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.
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.
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.
Australian pop singer Sia personally gave Tai $50,000 and also gave away another $50,000 to an animal charity of Tai's choice at the Kaôh RōngReunion Show as she is a fan of the show and Tai is her favorite castaway of this season because of their mutual love for animals.
During a Reward Challenge when Tai's tribe won a reward of chickens, Tai kept one of them and named it Mark. Mark, named after Mark Burnett, stayed with Tai until the Final Tribal Council when he let it go.