Thailand’s Clay Jordan Dies At 66 After Brief Illness

The Survivor: Thailand runner-up has died after a brief illness according to a Facebook post shared by the Louisiana natives daughter on May 19.

Survivor:Thailand runner-up, Clay Jordan, died from a brief illness on Thursday. Clay was known to fans as the personable restaurateur from Monroe, Louisiana, while appearing on the fifth season of the show. Initially picked last out of the men to join Chuay Gahn by oldest female tribe member Jan Gentry in the first episode, Clay’s laid back attitude didn’t seem to mind in his first confessional of the season when he said, “I’m the smallest and oldest one sitting there. I knew I was going to be last. They got a diamond in the rough they don’t know.” Jan mostly picked cast members to join the tribe with only one member in their twenties. The tribe would lose the first immunity challenge, forcing them to go to Tribal Council where they voted older out John Raymond.


Clay’s charismatic nature and social skills were able to further him through the game. In episode 7, “Assumptions,” Jeff Probst gathered the two five member tribes to inform them that they would be living at one camp together, presumed to be the merge. Jeff had representatives from each tribe go check out the two camps to decide where they would live. Shii Ann Huang and Clay visited the Chuay Gahn camp where Shii Ann revealed to Clay that she felt ostracized by Sook Jai and she would consider flipping to work with Chuay Gahn. Clay relayed this information back to the Chuay Gahn five alliance before Jeff announced that while the two tribes would be living at the same camp, they had not merged and would still be competing against one another as tribes. Sook Jai lost the immunity challenge where at Tribal Council Shii Ann was voted out and the strategy of a classic “Pagonging” began.

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The announcement of Clay’s passing came from his daughter Shanda Jordan on a public Facebook post via People magazine. The post read,Clay Brooks Jordan, my sweetheart of a Dad, went to heaven to meet Jesus and be reunited with his beautiful bride! Andy and I are so heartbroken, but We get comfort from knowing they are together and he is no longer in pain. We love you, Dad! You will forever be my HERO!” Clay’s wife Linda Jordan passed away from COVID-19 in February. She appeared in episode 12, “A Big Surprise… And Another,” competing in the reward challenge to spend time with her husband while also helping Clay compete during the following immunity challenge They are survived by their children Shanda and Andy Jordan.

Despite not winning the million dollar prize, Clay was able to win the first individual immunity challenge of the season going against NYC police officer Ken Stafford in a game of memory, endurance and navigation. He Earlier in episode 9, “Desperate Measures,” Clay is shown looking at moon pondering his family, “Does anybody miss their family?… This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done… My son is 23, and he said, ‘Dad, those nights it’s hard to get by. Look at the moon and I’ll give you all the strength and energy I got.’“In the end, Clay lost to used car salesman Brian Heidik by a vote of 4-3.

Survivor:Thailand has repeatedly been ranked among fans, critics and Jeff Probst as one of the worst seasons. The fake merge twist resulting in the oust of Shii Ann led to a boring, if not predictable finish with six out of the eight oldest cast members making it to the final six. Interesting to note in the final Tribal Council, the three younger jury members Erin Collins, Penny Ramsey and Ken Stafford all voted for Clay to win despite accusations of racism from tribemate Ted Rogers, Jr. Clay disregarded the claims at Tribal Council. Clay might not have been a survivor winner but he will be remembered amongst fans as one of the first 10 names to claim the final 2 spot in the game of survivor.

Next: Survivor: What Happened to Season 1 Winner & All-Star Richard Hatch

Source: Shanda Jordan/People

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