Francesca Hogi: I'm Really Bad at Survivor
The New Yorker makes history by being the first contestant booted – twice!
Survivor just isn’t Francesca Hogi’s game.
The 38-year-old New York lawyer first played the game in 2011’s Survivor: Redemption Island, where she was the first contestant booted. Returning for Survivor: Caramoan, she threatened to “drown herself” if she were the first one voted out. She even picked up a rock and said she would eat it if she were the first to go.
Sure enough, at tribal council, she was the first one to go. (She says she’ll follow through on the rock-eating promise at the reunion if Jeff Probst can produce that very same rock for her.)
Speaking to PEOPLE, Hogi can laugh at her misfortune, but names names when it comes to who she thinks was responsible for her misfortune.
So here we are.
Here we are. [Laughs]
What were your thoughts watching the show last night?
I actually didn’t watch the show. I’m on vacation in China right now, so I didn’t see it. What happened?
You were voted out first.
Oh, damn it!
What were your thoughts as you were taking the walk of shame?
My first thought was, ‘Okay, this is sort of hilarious.’ I just wanted to go home, but after you’re voted out, you can’t go home. You have to hang out in the Philippines until the game is over. So it’s like this incredible waste of time that you’re away from your life for a month and you’re not playing the game. I wanted to get back to my life. I think we determined that I’m really bad at Survivor.
So what went wrong?
I put my trust in people who I guess weren’t trustworthy.
Looking at Twitter, some of your former Survivor friends are blaming Andrea Boehlke for voting you out.
Without getting too much into things that are outside the game, I thought Andrea was on my side. I thought I could trust her. She was my friend outside the game. But she was playing both sides. So I felt very betrayed by her, obviously.
But may I point out that you voted against her, too?
I did, but only after I realized she was untrustworthy. But every time I told her things, she’d go running back to Phillip, so I voted for her.
But she played the game with Phillip [Sheppard] for 37 days on Redemption Island. Surely you had to know they’d have a bond.
I thought that, but he’s Phillip. Phillip! He’s a crazy person. So I couldn’t understand how she could possibly align with him.
But obviously, there were six people who voted against you.
Yes, there were a few people who I thought might be on my side. I thought Dawn [Meehan] was going to vote with me, but I guess not. I thought John Cochran was on my side, too. Here’s the thing: Cochran and I have had conversations about Andrea, and how untrustworthy she is. And yet he aligned with her instead of me. He’s my friend outside the game.
Did you have conversations with him during the game?
I tried to, but his sunburn was so bad. He was actually really sick, so he was lying down in the shelter, and there were lots of people around him. So we couldn’t really talk. But I did know that he and Dawn were a pair, and I thought Dawn was on my side. So I thought he was, too. They turned out to be the swing votes, and they went the other direction.
Your tribe was sort of full of misfits.
It was. I looked around at my tribe before the season started and I was terrified the name of the season was going to be “Survivor: Douchebag Island.” It was only after I saw the logo on the helicopter that said “Fans vs. Favorites” that I breathed a sigh of relief.
You didn’t get to see Malcolm Freberg play the game before you met him out there. What did you think of him?
I liked him a lot. Obviously, our tribe wasn’t full of athletes, so we had to keep him around. But he’s a funny guy, very nice. I wish he had voted with me, though!
So is there any scenario where you could imagine playing Survivor for a third time?
[Laughs] No, I don’t think so. Maybe Survivor isn’t the game for me.
But you’d have nowhere to go but up.
You’re right. Maybe I’d play if they’d guarantee that the least I could win was a million dollars. But otherwise, I think I’m just going to go on with my life. I’m a lawyer, I travel a lot. I like my life. I’m glad I did Survivor twice, but yeah, I think I’m done.