The “Survivor” community has lost another contestant from its early days: Season 5, “Thailand” runner-up Clay Jordan. Here’s everything we know so far.
Clay Jordan is dead at 66
Clay Jordan, widely known for his prominent inclusion in an otherwise poorly received season, has died at the age of 66. Shanda Jordan, Clay’s daughter, revealed in a Facebook post that Clay died on Thursday.
“Clay Brooks Jordan, my sweetheart of a father, went to heaven to meet Jesus and be reunited with his beautiful bride!” Shanda wrote. “We love you, dad! You will forever be my HERO!”
Corresponding PeopleHis death came after a “short illness”.
Jordan, a restaurant owner from Monroe, Louisiana, was 46 when he took part in 2002’s Survivor: Thailand. He won an immunity challenge during his run in the season (in episode 9, the first post-fusion challenge) and ended up making the final 2 in part due to the dominance of his tribe, Chuay Gahn. He lost those final immunity challengebut was picked by his 34-year-old tribesman Brian Heidik, a used car salesman, to go to the Final 2 with him.
Heidik in the end won in a narrow 4-3 vote, though Jordan secured the votes of Erin Collins, Ken Stafford and Penny Ramsey, all members of Sook Jai – Chuay Gahn’s opposing tribe. Jordan might have partially lost some votes at the end accusations of racism by fellow tribesman Ted Rogers, who was Black and who called him an “ignorant Southern backwoods hillbilly” at the Final Tribal Council. However, the racism allegations were vague and loudly denied by Jordan.
Clay Jordan has had many memorable “survival” moments
Although “Thailand” has been broadly described Dubbed one of, if not the, worst season of the franchise by fans and critics alike, there were certainly some memorable moments. Many fans will remember Jordans iconic vote for Ghandia Johnson on episode 4 in which he wrote “Bye bye Denver Diva” on the voting parchment, prompting host Jeff Probst to interrupt the voting reading for the first time in the show’s history to ask who the vote was for .
“Well, for the first time I have a voice, I have no idea who owns it,” Probst said at the time. When Jordan confirmed it was for Johnson, Probst replied, “In the future, write down a name, okay? Enough with the nicknames.” Johnson would be voted out that night.
Jordan also had a memorable moment in the Episode 3 reward challengein which he was choked by an opposing tribesman, 23-year-old Robb Zbacnik, resulting in Zbacnik being disqualified from the challenge (although Probst said this was because he was not properly in the ” attack zone” ).
Jordan is also sometimes known for being the first unofficial “goat” of “Survivor”, i.e. a person who is dragged to the end by someone else because they are easy to beat. Heidik was known for making multiple Final 2 deals with his other Chuay Gahn tribemates, and likely chose Jordan in the end because he was easy to beat.
Although Heidik said frankly the last episode that he didn’t know which of them would win, this idea still has some substance as Jordan was the first “Survivor” finalist not to win the final immunity challenge but lost the game; Consequently, Heidik became the first winner of the final immunity challenge to win the game.
Be sure to catch the three-hour Survivor 42 finale on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS.
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