Hunted stars reveal how they managed to get strangers to help them

·Lifestyle & Entertainment producer
·4-min read

While some of the contestants on this year’s season of Hunted went camping in the bush or donned disguises to go undercover, Puneet and Kris managed to evade the Hunters simply by staying at strangers’ houses around Melbourne.

For the first half of the game, the duo were one of the only teams to avoid using their personal connections and instead enlist help from members of the public thanks to the city’s large Indian community.

Hunted stars Puneet and Kris.
Hunted stars Puneet and Kris open up about their experience and what it was like working with members of the public on the run. Photo: Channel Ten

“Going into the show we knew we wanted to utilise our networks and not have a specific plan, and that worked for us for quite some time,” Kris tells Yahoo Lifestyle following their elimination on Sunday night.

“But the thing that brought us down was the paranoia. The way it sets in is crazy, and so even though we were safe in that community, we were like, ‘What if we've been infiltrated? What if they know who we’re talking to?’. And so it made us change our strategy, which ultimately led to our demise.”

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The close friends went on to reveal exactly how they managed to get strangers to help them when they were on the run and unable to tell them it was for a TV show.

“We just had to say, ‘Hey, we're fugitives on the run’ and if they had any questions our producer would answer them,” Kris says. “It was difficult, but I’m glad we made it as far as we did.”

“There were some people that were like, ‘Oh really? Good for you’, and others who denied us from even using their mobile phone to make a call,” Puneet adds.

“People weren’t familiar with the show, so going up to people they’d be like, ‘What are you talking about?’. But I suspect, based on the viewer numbers, that the next season’s cast will find it a little easier.”

‘Really heartwarming’

Kris, who was born and raised in Melbourne, says he has “never felt completely part of the Indian community” and didn’t know what to expect when seeking their help on Hunted.

“However, the amount of love that we were shown by strangers, certainly for me, was astounding,” he remarks.

“I've not experienced that before; people giving up their beds and feeding us and housing and not asking twice. It was just like, ‘Hey, we’re stuck, we’re fugitives, we need somewhere to sleep’ and they’d be like ‘Of course!’. It was really, really heartwarming.”

Puneet, who was born and raised in India and moved to Melbourne 15 years ago, says that the public’s help allowed them to see “the true essence of Indian culture”.

“All my life, I’ve heard of this philosophy of Indian culture that ‘The Guest is God’,” he shares. “When Kris and I were tapping into those networks, those people knew that we were strangers but they went above and beyond for us and made us feel so special.

“We were just thankful about the fact that we were sleeping under a roof, we had a meal to eat, and although we didn't have a lot of money, it was those human connections that helped us.”

“I reckon we are the only team that put on weight during the run,” Kris adds with a laugh.

Hunted stars Puneet and Kris on the run.
‘If I could change anything it would be to slow it down a little bit.’ Photo: Channel Ten

‘So exhausted’

While Puneet and Kris are undeniably grateful for the experience and the people they met along the way, the pair admit that there are some parts of the adventure they wish they could redo.

“If I could change anything it would be to slow it down a little bit,” Kris says. “We were constantly moving, and that was helpful, but sometimes we were moving too much and that sort of left footprints.

“We were doing that out of paranoia more so than anything else, and I think that mentally we were just so exhausted that the decisions were becoming rash.

“If I could include one thing in the show, maybe they could add a clause where you can speak to your family once a week,” Puneet laughs. “I missed my daughter so much.”

Hunted airs 7:30pm Sunday – Tuesday on Channel 10.

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