Just in terms of entertainment and producing story, Tai Trang has to be considered a top 20 Survivor character of all time. He had such a kind heart the first time around, he brought us the most famous animal in the history of the game in Mark the Chicken, and you cannot forget his move to not give Scot Pollard his immunity idol, eliminating him from the game. He did a lot of great stuff, but along the way he never was able to convince the jury that he was in control strategically.
Now, he’s getting another shot at this with Survivor: Game Changers, and we do think him having the year since his past season enabled him to ponder over what worked and what didn’t in the game. He has good instincts out there, but he has to find a way to bridge the gap between being a beloved contributor and then someone who people will actually want to vote for at the end of the show.
Past performance – 3rd place (Survivor: Kaoh Rong)
Historical perspective – Tai was one of the bigger underdogs of the season, given that he was the oldest person on his tribe by a large margin, he had a very different outlook on life, and there were concerns pre-game about how he would get along with someone like Caleb. Yet, Caleb became one of his biggest allies until he was evacuated from the game. Following that, Tai teamed up for a time with the Scot / Jason duo before eventually being paired with Aubry and getting to the end of the game with her and eventual winner Michele. Mark the Chicken is probably the most famous part of his game, plus the fact that Sia gave him $50,000 during the reunion show just because she loved him so much.
Strengths – Tai is lovable. Extremely lovable. He’s a kind, earnest guy who is someone you just want to have on your tribe. He works hard, he doesn’t give up, and he’s far better in challenges than he appears on the surface. He’s also someone who is capable of finding immunity idols and is crafty enough to know how to make moves using them. If he gets very close to you on a personal level, he is someone who will try to honor that agreement to the best of his ability.
Weaknesses – There are parts of Tai’s game that could be thought of as somewhere between a Yau-Man and a JT in that he is very charming and someone who knows how to survive in the outdoors. However, he’s also a little like Sugar in that he struggles to make a case for himself and there were times he was accused of playing too much with his heart when it came to Aubry. He’s got to find a way to dissociate that a little bit, and be a little more heartless when he needs to. His move even to get rid of Scot last week was more of a move with Aubry than one against him.
Also, Tai will need to convince everyone that he doesn’t want anything to do with the other Kaoh Rong players, just because the quick assumption will be to think that he will want to wrok with him.
If you think about both Yau-Man and Sugar, one thing that they have in common is that neither was able to replicate their success the second time. Another comparison you can make, interestingly enough, is Russell Hantz his third time. Once someone can hone in on a very specific thing about you that worries them, it’s easy to justify a way to get rid of you. For Tai, that could be the fact that he will play with his guy and appear at times to be unpredictable. He’s a dangerous player in that he goes by the beat of his own drum, so we could see him being an early target. We hope it doesn’t happen, but we’re very worried about him entering the season.
Before you go, we invite you to check out all of our other spotlights when it comes to the season. (Photo: CBS.)
What is your take on Tai going into Survivor: Game Changers? Share in the comments.