Ta Keo (ប្រាសាទតាកែវ) is a tribe from Survivor: Cambodia.
In addition to being the physically weaker of the two starting tribes, Ta Keo's poor inter tribal dynamics and general bad luck caused the tribe to enter the merge with significantly fewer numbers than Bayon. Their tribe color is green.
Original Ta Keo
Unlike Bayon where there appeared to be one dominant alliance prior to the switch, two factions emerged in Ta Keo as well as a few players floating in the middle. One group focused primarily on shelter building with old-school players such as Terry Deitz and Kelly Wiglesworth gravitating to that style. The other group became known as the "beach people" because that's where they met to discuss strategy, and consisted of Shirin Oskooi, Spencer Bledsoe, and Kelley Wentworth. Both groups were indifferent toward Abi-Maria Gomes due to her antics such as arguing with Peih-Gee Law over her misplaced bracelet, and tried to get Jeff Varner to side with them. Jeff was a bit intimidated at first by how fast strategy was evolving at Ta Keo, but then started to realize he was in a good position and it could be advantageous to be close to someone like Abi-Maria. Vytas Baskauskas's yoga routines also started to irritate the women of Ta Keo, which set the stage for a turbulent tribe life.
That turbulence was kicked up a gear when Ta Keo not only lost the first Immunity Challenge on Day 3, but a twist sent the tribe immediately to Tribal Council with no chance to talk strategy. In a close 6-4 vote, the new-school alliance got Peih-Gee, Jeff, and Abi-Maria to side with them and take out strategic threat Vytas, leaving Woo Hwang, Kelly, and Terry on the outs.
Immediately after returning from Tribal Council, Jeff rallied Vytas's remaining allies and said that his move demonstrated how this game has changed from the last time the old-school players played. He pointed out Spencer and Shirin as the masterminds of the other alliance, and managed to quickly turn the tribe against the two superfans. This was made easier as Shirin, Spencer, Kelley, and Peih-Gee ostracized Abi-Maria, and Terry of all people (self-proclaiming his social game was unimpressive in his first season, but improved this time around) comforted her.
Ta Keo again lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 6, and Jeff pointed out how poetic it was that Shirin and Spencer failed to complete the puzzle as they were on the chopping block. Kelley and Peih-Gee realized the new-school alliance lost Abi-Maria and Jeff, so they went along with the split vote plan against their former allies. An awkward conversation between Abi-Maria and Shirin made it clear to Shirin that she and Spencer were in trouble. A last-ditch effort to get Woo to flip failed, further highlighting that they overplayed out of the gate. Both Shirin and Spencer plead for their lives in the game at Tribal Council, where Shirin was ultimately voted out 5-4. Though Spencer felt he redeemed himself, Terry revealed in a confessional that Spencer was still firmly the next target.
For the first time since Cook Islands as well as overall in any two-tribe format season, a tribe switch occurred with 18 players remaining. Spencer and Kelly joined Bayon, while Kelley and Terry stayed on Ta Keo, with both pairs in 4-2 minorities. The only original Ta Keo contingent with a majority was the most fractured one with Jeff, Woo, Abi-Maria, and Peih-Gee becoming members of the new tribe Angkor. The original Bayon members that joined Ta Keo were Ciera Eastin, Joe Anglim, Kass McQuillen, and Keith Nale.
Despite the numbers disadvantage, Terry was pleased with the strength of Ta Keo, describing them as "having three or four number one draft picks". Kelley was shown to be a bit more concerned about her positioning, and actively threw Terry under the bus to assure she would at least survive the first vote. However, the tribe proved to be strong enough to win every Immunity Challenge at this stage of the game. The tribe enjoyed Joe's fishing as well as Kass crafting a surprise birthday present for Kelley.
They did not escape this portion of the game intact though. On Night 13, Jeff Probst informed Terry that his son was in the hospital and that Terry's wife insisted he come home. Without hesitation, Terry obliged and bid farewell to an emotional Ta Keo. Everyone empathized with Terry and supported his decision, especially Kass in confessional relating to Terry's decision as a parent herself.
In a second tribe switch on Day 14, Ciera and Kass were the only then-current Ta Keo members to remain on Ta Keo, with Abi-Maria, Andrew Savage, and Woo joining from Angkor, and Kelly and Spencer joining from Bayon. Though the original Ta Keo members outnumbered original Bayon 4-3, Spencer was still the clear target since Andrew painted him as the biggest threat and Kass held a grudge against him from their Cagayan days. Ta Keo lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 16, so Andrew suggested that Ciera be the decoy vote in case Spencer asked about the plan for Tribal Council. Ciera was not happy, and realized that Andrew had too much power. Ciera recruited Abi-Maria and Kass to blindside Woo in order to weaken Andrew's alliance, which meant Kass putting aside her rivalry with Spencer. Kass approached Spencer with the plan, but was still considering voting him out. Spencer was frightened that his life in the game was in the hands of "Chaos Kass", but had no other choice. At Tribal Council, Kass pulled through and Woo was voted out 4-3, which left Andrew blindsided and scrambling prior to the merge.
- Ta Keo's insignia is based on Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god.
- The correct Khmer pronunciation for Ta Keo is "Tae-Kell" with the Spanish /t/ sounds, however, it was Anglicized as "Ta-Kay-o" throughout the season.
- Ta Keo is the second green starting tribe on an all-returning players season, following Mogo Mogo in All-Stars.
- Ta Keo is the first tribe to feature two contestants with homophonic names: Kelley Wentworth and Kelly Wiglesworth.
- Despite only attending Tribal Council three times, Ta Keo would lose six of its original members pre-merge, leaving a 9-4 deficit at the merge against the original Bayon tribe.
- Ta Keo is the third tribe to have no members who remained on the tribe during its entire existence.
- If The Outcasts from Pearl Islands are considered to have been an official tribe, Bayon and Ta Keo are the 99th and 100th tribes in Survivor history.
- The location of the Ta Keo camp is in the same place as the Chan Loh camp in Kaôh Rōng. This beach is called Lonely Beach.
- Ta Keo is the first tribe to have their Hidden Immunity Idol hidden at an Immunity Challenge. It would be followed by Bayon, Tavua, and Tiva.
- Ta Keo is the second green-colored starting tribe for Spencer Bledsoe, following Luzon (Cagayan).