‘Survivor: Kaoh Rong’ exclusive: Tai Trang on sticking with Aubry, bond with Caleb, and Mark the Chicken

Tai -

There has probably never been a contestant in the history of “Survivor” quite like Tai Trang, and it is so easy to be drawn to him after watching him play the game. He was funny, kind, compassionate, and he loved animals to the point that he managed to keep Mark the Chicken alive all the way until day 39. We’re not sure there will be anything else like him ever on the show again, at least unless he returns to the game at some point.

Today, we spoke further with Tai about his alliance with Aubry, his disappointment at not getting a jury vote, and why he took Mark to the final tribal council to begin with.

CarterMatt – What was it in Aubry that you really gravitated towards in the game?

She just seemed like she’s my tribe. (Laughs.) She reminds me of home, all my friends. We’re both down-the-earth, and she was someone who I could have equal voice with. We can talk, we can hang out, and she’s not one of those people where I feel foreign, like I have no voice with. With Aubry we had an equal partnership, 50-50, where with Scot and Jason [it wasn’t there]. They would tell me what to do, and [put me in a position to be] a follower. I’m small, but I don’t take s–t from anybody. With Aubry, I had an equal partner.

Was there a difference between working with Scot before the merge, and then once he was back with Jason?

When we had the swap, Scot was sweet, even though he was so big. Scot and Jason, individually, are completely different people; but, when they get together, they feed on each other’s energy and becomes this monster with two heads, bulldozing everybody. They were arrogant, and for me it was not acceptable.

Also, with Scot, I feel like he would have gone with me [even if I split them up]. I’m not sure with Jason, and that vote [to split them up] could have been for Jason rather than Scot … I had to chop off one of the heads, and it was Scot because Jason had won immunity.

How close was your alliance with Caleb in the early going? Were you working together strategically, or was it just a good friendship?

I think in the moment the Beauty tribe was strong, we were eating well, and we were just having fun. I was so much closer to Caleb than with Nick. He was such an endearing person and he exuded friendliness.

It was a two-way street, and we were great friends. I mean, I went to his wedding! He’s a great guy.

Did you expect at least one vote from the jury?

I was hoping for one vote! (Laughs.) It was crazy, but I was hoping for one vote from Scot. After the jury, what he had to say which I completely disagreed with, I came back [at him] but they didn’t show that. I wanted him to respect the game move but he didn’t see it that way. I didn’t expect any votes coming into last night. Aubry and Michele were [getting the votes].

So here’s the last question I have time for: Why did you bring Mark the Chicken to the final tribal council?

Why did I bring him? We were packing up, and he’s my responsibility for his well-being. I couldn’t leave him behind! There was no fresh water there.

I know production was worried about if he’d be quiet, but I was like ‘I have to bring the chicken!’ He was amazing, just sitting quietly. I had to bring him to the final tribal, especially for the whole cast. He’s family! He really should be there. I think the jury loved it.

If you do want to get some more news right now when it comes to “Survivor,” be sure to head over here right now! That’s also where you can see interviews with Aubry and Michele.

Also, sign up over at this link in the event you want some other TV news on all we cover, sent right over to you via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!