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

In Kaôh Rōng, Tai had 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, 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 the Final Tribal Council.

Tai also made a deep run in Game Changers. He aligned with Brad Culpepper early on, and was forced to turn on his friend Caleb after they were reunited at a tribe switch in order to maintain loyalty to Brad and the Power Six alliance. He managed to find three Hidden Immunity Idols, and during a Joint Tribal Council, he pulled off a huge move by giving one of his idols to 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. However, after his alliance was relegated to the minority and attempted to throw him under the bus to save themselves, Tai abandoned ship and reunited with his friend Aubry and the Tavua Alliance to make it further into the game. Ultimately, Tai was voted out just one day before the Final Tribal Council.


Retrieved from

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: Brains 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]


Kaôh Rōng[]

Tai started on the Gondol tribe. While on the boat, he grabbed a chicken which he brought to camp; he later christened this chicken "Mark", after series producer Mark Burnett. He later searched for the Hidden Immunity Idol but was caught, which made the women in his tribe not trust him. He looked for the idol again on Day 4 but was unsuccessful. Tai also formed a bond with Caleb Reynolds during the early stages of the game. In one instance, he playfully tried to kiss Caleb, but Caleb backed away. Tai finally found the tribe's Hidden Immunity Idol on Day 7 and learned that two idols can be combined to form a super idol. At a brutal Reward Challenge on Day 9, Caleb was medically evacuated for heat exhaustion. Tai cried for his friend and worried about being outnumbered by the women on the tribe.

Tai remained on Gondol after the tribe switch along with Anna Khait. They were joined by original Chan Loh members Aubry Bracco, Peter Baggenstos, and Joe del Campo and lone original To Tang member Scot Pollard, who Tai formed a bond with. After Gondol lost immunity on Day 13, 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 Tai and his original To Tang ally Kyle Jason both had idols, managed to turn Tai on Anna. Tai voted against Anna and did not play his idol on her, leaving Anna blindsided. Julia Sokolowski then joined Gondol the next day. Peter plotted with Tai and Scot to eliminate Joe. After Gondol lost immunity again, Peter told Scot and Tai that they should switch the target to Julia. However, this made them target Peter and he was blindsided at Tribal Council.

On Day 17, the tribes merged into the Dara tribe. Debbie Wanner approached Tai for an alliance with the Brains, but her brazen attempt caused him to not align with her. Tai, along with the rest of the Beauties, planned to stick with the Brawns to split their votes between Aubry and Neal Gottlieb. However, Neal was medically evacuated, and Tribal Council did not take place. Tai won the next Immunity Challenge on Day 22. 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. As revenge for the women's alliance blindsiding Nick, Jason and Scot attempted to sabotage the camp, making Tai uncomfortable with their alliance. At the next Tribal Council, Jason gave his 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. At the next Reward Challenge, Tai defeated Aubry and Cydney for an advantage. The advantage turned out to be an Extra Vote, which he could use up until the final five. Aubry tried to get Tai on her side, which he considered because he felt alienated by his allies. After the Immunity Challenge, Tai, Jason, and Scot planned on forming the super idol at Tribal Council. However, Aubry managed to convince Tai to side with her. At Tribal Council, Tai voted for Scot and did not give him his idol so he was blindsided with Jason's idol in his pocket.

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 the next 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 the rest of Tai's alliance voted Jason out.

After Jason's elimination, Tai tried to make amends with his alliance after he was left out of the plan, and he 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 planned 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. After Michele won immunity on Day 37, 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 no jury votes. He lost to Aubry, who was the runner-up with two votes and Michele, who was declared the Sole Survivor 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.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Gondol Wooden Ships Reward/Immunity No 2nd
2 Dragging the River Reward/Immunity No 1st
3 Rice Race Reward/Immunity No 1st
4 Dig It Reward No 2nd
Snake, Rattle & Roll Immunity Yes 2nd
5 New School Immunity No Lost
6 Baba Buoys Reward No Won
Get Over It Immunity No Lost
Tribes Merged, Day 17
7 Dara Roller Ball Immunity Lost
8 United We Stand Reward Won
Uncomfortably Numb Immunity Won
9 Knot Your Fault Reward No Won
Backed Up Immunity Lost
10 Free Will Reward Won
This Much Immunity Lost
11 The Hook Reward Lost
Running the Numbers Immunity Lost
12 Weight and Sea Reward Won
Got a Hunch Immunity Lost
13 5x5 Reward Lost
14 Home Stretch Reward Lost
Gimme Three Steps Immunity Lost
Stacked Up Reward Lost
Second Runner-Up, Day 39

Episode Tai's
Voted Against
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 +
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, where he was reunited with friend and former Kaôh Rōng ally Caleb Reynolds. After losing the Immunity Challenge on Day 9, Caleb was a target for his bond with Tai and being an outsider on a tribe dominated by original Nuku members. 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 on Day 11. After the challenge, host Jeff Probst revealed that the losing Mana and Nuku 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 on Day 14, Tai found the re-hidden Mana idol.

Tai was switched back to Nuku after the second tribe switch, where he found a third idol, the re-hidden Nuku idol, using the same method that he used to find his second. After Nuku lost immunity on Day 16, Tai accidentally told outsider Jeff Varner 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. Sandra and Jeff took advantage of this and attempted to convince the tribe to vote out Tai for his unpredictability. However, the original Nuku members stayed together and Sandra was voted out in a 5-2 vote. 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.

The two tribes merged into the Maku Maku tribe on Day 19. At the feast, host Jeff Probst said that two people had to volunteer to sit out. Tai and Brad volunteered. Tai then joined the majority in voting out Hali at the merged Tribal Council. On Day 24, Tai beat Ozzy to win the Immunity Challenge. At Tribal Council, Tai's alliance, the Power Six convinced Sarah Lacina to join them in blindsiding Ozzy. Tai's alliance, now with Sarah, had a 6 to 5 majority. However, Sarah flipped at the next Tribal Council and voted Debbie Wanner out, thus leaving Tai in the minority. At the next Tribal Council, the remaining members of the Power Six threw their three votes to Tai, but Zeke was blindsided.

On Day 30, Tai bonded with Michaela Bradshaw, and the two formed a pact with Sierra and Troyzan Robertson to align with Brad and target Andrea Boehlke. After Brad won the next Immunity Challenge, both sides attempted to court Tai and Michaela. Sarah informed the two about Sierra's Legacy Advantage, securing their votes and sending Sierra to the jury. After Andrea was blindsided on Day 33, Tai consoled Aubry Bracco for being left out of the plan. This concerned Cirie Fields, who noted that Tai's ability to emotionally connect with others could be threatening.

On Day 35, Tai discussed with Aubry about eliminating Sarah, but Aubry wanted him out. After Sarah gave her Vote Steal to Cirie as a sign of trust, Cirie attempted to use it at Tribal Council to steal Tai's vote to save Sarah and make a big move herself. After Sarah revealed that the advantage was non-transferable, Sarah stole Tai's vote. Tai received votes from Michaela and Aubry, but Michaela was blindsided. 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 idols, with the intention of eliminating Tai with five players remaining. After Brad won 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 to counter the alliance of Sarah, Brad, and Troyzan on the reward. At Tribal Council, Tai played his idols on himself and Aubry, this prompted Sarah to play the Legacy Advantage she received from Sierra, and for Troyzan to play his own idol. Cirie was eliminated by default as all the others were immune.

On Day 37, Tai contemplated siding with Aubry and voting out Troyzan. At Tribal Council however, he and Sarah sided with Brad and Troyzan, and Aubry was unanimously voted out. After Brad won the Final Immunity Challenge, Tai was targeted by Brad and Troyzan for betraying their alliance. He tried to convince Sarah to force a tie between him and Troyzan, but at Tribal Council, Tai was unanimously voted out.

At the Final Tribal Council, Tai said in a confusing way that he believed his relationship with Sarah was real which caused the other jurors to laugh, and he chastised Brad for his condescending attitude. He ultimately voted for Sarah who won in a 7-3-0 vote over Brad and Troyzan.

At the Reunion Show, Brad apologized to Tai for the way he treated him, Probst 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; Probst then revealed if that happened the rules stated that the finalist out of the running which would have been Troyzan would become the final juror and select the winner, and Troyzan stated he would have vote for Brad, so it appeared that Tai would have finished second to Brad.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Nuku The Marooning Reward No Won
Blue Lagoon Bustle Reward/Immunity No Won
Serpent Turf Reward/Immunity No Won
Switched Tribes, Day 7
2 Mana Austin's Elemental Obstacle Course Reward/Immunity No Lost
3 Ram-Ball On Reward No 2nd
Ow-Pairs Immunity No Lost
4 Unchained Medley Reward No Lost
Box Car Blues Immunity No 1st
Switched Tribes, Day 14
5 Nuku Cargo Salvage Immunity No Lost
6 Dulcimer Stomp Reward No Won
Plunge, Pop, Pull Immunity No Lost
Tribes Merged, Day 19
7 Maku Maku Keep on Your Toes Immunity Lost
New School Reward Won
Get a Grip Immunity Won
8 O-Black Water Reward No Lost
Got a Hunch Immunity Lost
9 Angry Chair Reward Lost
High Step and Stack Immunity Lost
10 Full Tilt Bogey Reward Lost
Can't Buoy Me Love Immunity Lost
11 Teeter Tower Immunity Lost
Vertigo Immunity Lost
12 Maybe I'm A Maze Reward/Immunity Lost
Spoon Man Immunity Lost
Final Four-titude Immunity Lost
Voted Out, Day 38

Episode Tai's
Voted Against
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,
10 Sierra -
11 Andrea -
Ineligible1 Aubry, Michaela
12 Sarah2 Sarah, Troyzan2
Aubry -
Troyzan Brad, Sarah,
Voted Out, Day 38
Voted for
Sole Survivor

^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.



  • Tai is the oldest member of the original Gondol and the original Nuku tribes.
  • Tai is the second LGBT Asian-American man to play Survivor, following Brad Virata. They would be followed by Vince Moua and Hai Giang.
  • During the marooning in Kaôh Rōng, Tai retrieved chickens for the Gondol tribe. Tai kept one of them and named it Mark. Mark, named after executive producer Mark Burnett, stayed with Tai until the Final Tribal Council when he let it go.
  • Tai currently ties with Julia Sokolowski for the record of the most consecutive Reward Challenges won, either tribal and/or individual, with 8.
  • Tai is the first castaway to use an Extra Vote and not be voted out at the same Tribal Council.
  • Tai is the highest-placing man in Kaôh Rōng.
  • Tai is the first LGBT contestant to reach the Final Tribal Council and not become the Sole Survivor.
  • Australian pop singer Sia personally gave Tai $50,000 and also gave away another $50,000 to an animal charity of his choice at the Kaôh Rōng Reunion Show. As a fan of the show, she stated that Tai was her favorite castaway of the season because of their shared love for animals.
  • Tai revealed that his favorite Survivor moment was when the Black Widow Brigade convinced Erik Reichenbach to give his Immunity Necklace to Natalie Bolton in Micronesia, complimenting the big move, as well as sympathizing with Erik.[5]
  • Tai is the first person to possess both a Hidden Immunity Idol and an Extra Vote at the same time.
  • Tai is the first person to find multiple Hidden Immunity Idols in one episode. He would be followed by Kellee Kim.
  • Tai is the second castaway to play two Hidden Immunity Idols at the same Tribal Council, following Parvati Shallow in Heroes vs. Villains. They would be followed by Denise Stapley in Winners at War.
    • Tai is the only castaway to play two Hidden Immunity Idols successfully at the same Tribal Council.
  • Tai is the most recent castaway to be voted out on Day 38, as all subsequent Day 38 eliminations have been by fire-making challenges.
  • Tai lost 12 lbs. during his time on Game Changers.[6]
  • Tai has played the second most days of any two-time player, and has played the second highest average number of days of any returning player at 38.5, beaten in both only by Natalie Anderson and fellow Kaôh Rōng castaway Michele Fitzgerald.


Survivor: Kaôh Rōng Castaways
To Tang
S32 alecia t
S32 anna t
Chan Loh
S32 aubry t
S32 caleb t
To Tang
S32 cydney t
To Tang
S32 darnell t
Chan Loh
S32 debbie t
To Tang
S32 jason t
To Tang
S32 jennifer t
Chan Loh
S32 joe t
S32 julia t
Chan Loh
S32 liz t
S32 michele t
Chan Loh
S32 neal t
S32 nick t
Chan Loh
S32 peter t
To Tang
S32 scot t
S32 tai t
Survivor: Game Changers Castaways
S34 andrea t
S34 aubry t
S34 brad t
S34 caleb t
S34 ciera t
S34 cirie t
S34 debbie t
S34 hali t
S34 jt t
S34 jeff t
S34 malcolm t
S34 michaela t
S34 ozzy t
S34 sandra t
S34 sarah t
S34 sierra t
S34 tai t
S34 tony t
S34 troyzan t
S34 zeke t