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Hunted Winners Stathi And Rob Get Candid About Their Time On The Run

Although they didn’t begin their journey together, they certainly finished it as the first-ever winners of Hunted Australia.

Having remained undetected for the full 21 days, Stathi and Rob had the ride of their lives shortly after leaving the extraction point in a helicopter.

As the first one there, Rob scoped out the area, still cautious that Hunters could swoop in at any time.

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“It was insane, rocking up there. Jumping out of the car, my heart was racing and I was like ‘Oh my God, is this happening?’ and then I saw a couple of guys in black towards the trees," Rob told 10 play.

"All I could think was, ‘I better run’. But I realised that they weren’t Hunters, and I was like, ‘Oh damn it, I could’ve walked.'"

In the final moments leading to their departure, Stathi knew it was time to make his move.

“I bolted, but I can’t run faster than a car, I can’t fly higher than a chopper,” he said.

“I had no idea what to expect but I got there so close to the extraction time. I feared I’m going to get there at 13:01, I’m going to miss it by a minute,” Stathi continued.

“I was hoping,” Rob added, both of them laughing.

Sharing their experiences, the winners recalled the difficult moments when they were both separated from their teammates.

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“That was heartbreaking. I was depleted physically, mentally, because I’ve watched foreign seasons as well. I know when one team member gets caught, the other is around the corner," Stathi told 10 play

"I knew that there was a group of Hunters there and I was stuck. I didn’t have a lift, no one was helping me, so I convinced myself that it was only a matter of time now before the Hunters catch you."

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“I think all of the footage of me is literally me worried about [Jake]," Rob said. "I was like, ‘What’s he gonna eat? How’s he gonna get from here to there? I definitely wanted to take on that mother role, that’s all I could think about."

Although their respective partners-in-crime didn’t make it to the extraction point, both winners agreed that it was a team effort from the beginning until the very end.

“Having won solo would be me having been solo from day one, which I wasn’t," said Stathi. "If I was solo from day one, I might not be on day 21. Our outcome was not solo, it was a team outcome.

“You did everything together. You got to that point together, we were a team all the way,” Rob continued, “There was no, ‘Oh it’s just me', it’s us,” he said.

Showing a creative flare for disguises during their time on the run, Rob showcased his make-up, hair and prosthetic skills, a strategy he and Jake used to remain undetected from Hunter HQ.

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“They were all interchangeable, always changing. You didn’t see the top knot, you didn’t see our hipster vibe. We had so many different looks that didn’t make it… We rocked up to Phillip Island dressed up as PE teachers,” he said.

While they had numerous disguises ready to go, the burden of carrying their heavy backpacks started to take its toll.

“For us, I wasn’t getting rid of anything. There was no way I’m going to drop a single piece of equipment. We’d be able to use it again,” Rob said, “We had to be versatile like that.”

“So, as much as Jake wanted to get rid of stuff, I was like ‘No’,” he laughed.

Stathi and Matt’s disguises also proved useful while they were on the run, with Nonna Stathi becoming a season favourite.

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“Nonna has requested her dress back. I didn’t shame her for wearing her dress, but I shamed her for wearing her dress without shoes,” he joked.

Like Jake and Rob, Stathi and Matt’s backpacks were also uncomfortable, so they decided to ditch some items along the way.

“We went through this cycle, I wore my disguises, Matt wore his, then we mixed them up. And then at that point, we were like, ‘Alright we’ve gotta start ditching [things] because our backs are cracking and we don’t have a chiropractor,” Stathi laughed.

While reminiscing on their time as fugitives, Stathi and Rob both expressed a mutual respect for defying society's labels, and the stereotypes surrounding masculinity.

“People thinking oh you’re the gay guys you can’t rough it up, you’re precious, pretentious queens. And we slept under bridges and in skate parks and spent zero dollars until day 14,” Stathi said.

 “And we’re the straight guys, we did the opposite, we’re precious and would not sleep outside,” Rob added laughing.

Catch up on the full season of Hunted Australia on 10 play on demand