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Vinnie Jones (red) and the trackers/trackees (Image: Tina Tiller)
Vinnie Jones (red) and the trackers/trackees (Image: Tina Tiller)

Pop CultureMay 22, 2023

Meet the teams hiding out for the $100,000 prize on Tracked

Vinnie Jones (red) and the trackers/trackees (Image: Tina Tiller)
Vinnie Jones (red) and the trackers/trackees (Image: Tina Tiller)

Tara Ward gazes into her crystal ball to predict which team stands the best chance at winning Vinnie Jones’s twisted game of hide and seek.

Chuck on your tactical gear and break out the sandfly spray, because the adventure show of the year starts tonight. Hosted by English former footballer/actor/all-round hardman Vinnie Jones, Tracked is a new survival competition that sees eight teams dropped into the Southern Alps for the wildest game of hide and seek ever. Every episode, teams must navigate their way through rugged and hostile terrain to an extraction point located several kilometres away, without being captured by two elite trackers following their every move. 

If the teams get tracked, they’re out. If they make it safely to the extraction zone, they live to bushwhack another day. “They are trained hunters and you are their prey,” Jones growls at the teams in episode one. Nothing about Tracked is chill, apart from the weather. 

Vinnie Jones #1 and Kahu #1 and #2

The two trackers – Kāhu 1 and Kāhu 2 – have 35 years of military tracking experience between them, and because they’re still in active service, we’ll never see their faces or know their real names. They’re aided by psychologist Dr Alia Bojilova and management consultant Dave Kassapian, who are both military experts. It’s their job to provide the trackers with insights about which team will take the biggest risks, and which team is more likely to curl up on a soft bed of sphagnum moss and dream about the time Vinnie Jones sang “Lip Up Fatty” on Celebrity X Factor.  

So who are the brave folk willing to run through tussocks and hide behind trees to score a snazzy $100,000? We’ve scoured Tracked’s official press biographies and stared into fate’s muddy footprints to try and work out which of these teams has the skills to win.

8. Team Yellow: Danee and Stephania (Australia/Mexico)

Danee and Stephania (Photo: Discovery)

Stephania and Danee fell in love through the extreme sport of parkour, and came on Tracked to prove how strong their bond is. When asked what they couldn’t survive without in the wilderness, Stephania replied “bubble tea is my life” while Danee said “YouTube tutorials and last minute shopping”. Do they know what this show is? Parkour!

7. Team Pink: Neil and Beth (UK)

Beth and Neil (Photo: Discovery)

Neil is a retired CEO who enjoys living life to the fullest, while Beth once biked 29,000kms around the world virtually. The English father and daughter are looking forward to spending more time together on Tracked, because we all know there is no finer quality time than being cold, damp and lost in the New Zealand bush. 

6. Team Green: Corey and Megan (USA)

Corey and Megan (Photo: Discovery)

These mates met on a competitive obstacle course, and now they’re about to tackle nature’s great obstacle course together. It’s a sign from the universe – the Marvel universe that is, because Corey loves Ironman and Megan calls herself She-Hulk. These two have been known to superglue their wounds together to finish a competition, which seems intense, but also, absolutely fine. 

5. Team Orange: Simon and Caroline (New Zealand)

Caroline and Simon (Photo: Discovery)

Simon and Caroline are experienced adventurers who are calling their Tracked adventure their “second honeymoon”. Simon’s happy place is deep underwater, while Caroline got frostbite in -24C weather and once accidentally stepped off the edge of a crevasse. They’ve also renovated six houses in 16 years, so if Tracked doesn’t work out, maybe they can try The Block NZ.

4. Team Blue: Ryland and Rad (Australia)

Ryland and Rad (Photo: Discovery)

Documentary producer Ryland and festival organiser Rad bring an unorthodox approach to Tracked, calling themselves “freedom seeking nomads” who are happy to be underestimated. Ryland says he couldn’t survive in the wilderness without his feet, while Rad says his happy place is “out bush with a doof”. Does Vinnie Jones like bush doof? Rad, indeed. 

3. Team Red: Regan and Regan (New Zealand)

The Regans (Photo: Discovery)

Best mates Regan and Regan look alike, have the same name and wear the same clothes. Are they the same person? Science says: yes. These Queenstown pals love the outdoors, and the builder and ex-rugby player are keen to tackle Tracked’s mental and physical challenges. What’s their secret weapon? “Being able to pass wind without anyone hearing,” Regan reckons. Vinnie Jones could never.

2. Team Purple: Megan and Michelle (USA)

Megan and Michelle (Photo: Discovery)

Megan is a corporate wellness coach, running coach and podcaster who recently completed an ultramarathon, while her former co-worker Michelle is an education manager, adjunct professor, content developer and leadership coach. They’ve got a lot on their plate, which means they’ve got no time to muck around on Tracked. Can you podcast in the bush? Asking for a friend. 

1. Team Brown: Gabe and Riley (New Zealand)

Gabe and Riley (Photo: Discovery)

Gabe and Riley hail from Wānaka, a place known for its mountains, lakes and a cool playground with a dinosaur slide. Mates since school, the keen hunters have a huge advantage in that they’ve already crossed the Southern Alps “dozens” of times. Some of us have been down that dinosaur slide dozens of times too, so perhaps we are all winners in this twisted game of life. 

Tracked screens on Three on Mondays at 7.30pm and streams on ThreeNow (episode one is available now).

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