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Tai Trang

S34 Tai Cast Photo1

S32 Tai Trang

Contestant Profile
Born: March 23, 1964 (1964-03-23) (age 53)[1]
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Occupation: Gardener
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Kaôh Rōng
Tribe(s): Gondol
Dara
Finish: Second Runner-Up (3/18)
Alliance(s): Gondol Alliance
Dara Women's Alliance (affiliated)
Challenge Wins: 11
Votes Against: 4
Days Lasted: 39
Game Changers
Tribe(s): Nuku
► Mana
► Nuku
Maku Maku
Finish: 4/20
Alliance(s): Power Six
Tavua Alliance (affiliated)
Challenge Wins: 8
Votes Against: 12
Days Lasted: 38
Gallery

Tai Trang is a contestant from Survivor: Kaôh Rōng and Survivor: Game Changers.

In Kaôh Rōng, Tai was a widely-beloved personality on the island, especially in the early days of the game. His ingenuousness, sense of humor and compassion for plants and animals won him a motley array of allies, including Caleb Reynolds, Scot Pollard, and Aubry Bracco. His game took an unexpected turn when he sided with Aubry and betrayed Scot at Tribal Council by declining to form a super idol for the latter. This move earned him widespread distrust. He also struggled with a persistent inability to express himself articulately at Tribal Council, and much of his late-game strategic play was viewed as haphazard or even irrational. Though he was able to navigate to the end of the game, his erratic style was criticized by the jury and he received no votes at Final Tribal Council. Regardless, he remains a fan favorite from the season.

Despite his erratic and unpredictable gameplay on his first attempt, he managed to make it very deep in Survivor: Game Changers. He aligned with Brad Culpepper and was forced to turn on his closest ally Caleb Reynolds after the tribe switch. He managed to find three Hidden Immunity Idols, and during a Joint Tribal Council; he pulled off a huge move by playing one of his idols on Sierra Dawn Thomas which resulted in Malcolm Freberg's elimination. Despite being in the minority for most of the merge, he was not perceived as a huge threat. After Brad won the Final Immunity Challenge, he decided to target Tai. Ultimately Tai, was voted out just one day before the Final Tribal Council.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

Name (Age): Tai Trang (51)
Tribe Designation: Beauty
Current Residence: San Francisco
Occupation: Gardener
Personal Claim to Fame: Being a part of the AIDS Life Cycle ride for the past 13 years. A 545-miles, 7-day camping and bicycle ride from SF to LA to benefit HIV and AIDS services. In total, I've raised over $75,000 for the LA LGBT Center and SF AIDS Foundation. I love this grueling, but fun, mental and physical challenging experience.
Inspiration in Life: My parents. They worked so hard to provide for 11 of my siblings. During and after the Vietnam war, we were so poor, we had to eat plain rice with soy sauce for months. Somehow they managed to get us all on a fishing boat to escape Communism and luckily we all survived 11 days on the open ocean. In an Indonesian refugee camp, my mom made and sold one cookie at a time to earn extra money for her children. They are the ones that taught me self-reliance and my mom always reminds me "If you have health and both hands, you can never go to sleep cold or hungry."
Hobbies: Planning dinner parties, cooking for friends and keeping bees. I am fascinated by the colony's social structures. I also enjoy reading and discussing fiction in our book club.
Pet Peeves: Foodies, double parked cars and lazy people.
3 Words to Describe You: Energetic, resourceful and competitive.
If You Could Have 3 Things on the Island What Would They Be and Why? Coffee-my life necessity, I grew up loving Vietnamese coffee since I was 3 years old; a razor- I like to shave my head and face to feel young (a survival must) and clean; "The Windup Bird Chronicle," it's a surreal Japanese fiction that would relax me.
SURVIVOR Contestant You Are Most Like: Spencer, I like his positive spirit and determination to survive in given situations, and Bob Crowley, because we're both older, nice, likable players with non-threatening demeanors who work hard.
Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: Definitely, the fun of testing my ability to survive in harsh conditions, pushing my body physically and mentally to the fullest. I would love to compete in challenges against younger, stronger or bigger players to prove that size and age does not matter in this game. I believe in playing a good social game, and the nice guy always can win in the end. Also, to win the million dollars!
Why You Think You'll "Survive" SURVIVOR: As a gardener and fishermen, I have the outdoor skills to build shelter, climb trees, forage for food, fish and dive. I am a vegetarian but I will harvest sea life for the tribe if it keeps me in the game. I will be useful and work hard at camp. I'm physically fit and will help win challenges. Being the middle child of 11 kids, I know how to get along and be the peacemaker. I can share my childhood war stories to pass time and charm people while bringing good spirit and harmony to the tribe.

Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: Growing up poor and without many of life's comforts, I have the physical and mental stamina to survive in harsh environments. I'm determined and never give up till I get what I'm after. I am short and non-threatening, most people seem to like me and often are drawn to me for whatever reason. I am genuinely nice and will treat everyone well (but don't cross me, not even once). I will do whatever it takes to become the Sole Survivor. Even though it'll be difficult and devastating to betray my alliance, my ultimate goal is to win. I want to be a winner that everyone thinks is a little odd, but endearing, who plays a smart and interesting game with some spicy drama.[2]

Age: 52
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Previously played on: Season 32: Brain Vs. Brawn Vs. Beauty, 2nd Runner-up
How have you changed since the last time you played? After playing and watching my season unfold, I am more aware and appreciative of how complex Survivor is. I see my pitfalls and how I can improve. It's a delicate balance of being true to oneself and developing trust and friendships, while at the same time knowing who I think I can beat at the end. I hope I have not become jaded or less trustful now. Each game is unique with its own dynamics and I just need to be open and see where it takes me. I need the knowledge from my past season, but not baggage. Survivor is so great and winning is my ultimate goal.
What skills do you bring to Survivor that will make you a useful member of the group and what skills have you been learning since you last played? I have proven that I work hard and am helpful around camp. I can start a fire and keep it going. I am resourceful and can forage and fish for food. I am loyal, a nice guy, and get along well with everyone. I am pretty positive and can keep thing light and bring harmony to camp. I am small, but strong and would be good in team challenges. Since the last time I played, I have been taking yoga to focus my mind and strengthen my core. I am also trying to improve my lousy hand and eye coordination by playing in a Bocce ball league.
What are you most proud of from the last time? Blindsiding Scot [and] Jason, and sending Scot home. I am proud that I broke away from their alliance to have a voice and played my own game. Deciding on my own destiny resulted in making the Final 3. And, yes, I am so happy to have saved Mark, the chicken. I worked really hard foraging for food so others didn't eat him. I am also proud to bring awareness to how we humans need to take care of our environment and have compassion for other living things.
What, if anything, do you most regret? I regret not managing the Jury better and not being able to articulate, own, and defend all that I accomplished during the game. I regret spending so much time and energy providing for camp which took me away from the game play. Toward the end, I was completely depleted which affected how I played and performed at the final Tribal.
How will you play differently this time? I am much more confident about the game now. I know I have a lot to offer and I can get along with everyone; now it's time to create strong relationships. It's good to have friends in both an alliance and on the Jury. I will be much more observant and aware of my position within the rest of the tribe. I need to be more flexible and fluid in this ever-changing game of strategy, focusing on the bigger picture of winning the game rather than personal friendships. Most of all, I would like to be myself, take risks, and have fun hanging with all these big Survivor legends.[3]

Survivor

Kaôh Rōng

Tai started on the Gondol tribe. While on the boat he grabbed a chicken which he would name Mark and took that to camp. He later searches for the Hidden Immunity Idol but was caught which made the women on his tribe not trust him. He looks for the idol again on Day 4 but was unsuccessful. He tries to kiss Caleb Reynolds on Day 4, but Caleb backs away. On Day 7, Tai finds the idol, but learns that two idols can be combined to form a super Idol. At a brutal Immunity challenge on Day 9, Caleb was medically evacuated for heat exhaustion. Tai cried for his friend.

Tai remained on Gondol after the Tribe Switch along with Anna Khait. They were joined by Chan Loh members Aubry Bracco, Peter Baggenstos, and Joe del Campo and To Tang member Scot Pollard. Tai bonded with Scot. Gondol lost immunity. Tai and Anna recruited Scot to get rid of Peter for his arrogance; Tai revealed his idol to Anna and Scot, and planned to use it that night to forgo the tie. However, Scot knowing both Tai and his ally Kyle Jason had idols managed to turn Tai on Anna. Tai voted against Anna and did not play his idol on her so Anna was blindsided. Julia Sokolowski then joined Gondol. The next day, Peter plotted with Tai and Scot to eliminate Aubry and Joe. Gondol lost immunity again. At camp, Peter told Scot and Tai that they should switch the target to Julia. However, this made them target Peter. Peter was blindsided at tribal council.

Tai made the merge. Debbie Wanner approached him for an alliance, but her brazen attempt caused Tai not to align with her. He planned on sticking with Scot. However, Neal Gottlieb was medically evacuated so tribal council did not take place. Tai won the next immunity challenge. At Tribal Council, he voted for Jason but his ally Nick Maiorano was blindsided. After Tribal Council, Jason and Tai revealed their idols to each other. At the next Tribal Council, Jason and Tai revealed their idols and Jason gave the idol to Tai, but Tai did not play either of them. They voted for Cydney Gillon, but Debbie was blindsided.

Tai gave back Jason's idol after Tribal Council. Tai helped Jason and Scot sabotage the camp the next day. At the next reward challenge, Tai defeated Aubry Bracco for an advantage. The advantage turned out to be an Extra Vote. Aubry tried to get Tai on her side. He later considered joining her side because he felt alienated by his allies. After the immunity challenge, Tai, Jason, and Scot planned on forming the super idol at tribal council. Aubry managed to convince Tai to side with her. At Tribal Council, Tai voted for Scott and did not give him his idol so he was blindsided in a shocking tribal.

Tai tried to rationalize his betrayal to Jason, explaining that he was afraid that he and Scot were going to betray him, but it failed to diffuse Jason's anger. At Tribal Council, Tai received votes from Jason and Julia, but Julia was voted out.

After Julia's elimination, Tai revealed his advantage to Aubry and Joe. Tai decided to take out Michele Fitzgerald for her likability. He later reinforced his desire to vote for Michele, but Cydney was unhappy with Tai's bossiness. He told Jason to vote for Michele but Jason did not believe he had the power. At Tribal Council, Tai used his extra vote advantage on Michele, but Jason was voted out.

After Jason's elimination, Tai tried to make amends with his alliance after he was left out of the plan, and confronted Aubry about her betrayal. Joe won the reward challenge and chose to share the reward with Aubry and Cydney. Back at camp, Tai and Michele made amends and plan to target Aubry. However, after returning to camp the next morning, Aubry reconciled with Tai, and the two decided to go to the end with Joe. However, their plans were put on hold when Joe was medically evacuated.

Aubry and Tai agreed to target Michele next. However, Michele talked to Tai about splitting up Aubry and Cydney. Michele won immunity. Aubry changed her target to Cydney and pleaded with Tai to vote with her and force a tie, while Michele and Cydney proposed getting rid of Aubry as the best likely speaker in front of the jury. At Tribal Council, Tai voted against Cydney, forcing a tie between her and Aubry. Aubry defeated Cydney in the fire-making tiebreaker to send Cydney to the jury, making Aubry, Michele, and Tai the game's three finalists.

At the Final Tribal Council, Tai was criticized for his erratic gameplay and misplaying his advantage, At the end of the Final Tribal Council, Tai finally let Mark go. He ultimately became the second runner-up receiving zero jury votes. He lost to Aubry who was the runner up with two votes and Michele who won the season with five votes.

During the Reunion Show, Australian singer Sia came on stage and donated $50,000 to Tai, and another $50,000 to his choice of animal charity in order to thank him for showing America how to be kind to animals.

Tai's Voting History
Episode Tai's
Votes
Voted Against
Tai
1 Gondol Tribe Immune
2 Gondol Tribe Immune
3 Gondol Tribe Immune
4 Gondol Tribe Immune
5 Anna -
6 Peter -
7 No Tribal Council
8 Jason Individual Immunity
9 Cydney -
10 Scot Julia, Michele
11 Julia Jason, Julia
12 Michele +
Michele
1
-
13 No Tribal Council
14 Cydney -
Jury Votes
for Tai
-
Second Runner-Up, Day 39

^1 In Now's the Time to Start Scheming, Tai used an Extra Vote advantage, allowing him to vote twice at Tribal Council.

Game Changers

Tai started on Nuku which won the first two challenges. He was switched to Mana after the Tribe Switch. He was reunited with Caleb Reynolds. After Losing the immunity challenge, Caleb was a target for his bond with Tai and being an outsider. While Tai wanted to vote out the other outsider Hali Ford, Brad Culpepper convinced him to vote out Caleb. Tai joined the majority in voting out Caleb at Tribal Council. Tavua won the next immunity challenge. However, the losing tribes had to go to a Joint Tribal Council and vote out one member. Tai managed to find a Hidden Immunity Idol minutes before Tribal Council and told all his tribemates minus Hali. At Tribal Council, Brad convinced him to play the idol on Sierra Dawn Thomas. The votes against her were negated and Mana's votes sent Malcolm Freberg out of the game. Before the next tribe switch, Tai found a second idol

He was switched back to Nuku after the second tribe switch. He found a third idol on Nuku. Nuku lost immunity on Day 16. Tai accidentally told Jeff Varner, who was an outsider that the plan was to vote out the other outsider Sandra Diaz-Twine. At Tribal Council, Tai tried to target Ozzy Lusth, but this made the others consider voting him out. However, Sandra was voted out in a 5-2 vote though Tai received votes from Sandra and Jeff. When Jeff outed Zeke Smith for being transgender at the next Tribal Council, Tai scolded him. Tai along with the others then verbally voted out Jeff.

Tai made it to the merge. At the feast, Jeff Probst said two people had to volunteer to sit out. Tai and Brad volunteered. Tai joined the majority in voting out Hali at the merged tribal council. Tai beat Ozzy to win the next immunity challenge. At Tribal Council, Tai's alliance (Power Six) which now included Sarah Lacina blindsided Ozzy. Tai's alliance now with Sarah had a 6 to 5 majority. However, Sarah flipped at the next Tribal Council, thus leaving Tai in the minority. At the final 10 Tribal Council, Tai received three votes, but Zeke was blindsided.

On Day 35, Tai discussed with Aubry Bracco about eliminating Sarah, but Aubry wanted him out. At Tribal Council, Sarah stole his vote, he received votes from Michaela Bradshaw and Aubry, but Michaela was blindsided. Sometime after Tribal Council, he was confronted by Sarah for targeting her. He denied it at first but soon confessed, and this angered her. The next day, Brad tried to aggressively force Tai into giving him one of his hidden immunity idols, with the intention of eliminating Tai with five players remaining. After the immunity challenge, Tai told Aubry about his idols and promised to play one on her that night to ensure her loyalty; the two teamed up with Cirie Fields to counter the alliance of Sarah, Brad, and Troyzan Robertson on the reward. At Tribal Council, Tai played his idols on himself and Aubry. Cirie was eliminated by default as the others were immune.

On Day 37, Tai contemplated siding with Aubry and voting out Troyzan, but at Tribal Council; he and Sarah sided with Brad and Troyzan so Aubry was unanimously voted out. Brad won the Final Immunity Challenge. He was targeted by Brad and Troyzan. He tried to convince Sarah to enforce a tie between him and Troyzan, but at Tribal Council, Tai was unanimously voted out.

At the Final Tribal Council, he said in a confusing way that he believed his relationship with Sarah was real, and the jury laughed, and he accused Brad of being condescending. He ultimately voted for Sarah who won in a 7-3-0 vote.

At the Reunion Show, Brad apologized to Tai for the way he treated him, Jeff polled the jury on who they would have voted for if Tai was in the Final Three instead of Sarah, and the result ended in a 5-5 tie between Tai and Brad, then Jeff said if that happened; the rules state that the finalist out of the running which would be Troyzan in this case would become a juror and select the winner; Troyzan stated he would have vote for Brad so it appeared that Tai would have finished second to Brad.

Voting History

Tai's Voting History
Episode Tai's
Votes
Voted Against
Tai
1 Nuku Tribe Immune
Nuku Tribe Immune
2 Caleb -
3

Malcolm

-
4 Mana Tribe Immune
5 Sandra Jeff, Sandra
6 Jeff -
7 Hali -
Ozzy Individual Immunity
8 Andrea -
9 Sierra Brad, Sierra,
Troyzan
10 Sierra -
11 Andrea -
Ineligible1 Aubry, Michaela
12 Sarah2 Sarah, Troyzan2
Aubry -
Troyzan Brad, Sarah,
Troyzan
Voted Off, Day 38
Voted For
Sole Survivor
Sarah

^1 In Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow, Sarah used a Vote Steal advantage on Tai, preventing him from voting at Tribal Council.
^2 In No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Tai used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 2 votes against him. Also, Sarah used a Legacy Advantage, negating Tai's vote against her.

Post-Survivor

Trivia

Statistics of Tai Trang
Longevity
Seasons competed: 2
Days lasted: 77
Challenge Wins
Tribal wins: 12
Individual wins: 7
Total wins: 19
Tribal Council
Total votes received: 16
Exile Island
Times exiled: 0
Redemption Island
Duels won: N/A
Days spent on Redemption Island: N/A

References