Going off the grid is hard work, especially when you've got a team of Hunters and Command Center investigators on your tail. Those seasoned pros made quick work of Fugitive pair Matt Sundberg and Christina Zapolski during the premiere episode of Hunted—but could it have gone a different way?
We caught up with the engaged couple to get their thoughts on the premiere, what was going through their heads at the moment of capture, and what they would have done differently...
Now that you've seen the premiere, what was it like getting the full picture of how your capture went down?
Christina: Obviously, after seeing how it was all shown on TV, we were like, "Ah!" We wish we wouldn't have gone on the bus; we wish we would have made some different decisions. But, at the end of the day, we did what we thought was right at the time and felt like we portrayed ourselves the best we could. In the moment, that was the decision we felt was the best decision.
Matt: Yeah, we talked about it for about 10 minutes, then even on the bus we were talking like, "Hey, should we get off at this exit? Should we get off at this exit?" But, in our gut, we were like, "Let's just try to stay on the bus and get to Atlanta and make a run for it." It was crazy to see, and it was fun. It was fun to watch.
Was it surprising how efficient the Hunters and Command Center investigators were at tracking you down?
Matt: Yeah, I was surprised that they came to Augusta and asked the Greyhound Bus people where we were. That was pretty interesting. Then we got to Atlanta, they trapped us there.
What was going through your heads when you saw the Hunters coming after you? Did you know that was the end of the line?
Christina: I totally did.
Matt: Yeah, you saw.
Christina: I kind of saw these bigger guys... and I was like, "I think that this is it."
Matt: Yeah, she was ahead of me in the bus, and she saw them and said she was going to run and go through the alley. So, I said, "Go ahead, and I'll catch up to you."
Christine: It felt so real. When I knew that was happening, my adrenaline just—it was so real, you know?
Matt: We were fired up.
Christina: But the weird thing is, at no point was I thinking, "Let's stay on this bus" or "Let's get off a different way." My instinct was just to run. That's, like, what I thought to do. So, it was weird, I learned that about myself.
READ: Hunted Fugitives: Meet Matt & Christina
Suffice to say, you wouldn't have taken the bus if you could do it over again?
Christina: Uhhh, yeah. [Laughs]
Matt: Yeah, we wouldn't have taken the bus. At that moment, we'd probably want to hitchhike or try to get the money somewhere else and then get out of town right away. Hitchhiking probably would have been a better option than taking the bus. Even a motor scooter probably would have been a better option. [Laughs]
In the beginning, what did you guys do to prepare?
Christina: We had general areas that we wanted to hit and we had some people that were willing to help out going into it. It's a really real show. Even the first night, we wanted to get to Atlanta, but we didn't have a choice because of the rain and all the other things that happened. So, your plans are constantly changing. There's no way to really map it all out.
It looked like you were given your one hour notice when you were on a walk. Were you caught off guard by the fact that you had to get home right away?
Matt: Yes! [Laughs] We were going for a walk, and we turned a corner, and right as we turned the corner, the team was like, "You are now on the run!" and we literally freaked out. We jumped and started screaming like little girls... It was scary!
READ: Get To Know All The Fugitives From Hunted
What was it about going off the grid that initially appealed to you?
Christina: I just think we're so dependent on our phones and so dependent on social media—everything in our life. I didn't have my phone or my nav or any of that stuff, I got lost I think 12 times.
We really wanted to do something like this... We definitely learned a lot about each other and got to see how we handled situations under pressure and how we resolved conflict—because there were a lot of times where we had to work together to make decisions and we didn't have a lot of time. It was nice to see we could really work together. That's going to be a theme in life. And at the end of the day, that's something we really took out of this experience, seeing how close we are as a couple... So we're really thankful we had the opportunity to do something like this together.
Based on your experience, do you have any advice for future Fugitives?
Matt: Don't take the bus. Bring a good wig! [Laughs]
Ah, the wigs! Yes!
Christina: [Laughs] I would definitely say, get out of your comfort zone. Do the stuff you would not ever do, try to trick [the Hunters and Command Center]. I think from our episode alone you could tell that they were really invested in figuring out your usual patterns and things you would normally do. Matt and I are big family people, and we were kind of predictable in some ways. So, if you go on this show, just really think outside the box and do things that would really throw them off.
Finally, if given the chance, would you want to give it another shot on Hunted?
Christina: Heck yeah! I want to!
Matt: We need a redemption season or all-star season. We're in there! The wigs will come back, and the buses will be gone forever. I don't think we'll get on a bus our whole lives, ever again.
Christine: But yeah, that is a definite "yes." We need to prove to America we can last longer than this! [Laughs]
Watch Hunted on Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.