‘You Really Do Feel Like A Criminal’: Jess And Erina-Lea Second Team Captured

On Tuesday night, Jess and Erina-Lea were the second team captured by the Hunters after a tense chase through the bush.

Relying on the kindness of strangers, Jess and Erina managed to find their way out to a camping ground, completely unaware the Hunters were already hot on their trail. But a rogue drone and some well-placed Ground Hunters really put the squeeze on their paranoia, leading to their eventual capture.

Initially planning to set up a tent in a campground, Jess began to worry that they had slipped up already, noticing CCTV in the reception area.

“I said to Erina, there was a camera, there’s every chance they’ve got us on that. We need to move,” Jess told 10 play.

“We were going to go bush, the following day we were going quite rural and would be going off-grid for a few days, so our plan was to stay somewhat close to residential areas that way we could get a lift out first thing the following morning.”

Having found refuge in the home of local artist Kay, as Erina was making a cup of tea, she thought she heard what sounded like a drone flying nearby. Mentioning it to Jess, she turned to grab her bag to find Jess had already vanished.

“She was like The Flash,” Erina said, laughing. “I went straight into the house and said to Kay and Peter there’s a drone. They went outside and looked for me and by that time, the drone had crashed because it was some guy on a bicycle flying his damn drone scaring the sh*t out of us.”

Jess quickly added, “I’m going to invoice that guy $100,000.”

It wasn’t the first time Jess had been spooked, pacing around Kay’s property she had a sneaking suspicion the Hunters were closing in.

Jess said that, prior to going on the run, people had warned them that they might start to feel a bit paranoid. “We were like, it’s just a game, we’ll be fine!

“As soon as that game starts, damn you are looking over your shoulder, you’re questioning the goodwill of strangers,” Jess continued. “Every single decision you make, you question 100 times over, whether or not it was a good decision.”

Erina agreed, adding, “All sense of who you are and what you think you’re going to do goes straight out the window and you’re just like… holy sh*t.”

Though the pair managed to make their way out of the city, they admitted that they never had a strict plan they wanted to follow when they were on the run.

“I feel as though our plan was to not have a plan,” Jess said. “If we plan something, these professionals are going to know it. It’s their job to know what we’re going to be thinking and what we’re going to be doing.

“So we kind of went in with the game plan of; If we don’t know what we’re doing, how will they know what we’re doing?”

Erina agreed, adding that they did have vague structure to how they wanted to go on the run. “We wanted to move all the time, we never wanted to sit still.”

“We knew along he way that we were going to meet people, which we did,” Erina continued, “and it would constantly change like, ‘I can take you here’ or ‘why don’t you go there’ or ‘come here with us’, so that’s where we didn’t have a plan.”

After the false start with the drone, the pair made their way back to Kay’s house to, completely unaware that Ground Hunters were circling the area after investigating the nearby campsite.

Seeing them approach, Jess and Erina took off once again, hoping to make their way to freedom on foot.

“I said to Jess from the very beginning I’m a weights girl,” Erina said. “I have a gym in my home and I do weights. I’m not a cardio person and I thought, if these guys are going to chase me down with or without a backpack there is no chance I’ll ever be able to run them down.”

Jess, meanwhile, had a few unfortunate stumbles with one landing her in the nearby creek. “The whole of Australia is quite enjoying my 100 stacks replayed on TV at the moment,” Jess said, laughing.

“You really do feel like a criminal when you’re being chased… I didn’t think I was going to outrun [the Ground Hunters]. I was secretly hoping maybe he would break his leg jumping off the cliff following me and I’d escape in a car and win $100,000!”

Though their time on the run came to an end, the pair said they’re already planning a return if ever an All-Stars season pops up.

“We’re definitely going to be going big or going home, that’s for sure,” Jess said. “We learned so many lessons and we truly believe that, if we had our time again, we’d get to the finish line.”

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