and stay out of his way—even though as we saw with Matt, just because you think that you're aligned doesn't necessarily mean that you're safe.