‘It’s About The Bigger Picture’: Derek And Courtney Third Team Captured In Hunted

After two narrow escapes, the Ground Hunters caught up with friends Derek and Courtney on Sunday.

Having taunted the Hunters with some social media posts and cheeky messages, HQ were revved up and ready to snag Derek and Courtney as fast as they could. Having planned to stay with a friend, the pair were quick to bolt from the property when Ground Hunters came knocking that afternoon.

Though their friends’ house was clearly compromised, proud Whadjuk Noongar man Derek and proud Biripi woman Courtney returned to spend the night, having no other options.

“We didn’t know the area or where we were,” Courtney told 10 play, “to be honest I thought we were further out of the city from where we were.

“Not being from [Victoria], or ever being there we both thought we’d head back and go from there, but they were waiting for us in the morning,” she added.

As the Ground hunters returned to the house in the morning with a few more questions they spotted the Fugitives making a run for it, but the pair were too quick and managed to slip into a getaway car, finding another house to hide out in.

But the Hunters were hot on their trail, using phone records to trace where they believed Derek and Courtney would be hiding next.

After spending a day hiding out in plain sight in a park, when Derek and Courtney were picked up later that afternoon, Ground Hunters were ready to pounce, leading to their eventual capture.

“We both had no idea where we were half the time,” Courtney added, laughing. “We were relying on other people to help us with that… but other teams are still in and not from the area,” she added.

Having watched a few episodes of other versions of the series, Derek said the pair figured, “Why not give it a go?” But they purposefully wanted to feel like they were reacting spontaneously, rather than having an itinerary for escape.

“We thought if we didn’t know what we were doing the Hunters wouldn’t know what we were doing,” Courtney said. “That was our game plan going in.”

Though they weren’t able to make it the full 21 days, Derek and Courtney both spoke throughout the experience about wanting to be positive role models for the Indigenous community.

“It’s been wicked,” Derek said, “a lot of the Mob back home in community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders all over have been complimenting us and telling us we’ve done an awesome job.

“It’s about the bigger picture. I mean, being good role models on the run?” He said, laughing “but it’s just about being faces on mainstream television that young people can feel seen and heard.”

During their time on the run, the pair managed to taunt the Hunters with a social media post from Clothing the Gaps, as a message left at their friend’s place for the Ground Hunters to discover.

“We’re both pretty cheeky people and we’d do that with our mates, so we wanted to keep it genuine and show our personalities a little bit,” Courtney said. “[We] definitely got a bit of a kick out of winding them up.”

“Seeing their reactions was pretty funny,” Derek added, though watching the show back he admitted that he couldn’t stop commentating on his and Courtney’s choices. “I’m like, 'Why are you doing that?!”

Despite being the third team to be captured by the Hunters, Derek and Courtney said their friendship is even stronger after being put to the test.

“We’ve never been together for that long, 24 hours a day,” Courtney said, “so we definitely put it to the test, but I think it did come out stronger. Friends for life.”

Laughing, Derek revealed that the pair also got matching tattoos to commemorate their time on the run. “We each got a spear, for Hunted,” he said.

“You can’t forget this experience,” Courtney agreed.

Hunted Australia continues Sunday - Tuesday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play on demand