Personally, I wouldn’t willingly go on the run. I love using my phone. I love the comforts of sleeping in my own cozy bed. And ultimately, I’m too anxious to deal with the emotional consequences of always being pursued by law enforcement. But now, thanks to Channel Ten’s reality show Hunted, law-abiding citizens who want to go on the run and attempt to evade law enforcement can do so – for fun.
Weird? Yes, but it really makes for some entertaining viewing.
If you haven’t seen the show, Hunted follows 20 contestants referred to as “fugitives”. They get dropped in the center of Melbourne via helicopter and attempt to avoid capture by a dedicated and experienced law enforcement team. While they’re in pairs of two, it’s every man for themselves to outsmart the lil’ piggies in the office, known as the hunters.
So far, we’ve seen two pairs captured by the hunters: besties Kath and Kel (no, not the Kath & Kim icons, I’m so sorry) along with aunt and niece team Megan and Gracie. While there are still 16 fugitives that are yet to be captured, I wanted to get a better idea of what actually goes on behind the scenes.
Thankfully, Megan and Gracie were down to spill the beans.
Megan is a big fan of the show and convinced her niece Gracie to give it a crack. Once they were locked in, they took it pretty damn seriously. They did pre-show planning sessions, packed disguises, and even came up with clever techniques to keep them one step ahead of the hunters.
“We wanted to have fun and really test ourselves so we had a game plan of just constantly being on the run,” Megan said.
“We didn’t want to just go and sit somewhere and hide. So it was kind of like, seeing how far we could go whilst having a look around Victoria.”
And that they did. In the six days, they were on the run, they managed to see some of the beautiful sites Victoria had to offer from Essendon to the Mornington Peninsula and back to Geelong using public transport (without a phone or a Myki card, by the way).
“We wanted to make it as exciting as possible for ourselves and for the viewers because at the end of the day it’s a TV show. We love to dress up so we had six wigs packed and two fat suits. We threw everything at it,” she admitted.
As they jumped from place to place, the hunters were on their trail. Back in Hunted HQ, a group of legit law enforcement agents and hackers were working to track them down using their digital footprint, CCTV, and any trace they left behind. They direct the ground hunters who do all the leg work on the scene to catch the fugitives. Although many contestants live in a perpetual state of anxiety not knowing where the hunters are, the gals had a very clever technique.
“After we stayed with helpers or people, we asked them to update their profile picture on Facebook to them and a dog. So that way if the hunters had been to visit them already, we knew if they’d been interrogated and we knew to get moving,” Megan explained.
Sadly it wasn’t enough to prevent them from being caught. But they say the experience has taught them a lot about how much access law enforcement can actually have to your personal data.
“I’m definitely very paranoid as to what’s on our phones and what can be traced now,” Gracie admitted. “There’s so much stuff that backs up and can be traced that we didn’t even realise.
“Being on the show, we got such an adrenaline hit,” Megan added.
“When we got back to work the next day, it felt like such a downer. Maybe we need to go rob a bank or join a circus or something.”
Well, that’s one way to do it.
You can catch up and stream the new episodes of Hunted Season Two on 10Play.