‘Survivor: Kaoh Rong’ spotlight: Can Tai Trang be more than a fan favorite?

Tai -

If we were basing the entirety of these “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” spotlight articles on people we just loved to watch, Tai Trang would probably be very high on the list. You just don’t meet or see very many people like him! He’s interesting, funny, very self-aware, and excited to do this game and play to the best of his ability.

With that being said, there’s a difference between being someone we like and someone we think could go far, and that’s what we have to figure out within the span of this article.

Age – 51

Location – San Francisco, California. He is originally from Vietnam and remembers growing up there during the time of the war.

Tribe – Gondol a.k.a. the Beauty tribe.

Occupation – Gardener. Surprising, we don’t remember too many other people in landscaping on the show over the years.

Past “Survivor” comparison – Hilariously, Tai brings up two people in Bob Crowley and Spencer Bledsoe who interestingly have very little in common. We see more of Cochran in him than Spencer, since they have similar senses of humor. Surprisingly, we do get where he’s coming from with Bob.

We’d also throw in there someone like Ozzy in terms of loving the outdoor lifestyle, even if they have very different personalities and Ozzy is much more of a physical player. We know that superficially the name Yau-Man Chan is going to come up, and his story does have echoes of Cao Boi to it in being an immigrant who had a lot of hardship growing up.

Things to know – Tai is a frequent tree-climber, has more than ten siblings, and spends his time now raising money for charity, beekeeping, hosting dinner parties, and doing a variety of other things. It’s funny that we just tried to compare him to a ton of other people, but the reality is that we’re not sure there is a one-for-one comparison between him and anyone who has played before. He’s remarkably and refreshingly unique.

Advantages – You listen to Tai talk about having to eat the same meal for six months growing up and you automatically love him. He’s very funny, seems to know himself very well, and could be a good friend to many people out there. We could see him getting along with some of the women on his tribe very well, and we wouldn’t rule out Beast Mode Cowboy completely here, either given that he aligned with a lot of different people on “Survivor.” Tai’s just one of those guys who will want to make friends, and even if he does talk a lot (we get that sense from the video), people will enjoy that and like hearing his stories.

Also, there may be a little bit of strategy here, as well. We don’t think he’s the second coming of Tony, but he’ll be willing to make moves when he needs to.

Disadvantages – There are a few clear issues that we see Tai having this season. For one, he’s not going to be the fastest or most athletic person out there. We think that he will surprise when it comes to his resourcefulness, but he could be an early target just because of his age. Also, is he too nice to ultimately go far in this game? Typically people who go very far have some sort of a killer instinct, and we’re not 100% sure that Tai will be willing to stab a good friend in the back if he needs to in order to win in the end.

Prediction – We really hope that Tai goes far, simply because he’s such an original and his personality will be something that attracts people out there in the game two him. We can’t see him getting voted out pre-merge just because he’ll be too well-liked. He’s got a good shot at winning if he makes it to the end, but he has to watch out for people who think he’ll have it in the bag in the final three. He needs to find allies who are loyal, and then make sure they don’t lose the numbers.

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